Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
(Week of 6/29/02 - 7/5/02)


SPOTLIGHT ON THE MASTER KEYS... PART ONE OF TWO!
(Part two will be next week)

"How Can I Explain"/
"I Got The Blues In The Mornin' (Thinkin' 'bout The Night Before)"
by The Master Keys
on Top 1146
released in 1945

Photo of The Master Keys
[The above photo provided by Paul Ressler.]

Above: Photo of The Master Keys. (L-R) Melvin Coldten (baritone), Norman "Crip" Harris (2nd tenor), J.B. Nelson (bass), and Johnny Moore (1st tenor); (Bottom) Claude Chandler (guitarist).

Coldten, Harris and Nelson had been with The Selah Jubilee Singers in 1943. Coldten and Harris had also been with The Norfolk Jazz/Jubilee Quartet prior to that.



Top Label-Master Keys-1945 Top Label-Master Keys-1945
[The above label images and corresponding audio files provided by George Moonoogian.]
Above: Label images for Top 1146 released in the summer of 1945. Top 1147 by The Master Keys was also released at this time (see next week's part two). Dick Kuhn (see writer's credits on labels) was the owner of Top Records, located in New York City.

Listen to this week's selections:

A) Click on an option below to listen to Streaming RealAudio.

"How Can I Explain" - The Master Keys - Tops 1146A - 1945
"I Got The Blues In The Mornin'" - The Master Keys - Tops 1146B - 1945
"BOTH SONGS" played in sequence

B) Click on an option below to listen to Downloading RealAudio.

"How Can I Explain" - The Master Keys - Tops 1146A - 1945 (file size=390KB)
"I Got The Blues In The Mornin'" - The Master Keys - Tops 1146B - 1945 (file size=438KB)



20th Century Label-Master Keys-1945 20th Century Label-Master Keys-1945
[The above label images provided by George Moonoogian.]
Above: Label images for 20th Century 20-17. Top 1146 was leased to Ivin Ballen's 20th Century label, issued later in 1945. Note the reference to Top Records on the label.


Photo Of Four Alphabets
[The above photo provided by George Moonoogian.]
Above: Photo from New York Amsterdam News 5/27/39 "Four Alphabets Rate Rave Notices In Broadcasts". (L-R) Edward Bonnemere (at piano), Melvin Coldten, Norman Harris, Len Williams (bass), and Raymond Smith (2nd tenor). This group was heard on WMCA radio on Sunday afternoons. This was not the same group as The Alphabetical Four on Decca, but was in reality The Norfolk Jazz/Jubilee Quartet.

FOR PART TWO OF THIS TRIBUTE, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


NOTE: Much of the information on this page obtained from George Moonoogian's "Big Ten Inch Harmony - Here, There and Everywhere!" article in Echoes Of The Past magazine.


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