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          

                          

4 comments:

  1. Terry Gordon lists Herb Shucher as label owner.

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  2. Skyway (CA) 45 - 116 : Bobby Hicks & The Youngsters, Leo & Linda Hicks Freddy Countryman - Long Long Time (1958)
    http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/Hfcvvbvg/file.html

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  3. I knew Jimmy Maddin & worked w/him a few times. He was originally from WI so I have a brief entry for him in my 2nd WI book, "On That Wisconsin Beat". I also did a brief story on him (which, I'd welcome the yr info for those. (I show 14 other 45s for him).

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