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Oldies but Goodies


This is an excerpt from an article by GREG BEETS that appeared in The Austin Chronicle on May 4, 2001, entitled "Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hits!  R.I.P., K-tel...


Until its stateside demise, K-tel was best known for jam-packed compilations of both past and present hits direct-marketed to consumers via garish, cheaply produced TV ads. Although K-tel's buffet-style MO seems quintessentially American, the company was actually founded in Winnipeg, Ontario, by Phillip Kives in 1962 before moving to Minneapolis in the early Seventies. Having cut its teeth selling items like non-stick pans on TV, K-tel released its first album, 25 Polka Greats, in 1971.

K-tel wasn't the first label to specialize in compilations. California disc jockey Art Laboe pioneered the practice of licensing material from several labels with his Oldies but Goodies series in the Sixties. Ron Popeil's Ronco (immortalized in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Mr. Popeil") sold plenty of compilations alongside useful products like Mr. Microphone and the Record Vacuum. However, it was K-tel that truly cultivated the form into a pop culture institution ripe for parody.


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HERE begins an ongoing series of song lists that will attempt to create, restore, retrieve, amplify, or defy the traditional rock 'n' roll canon.  Most of these creations don't really "exist" (whatever that means anymore in a free-floating universe of whathaveyou). 

In addition, the series will dig up lost (often demeaned) albums that have been denied their position in the established rock-crit canon.

Please keep in mind that I will NOT be sharing MP3s or any downloadable material.  Just like I had to do, you will have to seek this stuff out yourself. (It's not that I'm selfish--I fear the dreaded, albeit friendly, Web Sheriff.)

Below is a list of songs, all from The Beatles' Live at the BBC collection from 1994.  I swear to its repeated playability, which will be the primary criteria for creating or digging up a new contender for the canon.

Beatles back cover for A Collection of Oldies Beatles import LP

Rock & Roll!!!! or The Beatles Sing the Oldies But Goldiest

1) I Got a Woman

2) Soldier of Love

3) Clarabella

4) Sweet Little Sixteen

5) I Just Don't Understand

6) The Hippy Hippy Shake

7) To Know Her Is To Love Her

8) Some Other Guy

9) I Got to Find My Baby

10) So How Come (No One Loves Me)

11) Crying, Waiting, Hoping

12) A Shot of Rhythm and Blues

13) Lonesome Tears in My Eyes

14) I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)