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'
60/12 — Dasher 501      Ugly Face / This Day61/03 — Airmaster 601   Pony Shuffle / Things Are Tough
61/04 — Airmaster 602   Everything Is A-Okay / Tweedle Dee And Tweedle Dum
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.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Yeah Yeah All The Time

G. Hawkins, K. Owens
Tweety Music (BMI)

Bow Records 303

Composer K. Owens is Kelly Owens a prolific New York session man who played piano on, and arranged  numerous R&B and pop sessions.
Composer G. Hawkins is Gloria Hawkins.  As the Gloria of "Roy and Gloria" (with Raoul Cita who had left The Harptones), she waxed a couple of records for Deluxe including the original release of "So Good, So Fine" (although the Harptones had already recorded an unreleased version). 

Texas native Virginia L. Angelo had showed interest for art, music and songwriting while still a student at the Baylor University in Texas.  In 1952 she composed words and melodies and played the piano for "Pot O'Gold" with fellow student Gordon Hall, who directed the show,     Later that year, in November, she played in “The Proposal,”, a Chekov play., incarning the daughter of Stepan Stepanovitch Chubukov, the determined landowner,

Virginia Angela came to New York in the mid-fifties.  Her first recording was on Morty Craft's Melba Records.

Ten years after her first record, she was still in New York.  According to Sally Derrickson, Evening Independent reporter, who was the guest of "To Tell the Truth", a game show, in 1965  :
One contestant was Virginia Angelo, 31, from Tyler, Texas who hadn't lost her y'all accent in the 10 years she'd lived in New York City.  In real life she is a private secretary, a night club entertainer and quiz show contestant.  She has appeared on 10 programs, she said, and she was counting on this one to pay her rent
Among other game shows, she was a contestant of "Name That Tune" (1959) and "I've Got A Secret " (1961)


56 MELBA 107 as Virginia Lowe
I'm In Love With Elvis Presley / Empty Feeling

57 JOSIE 818  as Virginia Lowe
In Tears  / I Believe In You

58 BOW 303 as Ginny Angel
Tra La La La I'm Yours Tonight / Yeah Yeah All The Time

xx STRIPE as Ginny Angelo
Jolly Roger / True Blue Lou (prod. Kelly Owens)

61 RCA Victor 7973 as Ginny Angel
Henry Schultz's Heart / There'll Be Some Changes Made

62 MAY 122 as Ginny Angel
Forever Goodbye Love / I'm Waiting

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It's Good Cha Cha Cha

Barq's ACI-101

Gulf Coast's root beer favorite
born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1898

Drink Barq's It's Good

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Can You Do It

Sheila Wilkerson
Accompanied by El Conjunto Azul  

Can You Do It

R. Tinory-S. Wilkerson
Hyannis Music BMI 
RTF 3012
Cohasset, Mass 02025
Produced by Rik Tinory


One of the first production from Rik Tinory who established his recording studios in 1967 in Cohasset, Massachusetts.  The studios later hosted sessions by local artists Aerosmith and James Taylor, among others.

Sheila Wilkerson studied percussion with Don Alias, and with Don played in the “Los Muchachos” with Mark Levine on piano. She was their vocalist.   The group was the house band of a Boston nightclub called The Cave, on Boylston Alley, the venue was a hotbed of authentic Cuban music which attracted polished dancers to its floor. 

In 1969, she was in Hollywood with the Moacir Santos group.  Known to Brazilians as  ‘The Brazilian Duke Ellington’, Moacir Santos had his first US release on Blue Note Records in 1972, an album titled "Maestro".  You can listen to "Nana", from that LP, sung by Sheila Wilkerson on YouTube here

In 1972, Sheila was introduced to Stevie Wonder and she spent the week sitting on the piano bench with Stevie. Her vocal range was not right for the background singer’s slot Stevie was trying to fill, but later that year, he called her to record with him on two songs, “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” on the ‘Innervisions’ album, and “Big Brother” on the ‘Talking Book’ album. She was only credited on the ‘Innervisions’ album.

Sheila Wilkerson died unexpectedly in 2007.

More info, pictures and audio available HERE thanks to Paul Smith who dedicated a new website to Sheila, a woman he loved so much and who was his wife.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Walking 50 Miles

Jumping Jaguars With The Surgeons
Vocal Ross - McCoy

Walking 50 Miles
Floyd Barnes, Jr. Tamango Music BMI

Tamango Records RI 1423

Baltimore group active between 1958 and 1964. This is probably the group managed by June Morton, the once vocalist with Duke Ellington in 1950, mentioned in the Stuart L. Goosman book  "Group Harmony: The Black Urban Roots of Rhythm and Blues"

The Jumping Jaguars were featured in one Flink Johnson (a well known regional combo leader) Benefit Dance & Show on February, 25th 1963 along with The Man with the "Golden Voice" (Ricko Lawson The Magnificent), Pop Ditty & The Surgeons and exotic dancer Princess Shelly.

The Surgeons are probably the group better known as "Pop Ditty & The Surgeons" who recorded as The Kings on Jax (1953) and Harlem (1954).  [see Marv Goldberg]

NB: The Jumpin' Jaguars on Decca (1957) is a different (white) group.

Tamango was probably named after the french movie directed by John Berry, a black-listed American exiled himself to Europe.    The film was controversial in different parts of the world. France banned Tamango in its West African colonies "for fear it would cause dissent among the natives".  The film was released in 1959 in New York City, but didn't receive nationwide distribution until 1962. The United States government had banned Tamango because it broke the race-mixing (or "miscegenation") section of the Hays Code with the interracial love scenes between Dorothy Dandridge and Curd Jürgens. [Wikipedia]

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Jack Metnick (The Man From Mars)

(The Man From Mars)

Mars Oldsmobile 5027


Chicagoans who tuned into radio or TV in the 1950s and 1960s likely remember the inventive, offbeat car-dealership advertising pioneered by Jack "Bubble-head" Metnick.

Mr. Metnick created a rocket- fueled marketing campaign in an era in love with all things space- age. He named his Oldsmobile dealership "Mars" and billed himself as "The Man From Mars."   His commercials  — for the first Jewish owner of a General Motors Oldsmobile Division franchise —   pioneered wacky car advertising with lines such as: "Crazy Bubble-head has just landed from Mars with three antennas coming out of his head. … Mr. Metnick delighted young visitors to Mars Oldsmobile, 5027 W. Madison, by donning a space helmet in the showroom. 

Jack Metnick died in 2000, at 83.

Mars Oldsmobile Inc.
5027 W. Madison Street, Chicago

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I Like It Like That

Richie Richardson
With Charlie Cuevas And The Jaguars

I Like It Like That

Galaxy 103
Galaxy Record Co.
Houston, Texas

The flip is "The Jump" which has been collected by Be Sharp on their amazing "Texas Box" featuring hundreds of Texas acts from a well researched circle of local independent labels.

Richie Richardson had another single issued by Spotlight Records in 1962 "The Frog" / Someone's Been In Love".

The Frog

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