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)


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the hard work Bob. Must have taken a while to compile. Again I Had "Surfin' Way Out on a Collector CLCD Rock Hip Hop. But no original label for it. So you have solved another mystery.