has quite a musical legacy. Her early singles crafted doo wop to intelligent lyrics. She toured with the Beatles
in 1964 and more than held her own. She wrote songs with Randy Newman
. She was among the first artists to realize that folk and pop could work together and was a behind-the-scenes innovator in the creation of folk-rock. And she did it all with style and grace, singing with a sexy, husky voice full of energetic passion. By all accounts she should be a household name instead of just a respected rock & roll footnote. This set, the first of three volumes to collect all of her Liberty and Imperial singles, will be revelatory to those who only know her from her hit version of “What the World Needs Now.” Tracks like the sassy doo wop gem “Lonely Girl,” “You Won’t Forget Me,” and the majestic “When You Walk in the Room” (all of which she wrote), “Needles and Pins” (hers was the first version and set the jangly sonic template for the Searchers
’ own hit with it), and her lovely uptown take on the folk classic “500 Miles” still sound fresh and vital all these decades later. She was -- and is -- the real deal. Kudos should go out to Ace Records for presenting the evidence on her behalf, and for doing it in chronological order.