Today's Country

The best Country music in the World!


June 19, 2007
Rhythm & Blues, Early R&B, Doo Wop

Album Review

Pianist Billy Ward formed and managed the Dominoes, wrote most of the group's music and arranged it, and he also sang, but the Dominoes will always be remembered for the group's impressive succession of lead tenors, which included, in order, Clyde McPhatter, Jackie Wilson and Gene Mumford. The Dominoes earliest work was recorded for the Federal/King family of labels and this, the second in Classics' chronological survey of the group, covers October 1953 through June 1954 of their stay with King. McPhatter had just left the Dominoes a few months before and had been replaced by Jackie Wilson, who in his very first session tracked the enduring vocal for "Rags to Riches," thus quickly ending any speculation about a quality fall-off in the group's vocal sound. Other notable sides collected here include the goofy but strangely endearing "Cave Man," Wilson's brilliant vocal on a version of "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," and Ward's own "Little Black Train," a fine composition built around a gospel-folk motif. The Dominoes would leave Federal/King later in the year and record a one-off for Jubilee Records before signing with Decca Records, only to return briefly to Federal a year later in 1955. As a record of how quickly and well Wilson assimilated himself into the group's vocal style, and for the stunning versions of "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town" and "Little Black Train" contained here (and, of course, for "Rags to Riches"), this is a valuable archival collection.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. My Baby's 3-D
  2. Above Jacob's Ladder
  3. Cave Man
  4. Rags to Riches
  5. Handwriting on the Wall
  6. Ringing in a Brand New Year
  7. Christmas in Heaven
  8. Don't Thank Me
  9. Lay It on the Line
  10. Until the Real Thing Comes Along
  11. One Moment with You
  12. Lonesome Road
  13. Love Me Now or Let Me Go
  14. Little Black Train
  15. Tenderly
  16. Tootsie Roll
  17. St. Louis Blues
  18. I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town
  19. A Little Lie
  20. Three Coins in the Fountain
  21. Little Things Mean a Lot
  22. I Really Don't Want to Know
purchase full album