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Various Artists

Talking On The Telephone - Rock 'n' Roll And Teen Pop

Review by Gary Hill

This collection of songs about telephones and telephone calls is a mixed bag. That's generally common of something like this, so it's not a big surprise. It still flows well from start to finish and manages to entertain throughout, though. I should mention that I have previously reviewed a few of these songs in other reviews. For the sake of consistency the track reviews for those songs are copied from or modified from the original reviews.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace
It seems that this cut is one that pretty much everyone knows. It's a bouncy, fun little romp. It's a great choice to lead off the disc.
Bobby Darin - If A Man Answers
The horns on this are cool. The whole tune has a great energy and groove. The guitar solo has a classy, nearly surf guitar, feeling to it.
Brenda Lee - Bigelow 6-200
I really like the bass work on this number. It's a fun tune that is effective.
Chuck Berry - Memphis, Tennessee
This old time rock and roller is classy stuff. 
The Orlons - Don't Hang Up
An energetic tune, this is catchy and fun.       
Johnny Burnette - Operator
Another fun old school rock and roller, this is solid, but not a standout.
Mickey & Sylvia - Can't Get You On The Phone
Oozing class and cool, this is a real highlight with a lot of musical charm and style.
Billy Fury - Phone Call
More of a shuffling number, this has plenty of rockabilly in the mix. I really love the guitar solo on this thing.
Claudine Clark - The Telephone Game
Old school pop music, this has a lot soul built into it. It's a fun number.
The Nutmegs - Hello
A doo wop tune, this is cool.
Freddy Cannon - Buzz Buzz A Diddle It
This rocker is one of the strongest tunes here. It's just energized, catchy and so much fun.
Donna Damron - Bopper 486 009
A jazzy groove and some killer piano work is on hand here. This song is obviously a response tune to the song that opened the album.     
Lew Williams - Teenagers Talkin' On The Phone
Mixing old-school rock and roll with jazz, this romp is a fun one.
Big Bob - Your Line Was Busy
Up-tempo rock and roll this is a lot of fun. I love the guitar solo on it.
Carl Perkins - Just Thought I'd Call
With a bit of a rockabilly concept on display, this is another standout tune.
Bobby Mitchell - Got To Call That Number
Based more on the pop music of the era, it still has some rock and roll in the mix. It's one of my least favorite tunes here.  
Johnny Burnette - I Just Called Up To Say Goodbye
A bit overproduced, this is definitely of the pop music style of the time. This doesn't work well for me.
Jerry Lee Lewis - Hello, Hello Baby
The killer is at work here, singing a rock and roller and playing his trademark piano. This is a highlight of the set.
Chuck Berry - Come On
Nothing new, this is another effective Berry rocker.
Brenda Lee - Ring-A-My-Phone
Another catchy number, this works better than the previous tune from Lee. It's a fun piece.
Ron Holden - Your Line Is Busy
With a real old-school rock and roll groove at its heart, this is an effective song.
Dinah Washington - Ring-A-My-Phone
A jazzy pop tune with some rock and roll in the mix, there is a lot of energy and some good hooks here. I'm not overly enthused about the arrangement, though.
Tommy Sands - Ring My Phone
The honking saxophone and cool guitar bring a lot of charm to this number. It's a bouncy, playful piece that's very classy.
Johnny Fallin - Party Line
A cool rock and roll groove is on display here. The guitar solo is on fire.
Mel Williams - Here At My Phone

This has a slower, bluesy groove to it. It's another classy cut..

The Marvelettes - Beechwood 4-5789
A jazzy soul tune, this is classic, timeless and fun.   
Bill Woods - Phone Me Baby
Rockabilly is at the heart of this little tune. It's nothing Earth shattering, but it works pretty well.
Paul Anka - Kissin' On The Phone
This is a pop tune of the era. It's competent, but not that great.
 
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