Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cha Cha Blues

Tony Rinaldi

Cha Cha Blues

Bart 7-G-16

After this recording for Nick Bartell's Bart label, Tony Rinaldi became in Detroit a member of a group composed of Miami, Florida students :  the Sonny Bloch's Coralairs, named after Coral Gables, Florida, where the University of Miami is located.  

Tony Rinaldi is the uncredited vocalist on Baby Blue Eyes released in 1958 on the Detroit Bee label (produced in Miami) as by the Sonny Bloch's Coralairs. That's the sum of my knowledge of this artist.

The Coralairs, Tony Rinaldi is on left

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Eyed Baby

Linc and The Linnettes

Big Eyed Baby

Palette PZ 5112

"Some Day" on the flip is by The Linnettes, an obscure girl group.  From Washington D.C., I'm inclined to think.  Firstly, Duke Leonard, here the songwriter and the producer, managed Barry Darvell and co-wrote with him several songs. Barry Darvell was from Washington.
Secondly, The Saxtons, the band behind Linc & the Linnettes were a D.C. area's club band led by Joe Stanley.  They  backed Big Joe Turner, Sam Cooke, Little Anthony, The Ames Brothers, Lloyd Price, The Drifters, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Jackie Wilson, Dion & the Belmonts, Freddie Cannon, and many, many others on local performances. 

But who are The Linnettes and who is Linc, I've no idea.  Lincoln Chase perhaps? 

Produced by Morty Wax and Duke Leonard

Friday, June 10, 2016

Rock - Rock - Rock

Jimmy Cavello And His House Rockers

Rock, Rock, Rock
The Big Beat
That's The Groovy Thing
Soda Shoppe Rock

      Coral (EP)  

The House Rockers left to right, John LaTocha, Jimmy Cavallo, Chuck Sgroi and Tony Licameli

Jimmy Cavallo born in Syracuse, New York in 1927 is best known for performing with his band in the 1956 movie, Rock, Rock, Rock, by pioneering music DJ Alan Freed. Jimmy and the Houserockers were the first all-white band to play at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where they celebrated the movie's release.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This Thing Called Love

Orman Lemonds
And Rhythm Playboys

This Thing Called Love

Under A Moon

Produced by Donald Butts

Harlan 105

Orman Lemonds was born May 6, 1929 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. 

A 1947 graduate of Albia High School, he married Fern R. Foster in, 1949. Orman worked for 25 years at John Morrell & Co. and for 17 years for the City of Ottumwa, retiring in 1991. He was a member of the Rhythm Playboys band for 34 years along with Mike Miller, Pete Peterson, Ed Muchow and his daughter, Lyla Rose Drey. They appeared for eight years on Sunday evenings on KTVO.  He also led The Stepchildren who backed his friend Jack Paris on his LP  ("My Music, My Friends) on 2 J Records in 1974.

Orman Lemonds died in 2015.

Owner of Harlan Records, located in Inglewood, California, was Harlan E. Butts, an enterprising businessman who was involved in many ventures over his long life.  His obituary has no mention of his interest for the music industry or of his label, which was probably founded under the impulse of his wife Laura E Butts (1923-1994)  who was a songwriter.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Jeeper Creepers

Joey Dade Trio

Gulfstream 1052


Vincent Fiorino, the owner of Gulfstream Records in Hollywood, Florida, was formerly with Paul Whiteman and a score of symphonies and opera companies, was also with CBS in Chicago for fifteen years during which time Downbeat Magazine voted him the fastest tuba in America.   

He'd written several hits including Dinah Shore's 'Blue Canary' and Theresa Brewer's 'Skinny Minnie' as well as Red Foley's 'Red Canary'

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Banjo Rock

Grier Adams
Banjo Rock *

Symbol 902
A division of Sue Records

*For a download link see comment

Despite some twenty singles released, Robert Grier Adams is still a mystery.  He came from Seattle, Washington according to some sources.  Not much more is known about him  He first recorded for the short-lived Pet label, owned by Don Carter and Don Robey (of Duke-Peacock Records). Some records listed below were duet recorded with Betty Lou.

Discography :

58 - Pet 803 : Don't Be Sorry / I Want My Lovin'
59 - Symbol 902 : Banjo Rock / This Feeling 
59 - Symbol 905 : Don't Leave / It Doesn't Matter
60 - Symbol 908 : I Suffered / Little Miss America -
61 - Symbol 911 : What A Mess/Let Me Love You"
61 - Colpix 195 : Here Is One / B: You Oughta Been There
61 - Colpix 604 : Save Those Teardrops /  I Think You Want My Girl
61 - Colpix unissued : Who Knows What Might Have Been
62 - May 113 :  I Had To Tell Somebody Else / Who Knows What Might Have Been
63 - Battle 45914 : Sixteen Years In The Making / Better Days Ahead
64 - Bo-Ad : A New Way To Hurt Me / Be Careful With My Heart
64 - Purdy 102 :  Don't You Feel It /  How Wrong Can You Be
65 - Coed 604 (=Colpix 604)
66 - Old Town 1194 : Bobby & Betty Lou : Soul Stirrer / Sugar
67 - Tra-X 16 : Dr.Truelove /Why Did I Decide To Get Married? 
70 - Home Town 101   Love Ain't Nothing But A Business /  Love Ain't Nothing But A Business [Instrumental]
70 - Home Town 102 : Mr. Preacher Man  / : Heart Attack
70 - Home Town 107 : Go On Back To Georgia / Is It Too Late

Xx - Pilma 887/8  : You Got Next To Me Baby / Home Don't Seem Like Home
Xx - Raftis 114  : He Had A Dream (A Tribute To The Great Man) /    Same
Xx - Big B 777; Soul Stirrer / For You
Xx - Big Bee 778 : Thats The Kind Of Man I,Am  / Soul Stirrer

Monday, March 28, 2016


The Jolly Jax

Tina Records 201
200 W. 57th St., New York City

Newspaper Clip from September 1949
The Jolly Jax were from Baltimore and were a fixture on the club scene
there for quite a few years. Formed in 1949, by the early 60's they were
down to a trio (brothers Herman, Jerry & Carroll Hill). The Jolly Jax were used as a comedy opening act in many of the small concerts and apperances of major stars. They often were used to loosen up the crow before the feature act come on.

According to Charles, of The Tunetoppers, “Our first long standing gig was in east Baltimore at the Clover Club at Fayette and Wolfe Sts. And not only did we pack them in but just across the road was the Club Ambassador which nightly presented the equally popular Jolly Jax,” said Charles.  The Jolly Jax from Turners Station in Baltimore County, which included brothers Herman and Carroll, would for several years be the main competitors in the city to the Tunetoppers and, in fact, would often share the same bill. During that time frame of 1957, the Jolly Jax on stage would all be wearing Mouseketeer ears after their national hit, “Mickey Mouse Rock” (Teenage #1005)
Atfter their Tina release, they had two singles on Airmaster Records, the first, introducing a new dance "The Pony Shuffle"  :
The Jolly Jax, might finally have a winner on their new Airmaster record. "The Pony Shuffle." A dance of the same title has been rivaled by the Jax who won raves after demonstrating it on "The Buddy Deane Show" on WJZ - TV in Baltimore and In New Jersoy. For Pittsburghers the Jax will demonstrate the new steps on 'The Clark Race Show" on KDKA - TV, Saturday, April 13. [newspaper, April 15, 1961]

Also in 1961 also for Airmaster, they recorded a tune in honor of Astronaut Alan Shepard. entitled "Everything's A OK." They sent Shepard copies and he congratulated them personally.

1962.  On V-Tone, they recorded "There Is Something on Your Mind", issued as a two-part single on V-Tone 233. The song is a familiar one, done earlier by Big Jay McNeely and Bobby Marchan, and later by King Curtis, all of whom charted with it. The Jolly Jax version never charted, although it wasn't a bad version, except for one glaring detail. The spoken passage in Part 2, obviously meant as a joke, was, even by the standards of 1960 [edit: 1962], clearly over the line, describing in graphic detail someone murdering his girlfriend. The spoken part begins: "Mayhap you discover, that you have a contemptible girl, who is egotistical, antidisestablished and ridiculous, and refuses to abide by the laws of your abode. Go down to the pawn shop, steal a gun, a switchblade knife, and the little baby brother, the razor blade. Come back and introduce her to United States steel company....Cut her long, deep......"   From there, we'll leave it to your imagination.   [1]

Carroll Hill said. ."We consider this ridiculously funny. If anything. There was no Intention on our part of being offensive. It's the beat record we've ever had. Naturally we were disappointed when It was banned after getting off to such good start. "Mack the Knife" Is worst  than our recording. It suggests much more violence than ours, and It wasn't banned." [Jolly Jax Record Banned, The Pittsburgh Courier from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · April 7, 1962]

Tragedy hit them In August 1963 when Herman Hill, leader of the trio, died while learning to fly.  "He was scared to even travel in an airplane as late as 1961.  Yet, he died while learning to fly. I guess it was just his time" said "philosophically" his widow, Ernestine Hill.   According to his brother Carroll, Herman took an interest in flying when an employee at the club where they have been playing for eight weeks, invited them to go for a flight.  "when we were playing in Bermuda, Herman hated the idea of flying, but after he went up with our pilot-friend he began to like it and decided to learn to fly".

Replacing Herman for awhile were Hump Jones, a popular keyboardist and comic.  Hump Jones' can be heard on Further On Up The Road (Monticello Records)..

After a few soul singles on Ru-Jac, Landa (as The Jolly Jacks) and Cookin' and they backed Lynn Martini on Soulville, their last waxing, as far as I known.  But then the thrill was gone, I guess

With mouseketeer ears, 1957

The Jolly Jax  / Jolly Jacks discography

56/10 — Teenager 1003   I’m Bad / Walk On
Herman Hill & The Jolly Jax
57/04 — Teenager 1005   Mickey Mouse Rock / Walk On
59/12 — Tina 201/202    Love / Honeymoonin'
61/03 — Airmaster 601   Pony Shuffle / Things Are Tough

61/04 — Airmaster 602   Everything Is A-Okay / Tweedle Dee And Tweedle Dum
61/12 — Dasher 501      Ugly Face / This Day
62/03 — V-Tone 233      There's Something On On Your Mind     Part.1 / Part.2

64/02  — Ru-Jac 09      The Money Cha Cha / Meadow Of Love   Vcl Judd Watkins
64/— — Monticello 0012 Further On Up The Road* / The Popp    *Harmon "Hump" Jones, vocal

65/03 — Landa 707       There's Something On Your Mind / Rock The House   Jolly Jacks
66/07 — Cookin' 609     ‘Preciate It  / Tiphe Tina 
69 — — Soulville 1016     I Wish / Now   
Lynn Martini & The Jolly Jax
Sound Plus   
I Don't Need Your Love / Let Them Talk       Acetate (Philadelphia's Sound Plus Studios)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Satellite Baby


Exact facts regarding Skip Stanley, his biography, and the recording of "Satellite Baby" are not easy to come by.  According to one source "He was working nightclubs in Toledo, Ohio as a stand-up comedian when he wrote and recorded the song in 1956 at the age of 28. A couple years later, he returned to California and eventually Los Angeles to work in real estate."

From another source : "While on the road, he wrote a song about the space race between the U.S. and Russia.  When Stanley had a tour stop in New York in 1956, he recorded his song and called it "Satellite Baby."

In fact, Skip Stanley recorded the song twice.  The first (1956) version [perhaps recorded in New York] was issued on Spotlight Records, a corporation which had probable links with the Detroit's Flame Show Bar owned by Morris Wasserman.   Al Green, talent agent who booked the artists performing at the Flame, and his protégé, a young Nat Tarnopol, who once worked at the Union Tire company and used to hang out at the Flame Show Bar had certainly an interest in Spotlight Records.

The release of the 2nd version were annonced in Billboard Magazine in 1957 (in the November 27 issue) :
Satellite Record Co., a new label , headed by Skip Stanley with offices at 44 West 88th Street"  has released its first pressing "Satellite Baby" and "Planets"   Skip Stanley, A night club and TV comic, has worked the Casa Seville at Hempstead, Long Island, Cafe-of-Tomorrow, in Chicago, Lake Club in Springfield, Ill.  Larry's Potter Supper Club in Hollywood.  Ralph Stein, formerly a&r man for Flair-X Records, did the arranging on the first Satellite release, and will continue in that capacity.
First release on Satellite? Not quite, earlier in the year "Planets" had already been issued on his own Satellite label [SX-91] backed with "Manganese Blues".  Anyway, Skip Stanley went to radio stations around New York City to get them to play his record.  But Hoffman couldn't land a record deal, and spent $3,000 on trying to get the song pushed.

An unknown singer by the name of Bobby Darin wanted to record his song, "Satellite Baby," which he had written because of the space race between Russia and the U.S., but Skip Stanley was by then so embittered by broken promises of celebrity and wealth that he turned Darin's offer down, to his eternal regret.

Stanley Jerry Hoffman (born in 1929)  first called himself for stage purposes Stanley Hoffman, then Lee Hoffman, then Skip Stanley, and then Stan Hoffman yet again and more recently began calling himself Kwayzar "the oldest rap singer"

He started his career in showbiz when he was 4 :
When he was four, he tried to break into acting. It was 1932, he auditioned for a role in the The Little Rascals. Hoffman's mom was bed-ridden with tuberculosis, so a family friend drove Stanley to the audition.

The director made Stanley's guardian leave the room, which made him panic. He said they began to ask him basic questions -- like where he was from, his name -- and he just froze. The studio called him back for another interview, but the same thing happened. He didn't say a word. He still thinks of that moment, and says; "What would have happened to me in that career if I just talked?"
He had enlisted in the Navy during WWII, and during the time Mao Tse Tung was driving Chiang Kai-shek out of mainland China, Hoffman was stationed in Shanghai and saw dead bodies of G.I.s floating in the Whangpoo River, which was a tributary of the Yangtze.

Upon his discharge from the Navy, Hoffman continued to pursue his dream of "making it big" in showbiz. "I wanted to be a comedian in the movies," he says.   His determination to be an actor was so strong that his mother moved the family into an apartment that was close enough for him to attend Hollywood High School.  He spent two-and-a-half years in drama school on the G.I. bill.

He would team up with one of his school buddies and form a stand-up comedy team — Wallace and Lee (he dropped the first part of Stanley).  

Later, after the failure of his recording artist career, and while in one of the most precarious period in his life, he had to turn to selling real estate to make a living. Fortunately, he was good at it. He finally starting making money -- before losing $375,000 in the stock market.

More recently, the name change to Kwayzar was prompted by his discovery of rap, which nudged Hoffman in a new direction. He says he was influenced by Ice Cube and Eminem.

He has gone into writing and producing rap videos fulltime now, which he uploads on YouTube ( His cybermusic (also available in CD) bears such titles as the afore-mentioned "Satellite Baby," "Brave New World "(a nod to Aldous Huxley), "Cyberspace," "Chat Room," "Tech Support," and "Clone."

Latin and scientific phrases that alternate with salty language learned during naval days can be heard in his uptempo music videos. Two of his latest are "The Vote of a Lifetime," a rap in support of Obama, and "I Can Still Do It," which is a metaphor, he says, for young as well as old people not giving up, not quitting on that dream.

At this point, he says, "Writing and producing rap videos keeps me busy, keeps me active, and keeps me well, while I hope to be an inspiration especially to older people that they, too, can and should still lead productive, and thus meaningful, lives. The whole thing has become a labor of love."

Still practicing a bit of self-promotion, Kwayzar wants his sobriquet henceforth to be "The world's only senior cyber-rapper Caucasian."



Monday, March 21, 2016

Whats The Matter Baby

Jerry Mundo & The Hounds

Whats The Matter Baby

Betty Records 1200
Sonny Sawyer/Vaughn Morrison Productions

What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You) was written by Clyde Otis, Joy Byers and was first released by Timi Yuro in 1962

An ambitious entrepreneur, Sonny (or Sunny) Sawyer was running a small record-pressing plant in Chicago called Apex at 2009 W. 69th when, around 1965, he partnered with an older recording engineer, Vaughn Morrison, who designed and built a studio one door west. Most people knew it as Sunny Sawyer's studio and others simply called it Apex, but its proper name, painted on its glass-brick facade, was Morrison Sound Studio. In '61 Morrison had produced a top-ten pop hit, "This Time," for Indiana native Troy Shondell.  That's where Jerry Mundo landed a job as a writer/arranger and co-producer.


Jerry Mundo & Galaxies (1963)
Tower 91363 : "The Chimp" / "Sweet Barbara"

Born and raised in Chicago, Jerry fronted numerous local bands and eventually landed a job as a writer/arranger and co-producer at Apex.  Playing guitar and singing at clubs around the midwest and Canada, he eventually moved toward warmer weather.  He travelled throughout the south as a solo performer, wrote songs and honed his unique style of blues/rock. After working the cruise line circuit and numerous venues in the southern states, he finally headed for Las Vegas.   

Working with several bands and keeping his day job, he went into the studio with some great  new songs and came out with "Hard Money"


Betty label listing
Named after the wife of Sonny Sawyer, owner of the label
(Betty, along with another woman operated the machinery at the pressing plant while Sunny ran the studio) 
Related labels : Palos, New Breed
1200 Jerry Mundo
1204 Gloria And The T-Aira's
1207 Jim And Monica
1208 Jimmy Bruce
1209 Jim & Monica
1210 Jim & Monica
1211 Jim & Monica
1212 Billy Stocker
1213 The Shadows
1214 Rochelle And The Classmates

From Italy With Sadness

Little Richard "Get Rich Quick" (LP on Mr. Suit, Italy)

This ugly cover comes from Italy
Italy, how much I'm disappointed.  I'm sure this is the result of Ze Globalization extending its aeshetics all over the world. Italy, You have done so many beautiful things before. Until THAT.  

Speaking of beautiful things, I fondly remember the Italian neorealist movies from my childhood and specially one, "Riso Amoro" (Bitter Rice) from 1949, starring the beautiful Silvana Mangano.

Silvana Mangano

Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice worker, Silvana, and the soon-to-be-discharged soldier, Marco. Walter follows her to the rice fields, and the four characters become involved in a complex plot involving robbery, love, and murder.

Top 26 Best Italian Neorealism Films

Saturday, March 19, 2016

In The Year 1900 - Rock'N Roll

Homer Escamilla

Ronnex 1182
(European issue of U.S. Real 1311)


Billboard, June 9, 1956

Homer Escamilla (1926-1959) was born to Jesus and Eva Escamilla. The Escamilla family was living in Floresville, Texas, a town south of San Antonio. In 1945, Homer enlisted in the U. S. Army in Fort Sam Houston. After his stint in the U. S. Army, Homer found his way to the Los Angeles, California music scene that took him on a varied path.

In 1954, Cowboy Songs ran an article about the Spade Cooley television show airing over KTLA in Los Angeles, California. It noted that regulars on Spade's show at that time were violinist Anita Aros, Phil Gray on vocals, Patsy Harding ("Miss Movie Teen"), "bouncing" Homer Escamilla and a comedy act known as Lotta Chatter.   

More info at

Drummer and performer, he was also a songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Rose Maddox, Rusty Draper and Sheb Wooley, among others.

Sheb Wooley - Are You Satisfied?

Hank Penny -Homer Escamilla (vocal) "Fool's Lament"

Rusty Draper - Good Golly

Friday, March 18, 2016

I'll Walk Into The Sea

Beth Adlam
Buzz and the Boys

I'll Walk Into The Sea

Val Brown, Bel-Air Music (ASCAP)
Bel-Air 6083
Bel-Air Records, Inc.
Box 217
Beverly Hills, Calif.

December 1959

Composer of the song was Val Browne, a big band vocalist for more than 30 years, who copyrighted the song (full title "I'll Walk Into The Sea And You Won't See Me Any More") in December 1959.

Buzz Adlam, the owner of Bel-Air Records, led the backing band on his daughter's record.

Born Basil George Adlam in Chelmsford, England.  he was a composer, author, arranger, saxophonist.   Educated in Canadian public schools, he studied with Herman Genss and Albert Coates. He was a saxophonist with the Phil Harris and Ozzie Nelson bands, and arranged for and conducted the Horace Heidt orchestra.  He conducted for ABC Radio and television; was producer and music director for the US Treasury Savings Bond series 'Guest Star'.   Died in 1974 in Beverly Hills, California.

Beth Adlam was a Santa Monica City College student at the time of her recordings.  She also recorded two songs with the Pete King Chorale : "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" issued on Kapp Records (LP "Christmas Time")

According to her college journal [Corsair, Feb. 22, 1961]:
A fan of "all types of music," she claims she first became interested in a singing career while accompanying her father on recording sessions.  Her father is currently musical director at ABC and writes the background music for the Ozzie and Harriet television series. Although she likes all music, she indicates a preference for musical comedy and stage scores rather than rock and roll, "Rock and roll is losing its listeners," was her statement. "It's repetitious and not very imaginative. I believe the listeners are turning back to good music." In reference to a beginning singer's chances with a small recording company, she revealed, "If a singer has real talent, he will be seen, heard and liked by a major company. The smaller companies give a singer a break, but they cannot afford to back him after that first big hit." Future plans for the sophomore commissioner include a TV pilot film early this summer. After that, her future, "depends on what happens," but any further education will be taken at UCLA.

As Deedee Carson, she was signed
to Crystalette in March 1960

Composers are now shown as Sherijan and Adlam

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Till I Hm - Hm - With You

Billie Jo

Till I Hm - Hm - With You

T.Berry-El Ivins, Palma Music ASCAP
Melodic Records


Pennsylvania or New Jersey?

This song copyrighted as  "Till I Mhh Mhh Mhh With You" by Elwood Arthur Ivins & Thomas Anthony Bodalski. on September 15, 1964 will not offend  the ear of the most prudish listeners.

Elwood A. Ivins of West Deptford, NJ died Saturday, December 31, 2011, aged 81. He grew up in Chews Landing and most recently lived in Mullica Hill before moving to West Deptford.  A retired carpenter, he worked for Carpenters Local #8 in Philadelphia, PA. Elwood served in the US Army and loved sports and trips to the casinos. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting and was a member of Glendora Buck Club, but his passion was music. He was a musician in various venues in South Jersey and served 8 years as President of the Lucky Steel Country Musicians Fund.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I'll Get Another

The Sisters

Big Time Man
Clark, Debbi (BMI)
I'll Get Another
Chick Carlton, Debbi (BMI)

Produced by Aston-Clark

September 101

Undocumented female vocal group.  These Sisters are probably the same Sisters [see below] who had three singles on the soon-to-be-dormant Del-Fi label (By 1964, the label was winding down, with only eleven singles released, none of which charted. 1965 was even leaner, with only four singles released before the owner, Bob Keane decided to discontinue Del-Fi (and Donna) in favor of Mustang and Bronco.)

There is no info at all about this record in the various articles and discographies about the Arvizu Sisters.  Perhaps I should ask to Chick Carlton, writer of "I'll Get Another", who is still around to confirm my theory....

Ersi, Rosella, and Mary Arvizu
According to Mark Guerrero :

In the mid-1960s in East L.A., The Sisters were the Eastside's answer to Motown's Supremes.  Like The Supremes, they were three well-dressed, classy, female vocalists who could sing extremely well.  The Sisters were actually formed several months before The Supremes burst on the national scene.  However, according to Ersi and Rosella, although they liked and were influenced by The Supremes, they were more influenced by other female vocal groups such as Martha & the Vandelas and The Ronettes.  The Sisters recorded three singles in 1965 for Bob Keane's DelFi Records and were a fixture on the East L.A. music circuit of the era.  Ersi went on to sing with El Chicano on their second album, "Revolution," where she provided the lead vocal to their classic recording of "Sabor a Mi."  Rosella, a great singer herself, has done very well recording and performing ranchera music with some of the great mariachi bands in the world.  In 2005, Ersi and Rosella sang on Ry Cooder's Grammy nominated album, "Chavez Ravine," along with my dad Lalo Guerrero, Little Willie G., and others.  Ersi, Rosella, and Mary Arvizu are once again singing together in La Chicana and Her Revue, where they sing pop and r&b songs from the era of The Sisters with a rock band, as well as ranchera music with mariachi.

Ersi got into boxing in 1976
Picture credit : Ersi Arvizu
From Gene Aguilera : Mexican American Boxing in Los Angeles

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Baby Left Me


Loren Becker - My Baby Left Me
18 top hits 193

(Subsidiary of Waldorf Music Hall)

The following informative Billboard article is from 1965, when Loren Becker was named head of Command Records,

(Billboard, September 4, 1965)

NEW YORK — Loren Becker, named this week as general manager of Command Records, has been in training for the job for nearly 20 years.   The 39-year-old New York native has been associated with Enoch Light, founder of the label, since 1946, as a recording artist, chief cook and bottle washer, and as sales manager.

Becker's first brush with the music industry came at the age of 9.  He sang on a New York radio station in a Horn & Hadart-sponsored show and was a regular for three years.
 After high school graduation Becker went into the service.  His job was putting together weekly shows at Fort Meyes, Va., and other military installations.

Amateur contest
This was the tag end of the big band era.  Enoch Light, then as now a leading orchestra leader, was runnin a "Date With a Disk" talent show in various theaters throughout the nation.  The format consisted of members of the audience performing on stage, with winners selected each day, with weekly and monthly competitions following.  The grand winner was awarded a recording contract.

One of the entrants was Loren Becker.  Becker quelified for the finals, and, with the intercession of Light, who called the commanding officer at Fort Meyers, he got a three-day pass so the singing solider could compete.

Becker won, cut "Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside" for Don Gabor's Remington label, and became a professional singer after his Army discharge.

Band Singer

In the  post-war years, Becker won the Arthur Godfrey "Talent Scout" contest on CBS Radio, appeared as a band singer on Robert Q. Lewis' CBS Radio show, then joined Enoch Light's band as a singer.

During this period he recorded cover songs of top hits for various labels, among them Eli Oberstein's.  He also worked with music publishers to gain his basic training in that phase of the business.

In 1952, when Light mover over to run Synthetic Plastic's Peter Pan label, Becker joined the organization as Light's right-hand man

Doubled in Brass

He was a performer for the kiddie label, and he doubled in brass as a salesman.  This was before the days of rack jobbing, and Becker visited chain stores, department stores and other retail outlets to push the product.

Later, when Prom was organized as a pop label, Becker continued to couple his work as an artist with his duties as a promotion man and salesman.

In 1954, When Light left Synthetic Plastic to form Waldorf, a budget label, Becker came his sales manager.  As sales head of the 99-cent label, he met most of the key retailers and some of the rack jobbing pioneers and learned the nuances of merchandising records.

Grand Award

Light's next label, Grand Award, was the predecessor on Command.  Grand Award made its debut when the 12-inch LP was just coming into its own, and Command, listing at $5.98, was a label that played an important role in the acceptance of stereo.

When ABC-Paramount bought Grand Award in 1959, Light was set up as head of the autonomous division and Becker came along as sales manager.

But although Becker was Light's right-hand man through all these years, he was hardly his alter ego.  Both men have the same attitude toward the recording business — to run out top records with the emphasis on quality rather than on number of releases.  And while Becker's operation of the label will not differ radically from Light's, he does have his own ideas about a&r and about merchandising.

Few Changes
With Light's departure, the Command organization will remain intact.  That's the way Becker wants it.  The five-man sales force, one of the most efficient in the business, will stay at its present strenght.  The release policy  — from 15 to 18 albums a year — will also be continued.

While Command is generally thought of as a quality pop label, it is building up a small but effective classical catalog.  It concentrates on the warhorses, and with such name conductors as William Steinberg of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

When Becker isn't working, he's home in Redding, Conn., with his wife and two children, Jimmy, 12, and Lauren, 7.  He keeps trim by playing tennis.