Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#910 (8/11/18)


"Near You"/"I'm Holding Tight To My Love For You"
Dolores Brown And The Auditones
on Sterling 3001 A/B
released in 1947

"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"/"A Good Deal"
Dolores Brown And The Auditones
on Sterling 3002 A/B
released in 1947

[Above photo provided by Paul Ressler and restored by Tony Fournier.]

Above: Dolores Brown, who had two records on New York's Sterling label (with all four sides backed by The Auditones).

NEW YORK CITY—Ida James of the charming face and small voice experienced another change in her song career last week when she was replaced as feature vocalist with the Erskine Hawkins top flight swing aggregation by the just as charming but heavy voiced Dolores Brown. Having been with the Hawkins crew several dance seasons, the sudden change in the vocal department was taken as a surprise to the profession in this vicinity. According to Hawkins, who will soon replace Ella Fitzgerald at the Savoy Ballroom, there was no break with Miss James, but he released her as she had decided that she was better suited for moving pictures than singing with a band.

Dolores Brown, who replaces her, has a wide reputation as a swing singer and is ideally suited for Hawkins' band. A frequent feature at the Apollo Theatre where she is a great favorite, she broke into headline print early this summer when Duke Ellington selected her to sing with his band.

THE BILLBOARD, October 20, 1945 (From a Sterling promotional advertisement):
ANNOUNCING THE ADVENT OF STERLING CLASSIC JAZZ AND RACE RECORDS—The STERLING label is your assurance of top-flight records . . . each release carefully selected, superbly recorded and perfectly pressed (in our new ultra-modern plant)! Back of the label is an experienced organization headed by AL MIDDLEMAN (creator of the sensational "HIT" Record), and BEN SIEGEL and ART RUPE, whose achievements in the record field are well known. STERLING Records will be released every three weeks . . . on schedule, and WILL BE SHIPPED . . . on schedule! For MORE PLAYERS (and more plays) per record, depend on the Mark of STERLING!

Above: SAN JOSE NEWS, August 16, 1940
See Article Below.

Above: AFRO-AMERICAN, August 4, 1945
See Article Below.

Above: San Jose News dated 8/16/40.

Right: Afro-American dated 8/4/45.

All three are possessed by pulchritudinous [very beautiful] Dolores Brown, featured vocalist with Don Redman's Band that has been the sensation at the Zanzibar Cafe in New York, according to a dispatch from our correspondent, Ted Yates. Redman's Band—with Dolores intact—plays Loew's (N.Y.) State Theatre for one week beginning January 13. After that, watch the "Little Giant of Rhythm" and his band as they "give" on an extensive tour throughout the country, playing a series of theatre dates and one-nighters.

Above Right: Still shot of Dolores Brown from 1946 movie "Jivin' In Be-Bop". Per, Dolores was credited in this one full-length movie and two shorts (both in 1952). She dances, but does not sing in any of them.

Above Left: PITTSBURGH COURIER, September 3, 1938:
THE DUKE, IVY AND "FIND"—The famous Duke Ellington stopped off in Philly long enough to permit the Courier photographer to snap him along with Ivy Anderson, perennial canary of the Ellington connection, and the new singer Duke recently discovered, Dolores Brown, a Brooklyn (N.Y.) miss.

Above Right: NEW YORK AGE, January 2, 1943:
BECOMES WIDOW—Pretty songstress Dolores Brown became a widow early last fall when her husband, Marcellus Green, trumpeter in Erskine Hawkins orchestra, died in an automobile accident in Chattanooga.

Can you pick out Dolores Brown in this 1950 picture? While Dolores was indeed included on the Admiral/Adam Records roster, no evidence of any releases on those labels was found. You probably recognize Arnold Stang, who later was a regular comedy character on Milton Berle's TV show. Early in 1950, he was contracted by Admiral Records for their "kiddy" disk line.

Notice the "large screen" Admiral TV with dual speakers and a radio/78-rpm record player with automatic changer. Interestingly, Admiral Records, who specialized in popular, rhythm and blues, and kiddie discs, was not related to Admiral Radio-TV Corporation, who forced their name change to Adam Records in September 1950.

THE CASH BOX COVER, October 28, 1950:
Mickey Else, disk jockey at WWPA, Williamsport, Pa., is shown admiring the Admiral TV combination he won as a prize in a recent contest conducted by Admiral Records among disk jockeys throughout the nation, for suggesting name changes for the Admiral plattery. Else won with "Adam Records—First With The Best." Pictured above, left to right: Nicholas R. Carrano, president of Adam; recording artists Dolores Brown, Johnny Guarnieri, Rosland Paige, Enzo De Mola, Jimmy Roma, Arnold Stang, The Four Jacks & A Jill with personal manager Clark McClellan, Monica Boyer, Bobby Colt, Russ Vincent; artist and repertoire director Jerry Lipskin and tunesmith Al Hoffman.

Above: DAILY NEWS, December 12, 1938

Above: DAILY NEWS, January 13, 1944

Above: The Billboard dated 1/3/48.
Notice that The Auditones had their own version (without Dolores Brown) released on
the Rainbow label. See more about this record under "Extra Audio" further below.

Left: The Cash Box dated 10/13/47.

[The following article is from the 4/1/67 edition of The Billboard.]

Above: THE BILLBOARD, September 13, 1947

Above: THE CASH BOX, September 15, 1947

EXTRA AUDIO #1 (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

At Left: Label image for Rainbow 10025, released in September 1947 (The month prior to their Sterling release, of the same title, with Dolores Brown). It is the first of two by The Auditones on Rainbow, the second released the following month.

These two records and the two on Sterling are their total output. It seems like they appeared out of nowhere, made these four records inside of two months and, just as quickly, disappeared.

The Cash Box reviewed their second record on Rainbow:

The Cash Box Review (10/13/47)

THE AUDITONES — RAINBOW 10026.... The Wildest Gal In Town/My Last Affair
Pair of sides which ops may use to good advantage are these offered by The Auditones, vocal combo who grab the spot to wail "The Wildest Gal In Town" and "My Last Affair." Top deck spins in the heavy mood, with the group offering their wordage in perfect harmony that may get your nod. Metro on the side is slow and mellow, with the instrumental accompaniment offered coming thru to round out the side. Backing has that oldie, "My Last Affair" and The Auditones in the spotlight again to offer ops more cookie charmers. Both sides are there for the asking. and since you know your route better than we do — take it from here.

1. "Near You" - The Auditones - Rainbow 10025A - 1947.
2. "As Years Go By" - The Auditones - Rainbow 10025B - 1947.
BOTH played in sequence

EXTRA AUDIO #2 (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

At Left: Label image for Sterling 3008 A, released in January 1948. Ace Harris sings lead with vocal accompaniment from his combo. This is the first of three records that he had on the Sterling label.

ACE HARRIS FORMS COMBO—Ace Harris, former headliner with the Erskine Hawkins band as pianist-singer-arranger, has formed his own combination. A small aggregation, it will put heavy emphasis on sweet music, novelties, and original pop creations. The instrumentation of the new group will be piano, bass, singing guitar, and vibes.

Harris, who has won national attention in the popular music field as the result of his work on a number of hit records such as "After Hours," "Remember," "Caldonia," and "Shorty's Got To Go," decided to form his own combination only after many of his friends and admirers had insisted that he should no longer hide his exceptional talents under a musical bushel.

In addition to Harris, who naturally will be featured both as singer and pianist, the group will include Pete Diggs, dynamic young vibraharpist; Wilbur (Sleepy) Chaplain, and a surprise bassist, whom Harris will reveal when the combo bows into a local nightery early next month.

PITTSBURGH COURIER, October 11, 1947:
ACE HARRIS SIGNS—Ace Harris, the genial piano playing maestro, was signed last week to a recording contract with Sterling Records.

LISTEN: "Always" - Ace Harris And His Quartet - Sterling 3008 A - 1948.

ABOVE: The Original Sunset Royal Serenaders band, from West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1935. Ace Harris is at far left, standing, holding the microphone stand.
Steve Washington, standing, in white suit, was leader of the band.

ABOVE:MORNING CALL (Allentown, PA), September 4, 1938: Ace Harris Royal Sunset Band... Hot Band With Harlem Show Here On Labor Day.
(NOTE: Harris is front left, with the white sport coat.)

EXTRA AUDIO #3 (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

ABOVE: (Left) Lillette Thomas from 1946 and (Right) label image for Sterling SR 108, released in 1946. Lillette sings lead with vocal accompaniment from her combo. It is the third of four she had on Sterling (1945-46).

THE BILLBOARD, November 24, 1945: LILLETTE THOMAS (Sterling)
This new label introduces a new race artist to the records in Lillette Thomas, with plenty of jelly-roll appeal in her husky pipes as she shouts the blues and also spins as an expert keyboard knuckler. Backed by a small jam band that takes in tenor sax and the rhythm instruments, Miss Lillette sings in striking manner.... Race locations can count on a new record leader in the platterings of Lillette Thomas.

The husky blues shouting and barrelhouse piano pounding of Lillette Thomas, with the bass, drums and guitar making her Escorts, is right out of the back rooms at Harlem hotteries. Gal knuckles the keyboard as heavy as she does the wordage, with little regard to balance in favor of bounce, particularly with the guitar man picking his way in and out of notings.... Designed entirely for the Harlem hotteries where the raucousness of the rhythms make the phono play all the more inviting.

LISTEN: "Boogie Woogie Time Down South" - Lillette And Her Escorts - Sterling SR 108 - 1946.


Above Left: NEW YORK AGE, December 13, 1958.
Dolores Brown had a regular column in the New York Age called "The Home Executive by Dolores Brown". It covered home-making topics with tips for taking care of the house, preparing meals, using household appliances, entertaining, etc. She was billed as "The Girl Who Stepped Out Of A Song And Into A Home".

Above Right: NEW YORK AGE, January 10, 1959.
Dolores Brown is back on the radio in a new capacity and with a co-host.

NEW YORK AGE, September 6, 1958:
FORMER SINGER NEW RADIO EXEC—An entirely new concept of radio entertainment is being created by the newly formed Studio 4 Production Company. It has just been organized by former singer Dolores Brown. The purpose of the company is to enlarge the horizons of the negro audience, and remind listeners of their responsibility towards society.

Now in preparation are two shows, "The Home Executive" and "News Review Of The Week." These shows will be offered to Madison avenue agencymen for fall presentation. Studio 4 maintains offices at 161 Columbus Avenue in the Manhattan area.

JET MAGAZINE, January 14, 1954: ....Joyce Bryant's new secretary and road companion is Dolores Brown, ex-singer and dancer....

Above: Label images of Sterling 3001 released in October 1947. The label images and corresponding audio files for this record provided by Andrew Bohan.

The Cash Box Review (10/6/47):

DOLORES BROWN — STERLING 3001.... Near You/I'm Holding Tight To My Love For You
Offering pleasing melody which operators may find to their liking, chirp Dolores Brown renders her version of the nation's top song of the day. "Near You", with instrumental backing by Bill Doggert and his crew shaping up nicely with the gal's singing coming thru to meet your requirements. Vocal group labeled The Auditones back the gal in fair fashion to round out the side. On the backing with "I'm Holding Tight To My Love For You", Dolores weaves and pitches the heavy wordage in mellow timing. Piano tickling echoes throughout the platter and flavors the disk immensely. Ops that have a spot for some excellent filler material should look into this one.

Above: Label images of Sterling 3002 released in October 1947. "Bill Doggert" on the labels is actually Bill Doggett. Could the "misspelling" be to circumvent his new contract with Louis Jordan's band? Notice that The Auditones refer to Dolores affectionately as "Dee" on "A Good Deal".

Dolores Brown had records on Bluebird/Victor with Erskine Hawkins (1930s/1940s), on Beacon/Joe Davis (1945), on Sterling with The Auditones (1947), on Pleasant (1950), and on RCA Victor with John Greer (1952-53).

Sterling Records was a New York City label that existed from 1945 to 1948. Notable artists with records on the Sterling label include Dolores Brown And The Auditones, Lillette Thomas, Ann Cornell, the Earl Hines Orchestra, Ace Harris (another of The Ink Spots' pianist/arrangers, just prior to Doggett), Buddy Clark, the Roy Eldridge Orchestra, the Buddy Banks Sextette, Irving Kaufman, and, yes, country singer Hank Williams (with his recording debut).

NEW YORK—Al Middleman's Sterling diskery in recent weeks has been expanding its exec and artist set-up. George Bennett is the firm's new recording and repertoire topper, Ben Siegert has been appointed a veepee in the firm, Ralph Emmett is the new sales director, and Seymour Bennis will assist Emmett and Joey Sasso as the new publicity chief. New artists include chirps Dolores Brown and Ann Cornell, Irving Kaufman, Diamond Jubilee Singers, and male warblers Larry Stewart and Bob Harter.

The Billboard Review (9/27/47):

DOLORES BROWN — STERLING 3001 and 3002.... Near You/Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man/I'm Holding Tight To My Love For You/A Good Deal
A one-time canary for Duke Ellington, the sultry tones of Dolores Brown's chanting spins to best advantage for the rhythm ditties where the ditty makes no real demand for vocal quality. Moreover, gal gets a much needed vocal lift in the assisting harmony of the Auditones, whose rhythm singing spins brighter and with more luster than the soloist. And with Bill Doggert's Music (piano, bass and guitar) sustaining the rhythmic pace, it's passing plattering for "Near You" and a Harlemese "Good Deal" jive novelty. However, gal sinks under for the mated slow ballad sides. Popularity of "Near You" may attract some coins to that cutting at race spots.

NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.

Above: BILL DOGGETT was an organist, pianist, arranger, and band leader. His first major job was pianist for Lucky Millinder's band in 1940/41. From 1942 to 1944, he was pianist and arranger for The Ink Spots. He joined Louis Jordan's outfit in 1947 first playing piano, then the organ, leaving in 1952 to form his own small band. In 1956, his "Honky Tonk" reached number two on The Billboard charts.

Listen to this week's selections featuring Dolores Brown And The Auditones on Sterling from 1947 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. Near You
          2. I'm Holding Tight To My Love For You
          3. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
          4. A Good Deal
          ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence
          played in sequence

          [To download audio files, right-click on link
          and then click "Save link (target) as..."]

          At Immediate Right: Dolores Brown
          (Indianapolis Recorder 12/29/45)

          At Far Right: Erskine Hawkins Clipping
          (Wilkes Barre Times Leader 12/28/45)