November 28, 2000
Vocal Music, Early R&B, Doo Wop, Vocal Pop

Album Review

Excepting only a trio of singles for Hub from 1946, Be I Bumble Bee or Not reissues the earliest material recorded by the Ravens, the best of their 1947-49 hitch with National. That period saw the most chart activity for the quartet as well as the recording of their greatest material, close-harmony gems like the effervescent "Be I Bumble Bee or Not," an understated yet swinging "Ol' Man River," bouncy lovers' requests like "Write Me a Letter" and "Send for Me If You Need Me." Like fellow harmonists the Ink Spots, the Ravens often indulged in standards, and turned in interesting diversions on their versions of "Summertime," "I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do," and "Always," plus a pair of holiday favorites: "Silent Night" and "White Christmas." Jimmy Ricks' deep bass is reason enough to hear these songs, and the smooth harmonizing of the rest of the group is the icing on the cake.
John Bush, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Bye Bye Baby Blues
  2. Mahzel (Means Good Luck)
  3. For You
  4. Ol' Man River
  5. Would You Believe Me
  6. Write Me a Letter
  7. Summertime
  8. Searching for Love
  9. Be I Bumble Bee or Not
  10. Fool That I Am
  11. Together
  12. Send for Me If You Need Me
  13. September Song
  14. Once in a While
  15. It's Too Soon to Know
  16. I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do
  17. White Christmas
  18. Silent Night
  19. Always
  20. Deep Purple
  21. Leave My Gal Alone
  22. Rickey's Blues
  23. Careless Love
  24. If You Didn't Mean It
  25. Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)