The Holidays -- Franny Grisnik,
Charlie Hatfield, Raymond Lancianese, Frank Gori, and Ralph Falk -- first
hit the studio in 1958. Falk bowed out the following year (he later surfaced
with The Arondies), replaced by Barbara Jo Lippzer. With the addition of her
voice, The Holidays found their distinctive group harmony groove.
Because of arranger/orchestrator Lenny Martin's involvement, and due to The
Holidays' four-guys-and-a-girl lineup, The Holidays' output sometimes
resembles Martin's work with The Skyliners, and that's a good echo.
Connection is further enhanced by the fact that the previously unreleased "A
Love I Never Had" was written by Skyliners' lead vocalist Jimmy Beaumont
with manager partner Joe Rock.
But the Holidays wrote their own, too. Lancianese was responsible for the
wistful "Lonely Summer"; the rocking/honking sax-powered "My Girl", and the
boy-girl tune "Carol."
"My Girl" with great bass vocal work, is one of the group's peak moments.
Conversely, "Carol" (cut when the group was known as Little Ray & The
Velvedears) recalls the group in its formative moments.
What's fun about the unreleased "Carol" and "In My Younger Days" (a
good-time doo-wopper with Falk on the lead) is that they sound their age;
they were transferred to CD from crackly old acetates. But that's how rock
and roll is supposed to be heard.
"Pretend" swings in a typical late-Fifties way, while "Then I'll be Tired of
You" is perfect for "Music for Young Lovers" radio segments. "It's the Same
Old Dream", again reminiscent of the Skyliners (unreleased until now), is
good as is, but might have benefited from being slowed down a notch. Opening
acapella bars of "One Little Kiss" jump out of the speakers, proving the
quintet was equally at home in solid R & B.
By the way, that's Virginia Tweddle Parrish's voice on "My Girl" and "One
Little Kiss". The Holidays went their various ways in 1962, but because
their music is played every weekend on oldies programs, it's like they never
left. "By Special Request" gives us something new to add to the