V.S.O.P. #82 THE VALIANTS: THIS IS THE NIGHT FOR LOVE
Billy Storm, Rip Spencer, Brice Coefield, Chester Pipkin.
The Valiants' first sides under that name were produced by Bumps Blackwell for Keen Records. Their public appearances were often as the opening act for Sam Cooke, Johnny Guitar Watson, Young Jessie, and later Jan & Dean. While the highest they charted was Number 43 on the R&B charts and Number 59 on the Billboard pop charts, they enjoyed much greater fame during the oldies radio revival shows of Art Laboe and Wolfman Jack throughout the 1960's. The group was comprised of Billy Storm, (aka Billy Jones, aka Billy Fortune, aka Billy Spicer), Rip Spencer, Brice Coefield, and Chester Pipkin. Billy Storm's great falsetto and tenor lead is probably most responsible for the group's enduring appeal. They also had the distinction of recording the first released version of "Good Golly Miss Molly", recorded earlier by Little Richard but released later by Specialty.
They recorded 8 sides for Keen Records in two sessions. The first, at Master Recorders in June of 1957 yielded "Lover Lover", "This Is The Night For Love", "Good Golly Miss Molly", "Walkin' Girl", "Frieda Frieda", and "Temptation of My Heart". The second session, from February of 1958 produced "We Knew", "Please Wait My Love", and three sides backing up Kylo Turner (formerly of the Pilgrim Travelers) that are not included on this CD. What this CD does include are all 8 master releases and all of the complete alternate takes (and some incomplete takes, as well) from both sessions which add up to over 73 minutes of music. Also, Marv Goldberg provides excellent notes, that he wrote with the assistance of Rip Spencer, and a discography. The session material is presented in the actual order it was recorded, which provides greater insight into this music. The Valiants' greatest asset was also the primary reason they did not enjoy greater success: they were too extreme to appeal to the masses. The songs were too frantic, idiosyncratic or maudlin, the falsetto too pronounced, and yet today, they sound just far out enough to be one of the most authentic expressions of their times. .
Other sources for CD: City Hall Records