The Baby Boom generation has reached the age where another good reissue label is always welcome. As a representative of that generation, I find that I am constantly looking for good recordings of long lost or forgotten albums. The wealth of material that is currently out of print, or in many instances has never been previously released, is staggering.
There have always been labels dedicated to the resurrection of lost musical gems, which brings us to the new kind on the block, Real Gone Music.
Real Gone is the idea of Gordon Anderson and Gabby Castellana, who are both veterans of the reissue business as they started Collector’s Choice Music and Hep Cat Records & Distribution respectively. Both labels became important vehicles for music collectors and casual fans alike. Now, nearly two decades later, they have joined forces to create a new label.
If there is one thing that can initially be said for Real Gone, it is that their initial group of offerings is prolific, eclectic, appealing, and always interesting. Artists run the gamut from The Grateful Dead to The Girls From Petticoat Junction, which leaves a lot of territory in-between.
Their initial offering included compilations by pre-Beatles pop and female teen idols Shelby Flint, Connie Stevens, and Joanie Sommers. All three had some top 40 success, and all of their singles for the Valiant Label (Flint), and the WB label (Stevens and Sommers), are presented in a cleaned-up format. Some have been unavailable for decades. The label’s initial release was an album by The Girls From Petticoat Junction, which has to be one of the most obscure reissues of the year or any year for that matter.
Their second batch of CDs is rock oriented. The highlights are three Grateful Dead releases covering 1970s concerts from San Diego, Rochester, and Philadelphia. The seminal garage band, ? & The Mysterians, return to vinyl with the issue of 180-gram LP’s of 96 Tears and Action. Finally they reach back into early rock ‘n’ roll history to raid the Cameo-Parkway label vaults for 18 holiday hits.
Their first month of active existence will conclude with Christmas albums by The David Rose Orchestra and Ed Ames.
I have listened to the Petticoat Junction, Cameo Parkway, Connie Stevens, and one of the Grateful Dead releases, and the sound is impeccable on the first three and as good as can be expected on the Grateful Dead release due to the haphazard recording of the concert. Each come with liner notes of the music that is enclosed.
Who knows what delicacies will be served up by the label in the future? If their initial group of offerings is any indication, it will be a fun ride for any fan of lost and rare music.