SPOTLIGHT ON THE MANOR/ARCO LABELS - PART ONE
"I'm Gonna Ride Tillie Tonight"/"My Muchacha"
"Mister Sun"/"The Sheik Of Araby"
Above: The Four Tunes (Left—Right) Jimmie Nabbie (Tenor); Danny Owens (Tenor); Jimmy Gordon (Bass); Pat Best (Baritone and Guitar).
From Oxnard Press-Courier (Oxnard, CA) 5/23/53:
Four Tunes Are Noted For Unique Renditions
....comprised of Jimmie Nabbie from Tampa, Fla.; Danny Owens from Newark, N.J.; Jimmy Gordon from Dover, Okla.; and William "Pat" Best, who hails from Wilmington, N.C.... Best first sang publicly at the Plantation Club in St. Louis, when he was 21 years old, and it wasn't until some years later when he joined the Brown Dots, after being discovered entertaining servicemen in New York at a USO recreational center. Since that time, he has written many hit songs and has been instrumental in the formation of the Four Tunes. Jimmie Nabbie taught school in Florida, but on the side sang with the Orange Blossoms Quartet and with the Payne Jubilee Singers, before joining up with the Brown Dots when they were passing through Tampa, Fla. in 1945. Jimmy Gordon studied under a musical scholarship at the Lamont Conservatory, Denver, Colo. Dan Owens made his singing debut in Boston at the age of 19 and has been singing professionally ever since.
Click HERE for an article about The Brown Dots/Four Tunes by Marv Goldberg.
(Will open in a separate window)
Above: Manor Records' early pre-beginnings described in The Billboard columns dated (Left) 12/5/42 and (Right) 2/20/43. Irving Berman was proprietor and president of the Manor label, later to become Arco, both based in Newark, NJ.
Above: A Billboard advertisement dated 2/3/45 extolling the very first Manor record released in January 1945.
Above: Clipping and Column from The Billboard dated (Left) 1/26/46 and (Right) 12/28/46. Is this Manor A&R man the George J. Bennett who owned the Bennett, Bandwagon, Arlington, and Hudson labels in the late-1940's? And was also A&E man for Sterling Records in the mid-to-late 1940's?
Above: Label image of Manor 1154 released in December 1948. Pat Best is the lead singer on both sides. The Billboard review is from 1/15/49. Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 40-69 as "satisfactory." The ratings indicate (L-R) "Over-All, Disk Jockey, Dealer, Operator." The "ns" indicates a record is not suitable for appraisal within a market. The Billboard apparently did not think much of double-entendre recordings.
Pat Best is composer of "My Muchacha." My apologies for the irritating, overly loud claves!
Above: Label image of Manor 1173 released in April 1949. Danny Owens is the lead singer on "Mister Sun" and Pat Best is lead on "Sheik." The Billboard review is from 5/14/49. Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 40-69 as "satisfactory." The ratings indicate (L-R) "Over-All, Disk Jockey, Dealer, Operator."
Listen to this week's selections by The Four Tunes:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
A. Stream RealAudio (DO NOT USE...LISTEN USING DOWNLOAD REALAUDIO)...
1. I'm Gonna Ride Tillie Tonight
2. My Muchacha
3. Mister Sun
4. The Sheik Of Araby
ALL FOUR played in sequence
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
This site is non-commercial. All information displayed is provided to further the general public's knowledge of RnB vocal group harmony.