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

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Y-E-S !"

Nancy Claire
Jack Lloyd, Moreno Music (ASCAP)

Rona Records 1007

Born Nancy Claire Penninger in Seattle in 1943.  Peter Blecha has wrote a quite detailed biography of Nancy Claire. 

Nacio Brown Jr., owner of Rona Records produced her recording session, with Perry Botkin Jr. conducting the orchestra.

It was quite an experience for the rural farm girl to suddenly be in the presence of big-time players. "I had never been in studio before and I was like a little girl in a candy store with all these musicians I had heard about. I have great memories of meeting Barney Kessel and some of the other musicians at the session".  "We had really big-name jazz people doing this record. I couldn't believe it! Earl Palmer was the drummer. Carmel Jones played trumpet, and Plas Johnson played saxophone. Oh, it was neat! To get to see and meet everybody ... it was like a fairy tale".

Saturday, April 15, 2017

To The Beat

Chuck and Gasper

To The Beat

Cosimo Recording Studios
New Orleans

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Southern Love

The Disciples
vocal Tom Sunlin

Illibois (?) band covering two songs from 1959. "Something on Your Mind" is the Big Jay McNeely song issued on Swingin' Records, while "Southern Love" was on Roulette Records by Ronnie Hawkins and the Hakws. 

Recording studios and label Studio 4 were operated by two musicians and brothers, Jim and Tony Sotos in Rock Island, Illinois.  

Born and raised in New York City, The Sotos Brothers formed an act and left New York while still in their teens, working all the major night clubs and theaters around the country.  In the late fifties, they recorded as The Cheerful Earfuls on Zale Records and Fraternity Records (The Drag).

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Alas, No Gas

Jane White
Alas, No Gas

Dauntless 033

Jane Douglass White 
essentially a pianist and composer, also recorded songs, but not too many.  Twenty years earlier, in 1953, there was at least two singles (as by Jane Douglass) on Opportune Records. She was backed by Johnnie Garnieri Orchestra.  One song was a duet with Tom O'Malley. 

Dauntless Records was the subsidiary of Audio Fidelity Records founded by Sidney Frey in 1954.

Born Ruby Jane Douglass in 1919 in Coffeyville, Kansas, she was educated at Oklahoma University, Columbia University (MA) and Colorado College of Education. As early as the mid-thirties, she was described as "a  capable pianist, but violinist and organist as well."

During the War, she was an officier with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC).  According to John Bush Jones (The Songs that Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945), Lt. Douglass (later Captain)
wrote some significant war-related songs of various kinds   Among Lt. Douglass's wartime songs were two lighthearted though not comic pieces that fall into this catchall bunch, each happily pointing out, as one of their titles proclaims, "Something New Has Been Added To The Army (Leeds, 1943), that something neatly summed up in the single line "Right along with khaki shirts comes the sight of khaki skirts."  Lt. Douglass expands upon her theme to cover all the women's service branches in "There'll Be A New Style Bonnet In The Easter Parade" (Leeds, 1943), declaring "the WACS will wear a hat that os smart and new, the WAVES wear a bonnet of Navy blue,/ And the SPARS come out in a hat that's O.K., there's no original by Lily Daché.
 Jane Douglass ended up writing the official WAC Song and was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for service in lifting the morale of troops with her music.  After being discharged in the Big Apple, a friend asked Jane Douglass to accompany her on the piano for an audition. The agent at the audition was not looking for a singer, but for a pianist, instead, for the Park Sheraton Hotel dining room. "I got the job! But I found that the tips there were bigger when I could play the classics, and I needed coaching since I had been playing strictly pop music in the Army.  Someone recommended Anton Bilotti, a concert pianist, as a possible coach.   I auditioned for him and he took me on as a student. 

She soon married Gail White,  her coach's brother-in-law, and pursued a
postwar career as Jane Douglass White, composer, singer, pianist and producer of TV's Name That tune. 

Later, through a week spiritual renewal at her home church in Wyckoff, New Jersey she came to a personal commitment of her life to Christ.   Combining her talents with another professional in music, Janet Baird Weisiger she formed a musical team named Janet and Jane, giving sacred concerts and recording at least one album for Messiah Records in 1973 (Joy and Praise).    She also worked with prison ministry in leading Bible study seminars in prisons throughout the USA,  through Charles W. Colson's Prison Fellowship


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beau Dollar & The Coins on Baby Grand

Beau Dollar & The Coins

16127 - I've Just Got To Forget You
Lion Pub., BMI

16128 - No More Pain
Frost Music, BMI

Baby Grand 650

These Checker recordings were not issued on the main label for some reasons but on the one-off Baby Grand label.
"I've Just Got To Forget You"  was "written" by Duke/Peacock Records owner Don Robey using the Deadric Malone pseudonym, and first recorded by Bobby Bland in 1960 (but not issued until 1970).
"No More Pain", penned by Steve Alaimo, was first recorded by Sam & Dave on Marlin in 1961 (leased to Roulette in '62).  There was also a cover by Lonnie Mack in 1964 (unissued Fraternity session)

William Hargis Bowman, Jr. (1941–2011), born in Hamilton, Ohio, better known by his stage name, Beau Dollar, was a  vocalist and drummer;  He first performed as member of the Lonnie Mack band and later of the Dapps, all-white band backing James Brown.  Beau Dollar was also the drummer on many studio albums for various artists under contract with King Records.  

After The Dapps broke up, Bill Bowman set up his own production company in Cincinnati, Beau Dollar Productions and even owned a short-lived  label, Bowman, recording and backing Bryan Todd on "Let Them Talk".  There was some work in the mid-seventies for Shad O'Shea's ASG (Artist and Sound Group) where he produced Al Hogan, The Cause and Brenda Mathis.
With the local Cincinnati recording scene being dismantled, Beau went to Nashville, where he tried some session work. His production company was listed at 1610 16th Avenue South in 1978.   He took a job in song publishing, working with his old Hamilton musician friend Troy Seals, who also was in The Dapps for a while, when he lived in Cincinnati.  But in time all that faded and Beau ended up in Florida. There he was known to everyone as Bill. As time passed, only a few old friends remembered him as Beau.

Wayne Bullock, the bass player for Lonnie Mack in the early 1960s said :
 "I used to invite him to our musician reunions every year, but he didn't come. He just didn't want to talk about the old days."

Monday, April 3, 2017

Miss Calendar Girl

Futursonic Productions

Radio Promotion Series
Examples of 365 Musical Jingles

Judy Parma

Jim Wells and Jack Alexander started Futursonic Productions in 1958. Both came from PAMS where Wells had written much of PAMS Series #6.  Alexander was part of the PAMS sales staff.

Futursonic's first package was "Pacemaker" produced in September, 1958. It was followed by "Most Happy Sound" for CHUM in mid 1959, and "Econo-Pack" for WINS in June, 1959.  All were designed for Top 40 Radio.

"Calendar Girl KXOK" was one of the last packages produced by Futursonic in 1961 (the company went bankrupt the following year).   A complete package listing of the company can be found here

Calendar Girl was the first job assigned to Judy Parma [born Mansfield] and her husband Tom Parma when they came to work at the Futursonic.  This was an elaborate package that involved singing days and dates for each month of the year. Judy was doing well singing, and they were able to afford their first house. Judy Parma had been in the jingle business since 1957, her husband Tom Parma since ’58.

The Futursonic jingles were done in a primitive recording studio owned by “Pop” Sellers. The studio was in the same building as Gordon McLendon’s KLIF (AM).   The studio was in a two-room wooden building in the parking lot behind the office. Over the years, those same offices housed CRC and TM Productions, but the studio eventually became a storage shed.  “There was a cancer clinic across the parking lot from the studio run by a medical quack, and a lot of people died there,” Tom said. “Judy and I would see bodies hauled out from time to time.” . Later that office housed the abortion clinic that gained notoriety during the “Roe vs. Wade” Supreme Court case.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shimmy Twist

Ronnie D. Alan
Shimmy Twist

Golden Star Records 21

Penned, arranged and sung by Ronald Daugherty.  This one has a little more muscle than the two singles he released on the Sea-Lock label out of Seattle, Washington.  Reverse is by Paul Avedon singing "Day In Day Out" the old (1939) song penned by Johnny Mercer

Sea-Lock releases :
#265 Ronnie D- Valiants : "Hound Dog Guitar" / "My Little Darlin'" 
no#  Pam Kelley & Ronnie D. : "Waiting For Her" / Ronnie D. : "Cherry Darlin" 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mama Spiegleman, Waxmate of the month

Mama Spiegleman

Jewish mother of eight and topless performer, she recorded just one single for Accent Records in 1965 with Bob Mullan and Gene Tam (Bob and Gene) : Mama Wants To Be A Go Go Girl / When You Gotta Go You Gotta Go Go. 

If anyone has the record, feel free to post the tracks on YouTube or send it to me.

Mama Spiegleman lone record

Accent REcords publicity shot

Gaye Marcia Spiegelman was born in 1932 daughter of Jack Seigel and Sylvia Siegel.  At 18, she married Aaron "Jack" Spiegelman, a businessman.  She wanted to give birth to as many children possible. But after the sixth child was born, Mr.. Spiegelman didn't want no more children and had a vasectomy, then Gaye adopted twins without his consent. 

Gaye came in one day to announce to her husband that she had had it with the world of housewifery and decided to go dancing topless in clubs.  (One of her uncles was a burlesque drummer and another a character actor. A cousin was a belly dancer)
Every mother has to get out of the house a little bit and I don't play cards or anything.

I had done some Polynesian dancing in the local clubs in our home town, Santa Rosa.  But when I decided to go topless, I asked Jack if it was okay.  And he said, no.  But, after a while, he get used to it.

After I had the silicone treatments, I used a phony name, Miss Exodus, and I could only move my hips for six months because of thre surgery.  But when the word went out that I had eight children, the crowds came in just to watch my hips.

For several months she appeared as the mysterious "Miss Exodus" at a place called El Rancho Rafaele in Encino, California. One day the celebrated San Francisco columnist Herb Caen came in to watch her and discovered her real identity.  From that moment on Gaye Spiegelman was in demand as a topless dancer. Eventually she replaced the equally celebrated Carol Doda at El Cid, one of the major landmarks of San Francisco's North Beach amusement area, variously billed as "Mama Spiegelman" and "The Topless Mother of Eight".

In her contract with the club management was a rather' unique clause in show business circles where "the show must go on" is the unwritten law.   ' If :any of the Spieglman "children.are sick or other domestic needs arise, Gaye may be excused from work. until the matter is settled.. '
'My .home and children come first and my career ls.second.  I love my children and I love to cook and sew for them: Otherwise,  I have - no time for any sort of social life  

In 1967, Gaye Spiegelman filed for divorce, charging her husband with extreme cruelty and "wrongfully inflicted grievous mental suffering."  He didn't deny.

In 1968, no longer topless, she was still performing, singing and doing a comedy routine, "something in the nature or a shapely Phyllis Diller. "

Tragically, she died in November 1968 in a car accident while en route to a nightclub engagement in southern California.  She was beheaded, three of her children were killed and the other four injured.  For the media, “Mama” Spiegelman’s death somewhat mirrored the 1967 accident that killed Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield while en route from Biloxi, Mississippi, to New Orleans. 
Mrs. Gaye was killed Friday in an auto accident with three of her children. The 36-year-old topless dancer and seven of her children were passengers in a station wagon that overturned after hitting a center divider on interstate 15 two miles north of Victorviile [Calif.]. During the accident the Los Angeles-bound station wagon was hit by a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction. Mrs. Spiegelman was en route from her home in Las Vegas, Nev., to a nightclub engagement in southern California. The accident took the lives of Mrs. Spiegelman's sons Mark, 15, and Davjd, 5, and a five- year-old adopted daughter, Sylvia.  Four other children escaped serious injury and were taken to the Victor Valley Hospital, Among them was Sylvia's twin sister, Nancy. The driver of the station wagon, Marvin P. Brody, of Hollywood, was not seriously injured.    Clovis News-Journal, December 1, 1968
But that's not the end of her story.  According to Hans Holzer, an expert in psychic phenomena,  the most striking case of possession was how Gaye Spiegelman, our topless mother of eight, took control of her babysitter after dying in the auto crash.  Spiegelman's intention was wholly benevolent. She wanted to guide the babysitter to another job, [See The Two Lives of Gaye Spiegelman, Topless Mother of Eight, chapter from Holzer's book "Star Ghosts "

Friday, March 31, 2017

Geneva's Blues

Geneva Vallier

Geneva's Blues

Cash Records 1009

The flip is “Said You Had A Woman”, answer to the Ray Charles smash “I’ve Got A Woman.” available on several compilations and on YouTube

West Coast night club vocalist, Geneva Vallier was born Geneva Griffin near Crew Lake, Richmond Parrish in 1918.  She recorded with the Emanon Trio on Swing Time Records (1952) and with Clarence "Candyman" McGuirt  on Irma Records (1956).

Geneva died Geneva Phipps in Los Angeles County in 1982

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Please Please

Jackie Johnson
Leon Smith & His Guitar

Please Please

Willamette 102
product of Orbit Sound Company


Jim Reeves and Jackie Johnson in 1956 (1)

Jackie Johnson

Jackie Johnson, singing an original song, was first place winner in the amateur talent show sponsored by the Medford Junior Chamber of Commerce in April 1956.  But it was'nt before 1959 that she recorded her first single. According to the Medford Mail Tribune [July 1, 1959] 
Jackie Johnson, . 14-year-old former Jackson county resident, has had her first recording released under the Willamette label.  She is the daughter of Mr. and  Mrs. John Johnson, ' who lived in Eagle Point until ' moving to Eugene last month ' after Jackie completed the eighth grade.    The new recording is "Star Light Star Bright" backed by "Please, Please written by the singer and her mother.    The singer had performed with various local bands and appeared on a program over KBES-TV.  She also sang for Rogue Valley ballroom dances. According to the report from Eugene, the singer has appeared on the same programs with such stars as Hank Thompson, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, and last September toured- for a week with the Jim Reeves show.  She is now on a show staged in Eugene by Leon Smith who made the hit recording of "40 Ford."  The Johnsons will return to the valley for the week end and Jackie will sing at the Camp Corrall July 4.  

Located at 2272 Roosevelt Blvd in Eugene, Oregon, Orbit Sound Company, Willamette Records and Myrtle Mountain Publishing Company were founded by Lloyd “Grandpappy” Smith, an upright bass player and bandleader of the Western Valley Boys, the Melody Ranch house band.  Located at the same address Melody Ranch was a country western dance hall operated by Grandpappy Smith from 1947 to 1957.  

Leon Smith, son of Grandpappy Smith, recorded “Little 40 Ford” and it was released in May of 1959 on Willamette, the master was sold to Columbia later that year and released on the Epic label.

Leon Smith discography
Jackie Johnson discography
(1) Jim Reeves & Jackie Johnson picture is from David Bussey Scrapbooks

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Love Party

Chano and The Rialtos

Love Party
J.O. Duncan, J.D.A. Music (BMI)

Cue 711
Produced by Jimmy Duncan

This is Chano Rodriguez from Galveston County, Texas. 

Paul Renfro, who played drums with Chano and the Rialtos, still recalled in his mind's ear walking down the hall at Lovenberg Jr. High School in 1954, and hearing Chano singing the "Ave Maria" solo in a choir classroom.
 "I get goose bumps when I think about it, just like I did then, and I didn't even know Chano at the time," Renfro says. My brother, Frederick Cherry, says Chano's voice had a sweetness to it, a very unusual quality, and he followed Chano's entire career beginning with his performances at Larry Kane's Record Hops at the Pleasure Pier's Marine Room in the 1960s. Often when Rodriguez was appearing, his wife Margaret, the only wife he ever had, would sit alone at a table for two. It was obvious to everyone, including her, that she wasn't really alone, because Chano sang every one of the romantic ballads to her. He would join her during the breaks. They would hold hands, and she would get his undivided attention. And then sometime during the night he would leave the bandstand, go to her table and ask her for a dance. The floor would become theirs, and theirs alone
Chano Rodriguez, 58, died of a heart attack in 1998, and a big part of the hearts of Galvestonians went to his grave with him.    

(From The Galveston Daily News, November 21, 1998)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Shake It Baby

Ilene Rushing

Shake It Baby
Leo Teel, Phil York
Buena Vista Publishing Co., Teelbilly Publishing Co.,
Yorkshire Music, BMI

Bollman Int'l Records 936

Ilene Rushing had three releases on the Bollman International imprint out of Texas.  This is her second record.

The Plano Daily Star-Courier from Plano, Texas, reported the release of her third record in January 1974 as follows :
A former area resident, Ilene Rushing, has cut a new record. Bollman International Records in Dallas has released “Brand New- Key” and “He's My Baby." Bollman International is a new recording company, and Miss Rushing was the first artist to sign with the company three years ago. She was discovered by Bob Massey of Blackbird Records and B L. Bollman while she was performing with J.W. Davis and "Saturday Night in the Country Band" at Wylie, Miss Rushing was formerly employed by the Plano Star-Courier and also played softball with the Plano Women’s Softball League for three years under coach George Henson.    The daughter of Mr. and Mrs, John E. McCrary of McKinney, Miss Rushing is an active member of her church. She is soloist, teacher of the Young Adults, Youth Director and was elected delegate to the G r a y s o n Baptist Association, Miss Rushing travels over Texas with Joe Paul Nichols and the Four Pennies and Orvile Couch and the Troublemakers. She has performed for radio, television, carnivals, rodeos, benefits, gospels and various other activities. When she has an open Saturday night, she sings at Farmersville with “Saturday Night in the country Band."

Richard Wolfe

Shake It Baby

Bollman Int'l Records 115

Leo Teel and Phil York had probably faith in their song as they recorded also an instrumental version by Richard Wolfe, also conveniently here for your enjoyment