Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#845 (8/29/15 - 9/11/15)

SPOTLIGHT ON THE UNITED AND STATES LABELS

THIS WEEK'S SELECTIONS PROVIDED BY ANDREW BOHAN

"I Like Barbecue"
The Guy Brothers
on States S-101
released in 1952

"Put Your Arms Around Me"
The Pastels
on United U-196
released in 1955

"Please Send Her Back To Me"
The Four Blazes
on United U-127
released in 1952

"When You Love"
Cliff Butler And His Doves
on States S-123
released in 1953


UNITED/STATES RECORDS:

United Records, located in Chicago, was founded in 1951 by Lewis Simpkins and Leonard Allen. Simpkins had been the A&R man for Miracle Records (late 1940s) and Premium Records (early 1950s). Miracle and Premium were both Chicago labels. Allen had no previous record business experience, but provided the start-up funding for the new United label. In 1952, United's subsidiary label, States, was formed. Allen assumed full control of the operation following Simpkins death in May 1953. The labels went out of business in 1957.

Per Galen Gart's ARLD, Dave Clark was in charge of Sales Promotion and Willie Dixon was an A&R man for United and States. Robert Pruter's "Doowop, The Chicago Scene" states that Samuel Smith did A&R work with the vocal groups.

Some vocal groups on the labels....

UNITED: Five C's, Moroccos, Four Blazes, Debbie Andrews And Musketeers, Dozier Boys, Pastels, Sheppards, and Palms.

STATES: Danderliers, Hornets, Guy Brothers, Browley Guy And Skyscrapers, Cliff Butler and His Doves, Jimmy Coe And His Gay Cats Of Rhythm, Five Chances, Artie Wilkins And Palms, and Strollers.



Photo at Right: Leonard Allen

Click HERE for more information about the United/States Labels at the Red Saunders Research Foundation.
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Above Left: "BarBQue" clipping from May 1952 (courtesy of Galen Gart). This is the first record released on the new States label.

Above Top Right: Label image of States S-101 recorded in February 1952 and released in May of that year. Browley Guy and two of his brothers are on this side.

Above Bottom Right: Photo of Browley Guy (courtesy of Paul Ressler).



Above Left: Circa 1956 photo of The Pastels (L-R) Jerry Mills (bass), Robert Randolph (second tenor), Norman Palm (first tenor), and Charles McKnight (baritone). The members on "Put Your Arms Around Me" are Fred Buckley (lead), Randolph, Palm, McKnight, and Charles Williams (bass).

Above Right: Label image of United U-196 recorded in November 1955 and released in December of that year. It was their only record. The first release had the title as "If You Put Your Arms Around Me."

The Billboard Review (1/7/56):

THE PASTELS - UNITED 196....
Put Your Arms Around Me
(68) The lead urges his love on a somewhat reluctant girl friend here. He has to work against so-so material and shaky rhythm support.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered "satisfactory.")

Click HERE for an article about The Pastels by Marv Goldberg.
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Above Left: Clipping from The Billboard dated 10/4/52. This same photo of The Four Blazes is in The Billboard Music Year Book 1945-1946, so it's not recent relative to the date of the clipping.

Above Top Right: Label image of United U-127 recorded in August 1952 and released in September of that year. The Four Blazes had six releases on United (1952-54). Group members on this side are Floyd McDaniels, Lindsey "Jelly" Holt, Thomas Braden, and William "Shorty" Hill.

The Billboard Review (9/27/52):

THE FOUR BLAZES - UNITED 127....
Please Send Her Back To Me
(78) Blues formula is partially used on an item that is powerful. Group comes thru with a lot of sound for their small number. Braden [sic] adds a solid vocal.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")

Above Bottom Right: Label image of States S-123 recorded in June 1953 and released in August of that year. The Doves consisted of Cliff Butler (lead), Doc Williams and the remainder unknown. It was their only record.

The Billboard Review (8/29/53):

CLIFF BUTLER - STATES 123....
When You Love
(73) Butler narrates as well as sings this one with his Doves backing effectively. It's a quiet effort and well done.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")


EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):

Listen to "Night Train" - Jimmy Forrest And All Star Combo - United 110 - 1952.

Forrest's "Night Train" hit number one on the R&B charts in 1952, helping the recently formed United Records off to an excellent start.

Above Left label... Recorded in November 1951 and released in March 1952.

Above Right photo.... Jimmy Forrest. The combo that recorded "Night Train" was a five-man unit. Forrest had played tenor sax with Jay McShann's Orchestra in the early 1940s, Andy Kirk's in the mid-1940s, and then Duke Ellington's after that.

Apparently, Billboard did not review this record.


EXTRA EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):

Listen to "Big Heavy" - Cozy Eggleston And His Combo - States S 133 - 1954.

This side was used as the theme for Alan Freed's Rock 'N Roll Party on WINS, New York City and George Lorenz' Sound Of The Hound on WKBW, Buffalo, NY.

Above Left label... Originally titled "Blue Lites Boogie," it was recorded in August 1952 and released in February 1954.

Above Right photo, from 1954.... Cozy Eggleston and Marie Stone (his wife). Marie was a member of his five-piece combo.

The Billboard Review (2/20/54):

COZY EGGLESTON - STATES 133....
Big Heavy
(79) The ork turns in a fine instrumental reading of a melodic riff effort that stands a chance to get some action. The beat is there and the ork performs the tune with precision. This one has some possibities, both box-wise and over the counters.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")


Listen to this week's selections on the United and States labels: [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
 
          1. I Like Barbecue - The Guy Brothers
          2. Put Your Arms Around Me - The Pastels
          3. Please Send Her Back To Me - The Four Blazes
          4. When You Love - Cliff Butler And His Doves
 
          ALL FOUR played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
 
          1. I Like Barbecue - The Guy Brothers
          2. Put Your Arms Around Me - The Pastels
          3. Please Send Her Back To Me - The Four Blazes
          4. When You Love - Cliff Butler And His Doves

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
 
          1. I Like Barbecue - The Guy Brothers
          2. Put Your Arms Around Me - The Pastels
          3. Please Send Her Back To Me - The Four Blazes
          4. When You Love - Cliff Butler And His Doves

      [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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