June 15, 1998 12:00 PM

Johnny Rivers (Soul City)

In the dubious tradition of white performers making hits out of tunes done originally by black artists, Rivers first scored with Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” and “Maybelline” in the early 1960s. (Later, he returned to the charts with 1966’s “Poor Side of Town,” which he actually cowrote.) Now 55, Rivers has come back with his first studio album in more than 15 years. A combination of old blues standards plus some Rivers originals, the CD does include one standout track co written by him, the mournful “Don’t Let the Rain Come Down.” No doubt some smart up-and-comer will cut his own version of it soon.

Bottom Line: So-so collection from a ’60s survivor

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