Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nanette Fabray

 Nanette Fabray
Born Ruby Bernadette Nanette Theresa Fabares
in San Diego, Calif. in 1920
actress, dancer and singer

Nanette Fabray and Chorus performing "Louisiana Hayride"
 in the musical film “The Band Wagon (1953)”

Friday, July 28, 2017

House Of The Rising Sun

Marjon Records MJ-523

Early 70s

A native of Ashland, Kentucky, Carl Curtis Hughes was the son of the late Albert and Mildred Dixon Hughes.  He recorded at least one LP for B-W Records  He left the music business, went to Africa where he worked for over 30 years before becoming a Chaplain in Waynesville, North Carolina where he resided for more than 12 years when he died in 2015.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Rudy Harvey And The Pips
R.D. Stokes Band

Capri 103


Better known as a DJ and entrepreneur, Rudy Harvey owned and operated several labels in California :
Capri (58), Dynamic (60-61) Dynamite (62) Titanic (62-63), Amazon (62-63) and Azuza.  

Henry Strogin, a long time friend of Rudy Harvey, reported :
We received the astonishing and shocking news that Rudy was found dead. That was shocking and surely it was surprising to say the least. To this date, we never found out the details of the death of Rudy Harvey.
There was much talking about Rudy having ties to the «mob». If he was and did have ties, we knew nothing about it. Rudy was a young man of about 28 or 29 years.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Babe Blanchard

Enjoy Records EN-101

Backed by The Four Bucks, this is Babe Blanchard, also known as Ollie Blanchard.  Babe Blanchard had another release on Nestor Records (#26 : One More Time / Sugarfoot Sam). 

His biggest success was as composer with a song he co-wrote with Johnnie Malone : "Please Love Me Forever" was a hit for Tommy Edwards in 1958. And also for Cathy Jean and the Roommates in February 1961 and for Bobby Vinton in September 1967.

But most of his compositions were recorded for small New York labels such as Tarx (Coo Coo Coodle Coo by The Admirations) and Tri-X (So Can I by Little Wilma). 

This certainly one-off Enjoy record was probably produced by one Renaldo Denino whose Music Company has been reported in Panama where he handled the distribution of the Co-Ed and Mayhams record labels in 1960, both labels owned by the shady Mr. Norridge Mayhams.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Joyce Taylor, Waxmate of the Month


Born in Taylorville, Illinois as Joyce Crowder.  Most online sources indicates a year of birth in 1932, but 1936 is the most probable year.  Joyce looked and acted older than she was. A coal miner's daughter [or according to another source, her father was a singer with his own radio show in St. Louis]  she attended public schools in Taylorville and was the top baton twirler at Taylorville High School.  Her performance in a school talent show led to a recording contract with Mercury Records in 1953.  Roy Rodde, one-time manager of Joni James, was her personal agent.

Her first record, “You’ve Got Something” for Mercury Records, was written by Joyce while sitting at a table in her mother’s restaurant called Pauline’s Place on South Washington Street. 

Mercury Records issued four singles on Joyce Taylor in 1953-1954 :
53 Mercury 70243 : If I Cry / You've Got Something  
54 Mercury 70317 : Babe In The Woods / Take My Love
54 Mercury 70345 : Sealed With A Kiss / If You Only Knew
54 Mercury 70461 : Your Mind, Your Lips, Your Heart /No Happiness For Me
She is also rumored to have recorded as Joyce Bradley (not confirmed)
55 Mercury 70769 : A Dangerous Age / Take Your Time With Me Lover (as Joyce Bradley)
55 Mercury 70716 : Why Don't You Write Me / Love Is A Many Splendored Thing as Joyce Bradley)

Under contract to Howard Hughes' RKO Pictures in the 1950s  she was only allowed by the eccentric and enigmatic tycoon to act in one picture, a small part in "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" in 1956.  After seven frustrating years being “bottled up” by the eccentric and enigmatic Howard Hughes, she became a regular on the TV sci-fi/adventure series, “Men into Space” (1959) and acted in many other TV shows in the late fifties and early sixties including “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza,” “Ozzie and Harriet,” “77 Sunset Strip” and “The Untouchables.”   Joyce’s movie titles include: “Atlantis the Lost Continent,” “Ring of Fire,” “Thirteen Frightened Girls,” “F.B.I. Story,” “Windsplitter,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Rappacinni’s Daughter.”   In addition, she made numerous television commercials, some of which were for VO5 hair spray and cream, Rambler, Ford, Coke, Spic and Span, and Folgers Coffee.

She later married a stockbroker and left the business. Now makes her home in Colorado where she writes poetry.

Several paragraphs in "Howard Hughes: The Untold Story" book by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske describes the Joyce Taylor's RKO years:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Wish I Knew

Iona Mack

I Wish I Knew

McMackon Mack Records 55

1961 — McMackon 12
Tell Me Why You Act That Way You Do / That You Will Be Mine

1961 — McMackon M17  
True Love / Yes Daddy Let Your Love Be Mine

1962 — McMackon 17   
Love Me Again / You're Allright With Me

1962 — McMackon 26   
I Like To Dance With My Baby / It Is You Baby On My Mind

1965 — McMackon 35
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall / I Wish I Knew, I Wish I Knew

1967 — McMackon Mack 55
I Wish I Knew / Love Me Again

First releases had this address :
795 St. Nicholas Ave. New York
According to jukebox george at 45cat.com "795 St. Nicholas is an apartment building [50 or so units] in the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill section of Harlem, about 2 km north of the Apollo Theater"
Later releases had no address, just a phone number :  JU 6-0499 New York

Mysterious Iona Mack, about her I wish I knew... more.  Was it a pseudonym? Did she had a previous and long career under another name?  That's what I like to think...

The Two-Minute Record

Cash Box Music Editorial
5 December 1953

   For years now, The Cash Box has been campaigning for two-minute records for juke box operators.  We have pointed out time and time again how important they are because the period in which an operator gets peak play is highly limited and records that run longer than two minutes cut drastically into his possible income.
   But now sevral disk jockeys, among them Joe Deane of Pittsburgh and Ed McKenzie of Detroit, have pointed out to us that the two-minute record is just as important to the disk jockey as it is to the operator.
   The demands upon a disk jockey's time today are enormous.  There are more records than ever being issued and each one is being promoted.  They are all being offered to disk jockeys for air play and a disk jockey has a terribly difficult time deciding what to play and what not to play.  One important factor which he considers when he is deciding is the lenght of the record.   If he has twelve minutes of available playing time, he would certainly rather play six two-minutes records than four three-minutes ones.

   Today, the disk jockey's situation is one in which the time available for playing records is strictly limited.  On most shows, sponsors' messages take up considerable space and must be considered before anything else.  Since many shows are highly packed with sponsors — a situation which is encouraged by both the station and the disk jockey, for after all, they are engaged in a commercial enteprise — messages sometimes cannot be spaced as far as three minutes apart so that the longer record cannot be played simply from a physical factor point of view.

   From every angle, it is obvious that the two-minute record has a better chance of being played and is therefore more in the interests of the record company, publisher, artist and everyone else connected with it than a longer record.

   Disk jockeys and opeattors together determine a great deal of what happens in our music business.  When they combine their interests and demands, they are irresistible.

   And here is one need with both of them share.

   If each will make his needs known vociforously to recording men of all capacities, it won't be long before the two-minute record is the rule rather than the exception.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mary My Darling

Clarence Green
with the High Type Five

Clarence Green (1934–1997)
Blues guitarist and band leader Clarence Green was born in Mont Belvieu, Texas, in Chambers County, on January 1, 1934. He was a versatile guitarist who should not be confused with the piano-playing blues singer Clarence "Candy" Green (1929–88) from nearby Galveston. Green, the guitar player, was a stalwart of the Houston scene who fronted a number of popular bands, the most famous being the Rhythmaires, between the early 1950s and his death.

This is his first record.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Go Lucky Guy

Little Joanie Scott

Happy Go Lucky Guy
Andy Pace, Kodel Music Co.

Tonix Record Co. JS-340

Born Joan Berger in New Jersey.
Joan had few friends and felt out of place. She reached a turning point in 1962. “Shelly Fabares came out with the song ‘Johnny Angel,’ and I started singing it. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a star,”   After her mother died, Joan moved in with her father and stepmother in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. It did not go well.   As Joan told it, “I was almost 17, absolutely gorgeous and my stepmother thought I was kind of wild.  She was so high-strung. She’d sit down at the big baby grand piano, drink a glass of Chablis and then all of a sudden start singing, ‘Herman, I love you. Joan, I hate you!’”

So Joan moved in with her grandmother in Miami Beach, where she caught the eye of Morris Landsberg, a hotel owner with mob connections.  She began dating Landsberg, along with various New York Mafia types. After ten months, the excitement had worn off and she was ready to decamp. She thought of Irwin Koplan, a Georgia salesman she’d dated when she was living in Gramercy Park. “Irwin had asked me to marry him a week after he met me,” she explained. “So I called him up and said, ‘Do you still want to marry me?’ He said, ‘Of course I do.’ That night he packed his bags, drove down to Miami Beach and picked up my grandmother and me. He took us back to Georgia and we started making plans to get married. I think that was real nice of him.”

In 1984, Joan Berger-Koplan established JJK Security in Ringgold, Georgia.  For three seasons, she was the star of a reality show, Small Town Security, which traced the fortunes (and misfortunes) of JJK Security,
She barks orders, meddles in other people’s business, and revels in scatological humor. Her conversation is invariably studded with profanity, sarcastic quips and sexual innuendo. She is wildly and hilariously inappropriate, and she is worshiped by her team.
A cigar smoking, hard talking, wisecracking woman with smudged eyeliner and bright red lipstick, Koplan was an instant hit with fans of the show and an immediate subject of “why-we-love” listicles on the net.
During the third and final season of the show, which ran from July 2012 through June 2014, it was revealed she had developed a brain tumor. She was hospitalized several times and suffered many side-effects and health issues in the months afterwards, stemming from the surgery and radiation treatment. She died March 31, 2016;

Light In The Attic Records, an independent record label from Seattle, Washington released an old acetate discovered in Koplan’s attic : "Baby I Need Your Lovin' b/w Kansas City"

Joan had a small part in 1969 in a spanish (or italian?) Tarzan ripoff called Tarzán en la gruta del oro (also known as Zan, King of the Jungle or Tarzan in the Golden Grotto.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Johnny's Yo Yo

Nancy Ford
Johnny's Yo Yo

Jean JR-724

In 1969,  Nancy Da Feo decided to take up the guitar as a hobby. She also was interested in country music. A friend, Wade Dawson, who led a country band, taught Mrs. De Feo a few chords and, after she had mastered them, offered to let her sit in with his group.

Using her maiden name, Nancy Ford, she joined a quartet called the Nashville Kats. In 1971, when the leader of the group left for Florida, Miss Ford took over the combo and, as Nancy Ford and the Nashville Kats, it has become one of the most active country bands on Long Island, where she was the vice president of the local Country Music Association.

Nancy Ford was the first act signed by the brand new Jean label launched by Alithia Records whose president Peter Kraljevich and vice president Vito Samela decided to enter the country field in 1972.

Alithia Records has been set up in 1971 by The King Insulation Co., North Bergen, New Jersey-based firm specialized in pipe and wiring insulation.  The singles lines kicked off with a record by Barbara English

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Long Range Love

The Mack Sisters

(Jack Wolf –Leon Carr)
Blossom Music ASCAP

Orchestra conducted by Marion Evans


The Mack Triplets (1950)

Better known as The Mack Triplets since their singing careers debut in 1943.  The three sisters (not really triplets) Eileen, Charlotte and LaVerne were born McAuliffe.  They launched their professional singing careers quite inauspiciously in 1943 when their agent booked them at a nightclub in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood.

''Nobody in the audience paid attention to us. They were more interested in drinking,'' mused Charlotte, who recalled the trio received $15 - total - for the gig. ''Out of that we had to pay the agent's fee.''

But the future looked brighter in 1944 when the Mack Triplets went on radio with Phil Spitalny's Hour of Charm. They also toured with Spitalny's all-girl orchestra.

The Mack Triplets went with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on a three-week gig at Slapsie Maxie's in Hollywood,  played the London Palladium with Tony Martin and, for years, were performers in the live stage shows in Lowe's theater chain. They also did the first Phil Silvers TV show and made two appearances on the Milton Berle show among their scores of credits.

 The Mack Triplets doing promotion for the Senate beer (circa 1949)

Emil Coleman (left) with Ted Martin and the Mack Triplets (Eileen, Charlotte, LaVerne) performing in studio.
(DeLuxe Records session?)

The Mack Triplets produced a number of records with varied success. Their best sales were overseas, especially in Australia.   With the popularizing of rock 'n' roll, the entertainment world was changing drastically. And the sisters opted to retire from the stage in the late '50s.

''Besides, it had become tiring. I remember doing eight shows a day at Atlantic City's Steel Pier,'
' said Charlotte said. ''It was time to get out and raise our family.''

Monday, May 1, 2017

Diana Darrin, Waxmate of the Month

Diana, as Theila Darin, on the cover of Frolic (1954)

Diana Darrin (born April 15, 1933 in New Haven, Connecticut) is an American film actress and singer. She has made over 35 film and television appearances in her career. 

She spent the early years of her career appearing in several later Three Stooges films such as He Cooked His Goose, Shot in the Frontier and A Merry Mix Up.

Later appearances include a starring role in The Broken Land with Jack Nicholson, High School Confidential, Reform School Girls and Slither. She appeared on several television series including Bonanza and McHale's Navy.

Carbine Williams, the inventor of the M1 carbine rifle, brought her to Hollywood.

I first met Carbine, he was 50 at the time.  I used to stop by his 28-room mansion in New Haven (Conn.) on my way home from school to do my homework.  It was a pecaliar relationship. 

We fell deeply in love and I loved him because he made me feel secure.  He'd listen to me and I could relate to him.   He was married but separated from his wife the entire time I knew him.

When I decided to become an actress, Carbine brought me to Hollywood. 

After a 10 year affair with Carbine Williams, their relationship ended when Williams fell ill and returned to his family in North Carolina.

1001 : Freedom Riders (1960 Pony Express) / All Accordin (1960) *

1004 : Gimme A Little Kiss / I Love The Way (1961)
1005 : Little Gun, Little Me / Lost Love (1962)
1007 : Frankie Ace / He's Gonna Be Mine (1962)

* A gold copy pf the Freedom Riders was presented to Pres. Eisenhower on December 2, 1960

According to Cash Box (Feb. , 1961), "Actress-singer Diana Darrin, pacted by Magnet Records topper, Jay Colonna, to wax an album tagged “Pink Mink,” which combines some new material as
well as old standards. . . . " 
But no evidence of an actual recording or release has be found


Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Skyway Records Story

Foeword : I'm well aware that the choosen title, The Skyway Records Story, may be a bit too ambitious, but what's the heck, how many labels compilations you bought which were not completely satisfactory? And mine is free.  

Skyway Records was probably owned (or partly owned) by Everett Lorne Whenham.  Born in Canada in 1902, Everett Whenham came to California at an early age.   In the thirties, he registered various inventions with the US Patent Office, such a patent for a shoe cabinet (United States Patent 2069635, 1937).
In 1943, Mr. Whenham was made American citizen.  He was then a soldier at the army air base of St. Petersburg, Florida.  

After the war, he became a songwriter (California Jack was his pseudonym) with a special interest for season's greetings.  In 1944, one of his first songs being recorded was "Season's Greetings, A Cheerful Hello" by Yiddish jazz singers Claire and Merna Barry better known as The Barry Sisters.   Copyrighted around the same time, several songs such as My Little Dog's Tail  and Spring Fever Blues were later recycled on the Skyway label by The Duke And The Spacemen and by The Dream Dusters.

"Season's Greetings (A Cheerful Hello)," had also be used as a greeting card verse in Buzza-Cardozo's 1955 Christmas line.  According to Billboard : "Skyway execs calculate that if 1,000,000 "Season's Greetins" cards are sold, their royalties will total $6,000. "

" Season's Greetings", if my count is right, has see five releases on Skyway, first by Pete Pontrelli (the first Skyway release in December 1953), also re-issued in December 1954 with a different flip, then by Gaylord Carter, another by George Cardini and finally by The Hatton Sisters.

Closely associated with Skyway Records from mid-1959 was the mysterious Louise Lewis, later the main artist on the label.  Her first appearance on the label  was as the songwriter of the Curtis E. Williams single (Hula Hula Rock / A Star Behind A Cloud, Skyway #122 ).   It seems, after the arrival of Miss Lewis, that Mr. Whenham was less and less involved. 

Miss Lewis was still a songwriter for Skyway Records & Music Publications until the seventies, but I can't find evidence of releases, except Careful Hands / Mender Of Broken Hearts issued in 1974 on Skyway #145

The excentric Louise Lewis, aka Miss L.L., aka "Miss Matches U.S.A. was born in 1923.  That's, unfortunately, the sum of my knowledge. 

The Skyway Records Story
see comment for valuable info

103 - Playball  - Jimmie Maddin                                         
104 - I Like a Shuffle Beat - Jimmie Maddin                            
104 - I Stole De Wedding Bell - Jimmie Maddin                          
114 - Donkey Rock Elephant Roll - The Hatton Sisters                   
116 - Hassle It Jack  - Bobby Hicks                                    
117 - Boogie Man   - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                      
117 - Come On Pretty Baby - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel               
119 -  Big Mo - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                           
119 - Poor Little Fool   - The Dodgers And Johnny Angel                
120 - My Little Dog's Tail - The Duke And The Spacemen                 
120 - The Big Green Door - Taldo Kenyon And The Spacemen               
121 - Robin Hood Rock - Taldo Kenyon                                   
127 - Is There Still A Chance - The Fanatic's                          
127 - Oogly Googly Eyes - The Fanatic's                                
128 - I Want Love - Jackie Gates & the Fanatics                        
128 - Teenage Rainbow - Jackie Gates & the Fanatics                    
129 - Barbie, Barbie - Fred Milton                                     
129 - Midnight Ride - Fred Milton                                      
134 - College Queen - Jim Ford                                         
134 - Lazy Love - Jim Ford                                             
135 - The Stranger And The Bomb - Louise Lewis                         
136 - Tumba Conga Cha - Vincent Romano & Miss L.L                      
140 - The Monster Miss - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                        
140 - The Monster's Bride - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                     
141 - Tiger Shake - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis                             
142 - The Astro-Mice (No Cheese On The Moon) - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis  
143a -Wee Oo I Ll Let It Be You Babe - Karl Evans                      
144 - Wee Oo' Ill It Be You Babe - Miss L.L. Louise Lewis          
145 - Careful Hands - Louise Lewis          


Friday, April 28, 2017

Frankie And Johnnie

John And Rusty

Frankie And Johnnie

Dottie Sings

John on piano and Rusty on banjo, and Dottie (?) on vocal (?)  Recorded live in some Hollywood tavern?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Devil's Racecourse

Adina Edwards

Devil's Racecourse

Help The Blind
A Joe Gibbs production
Kingston, Jamaica

★ ★ ★

Adina Edwards-Chen

The current generation of gospel artistes and fans know little about Adina Edwards, the blind singer who stood on the corner of Kingston and Barry streets playing an accordion and belting out Christian songs.  She would do songs like Precious Lord, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Love Walks With Me and He Touched Me.  But it was her cover of the Bee Gees' Don't Forget To Remember that many had identified Edwards with.

Edwards died April 4, 2008 at the University Hospital of the West Indies, at age 83. She was revered in gospel circles but largely unknown to a secular audience.

Acknowledgments : The Jamaica Observer