Monday, February 27, 2012

Start To Jump

Stan Robinson

Start To Jump
(S. Robinson, Brynmawr ASCAP)

Totsy Records



Georgian Stan Robinson was one of the first artists signed in 1959 to Fred Foster's Monument Records, a label newly formed in Nashville. "Boom-a-Dip-Dip,", his first record for the label, was a hit in the spring of 1959 (#83 on the charts.).

In 1962-63, he was a member of the Appalachians on ABC Records. Member of the group was Priscilla Mitchell, wife of country singer, songwriter, and session guitarist Jerry Reed Hubbard.

After four years on the road, and finding no fame, he retired from the music business to settle in Atlanta. In 1965 he met Nashville native Nancy Bradley at a hootenanny and soon they married. They spent years as partners in a local clothing business in Atlanta.

He discouraged his sons Chris and Rich from becoming professional musicians, but by 1984 they had formed the band Mr. Crowe's Garden (named for a favorite childhood fairy tale). This group evolved into the Black Crowes, with Chris dropping out of college along the way. Their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker (Number 4, 1990), sold a million copies and won them Best New American Band in the Rolling Stone readers and critics polls.

Stan Robinson Discography

59 Monument 402 : Boom-A-Dip-Dip / My Heart Beats
59 Monument 405 : N-U-T-H-I-N-G / If I Were A Fool
60 Totsy : Start To Jump / St. James Infirmary Blues
60 Amy 810 : Can She Give You Fever / Rhinoceros
61 Amy 818 : North, South, East, West / Exodus Of Pepe

As a member of The Appalachians (all produced by Felton Jarvis) :

62 ABC 10331: Cleopatra Queen Of The Nile/All My Trials, Lord
63 ABC 10419 Bony Maronie /It Takes A Man
63 ABC 10464 Big Betty / Hilly-Billy-Ding-Dong-Choo-Choo
63 ABC 10498 Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Over Yonder


Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Campus Rock

The Honey Dreamers
Earl Sheldon And His Orchestra

The Campus Rock
(Glen Moore-Buddy Dufault) Dennis Music Co. (BMI)

RCA Camden SCA-7-25

The Honey Dreamers
(from EP's picture sleeve on
Fantasy Records, 1956)

Dick Larson, Sylvia Mikelson, Keith Textor, Ardys Benson and Paul Montan were the original Honey Dreamers. These five Minnesotans started singing together at St. Olaf College.

Harold Stokes, program chief for ABC in Midwest spotted The Honey Dreamers in 1946 at the Rio Cabana, a local bistro, signed them for regular dates on three local shows in Chicago.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Church Key

For blocks residents of Todd Estates, Fireside Park , and Brookside could hear rock music emanating from the corner house at 301 Elderfield Drive . Outside, their trademark, a black hearse, awaited to carry Ed, Aubrey, Fred, and Bill to anywhere but a cemetery. Behind their infamous hearse was a trailer that read…

The Fabulous Pharaohs

Aubry Fisher And Billy Rylander, Guitars, Fred Dawson Organ, Ed Steveson Drums
Eddie Stevenson, vocalist

Church Key

Three Star Recording Co.

Newark, Delaware

Left To Right: Bill Rylander, Ed Stevenson, Aubrey Fisher, Fred Dawson

Hangnail Phillips tells their story HERE


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boomerang Baby

Elvie Easter

Boomerang Baby

(Faye Haas, Al Gilray Pub. Co, BMI)

Neophon Records


Neophon was the in-house label of Neophon Recording Corporation, founded in 1958 by Richard "Dick" Friesen, whose studios were located in Hollywood (6369 De Longpre and 1313 North Vine). Skip Battin and Terry Gilkyson, among others, recorded there in the early sixties.

Richard Friesen, professional choir conductor since 1943, began work in composition with orchestral works in 1947. He was also the composer, lyricist, orchestrator and associate producer of the Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies, a traveling ice show founded by Eddie Shipstad, Roy Shipstad, and Oscar Johnson in 1936.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Love You, Yes I Do

I Love You, Yes I Do

Windy Green

Val Records


Obscure and unlisted cover of the Henry Glover and Sally Nix song first recorded by Bull Moose Jackson in 1947.

Val Records was started in 1962 by T. Valentine.

From a tribute page for T. Valentine :
Thurmon Valentine was born in West Helena, Arkansas in 1932. Inspired by Sonny Boy Williamson's "King Biscuit Time" show on KKFA, Thurmon moved to Chicago in 1950 to make music and become a performer. From 1957 to 1959 he created and performed a live show called "The Vampire" in clubs with three female co-stars out of his love for "old vampire pictures, Lugosi and all those guys." He met up with Detroit Junior of the Cadillac Baby Show Lounge at 4708 Dearborn Street in Chicago. Detroit Junior had a small record company called Bea & Baby and released T. Valentine's first hot singles around 1960. Soon afterwards T. Valentine started his own label VAL Records in 1962. From there he released his own singles "Do the Do" and "Betty Sue," and both of his versions of "Black Power," as well as recordings from other artists. After divorcing his wife Lucille he decided to get back at her by recording the song "Lucille Are You A Lesbian," inspired by Josie Cotton's "Johnny Are You Queer." Val Records pressed 200 copies. It has become a rare and sought out 45. Most likely Lucille never heard it, but the song has become a cult favorite among lesbians.
Also of interest is the Peter Margasak's article found HERE

On Windy Green I've found nothing, unfortunately.

And the"official music historians" what they are doing right now? Dump digging around Newark, New Jersey in the search of the old sandwich wrapping on which Elvis is supposed to have written "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" while in the area for some time in 1964.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cigarettes and Coffee Blues

Cigarette and Coffee Blues
(Marty Robbins)

Dick Miller & the Rhythmaires

Pageant Records



Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jedco, Commerce & related labels

Despite the variety of label names (Jedco, Commerce, Ivanhoe and Boot Hill) and musical genres (Country, pop, soul, girl group, RnB) there was only one and same recording company, somewhat obscure and, as it seems, not documented.

The first releases are on Jedco, a label certainly launched by Jack E. Downes in 1963, possibly with the financial backing of Dale Rogers (see below).

Of Jack E. Downes, not much is known. His name - as arranger and/or producer - can be found on sixties labels such as Vistone Records (artists : Carmel Covered Popcorn, Danny Michaels), Megatone (a cover of "Harper Valley PTA" by Bobbie Dee), or Regon (Oregon label, artist : Dottie Collins)...

Dale Rogers was perhaps "the man with some bucks who wasn't really in the music business " described by Tony Johnson, a member of the Accents and Commerce recording artists. Dale Rogers' main business was Sun Aviation Corporation located in Downey. Owning a label such a Commerce Records was perhaps motivated by a tax evasion intention. Anyway, Dale Rogers headed toward other hobbies, as Commerce Records folded in 1965. In 1967, Premier Enterprise, a Division of Sun Aviation, was producing slot-cars, such as the Cyclone Avenger model. But "The model was very unsuccessful in the marketplace because it came a bit too late and was obsolete by the time it reached the hobby shops shelves". (see the Slot Car Museum).

Bobby Boyd was only briefly a partner of Dale Rogers :
Billboard (January 18, 1964 issue) inform its readers that "Bobby Boyd, head of Boyd Records, has purchased an interest in Commerce Records and will distribute both labels through Boyd distributors, Boyd announced here [in Downey] last week. Dale Rogers will remain as Commerce president and will aid in directing Boyd Records from the West Coast."
Bobby Boyd, a five-eights Choctaw Indian, began his career in entertainment as an actor, working in most of the John Wayne movies.His first association with music came with a group he managed and produced called the Windjammers - boys for Norway who were in the USA as exchange students - , whom he met in Hollywood. Production came to Bobby naturally. He was around the Warner Bros., lot in Hollywood for a long time before forming Boyd Records

The Bobby Boyd involvment in the Commerce partnership didn't last long : there was only few records resulting from this partnership


Jedco, Commerce, Ivanhoe, Boot Hill labels (1963-1965)
Hollywood and Downey (California)

Jedco 5001 - 1963
Jack E. Downes & His Friends
Strictly Drums (P4KM-7836)
Surfin’ Way Out (P4KM-7837)

Jedco 5002
- 1963
Jack E. Downes
Prod. Terry Hudson, Bryan Roy Publishers BMI
Strictly Drums part I (P4KM-7836)
Strictly Drums part II (P4KM-7837)

Jedco 5002 is a re-titled issue of Jedco 5001. Both sides can be heard HERE.

Strictly Drums Part I is a technically proficient drum solo straddling the styles of Cozy Cole and Denver’s favorite session drummer Ronny Kae. The track sounds more like an advanced drum student’s homework assignment than an actual song and the relentless tempo leaves you gasping for air as the song concludes.
Jedco 5006
 Jack E. Downes 
Prod. Sammy Scott
Green Onions (M-554-A)
Lonesome Road by Chip Smith

Jedco 5007 (w/picture seeve)
Woody Coleman
Linda Darling
High On A Mountain

Both wr J.P. Sloane (Angeles Crest, BMI)
Real name : J.P. Sloane. During the years of 1965-68, J.P. Sloane was the lead singer for The Brothers Grim, a popular recording group booked out of Hollywood who appeared in concerts, clubs and on television. They have the distinct honor of being the first American rock group to promote VOX concert amplifiers which were made famous by the British rock group, the Beatles.


Jedco 5009 and
Commerce 5009 1964/Jan. 18 C&W
Roy Counts
Temptation, Hitway BMI, M-557
Blue Angel , Trio BMI
Both sides written by Eddie Miller
Country with Ralph Mooney on steel guitar.
Jedco 5010 and
Commerce 5010
Billy Van

I've Been Saving All My Love For You (M-558)
It's My Way

This is William Allan Van Evera, (1934–2003), known by the stage name Billy Van. Canadian comedian, actor and singer.

Commerce 5011 (with picture sleeve)
Eddie Dean
Don't Take Advantage Of Me (559)
Stop Me If You've Heard
Picture sleeve has liner notes by Biff Collie on the back. Record brought to Commerce by Bobby Boyd.
Eddie Dean (born Edgar Dean Glossup) (1907-1999) was an American western singer and actor whom Roy Rogers and Gene Autry termed the best cowboy singer of all time. Dean was best known for "I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven" (1955), which became an even greater hit in 1961 for Tex Ritter. [Wikipedia]

Commerce 560
The Road Runners feat. Jim Edgar
Little Pig
Rains (Jim Edgar)
Cover of Dale Hawkins. First issued in 1963 on Bobby Boyd's Chan label #111.
Managed by Bobby Boyd. The Road Runners were Jim Edgar, Sam Edwards, Farland Stanley, Larry Marcum and Jimmy Driskol.

Commerce 5012
- May 16, 1964 (Billboard)
The Accents feat. Sandi
Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind) M-561
Better Watch Out Boy M-562
Based in San Diego, this group included Don Beck, Tony Johnson, Gabe Lapano, Don Lovas, Frank Mannix, Doug Myers, and Sandra (Sandi) Rouse at various times.

“Better Watch Out Boy,” a song composed by one of Sandi’s acquaintances, George Semper, climbed to the top ten in San Diego and top twenty in LA and a few other major cities. Challenge Records picked up the record and re-issued it. Three singles followed on Charter, Liberty and Karate.

Accents website

Asked to what were the circumstances leading to the opportunity to record, Tony Johnson said :

A man with some bucks showed up at a gig and expressed interest. He wasn't really in the music business but took us to Los Angeles where we recorded at a high-end studio with no supervision. We were just kids and didn't know what we were doing but came up with our first single, ‘Better Watch Out Boy.’

Commerce 5510 (w/picture sleeve)
Diamond Jim Bradley
Love Me Baby
I Don't Care

Listed by Bob McGrath in his R&B indies discography. Diamond Jim Bradley is likely the father of Little Jimmy Bradley Jr. (see below)

Commerce 5013 (5511)
Little Jimmy Bradley Jr.
Teddy Bear Stomp 5013-A
Drummer Boy Rock 5013-B
Produced by Downes-Rogers

At the age of three, JBJ's musical talents were being realized by his parents as they saw him retrieving pots and pans from the kitchen cabinet to perform on. Because they were performing musicians, they were able to give James support and teaching. James Bradley, Jr. was a child-drumming prodigy and at the age of four he was recognized as the worlds youngest professional drummer. Appearing on major television shows in the sixties such as "I've Got A Secret", "Steve Allen", "Jack Benny", "Art LinkLetter", "Nat King Cole", "Hollywood Palace", and many others. And then a contract with Paramount Pictures, where JBJ played a part in the movie "Cool Hand Luke".
Jimmy Bradley biography
Commerce 5014
The Mandarins feat. Jimmy Hayes
That Other Guy (H. Johnson)
You Better Watch Out Girl

Prod. By George Semper
George Semper's pumping intro takes a Drifters style arrangement into another league! Emotional pleading lead-vocals, backed by a fluid backup vocals, Southern California style brass work, blends into a fabulous dancer!
Commerce 5015
Jimmy Hayes
The Goose (wr George Semper)
As A City Sleeps (wr J. Hayes)
Prod. By George Semper

Commerce 5016Tony Harrison
Arranged by J. Carmichael
Sad Occasion
I'm Not The Only One

Commerce 5017
Sammy Lee
As A City Sleeps

Arr. by J. Carmichael

Inspired by Bacharach & David’s Anyone Who Had A Heart this 1964 Jimmy Hayes creation guided by James Carmichael will delight those of you who appreciate brass-crammed beat-ballads.Sammy Lee seering vocal handles everything with such ease and style. (John Manship)

Ivanhoe 5018
Walter Scott and the Kapers
Brand New Girl
Want To Thank You

Arranged by James Carmichael

No connection to the Walter Scott of Bob Kuban fame.

Ivanohe 5019
(March 1965)
Dolly & the Fashions
Just Another Fool wr Clifford E. Chambers
The Right One
arr. by J. Carmichael

Commerce 5020

Danelle Darris
Let's Do The Shotgun
Don't Love Me And Leave Me
Nice reworking of Jr Walker's Tamla Motown hit 'Shotgun' from Danelle Darris. A soulful dance number. The backing track is also used on Bill Griffin's 'Try to run a game on me'.

Commerce 5021
Sammy Jackson
Sammy Jackson previously recorded for Orbit and Arvee. Born 1937 in Henderson, N.C. Starred in the ABC-TV situation comedy "No Time For Sergeants" in 1964-1965. Also appeared in motion pictures. He co-starred in The Fastest Guitar Alive, a 1967 MGM motion picture starring singer Roy Orbison in his only starring role as an actor.
? 5022 ?

Boot Hill 5023
Haskell May
Cherokee Boogie
Oklahoma City Girl

According to the artist : "Jack Downs owned Boothill Records, J.W. Bateman wrote and paid for the recording session for "Oklahoma City Girl."

★ ★ ★

Other related records :

Commerce Records distributed two releases on Naptown Records :

Briggette Koberly
Don't Love Me & Leave Me
As The City Sleeps
Arr. by J. Carmichael /cf. Commerce 5015

Bill Griffin
Try To Run A Game On Me
Forbidden Fruit (wr O.C. Groom, Naptown BMI)


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mind Your Own Business

Les Stewart, Jr.

Mind Your Own Business
(Hank Williams)

Groovey Grooves Records
2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, Pa.

Arranged by Bob Lowden

A Bill Hamilton Production


The first releases on the Groovey Grooves label in 1968 were The Exceptions, former vocal group with Cameo/Parkway and Richie Allen, slugger with the Phillies baseball team, backed by the Ebonistics.

Independant producer Bill Hamilton had a hand on all the releases on the label, but Groovey Grooves was perhaps a Cameo/Parkway-owned subsidiary.

Robert Lowden (1920-1998) became the primary arranger and composer for the 101 Strings and the Somerset label after Joseph Kuhn died in 1958, and contributed to most of the label's recordings over the next ten years.

Les Stewart, Jr. was... well, you probably known as much as me about Les.