#942 (10/17/22)

MODERN RECORDS - PART FIVE (1955-1957)

THIS ARTICLE IS IN MEMORY OF DAVID SAVIET WHO LEFT US ON OCTOBER 22, 2022.

DAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS WEBSITE FOR OVER SIXTEEN YEARS. HE MASTERFULLY RESTORED ALL THE 78-RPM RECORDS'S AUDIO, MAKING THEM SOUND GREAT!

Includes Audio For Fifty-One Songs
(Audio Restored By Dave Saviet - Images Restored By Tony Fournier)


PART FIVE includes Modern Records' artists Jesse Belvin, The Cliques, Jimmy Beasley, The Jacks/Cadets, Dolly Cooper, Etta James, The Cobras, Fred Darian And The Dreamers, Jimmie Lee And Artis, The Sounds, and The Rockets .

Highlighted are the songs "Near You", "Rollin' Stone", "Sixty Minute Man", "I Got Loaded", "Stranded In The Jungle", "The Henry Songs", and "Sindy (Cindy)".

Modern's subsidiary label, RPM RECORDS, will be covered in Part Six of this article.


Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, February 4, 1956.

Above Middle: CASH BOX, July 23, 1955.

Above Right: CASH BOX, September 24, 1955.

CASH BOX, January 22, 1955:
The Bihari Brothers are making plenty of news these days. They recently signed Joe Houston and quickly rushed him and his band into the Modern studios to cut several new sides. Other artists who were signed to the Modern roster include Johnny Watson (he will be billed as Johnny Guitar) and Jimmy McCracklin. New releases out last week include new sides by John Lee Hooker (Modern), Elmore James (Flair), and The Carroll County Boys (Modern).

Jesse Belvin has returned to civilian life after two years in the service. He takes the place of Johnny on the new Modern release "Ko Ko Mo" by Marvin and Johnny.

CASH BOX, February 19, 1955:
....The Bihari Brothers are going great guns with five new releases out this week by Bobby Relf and The Laurels (Flair), Oscar McLollie (Modern), Jimmy McCracklin (Modern), Arthur Lee Maye and The Crowns (RPM), and Joe Houston (RPM)....

CASH BOX, April 9, 1955:
....After completing their Midwest circuit, the Modern Caravan, made up of Etta James, Richard Berry, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and Big Jim Wynn's band plan to visit the East Coast, covering Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in April....

CASH BOX, May 28, 1955:
The Bihari's have seven new releases that are kicking up a storm throughout the country. They include B.B. King's "Shut Your Mouth" b/w "I'm In Love" (RPM); Marvin & Johnny's "Sugar Mama" b/w "Butter Ball" (Modern); Arthur Lee Maye's "Loop De Loop De Loop" b/w "Love Me Always" (RPM); The Jacks' "Smack Dab In The Middle" b/w "Why Don'tYou Write Me" (RPM); The Cadets' "Rolling Stone" b/w "Fine Looking Baby" (Modern); Richard Berry's "God Gave Me You" b/w "Don't You Go" (Flair); and Elmore James' "Happy Home" b/w "No Love In My Life" (Flair).

At Right: Picture of B.B. King for above 5/28/55 blurb.

CASH BOX, July 9, 1955:
....Saul Bihari of Modern Records reports regional nibbles on three numbers which look as though they'll soon crash through to the big-time. They include The Cadets' "I Cried"; Donna Hightower's "Dog Gone It"; and The Jacks' "Why Don't You Write Me".... The first instrumental featuring "Blues Boy" B.B. King was recently released on the RPM label. Titles are "Boogie Rock" b/w "Talkin' The Blues"....

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, January 29, 1955.

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, December 8, 1956.

CASH BOX, August 8, 1955:
....Talked with Ernie Leaner of United Record Distribs who had put in a busy day visiting with dee-jays and music men. Herb Kent and the Great Montague, disk jockeys on WGES, were two of the visitors who stopped by United to talk a little shop. Ernie reports two fast moving, up and coming disks. "Why Don't You Write" by The Jacks. And, "Dog Gone It" by Donna Hightower. According to Ernie, these two look like they're really going places....

CASH BOX, December 17, 1955:
....The Jacks fly into town this week for a recording session with Maxwell Davis at Modern Records.... Joe Bihari also has scheduled another session for B.B. King....

CASH BOX, February 11, 1956:
....Modern Records has three hits climbing the charts with "So Wrong" by The Jacks, "Eddie My Love" by the Teen Queens, and "Bewildered" by Richard Berry, all taking off in the Los Angeles area....

CASH BOX, August 11, 1956:
....B.B. King has just signed a new three-year contract with RPM records, which marks his seventh straight year of recording for the Coast label. First release under the new contract will be an L.P. album which Joe Bihari recorded in Memphis....

Above: CASH BOX, June 1, 1957:
(L-R) Saul Bihari (Modern Records) and Marvin Leiber (Pan American Distributing Company) at the MOA (Music Operators Of America) Convention.

ETTA JAMES:

Etta James, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, was a rhythm and blues singer and composer. Etta's first record, recorded in November 1954 for Modern Records, was the big hit "The Wallflower". On it, she was backed up by a girl duo, The Peaches, with Richard Berry providing "Henry's" responses. Her stay at Modern Records resulted in eleven mostly successful releases for them through 1957. After a short stay with Kent Records, Etta joined Chess Records in 1960. She produced several hits on their Argo label.

Above Left: Photo of Etta James And The Peaches. Etta (center) with Abysinia Mitchell (aka Abbye Mitchell) and Jean Mitchell. That's "Bill Doggett And His Combo" on the bus in the background. Doggett played the organ on his big 1955 hit, "Honky Tonk".

The ubiquitous Johnny Otis took this group under his wing, helping them sign a contract with Modern Records, changing their name to "The Peaches", and giving the lead singer her stage name, reversing Jamesetta (Jamesetta Hawkins) to Etta James.

Above Right: ODESSA AMERICAN (Odessa, Texas), May 12, 1955.
(NOTE: Bill Dogget's "Honky Tonk" was released several weeks later.)

Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 947, released in December 1954. The BMI website gives "The Wallflower" composer credits to Etta James, Johnny Otis, and Hank Ballard. Somehow, for the flip-side, "Hold Me, Squeeze Me", BMI credits Jules Bihari, Joe Josea (aka Joe Bihari), and Sam Ling as composers. BMI lists 191 different "Wallflower" songs.

Sam Ling was involved in composing many of the songs released on Modern Records and its subsidiaries, including "Eddie, My Love", "The Girl In My Dreams", "My Darling", "Kiss Me", and "Taxi Driver".

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "The Wallflower" - Etta James And The Peaches - Modern 947 - 1954.
2. "Hold Me Squeeze Me" - Etta James And The Peaches - Modern 947 - 1954.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review Spotlight (1-22-55):

ETTA JAMES — MODERN 947 The Wallflower
Here's a wild one. On it thrush Etta James tells her dream man that he'll be a wallflower if he doesn't learn to dance. It swings and it moves all the way, sparked by the thrush's outstanding vocal. This could be a big one.

The Billboard Review (1-29-55):

ETTA JAMES AND THE PEACHES — MODERN 947
The Wallflower (83)
A Billboard "Spotlight".
Hold Me Squeeze Me (70) Another top-notch side with Miss James pleading convincingly with her boyfriend. The male [sic] group again offers nicely harmonized and solidly rhythmic support. This side also should see nice action.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good" and 80-89 as "excellent".)

CASH BOX, February 26, 1955:
...."The Wallflower", which was originally released on Modern with Etta James and The Peaches, has been covered on Crown with Lee Winters and Decca with Nellie Lutcher. Coral and Mercury are also expected to cover the tune. The original lyrics have been cleaned up and are now approved for air play....

THE BILLBOARD, March 26, 1955:
....WJW has been somewhat controversial lately, being the only station in town that didn't go along with the ban on Etta James' "Wallflower" record. Kelly, who pioneered in r.&b. disks here with Alan Freed's "Moondog" show, said he decided to play "Wallflower" only after making a survey of local teenagers, who told him they didn't think the lyrics were dirty, and that their primary interest in r.&b. anyway is the beat. "Moondog House", with another deejay at the helm, is still broadcast over WJW nightly from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m....

CASH BOX, April 30, 1955:
....We hear that Modern Records Caravan package is setting new attendance records everywhere they appear in the South. Unit includes Etta James, Richard Berry, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and Big Jim Wynn's Band. They will continue their tour of ballroom and club dates on throughout the South, into Miami, Florida, and North along the East Coast. Package has been set to open at the Apollo Theatre in Gotham around June 1....

Above: CASH BOX, March 5, 1955.
Above: CASH BOX, May 14, 1955.
Above Left: Label image for Modern Records 957, released in 1955.

Above Right: Photo of Etta James.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Hey Henry" - Etta James (With Richard Berry) - Modern 957 - 1955.

CASH BOX, May 5, 1955:
....Henry proves that he's no longer a "Wallflower" as he does The Texas Hop and Jump and Rock in Modern's musical sequence to "Dance With Me Henry". The label billing stars Etta James with Richard Berry as Henry in "Hey, Henry!" Tune has catchy lyrics which could again make this a solid smash....

The Billboard Review Spotlight (5-14-55):

ETTA JAMES — MODERN 957 Hey! Henry
This is Miss James' first since her "Wallflower" smash was released, and it looks like a winner. "Hey! Henry" is the obvious follow-up to "Wallflower".

The Billboard, This Week's Best Buys (5-21-55):

ETTA JAMES — MODERN 957 Hey! Henry
From the fast take-off of this record, one could conclude that it has the makings of another big seller for the singer. Strongest sales reports to date have come from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Nashville and St. Louis, with other areas reporting good initial action. A previous Billboard "Spotlight" pick.

PITTSBURGH COURIER, June 4, 1955:
Etta James, a hot number from California, is moving along the dollar road with her new recording: "Hey! Henry". The 19-year-old miss, now making her initial appearance in the East, is on the verge of suing another singer for $10,000.

She claims that the "other singer" took her tune, "The Wallflower", lifted the music, added new words, and came up with something that sounds like "Dance With Me, Henry".

Meanwhile, Etta is juicing up her "Hey! Henry" to get even with the other "Henry" piece.

CASH BOX, September 24, 1955:
....Freemont High School in L.A.'s southeast side has contributed quite a bit of talent to the local R&B scene. Young Etta James was a student there when she was discovered on a talent show, and the members of the Meadowlarks and the Penguins vocal groups were also once Freemont students....


Above Left: (Top) THE BILLBOARD, February 26, 1955; (Bottom) THE BILLBOARD, May 28, 1955.

Above Middle: Photo of Richard Berry. More on him in Part Six of this article.

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, May 5, 1955.

Above: CASH BOX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK, May 14, 1955.
Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 972, released in 1955. "W-O-M-A-N" seems to be an answer to Bo Diddley's 1955 record, "I'm A Man", on the Checker label.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "W-O-M-A-N" - Etta James - Modern 972 - 1955.
2. "That's All" - Etta James - Modern 972 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review Spotlight (11-26-55):

ETTA JAMES — MODERN 972 W-O-M-A-N/That's All
Here's a two-sided hit for Etta james, which should move fast across the country. "W-O-M-A-N" features a sock, showmanly reading by the canary of a good piece of special material with a relaxed tempo and excellent distaff Bo Diddley-type lyrics. On the flip the thrush bounces thru an infectious rhythm ditty with a strong, solid beat.

CASH BOX, January 14, 1956:
....Saul Bihari of Modern Records reports that Etta James' "Woman" has taken off in key markets across the country....

CASH BOX, February 25, 1956:
....Modern Records' Etta James in town to play the 54 Ballroom and while here will record several sides with Maxwell Davis at Modern's studios....

CASH BOX, March 16, 1957:
....Etta James in town recording for Modern Records, with two sides to be released this week. After the recording date, singer left town to start a tour which has her booked through the rest of the season....

Above Left: Photo of Etta James.

Above Right: Label image for Modern Records 1022, released in 1957.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon" - Etta James (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1022 - 1957.
2. "Come What May" - Etta James (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1022 - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

At Right: THE BILLBOARD, June 24, 1957.

Cash Box Review (6-15-57):

ETTA JAMES — MODERN 1022
By The Light Of The Silvery Moon (B+)
Etta James takes the old standard in hand and gives it a rocked out vocal treatment like it's never had. The deck incorporates the harmonizing effect and the r & r treatment. Barbershop and Miss James make quite a combination. Like it. Watch it carefully.
Come What May (B+) Etta James turns to a melodic, pretty, quick beat tune, and does it pretty straight. Delightfully done sans the belting. Two good sides.
(NOTE: A rating of B+ was considered as "excellent".)

THE BILLBOARD, June 17, 1957:
....Saul Bihari, Modem Records mahoff, has issued a strong new disk by Etta James. Working without the usual Peaches, the chick turns out "Come What May" and the standard "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon"....

CASH BOX, June 29, 1957:
....Lester Sills doing some A & R work for Modern Records, including the new Etta James recording of "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon", which has received a great reception from the trade. Sills is now in the process of recording Jimmie Beasley and a first single (artist record) by Aaron Collin of The Cadets....



EXTRA RECORD—ANSWER TO "THE WALLFLOWER":
Above Left: Photo (October 1954) of The Midnighters, (Top L-R) Charles Sutton, baritone; Sonny Woods, bass; Lawson Smith, baritone/tenor; (Bottom L-R) Arthur Porter, guitar; and Hank Ballard, tenor. Not long after this, Henry Booth replaced Sutton and Cal Green replaced Porter.

The Midnighters had several records on Federal as "The Royals", but changed to their new name in April 1954 due to confusion with another group, The Five Royales.

Above Right: Label image for Federal 12224, recorded on May 1, 1955 and released in that month.

Click HERE for an article about THE ROYALS/MIDNIGHTERS (through 1954) by Marv Goldberg.
(Will open in a separate window)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Henry's Got Flat Feet" - The Midnighters - Federal 12224 - 1955.

The Billboard, This Week's Best Buys (6-11-55):

THE MIDNIGHTERS — FEDERAL 12224 Henry's Got Flat Feet
This spoof of a big hit record is now beginning to click in a number of widely scattered territories. Listed this week on the Atlanta, Detroit, and Cincinnati territorial charts. It also is selling well in Baltimore, St. Louis, Durham, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo.
Above: CASH BOX AWARD OF THE WEEK, May 21, 1955.
Above: CASH BOX, April 2, 1955: BEST R&B VOCAL GROUP OF 1954
NEW YORK—The Midnighters, Federal Records' big recording stars, receive their trophy from Bob Austin (center) for copping first place in the race for best rhythm and blues vocal group of '54.

The boys had a number of big hits in '54 including the #1 record "Work With Me Annie".

One of the boys holds a gold record from Federal for the same song.

NOTE: The group personnel in the picture are (L-R) Henry Booth (tenor), Lawson Smith, Sonny Woods, Cal Green (guitar), and Hank Ballard.


JESSE BELVIN:

Jesse Belvin was a singer, pianist, and songwriter. His first records were for Imperial Records in 1951 as a solo artist and also backed by The Three Dots And A Dash. Next was Specialty Records in 1952 as a blues singer. Jesse joined Modern Records in 1956 resulting in six records for them through 1957. His first record on Modern was the hit "Goodnight My Love".

Many of Jesse's sides were with uncredited vocal groups. These include an unknown vocal group on the Recorded In Hollywood label in 1953, The Laurels on Specialty in 1955, The Feathers on Hollywood in 1956, and unknown groups on Modern.

CALIFORNIA EAGLE, May 12, 1955:
....Marvin & Johnny, the sensational singing duo that helped start the swing to rhythm & blues.

Marvin originally started out with a fellow named Jesse Belvin. They called themselves Jesse & Marvin. They were immediately successful with a recording called "Dream Girl" [on Specialty SP-447]. When this one died down a little, the flip side, "Daddy Loves Baby", became a smash hit.

About this time Jesse and Marvin split up and Jesse recut "Dream Girl" [on Recorded In Hollywood 120] by himself. It sold almost as fast as the one he had cut with Marvin. Marvin soon got himself another partner and everybody was happy....

FROM MARV GOLDBERG: Other than the underlined parts, the above is pretty true. (Although both had been with the Three Dots And A Dash prior to Jesse & Marvin and Marvin was with the Men From Mars on Swing Time.) Jesse & Marvin seem to have actually broken up because Jesse was drafted, but I'm not sure why he recorded "Dream Girl" as a soloist (it didn't become a hit). "Daddy Loves Baby" was probably big in LA, but it was never a national hit.

Above: Photos of Jesse Belvin. On the right is a 1959 American Bandstand appearance.











Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 1013, released in 1957.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "I Need You So" - Jesse Belvin (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1013 - 1957.
2. "Senorita" - Jesse Belvin - Modern 1013 - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

CASH BOX, January 22, 1955:
....Jesse Belvin has returned to civilian life after two years in the service. He takes the place of Johnny on the new Modern release "Ko Ko Mo" by Marvin and Johnny....

CASH BOX, December 22, 1956:
....Saul Bihari to New York for the BMI dinner, and will visit distributors and disk-jockeys in the major markets on his way back to the coast. Modern's big hits of "Goodnight My Love" by Jesse Belvin and "My Happiness" by Jimmy Beasley are keeping both of their pressing plants working twenty-four hours a day....

CASH BOX, February 16, 1957:
....Jesse Belvin has taken time off from his nationwide tour to promote his new Modern Record, "I Need You So" and "Senorita". Belvin is scheduled to return to the coast next month for a top role in the film depicting the life story of singer, Billie Holiday....
(NOTE: No such Jesse Belvin film could be found at IMDB.com.)

CASH BOX, April 6, 1957:
....Modern Records artist, Jessie Belvin broke it up at the Palladium in San Diego this past weekend. While in the area, Belvin recorded some new sides at Modern's Culver City studios....

At Left: HERALD AND NEWS (Klamath Falls, Oregon), March 24, 1957.
(NOTE: Ivory Joe Hunter had a hit with his composition, "I Need You So", in 1950.)

At Right: HERALD AND NEWS (Klamath Falls, Oregon), April 2, 1957.



Above: Photos of Jesse Belvin and Eugene Church, who were The Cliques on Modern Records.
Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 987, released in 1956. There was one more record on Modern to come for The Cliques, that one also in 1956.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "The Girl In My Dreams" - The Cliques - Modern 987 - 1956.
2. "I Wanna Know Why" - The Cliques - Modern 987 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

CASH BOX, April 7, 1956:
....A new R&B group, The Cliques, will have their first release of "The Girl In My Dreams" out on Modern this week....

At Right: THE BILLBOARD, April 21, 1956.

THE BILLBOARD, April 1956:
....Looks like Modern Records has another big act in a new group recently signed, the Cliques. First wax effort by the lads, "The Girl in My Dreams", is getting great jockey reaction and is taking off nationally. Modern also has another new group, the Phantoms, who cut their first wax last week....

(NOTE: Could not verify that The Phantoms ever had a release on Modern Records. A group named "Vernon Green And The Phantoms" did have one record on the Specialty label in 1956.)

The Billboard Review (4-7-56):

THE CLIQUES — MODERN 987
The Girl In My Dreams (74)
Thru use of odd rhythmic twists, the group has converted an ordinary blues ballad into most intriguing waxing. The Cliques show real class here.
I Wanna Know Why (73) The group sells the rhythmic blues powerfully. Beat is solid and material good. Side should prove a good coin catcher in the jukes.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

Cash Box Review (4-7-56):

THE CLIQUES — MODERN 987
The Girl In My Dreams (B)
The Cliques work with an easy going delivery as they etch a slow, restrained ballad jump. Easy to take melody and reading.
I Wanna Know Why (B) The lads blend well on a middle beat rocker in which they ask "why you do me like you do". Good beat for the dance crowd, tho the deck doesn't have the real excitement the kids go for.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

EXTRA RECORD — JESSE BELVIN:
Above Left: Photo of Jesse Belvin.

Above Right: Label image for Specialty SP 435, released in 1952. Jesse Belvin composed both sides of this record.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Confusin' Blues" - Jesse Belvin - Specialty SP 435 - 1952.
2. "Baby, Don't Go" - Jesse Belvin - Specialty X-SP 435 - 1952.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

CASH BOX, July 19, 1952:
....A new artist on Specialty is Jesse Belvin, whose first release is "Confusin' Blues" and "Baby, Don't Go"....

Cash Box Review (8-23-52):

JESSE BELVIN AND ORCHESTRA — SPECIALTY 435
Baby, Don't Go (B)
Jesse Belvin sings a big beat blues expressively. The vocalist is given some solid musical support.
Confusin' Blues (B) The artist gives another fine performance as he waxes a slow beat blues with feeling.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

JIMMY BEASLEY:

Jimmy Beasley, who grew up in Kansas City, was a singer, piano player, composer, and orchestra leader. In 1954, he moved to Los Angeles, and joined King Perry's band, with whom he recorded for Hollywood Records. He also recorded under his own name for the Peacock and Modern labels, in a style similar to Fats Domino. From 1956 to 1957, he had seven records released on the Modern label.

Above: Photo of Jimmy Beasley.
Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 1009, released in 1956.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "My Happiness" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1009 - 1956.
2. "Jambalaya" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1009 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above: CASH BOX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK, December 15, 1956.

CASH BOX, December 29, 1956:
....Modern Records have two big ones going for them in the pop field with Jimmy Beasley's "My Happiness" and "Goodnight My Love" by Jessie Belvin getting top play from the pop jockeys....

At Right: THE BILLBOARD, December 29, 1956.

LOUISIANA WEEKLY(New Orleans), April 27, 1957:
BEASLEY DENIES COPYING FATS DOMINO'S STYLE

HOLLYWOOD—A name blazing across the musical horizon that is destined to equal, if not surpass, the popularity of Fats Domino is that of Jimmy Beasley.

Many critics who have heard Beasley's piano and vocal offerings have stated that he is a carbon copy of the here-to-fore acknowledged rock n' roll King, Fats Domino.

However, Jimmy emphatically denies these accusations and stated in an interview last week: "Anyone choosing a career has been inspired by the success of a certain person or persons who have succeeded in that same career. My idols and the personalities that I have attempted to emulate are Nat "King" Cole and Charles Brown. If my style and that of Domino are similar, it is a mere coincident".

In 1956, Jimmy recorded his first sides, which were his original tunes, for Modern. They were "Don't Feel Sorry For Me" and "Jambalaya". Later followed other successes including "My Happiness"....

(NOTE: "Don't Feel Sorry For Me" is Beasley's second record for Modern. "Jambalaya", of course, was composed by Hank Williams. "My Happiness" was not a later success, it was the flip-side of "Jambalaya", Beasley's third record for Modern. If any doubt about the "Fats Domino" sound, give "My Happiness" a listen.)






Above Left: DAILY COURIER (Connellsville, PA), September 29, 1956.

Above Middle: ARIZONA REPUBLIC (Phoenix AZ), December 30, 1956.

Above Right: SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, July 30, 1957.

Above: Label images for both sides of Modern Records 1014, released in 1957. In keeping with the old standards, Jimmy Beasley's next release in August 1957 was the Ink Spots' song, "We Three". He had released a version of their "Little Coquette" about a year earlier. There was another famous artist doing the same "old standards" thing about that time. Hint: First name is "Antoine".

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Near You" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1014 - 1957.
2. "I'm So Blue" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1014 - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

CASH BOX, February 16, 1957:
....Modern Records had such good success with Jimmie Beasley's new version of the old tune, "My Happiness", that they have recorded another oldie, "Near You", for his next release and initial reaction indicates that it will be the biggest thing yet for Beasley....


OTHER VERSIONS OF THE SONG "NEAR YOU":

THE BILLBOARD, April 1, 1967: 20TH ANNIVERSAY OF BULLET "B" SIDE SLEEPER
(NOTE: "Near You" by Francis Craig And His Orchestra on Bullet Records was the nation's best selling record in 1947.)
NASHVILLE—The original "Near You" was recorded in WSM's Studio C March 29, 1947, and piped by telephone line across the street to the Castle Recording Studio in the old Tulane Hotel. Craig, who co-authored the song, used Bob Lamb as vocalist on the tune, and played the piano himself. The other co-author was Kermit Goell.

It was one of four tunes cut in the three-hour session, and was not intended to be the hit side of the single. The "A" side was to be "Red Rose", which long had been Craig's theme song.

"Near You" sold more than 2,500,000 records on the Bullet label alone, and was No. 1 on the pop charts longer than any record in history, from July to January.

Decca Records promptly covered with an Andrews Sisters recording, but it got only as high as No. 3.

In June, the Bullet company pressed 180,000 records. In July, another 185,000 were produced and in August the number leaped to 425,000.

At one time the record was realizing $25,000 a day on the wholesale market. At its height, more than 40 different record pressing companies were producing "Near You", and distributing them. Some of the records were pressed on the West Coast and flown to New York for distribution.

Above: CASH BOX, October 13, 1947.
Above Left: SAN JOSE NEWS, August 16, 1940. (Picture of Dolores Brown.)

Above Middle: Label image for Sterling 3001 A, released in October 1947. "Bill Doggert" is actually Bill Doggett, a pianist and arranger who played the organ on his 1956 hit "Honky Tonk Part 1 & 2".

Dolores Brown And The Auditones had one other release on Sterling (No. 3002), also in October 1947.

Above Right: Label image for Rainbow 10025A, released in September 1947. The Auditones had one other release on Rainbow (No. 10026) in October 1947.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Near You" - Dolores Brown And The Auditones - Sterling 3001 A - 1947.
2. "Near You" - The Auditones - Rainbow 10025A - 1947.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, September 13, 1947. Dolores Brown also sang with the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra.

Above Right: NEW YORK AGE, January 2, 1943.

Cash Box Review (10-6-47):

DOLORES BROWN — STERLING 3001 Near 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.

THE COBRAS...

Above: Label images for both sides of Modern 964 by The Cobras, released in 1955. This "Cindy" cover of The Squires' Mambo label record didn't get much publicity by Modern Records. What went even more unnoticed at the time is the excellent flip-side, "I Will Return". This record, per Disco-File, was also pressed with the title "Sindy". (Thank you to Joe Marchesani for providing this record.)

"Cindy", as "Sindy", was also covered by The Tenderfoots on Federal Records.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): "Sindy" - The Tenderfoots - Federal 12228 - 1955.

Above: Both are from CASH BOX, July 23, 1955.
Above Left: Label image for Mambo 105, released in April 1955. It was also released on Mambo 105 as "Sindy." Lee Goudeau sings lead. No composer credits are shown on the label. BMI gives The Squires (misspelled as "The Squiees") as composers. Labels for The Cobras and Tenderfoots' versions show "Squires" as composers.

This is the only release on Mambo by The Squires, but they followed with several on Mambo's parent label, Vita (1955-56). They also had one release on Kicks (1954).

Above Right: Photo of The Squires from 1955. (L-R) Dewey Terry (falsetto), Bobby Armstrong (baritone), Chester Pipkin (tenor and guitar), Lee Goudeau (lead tenor), Don Bowman (second tenor and piano), and Leon Washington (bass). Terry and Bowman later became a duet, Don And Dewey, recording for the Specialty label.

Click HERE for an article about THE SQUIRES by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Cindy" - The Cobras - Modern 964 - 1955.
2. "I Will Return" - The Cobras - Modern 964 - 1955.
3. "Cindy" - The Squires - Mambo 105 - 1955.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review (7-9-55/55):

THE SQUIRES – Mambo 105....
Sindy
(77) This materiel has a marked resemblance to "Earth Angel", but since it gets the beautifully harmonized styling it does here, its commercial potential is probably all the greater.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good".)

(NOTE: What "Earth Angel" was this reviewer thinking about?)

Cash Box Review (7-23-55):

THE SQUIRES – Mambo 105....
Sindy (B+)
Here's one that is already making quite a fuss on the Coast. The Squires chant a slow rhythmic blues ballad with a romantic lyric. A melodic item with a flavor that has captured the imagination and attention of the West Coast buyer. Watch it carefully.
(NOTE: A rating of B+ was considered as "excellent".)
Above Left: CASH BOX, August 20, 1955: "SINDY"
HOLLYWOOD—The Squires, who are currently riding high with their Mambo record of "Sindy", are shown as they guested recently on the A1 Jarvis and Joe Yocum TV Show in Hollywood. Jarvis and Yocum were largely responsible for breaking the record in the pop field locally on their daily KFWB Radio Show.

(NOTE: In picture, The Squires are (Middle Front) Lee Goudeau, (Back L-R) Don Bowman, Bobby Armstrong, Dewey Terry, Chester Pipkin, and Leon Washington.)

Above Right: CASH BOX, July 30, 1955.

THE BILLBOARD, February 5, 1955: GRADNEY, MEAD BOW MAMBO R.&B. DISKERY...
Mambo Records, new independent rhythm and blues label, has been formed in Hollywood by Mike Gradney and Larry Mead. Gradney has been active as a free-lance producer of a number of the major recording firms, while Mead heads Perfection Plastics, Hollywood pressing plant. Plans also include the reactivation of Mead's label, Vita Records.

(NOTE: Mike Gradney had owned Queen Records in Los Angeles a few years earlier. Vocal groups, other than The Squires, to have releases [1955-59] on Vita are The Colts, Chavelles, Cheerlettes, Titans, Aristocrats, Tri-Tones, Garnets, Harmonaires, Candletts, Galleons, and Med-Tones.)


DOLLY COOPER:

Dolly Cooper, from Philadelphia, joined Modern Records in 1955. She had three records released on that label (1955-1956).
(More complete information about Dolly can be found at "Savoy Records - Part Four".)

Above: Photo of Dolly Cooper.
Above: Label images for both sides of Modern 965, released in August 1955. On "Ay La Bah", Dolly is backed vocally by The Flairs.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Ay La Bah" - Dolly Cooper (And The Flairs) - Modern 965 - 1955.
2. "My Man" - Dolly Cooper - Modern 965 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review (8/27/55):

DOLLY COOPER – Modern 965....
Ay La Bah
(70) This isn't the old Creole chant, but a blues rocker from fairly conventional cloth, chanted appealingly, however, by this r.&b. Teresa Brewer.
My Man (70) This one borrows liberally from several old blues rockers, not to mention the title. The thrush deserves better material.

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

CASH BOX, February 4, 1956:
....Modern Records Dolly Cooper, whose "Teenage Prayer" is way up there on the charts has been set for a tour which includes Seattle, Portland, and Denver....

At Right: Picture of Dolly Cooper that goes with above CASH BOX blurb.

CASH BOX, March 3, 1956:
....Dolly Cooper, The Teen Queens, and George Smith all recording for Maxwell Davis at Modern Records Culver City studios this week....









THE CADETS/JACKS:

The Cadets, recording for Modern Records, and The Jacks, recording for Modern's subsidiary label, RPM, were actually the same group. While both The Cadets and Jacks were involved in "cover" records, The Cadets did far more of them.

CASH BOX, May 21, 1955:
....The Biharis excited by the new West Coast group, The Cadets. Modern Records quickly snatched them up and hustled the group into the recording studios to cover "Don't Be Angry".

Now their second release (out this week) "Fine Lookin' Baby" b/w "Rollin' Stone" has stirred up so much enthusiasm around the Modern diskery that Saul Bihari predicts that both sides will be a natural double headed hit. He says that it's the best platter that they have produced in a long time.

Ben Waller Enterprises has signed the group and is lining up a series of club dates....

Above: Photo of The Cadets/Jacks, (Top L-R) Willie Davis, Dub Jones, Aaron Collins; (Center) Ted Taylor; and (Bottom) Lloyd McCraw.

Click HERE for an article about THE JACKS/CADETS by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

Above Left: Label image for Modern 960, released in May 1955.

Above Right: Label image for Excello 2057 A, released in April 1955. The flip-side is "Why Don't You". The Marigolds had four releases on Excello (1955-56) plus another as by The Solotones (1955).

Robert Riley, composer of both sides of this Excello record, was an inmate who also wrote several songs for The Prisonaires, including "Baby Please," "Don't Say Tomorrow," "Two Strangers", and shared credit with Johnny Bragg on "Just Walkin' In The Rain". The Marigolds redid "Two Strangers" for their second record on Excello.

CASH BOX, May 7, 1955: ROLLIN' STONE ROLLING
NASHVILLE, TENN. — Ernie Young, head of Excello and Nashboro Records, this city, reports that his recently signed Excello R&B group, The Marigolds, fast approaching peak sales with their current recording of "Rollin' Stone" and "Why Don't You".

The record is receiving widespread action and sales reports from Charlotte, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland indicate the disk is well on its way.

Eddie Fontaine on label X has covered "Rollin' Stone" as did the Fontaine Sisters on Dot. There are reports that other labels are also ready to 'cover' the tune.

Above: Photo of The Marigolds. Disco-File has the members as Johnny Bragg, Al Brooks, Hal Hebb, Henry Jones, and Willie Wilson for all three of the Excello records. The above picture is from the Cash Box magazine dated 7/30/55, an advertisement for "Two Strangers" on Excello 2061. The same picture is used in the Cash Box review for "Rollin' Stone" just below. I can't place Johnny Bragg in this picture. If anyone can identify the personnel in the picture by name, please contact me.


At Left: CASH BOX REVIEW, April 23, 1955.

Above: CASH BOX, July 23, 1955.



LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Rollin' Stone" - The Cadets - Modern 960 - 1955.
2. "Rollin' Stone" - The Marigolds - Excello 2057 A - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Cash Box Review (6-4-55):

THE CADETS — MODERN 960
Rollin' Stone (C+)
Cadets give a strong reading of the current pop and r&b hit. Deck is pleasing and could grab off some sales if it covers unexposed areas. For national action the release is rather late.
(NOTE: A rating of C+ was considered as "good".)

Above Left: Label image for Modern 994, released in June 1956. The Cadets' "Stranded In The Jungle" is a cover of The Jayhawks' record.

Above Right: CASH BOX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK, June 30, 1956.

Above: Photo of The Jayhawks, (Top) Carver Bunkum (bass); (Bottom L-R) Carl Fisher (2nd tenor), Dave Govan (baritone), and James Johnson (1st tenor). The members for their first two records (Flash 105 & 109) had René Beard (baritone) and Cleo White (tenor). Govan came in afterward.

Click HERE for an article about THE JAYHAWKS by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

Above Left: Label image for Flash FL-109-B, released in May 1956. Composers are James Johnson and Ernestine Smith. Ernestine was a sales clerk at Flash Records owner Charlie Reynolds' record store.

This is the second of three releases by The Jayhawks on Flash (1955-56). They followed with two records (one backing Earl Palmer) on Aladdin (1957). Later releases (1958-63) were as The Vibes, The Vibrations, and The Marathons (as well as one more record as The Jayhawks).

Above Right: TRADE MAGAZINE, September 1956.

The Billboard Review (5-19-56):

THE JAYHAWKS — FLASH 109
Stranded In The Jungle (77)
Here's a funny waxing with a clever scene-switching gimmick, in which a guy in the jungle wonders about his sweetie at home (e.g. "meanwhile back in the States..."). This one should get spins and could be a sleeper.
My Only Darling (75) The boys warble a mournful little love song at a relaxed tempo. A moving performance by the lead singer.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)
Above: TRADE MAGAZINE, June 1956.

THE BILLBOARD, April 28, 1956: CURRY, REYNOLDS BOW NEW INDIE LABEL
LOS ANGELES—Flash Records, new independent rhythm and blues label, has been formed here by Al Curry and Charlie Reynolds, both veteran disk dealers in this area. Firm is currently setting national distribution, with Curry planning a cross-country trek to distributors and disk jockeys.

Talent signed thus far includes James Curry, Lorenzo Holden, Cheryl Crowley, and The Jayhawks.

CASH BOX, June 23, 1956:
...."Stranded In The Jungle" by the Jayhawks on Flash has been stirring up sales all over the country. Already covers have been issued by the Cadets on Modern Records and The Gadabouts on Mercury....

CASH BOX, June 30, 1956: "STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE" CAUSES MUSIC BIZZ FLURRY
NEW YORK—A new novelty out of the rock and roll field seems to have become the most talked about item in the record business this week. The song is a humorous jump ditty called "Stranded In The Jungle" which tells the story of fellow downed deep in the heart of Africa while his girl friend back in the states is being romanced by another gent.

The story line of the song switches from the jungle to the U.S. and follows the events of the leading characters in each location. Published by Flash Music of Los Angeles, the song was introduced by a group called the Jayhawks on the newly organized Flash label.

The disk was an immediate success in many of the leading record towns in the country and was covered by the Cadets on Modern Records. Saul Bihari reported that as of June 21, he had already shipped more than 200,000 of the Cadets' record and had a backorder of another 60,000.

Last week, Mercury Records hopped on the bandwagon and rushed out a big rendition by the Gadabouts featuring "Wild Bill" Putnam.

In the meantime, excitement is high for the publishing rights. Many pubs have already bid for the tune, but at press time it looked as though Murray Deutsch, general professional manager of Peer International, who flew out to the Coast, had the inside track on the number for a reported $5,000 which includes world rights.

(Some trivia: Murray Deutsch and his twin brother, Irving, were members of The Quintones on the Vocalion label in the late 1930s/early 1940s.)

Above: Flash Records owner, Charlie Reynolds, in his record store.
(Photo is courtesy of Donn Fileti of Relic Records in New Jersey.)

TRADE MAGAZINE, June 1956:
....The Jayhawks, via their recording of "Stranded in the Jungle," go into the Apollo Theater, New York, June 29 for one week....

TRADE MAGAZINE, July 1956:
Al Curry and Charlie Reynolds, Flash Records, accepted a check from Murray Deutsch of Southern Music for their hit song "Stranded In The Jungle." Tune started out via the Flash recording by the Jayhawks, and has since broken wide open with versions by the Cadets on Modern and the Gadabouts on Mercury. Deutsch made a special one-day trip to the Coast to snag the rights to the song....

CASH BOX, July 14, 1956:
....One of the biggest R&B tunes to hit in a long time is the novelty "Stranded In The Jungle". The original version by The Jayhawks on Flash continues to get a big play locally, and the Modern record by The Cadets has broken wide open nationally. Tune has also been covered by Mercury and Coral....

CASH BOX, August 11, 1956:
....The Cadets' "Stranded in the Jungle", which was a cover of the Jayhawks original, now has taken over the bulk of the play. It maintains its hold on the No. 4 spot, while the original has dropped completely out of sight....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Stranded In The Jungle" - The Cadets - Modern 994 - 1956.
2. "Stranded In The Jungle" - The Jayhawks - Flash FL-109-B - 1956.
3. "My Only Darling" - The Jayhawks - Flash FL-109-A - 1956.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.


Above Left: CASH BOX, September 15, 1956.
(NOTE: Very high praise! "....one of the most powerful pieces of r & b material ever....")

Above Middle And Right: Label images for both sides of Modern 1000, released in September 1956. Dub Jones is lead on both sides. "Dancin' Dan" is actually The Dominoes' song "Sixty Minute Man". To Modern's credit, correct composers were shown on the label (except for the misspelling of "Marks"), even with the song title change.

The Cadets had fifteen records, including one backing Young Jessie, on the Modern label (1955-57). They also backed up Richard Berry on one and a half sides on Modern's subsidiary label, Flair Records, in 1955.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Dancin' Dan" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
2. "I Got Loaded" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above: Photo of The Cadets, (L-R) Dub Jones, Willie Davis, Pete Fox, and Aaron Collins.




At Left: CASH BOX, December 29, 1951. ("America's Newest Songwriting Sensation....")
NOTE: The person not getting her due credit on this clipping is Rose Marks, manager of the group. She was also their co-owner with Billy Ward. Marks was credited as composer, along with Ward, on most of The Dominoes' records at the time. This includes both sides of "Sixty Minute Man" and their first two records prior to "Sixty Minute Man".

Above Left: Label image for Federal Records 12022-AA, recorded on December 30, 1950 and released in March 1951. It was The Dominoes' third record.

"Sixty-Minute Man" was a huge hit, staying on the RnB charts for 30 weeks, 14 of those at #1! Even though it was extremely sexually oriented for the time, it crossed over to the pop charts peaking at #17.

The Dominoes at the time of this record were Billy Ward, Bill Brown, Joe Lamont, Clyde McPhatter and Charlie White.

Above Right: Label image for Federal Records 12022, released in the late 1950's. This is an alternate take (F108-X1) from the original session with Clyde humming the intro!

Click HERE for an article about THE DOMINOES by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

Above: TRADE MAGAZINE, December 1951.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Dancin' Dan" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
2. "Sixty Minute Man" - The Dominoes - Federal 12022-AA - 1951.
3. "Sixty Minute Man (Alternate Take)" - The Dominoes - Federal 12022 - Late 1950s.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: Photo of Peppermint Harris, originally from Texas, who was a blues singer, guitarist, and composer. His main label was Aladdin, but he did have one record on the Modern label, released in 1954.

Above Right: Label image for Aladdin 3097, released in 1951.

Above: Another photo of Peppermint Harris.
Above Left: CASH BOX, September 22, 1951.

Above Right: CASH BOX, October 27, 1951.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "I Got Loaded" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
2. "I Got Loaded" - "Peppermint" Harris - Aladdin 3097 - 1951.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


Above: Label images for both sides of RPM 428, released in 1955. Willie Davis sings lead on "Why Don't You Write Me?" and Ted Taylor does the honor on "My Darling". "Why Don't You Write Me?" is a cover of The Feathers' song on Show Time earlier in 1955.

The original flip-side of this record is "Smack Dab In The Middle", that released in April 1955. It was switched to "My Darling" in August 1955.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Why Don't You Write Me?" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.
2. "My Darling" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

At Right: CASH BOX, June 25, 1955:

The Billboard Review (5-7-55):

THE JACKS — RPM 428 Why Don't You Write Me
Here's a new vocal group on the RPM label with an unusually polished style and a standout bass-baritone. They contribute a warm, sincere warbling job on the ballad "Why Don't You Write Me".

Cash Box Review (6-18-55):

THE JACKS — RPM 428
Why Don't You Write Me? (B)
The Jacks come up with a good job of a pretty tune, though the material has by this time become fairly routine. Pleasing wax.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

CASH BOX, August 6, 1955:
....Ernie Leaner of United Record Distribs reports two fast moving, up and coming disks. "Why Don't You Write" by The Jacks. And, "Dog Gone It" by Donna Hightower. According to Ernie, these two look like they're really going places....
(NOTE: Donna Hightower is backed by The Jacks on "Dog Gone It". That record and Donna will be included in Part Six of this article, which will feature RPM Records, Modern's subsidiary label.)



Above Left: Label image for RPM 433, released in June 1955. Willie Davis is the lead singer.

Above Right: Photo of The Jacks (Top L-R) Willie Davis, Dub Jones; (Bottom L-R) Lloyd McCraw, Ted Taylor, and Aaron Collins.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"I'm Confessin'" - The Jacks - RPM 433 - 1955.

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, October 1, 1955.

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, January 14, 1956.


Above: Label images for both sides of RPM 454, released in January 1956. Willie Davis sings lead on both sides.

This is the seventh record by The Jacks of nine on RPM (1955-56), which includes two backing Donna Hightower (without label credit).

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "So Wrong" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.
2. "How Soon" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review (2/4/56):

So Wrong (80) First-class job by the lead singer here on a ballad that could easily go pop, in this version, too.
How Soon? (80) Brighter tempo here, and another poppish side. Infectious stuff for a wide market.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 80-89 as "excellent.")

Above: THE BILLBOARD, February 4, 1956.

The Cadets/Jacks were a top quality singing group. They consistently received highly rated reviews from both The Billboard and Cash Box.

LISTEN TO ALL THE CADETS/JACKS FEATURED SIDES (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Rollin' Stone" - The Cadets - Modern 960 - 1955.
2. "Stranded In The Jungle" - The Cadets - Modern 994 - 1956.
3. "Dancin' Dan" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
4. "I Got Loaded" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
5. "Why Don't You Write Me?" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.
6. "My Darling" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.
7. "I'm Confessin'" - The Jacks - RPM 433 - 1955.
8. "So Wrong" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.
9. "How Soon" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.

ALL NINE SONGS played in sequence.


MISCELLANEOUS MODERN RECORDS ARTISTS (1952 - 1956):

****************************

FRED DARIAN AND THE DREAMERS...

Above Left: Photo of Fred Darian, who was a singer, actor, and composer. He had just this one record for Modern. He recorded for Vita and Lariat in 1951, Decca in 1951/1952, Vogue in 1953, and Allied in 1954.

Fred's biggest movie role was in the 1956 film noir, "Walk The Dark Street". He played a night club singer, which he had been in real life.

Above Right: Label image for Modern 866, released in 1952.

At Right: Photo of Fred Darian.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Please Say You Love Me" - Fred Darian And The Dreamers - Modern 866 - 1952.

CASH BOX, May 3, 1952:
....Fred Darian comes up with lots of hot wax (a cross between Ray and Laine) in "Please Say You Love Me." He's traveling the country to get top promotion for this Modern disk....
(NOTE: That's probably "Johnnie Ray" and "Frankie Laine", both of their singing known to be rhythm and blues influenced.)


Above: CASH BOX, May 9, 1953: COOKING SOMETHING UP
HOLLYWOOD—Vogue's new artist, Fred Darian, is cooking up for the Peter Potter Juke Box Jury what he hopes will be a smash hit for the juke box jury and the buying public.

The jury here consists of, L to R: Alan Dale, Geordie Hormel, Virginia Grey, Don Wilson, Fred Darian, Jose Granson, Manager, Peter Potter, Ann Robinson, Amanda Randolph, and Johnny Johnson.

Darian's two new tunes are "Strange Bells" and "I Can't Forget You".

****************************

JIMMIE LEE AND ARTIS...

Above Left: Label image for Modern 870, released in 1952. Jimmie Lee And Artis had three records released on the Modern label in 1952/1953. Lee, without Artis, also had one other record issued on Modern, that in 1952. Their full names are Jimmie Lee Cheatum and Artis Brewster.

The BMI website gives Artis Webster and Joe Josea (Joe Bihari) as the two composers of this song. BMI lists a total of sixty-four different "My Heart's Desire" songs.

Above Right: CASH BOX, June 28, 1952.

Above Left: Label image for Modern 885, released in 1952. Seems that they misspelled Jimmie's name on the label for this one.

Above Right: Label image for Modern 899, released in 1953.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "My Heart's Desire" - Jimmie Lee And Artis - Modern 870 - 1952.
2. "Let's Talk It Over Baby" - Jimmy Lee And Artis - Modern 885 - 1952.
3. "All Right Baby" - Jimmie Lee And Artis - Modern 899 - 1953.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

Above: CASH BOX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK, November 1, 1955.

Cash Box reviewed this same record again in December. Here it is....

Cash Box Review (12-20-52):

JIMMY LEE AND ARTIS — MODERN 885
Let's Talk It Over Baby (B)
Jimmy Lee and Artis sing a rhythmic bounce with great appeal. Backing the cute duo is the Jay Franks ork.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)
****************************

THE SOUNDS...

Above: Label images for both sides of Modern 975, released in November 1955. This is the first of two records by The Sounds on Modern, both from early 1956. Per Disco-File, The Sounds' members were Bobby Byrd, David Ford, Earl Nelson, and Clyde Tillis.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "So Unnecessary" - The Sounds - Modern 975 - 1955.
2. "Cold Chills" - The Sounds - Modern 975 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

At Right: CASH BOX, January 14, 1956.

The Billboard Review (12-3-55):

THE SOUNDS — MODERN 975
So Unnecessary (73)
The lead singer projects a lot of emotion in this ballad and gets fine harmonic support from the rest of the group. Slow but solid.
Cold Chills (72) A cute idea put over with style and humor. The lead works with little more than rhythm accompaniment, but swings all the way.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

Cash Box Review (12-10-55):

THE SOUNDS — MODERN 975
So Unnecessary (B)
The Sounds stir things up with a wailing, rocking treatment of a swaying blues. Lead really gives out with a feeling filled vocal.
Cold Chills (B) Quickbeat jump that rocks with enthusiasm from the first note. Lead is good and he belts the item with a joyous reading.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)



****************************

THE ROCKETS...


Above: Photo of The Rockets in 1957, (L-R) Billy Steward (lead tenor), Jimmy Brunsen, Vince House, and Woody Johnson. On the following Modern record, it's Chuck Rowan in place of Johnson.

The group members shown in the photo had one record on Modern in 1956 as "The Rocketeers". This line-up was also with Jimmy Beasley on the 1957 Modern Records' two-part instrumental, "Johnny's House Party". That record is very similar to Bill Doggett's big 1956 hit "Honk Tonk" and can be heard further down on this page.

Above: Label image for both sides of Modern 992, released in June 1956. Billy Steward sings lead on both sides.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "You Are The First One" - The Rockets - Modern 992 - 1956.
2. "Be Lovey Dovey" - The Rockets - Modern 992 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

The Billboard Review (6-16-56):

THE ROCKETS — MODERN 992
Be Lovey Dovey (76)
Personable group blend job on an attractive rhythm tune with a contagious beat.
You Are The First One (73) The boys warble persuasively on an appealing pop-ish ballad. Lead singer registers strongly.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

Cash Box Review (6-23-56):

THE ROCKETS — MODERN 992
Be Lovey Dovey (B)
The Rockets blend happily through a light hearted bouncer. It is a joyous waxing of medium beat that is most appealing to the dance set.
You Are The First One (B) Good strong lead offers a slow bouncer, tuneful but too reminiscent of the recent Sid Caesar burlesque of rock and roll. It is a reverse twist of his take-off on the current singing fad. He kidded it and this tune attempts to twist it back into shape.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

(NOTE: Sid Caesar's "The Haircuts" vocal group had parodied rock and roll on his TV show shortly before the above review.)

Above Left: Label image for Modern 1021, released in 1957.

Above Right: CASH BOX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK, May 18, 1957.
NOTE: The Rockets provide the party sounds on the Jimmy Beasley record, while The Gaylarks do the same on John Heartsman's record. This song was also released on Aladdin in 1957 by Earl Palmer And The Jayhawks. Yes, the same "Jayhawks" group that did "Stranded In The Jungle", but with some personnel changes.

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, May 27, 1957.

Above Middle: THE BILLBOARD, May 20, 1957.

Above Right: Photo of The Gaylarks.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Johnny's House Party-(Pt. I And II)" - Jimmy Beasley And The Rockers - Modern 1021 - 1957.
2. "Johnny's House Party (Part 1 And 2)" - John Heartsman, The Rhythm Rocker And The Gaylarks - Music City 807-A/B - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


"MODERN RECORDS - PART SIX" WILL FEATURE THEIR SUBSIDIARY LABEL, RPM RECORDS.

MODERN RECORDS - PART ONE FEATURES HADDA BROOKS, PEARL TRAYLER, THE THREE BITS OF RHYTHM, GENE PHILLIPS, LITTLE WILLIE JACKSON, THE COMMANDERS, THE SCAMPS, AND THE SONGS "ROMANCE IN THE DARK", "I'LL BE TRUE", "LONESOME ROAD", AND "I'M FALLING FOR YOU".

MODERN RECORDS - PART TWO FEATURES LILLIE GREENWOOD, LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD, PEE WEE CRAYTON, LITTLE ESTHER, SMOKEY HOG, GEORGE BLEDSOE AND THE MOON MISTS, THE SMITH JUBILEE SINGERS, AND MODERN RECORDS' COLONIAL LABEL.

MODERN RECORDS - PART THREE FEATURES HADDA BROOKS, THE EBONAIRES, JIMMY WITHERSPOON, HELEN HUMES, THE SONGS "BEWILDERED", "BE-BABA-LEBA", AND "THEY RAIDED THE JOINT", PLUS MISCELLANEOUS MODERN RECORDS' BLUES ARTISTS (ROY HAWKINS, CHARLEY BOOKER, ROBERT BLAND, MARY SUE).

MODERN RECORDS - PART FOUR FEATURES JOHNNY MOORE'S THREE BLAZERS, MARI JONES, FRANKIE ERVIN, OSCAR McLOLLIE, YOUNG JESSIE, JIMMY McCRACKLIN, JOHN LEE HOOKER, AND THE FOUR OF US. ALSO, THE SONGS "DRIFTING BLUES", "MY SONG", "C.O.D.", AND "I SMELL A RAT".

MODERN RECORDS - PART SIX FEATURES B.B. KING, THE NIC NACS, THE ROBINS, ARTHUR LEE MAYE AND THE CROWNS, DONNA HIGHTOWER (WITH VOCAL GROUP), JOE HOUSTON, ROSCOE GORDON, LIGHTNING HOPKINS, AND LUKE JONES. ALSO, THE SONGS "DON'T YOU THINK I OUGHTA KNOW" AND "SHTIGGY BOOM".


Listen to all of this article's audio selections using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. "The Wallflower" - Etta James And The Peaches - Modern 947 - 1954.
          2. "Hold Me Squeeze Me" - Etta James And The Peaches - Modern 947 - 1954.
          3. "Hey Henry" - Etta James (With Richard Berry) - Modern 957 - 1955.
          4. "W-O-M-A-N" - Etta James - Modern 972 - 1955.
          5. "That's All" - Etta James - Modern 972 - 1955.
          6. "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon" - Etta James (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1022 - 1957.
          7. "Come What May" - Etta James (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1022 - 1957.
          8. "Henry's Got Flat Feet" - The Midnighters - Federal 12224 - 1955.
          9. "I Need You So" - Jesse Belvin (With Vocal Group) - Modern 1013 - 1957.
        10. "Senorita" - Jesse Belvin - Modern 1013 - 1957.
        11. "The Girl In My Dreams" - The Cliques - Modern 987 - 1956.
        12. "I Wanna Know Why" - The Cliques - Modern 987 - 1956.
        13. "Confusin' Blues" - Jesse Belvin - Specialty SP 435 - 1952.
        14. "Baby, Don't Go" - Jesse Belvin - Specialty X-SP 435 - 1952.
        15. "My Happiness" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1009 - 1956.
        16. "Jambalaya" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1009 - 1956.
        17. "Near You" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1014 - 1957.
        18. "I'm So Blue" - Jimmy Beasley - Modern 1014 - 1957.
        19. "Near You" - Dolores Brown And The Auditones - Sterling 3001 A - 1947.
        20. "Near You" - The Auditones - Rainbow 10025A - 1947.
        21. "Sindy" - The Tenderfoots - Federal 12228 - 1955.
        22. "Cindy" - The Cobras - Modern 964 - 1955.
        23. "I Will Return" - The Cobras - Modern 964 - 1955.
        24. "Cindy" - The Squires - Mambo 105 - 1955.
        25. "Ay La Bah" - Dolly Cooper (And The Flairs) - Modern 965 - 1955.
        26. "My Man" - Dolly Cooper - Modern 965 - 1955.
        27. "Rollin' Stone" - The Cadets - Modern 960 - 1955.
        28. "Rollin' Stone" - The Marigolds - Excello 2057 A - 1955.
        29. "Stranded In The Jungle" - The Cadets - Modern 994 - 1956.
        30. "Stranded In The Jungle" - The Jayhawks - Flash FL-109-B - 1956.
        31. "My Only Darling" - The Jayhawks - Flash FL-109-A - 1956.
        32. "Dancin' Dan" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
        33. "I Got Loaded" - The Cadets - Modern 1000 - 1956.
        34. "Sixty Minute Man" - The Dominoes - Federal 12022-AA - 1951.
        35. "Sixty Minute Man (Alternate Take)" - The Dominoes - Federal 12022 - Late 1950s.
        36. "I Got Loaded" - "Peppermint" Harris - Aladdin 3097 - 1951.
        37. "Why Don't You Write Me?" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.
        38. "My Darling" - The Jacks - RPM 428 - 1955.
        39. "I'm Confessin'" - The Jacks - RPM 433 - 1955.
        40. "So Wrong" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.
        41. "How Soon" - The Jacks - RPM 454 - 1956.
        42. "Please Say You Love Me" - Fred Darian And The Dreamers - Modern 866 - 1952.
        43. "My Heart's Desire" - Jimmie Lee And Artis - Modern 870 - 1952.
        44. "Let's Talk It Over Baby" - Jimmy Lee And Artis - Modern 885 - 1952.
        45. "All Right Baby" - Jimmie Lee And Artis - Modern 899 - 1953.
        46. "So Unnecessary" - The Sounds - Modern 975 - 1955.
        47. "Cold Chills" - The Sounds - Modern 975 - 1955.
        48. "You Are The First One" - The Rockets - Modern 992 - 1956.
        49. "Be Lovey Dovey" - The Rockets - Modern 992 - 1956.
        50. "Johnny's House Party-(Pt. I And II)" - Jimmy Beasley And The Rockers - Modern 1021 - 1957.
        51. "Johnny's House Party (Part 1 And 2)" - John Heartsman, The Rhythm Rocker And The Gaylarks - Music City 807-A/B - 1957.
 
          ALL FIFTY-ONE ABOVE SONGS played in sequence.

          ALL THIRTY-SIX ABOVE MODERN/RPM LABEL SONGS played in sequence.


PREVIOUS ARTICLES!


Back to Main Page

Last Update: October 17, 2022

E-mail Me: