Dahl's Digs: Sink your teeth into meaty new releases

Chicago’s “other” leading postwar R&B indie label gets the royal treatment on Shout! Factory’s four-CD Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection.
One of the first successful African-American-owned diskeries, Vee-Jay was strong in every style during its 1953-66 existence — doo-wop (the Spaniels, El Dorados, Magnificents, Dells); blues (Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Eddie Taylor, Billy Boy Arnold); R&B (Gene Allison, Rosco Gordon, Harold Burrage); Windy City soul (Dee Clark, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Betty Everett); jazz (Eddie Harris) and gospel (Staple Singers, Swan Silvertones).
Vee-Jay eventually even dabbled in surf with Aki Aleong and folk-rock via Hoyt Axton. Licensing hits by the 4 Seasons, Jimmy Hughes and Joe Simon no longer controlled by current owners was a nice touch. (www.shoutfactory.com)
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