(Formerly Known As "Record Of The Week")

#933 (1/3/22)

Includes an MP4 Video and Audio For Twenty-Nine Songs
(Audio Restored By Dave Saviet - Images Restored By Tony Fournier)


Art Rupe, at the front door to Specialty Records. Rupe started Specialty in 1946. It's first office was located at 2719 W. 7th Street in Los Angeles. Later in 1946, Specialty moved to 311 Venice Boulevard, also Los Angeles. Venice Music was the name of Rupe's BMI publishing company. In 1949, Specialty's offices moved to 8508 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.


It seems that Art Rupe's first record label ownership was Atlas Records, located in Hollywood, CA. He may have only been involved in the financial end of the business. Atlas co-owner Robert Scherman had owned Premier Records, which had a name change to Atlas in 1944. Rupe invested in Atlas in 1944, but Scherman was directly involved in all the recording aspects of running the company.

Atlas had an excellent stable of singing talent, including Frankie Laine, the King Cole Trio, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, and the Four Vagabonds. However, Atlas couldn't keep up with the major labels and went out of business in late 1948. In 1944, Rupe left to start his own label, Juke Box Records, this time with full control of all aspects.

Above Left: Label image for Atlas KC 100, released in 1944. [NOTE: This record provided by Dave Saviet for use here.]

Above Right: Label image for Atlas VA 111, released in 1945. Note the group's simulation of musical instruments on both sides. The only real instrument is a guitar. This was The Four Vagabonds' only release on Atlas.

Click HERE for an article about The Four Vagabonds by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

In a swing session that will last until 2 A.M., the famous King Cole Trio will knock music lovers out with a batch of fine new tunes in addition to the old favorites.
Above: The Four Vagabonds, (L-R) John Jordan (lead singer), Robert O'Neal, Norval Taborn, Ray Grant.

CHICAGO—Another instance of a major recording artist group leaving a major disk label to go with a smaller company, because of bigger promotion promised, came here this week when the Four Vagabonds, sepia radio harmony combo, joined the Atlas label, West Coast independent.

Tim Morrow, manager of the Vagabonds, said that the foursome's Bluebird pact expired six months ago and that he had been considering offers from both the major firms and the newer, smaller ones. He decided on Atlas when Robert Scherman, Atlas prexy, guaranteed eight sides over the first six-month period, with a good minimum output on each platter.

As Atlas has issued all its King Cole masters, Scherman told Morrow that the Vagabonds would get the prime promotional Job from Atlas because they will be considered their star attraction. The Vagabonds are inked to a six-month pact with another six-mouth option. Sherman has okayed the deal for the foursome to select half of the tunes it records. First tunes to be released next week are "Can't Make Up My Mind" and "Oh, What a Polka".

( NOTE: As stated further above, The Four Vagabonds had only the one record on Atlas. After their short stay at Atlas, they went to a major label, Mercury Records. Some trivial information: The Four Vagabonds recorded a commercial for the Atlas Brewing Company, Chicago, in 1939.)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "My Lips Remember Your Kisses" - King Cole Trio - Atlas KC 100 - 1944.
2. "I Can't Make Up My Mind" - The Four Vagabonds - Atlas VA 111 - 1945.
3. "Oh, What A Polka" - The Four Vagabonds - Atlas VA 111 - 1945.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.


The major labels had been neglecting some of the specialty types of music because of the wartime scarcity of shellac. Art Rupe decided this was a good time to get into one of those specialties, namely blues and rhythm & blues....hence the beginning of Juke Box Records in 1944. The first record, "Boogie #1" by The Sepia Tones, got the new label off to a reasonable start. Then two of Rupe's next early releases on Juke Box were big hits. These were "Voo-It! Voo-It!" by The Blues Woman (Marion Abernathy) and "R. M. Blues" by Roy Milton And His Solid Senders, both in 1945.

By the way, it's probable that Rupe named his later label, Specialty, for this "specialty" music.

Above Left: Label image for Juke Box UR-100-A, first released in 1944. "Boogie #1" is the first record issued on the Juke Box label. Initial issue was a white label with red print and "When He Comes Home To Me" on the flip-side. The above black label with silver print is a re-issue with "Sophisticated Blues" on its flip. It later would be released on Specialty SP 500 A as the first record on Art Rupe's newest label.

The Sepia Tones on this record are Paul Howard, clarinet and tenor sax; Nina Russell, Hammond organ; Mata Roy, piano; and George Vann, drums. Both sides are instrumentals. [NOTE: This record provided by Dave Saviet for use here.]

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, February 24, 1945:


CALIFORNIA EAGLE, February 1, 1945:
....The Sepia Tones, Mata, Nita [sic], and Ginger, who were formerly at the Last Word for a lengthy engagement, are now in Chicago at the Pershing Lounge... but we are told that Ginger is not with the combo... wonder why?....
(NOTE: The following blurb will answer the "why" with some details of her career.)

LOS ANGELES—A happy combination of personality, glamour, and talent, Ginger Smock, violin stylist, is a positive standout in the world of entertainment. True enough she has never appeared east of Denver, but, if and when she does, the writer predicts she will triumph.

For the past year, Miss Smock, with the Walter Johnson Trio, has been featured at Mike's Waikiki, popular West Side lounge in Los Angeles.

Before this, Ginger worked with the Sepia Tones at the Last Word, appeared with the Magic Notes, performed at the Swing Club, Rite Spot, Randini's, and other niteries in Southern California....

The closest she ever came to going East was some three years ago when she was signed with Nina and Mata of the Sepia Tones for an engagement at Chicago's Pershing Hotel Lounge. However, an unexpected siege of illness prevented her from fulfilling it at the last minute.

Ginger started playing the violin at the tender age of six, played in the Hollywood Bowl at ten, and earned a scholership at thirteen. She attended Los Angeles Schools and finished her music at Zoellner's Conservatory of Music....

She had her own radio program "Melody Parade" and has recorded under the Exclusive label....

The title, The Sepia Tones, has recently been applied to a smart cocktail combo that started out about 18 months ago as Nina, Mata and Ginger. Comprising this outfit are Nina Russell, Hammond organist who had been filling engagements as a single; Mata Roy, former pianist with the combo of the late Jimmy Noone; and Ginger Smock, who had established herself as a jazz violinist.

Combined the three blend well and are especially adept in producing swing and boogie-woogie as well as sweet tempoed music. The Sepia Tones are managed and booked by Reg D. Marshall Agency. Included in the list of spots played are the Rite Spot, Glendale, Calif., and the Last Word, Los Angeles. At the latter they were held over for a long engagement.

They record for Trio records for United Record Company, which releases under the "Juke Box" label.
(NOTE: Could not find any information about "Trio records".)

The Billboard Review (1/13/45):

Boogie No. 1/Sophisticated Blues Still another new record label coming from Hollywood quarters, this marker is made expressly for the juke boxes. However, this first issue holds little promise for the phono ops as a waxwork dedicated to their specialized needs. Apart from the title to identify the label, there's little in either side to characterize the music as effective for the music boxes.

The Sepia Tones, a West Coast combo, is a small unit comprising piano, organ, sax and drums, with the tenor man doubling on clary. For both the traffic-stopping Boogie No. 1 and what is subtlely titled as Sophisticated Blues, it's mill-run music and music making, with every man taking a chorus but none creating enough interest to arrest attention.
(NOTE: The group here is actually two men and two women.)

Save where the Sepia Tones may manifest some sort of a personal following, there is little in this first release of the Juke Box label to excite the juxe box fans.

Cash Box Review (2/11/46):
(NOTE: Not sure why this review is over a year after the record's release. In any case, this review is in stark contrast to the Billboard's [see above].)

Boogie No. 1/Sophisticated Blues The first side is one of the fastest Boogie numbers ever recorded and it boasts a swell arrangement, with the piano featured. The Sepias are a good aggregation and do a workmanlike job on both sides. Moving from the fast pace of the first side, “Boogie No. 1,” they slip easily into the slow blues of the second, “Sophisticated Blues,” and still hold your attention as good music-makers. This ebony pancake should get plenty of play in the race spots.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Boogie #1" - The Sepia Tones - Juke Box UR-100-A - 1944.
2. "Sophisticated Blues" - The Sepia Tones - Juke Box UR-100-B - 1944.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

NOVEMBER 9, 1946

Above: Label images for Juke Box JB502A/B, released in 1945. "The Blues Woman" is Marion Abernathy. She is backed by The Buddy Banks Sextet. The composer on the "A" side is William "Frosty" Pyles, the Buddy Banks' guitarist. The flip, "Cryin' Blues", was composed by Buddy Banks. These two sides were re-issued on Specialty 502 in 1946.

The personnel in Buddy Banks aggregation for this record are Buddy Banks, William Pyles, Eddie Beal, Ernie Shepard, Allen Durham, and Nat McFay.

Marion Abernathy, her blues notes, worries one; her sentimental numbers, wafts you to slumberland; while those catchy ballads she sings nightly as a feature star of the Club Alabam show, produces the effect of a highly entertaining evening. Miss Abernathy is a welcome returnee to the Alabam show line-up.

Above Right: Photo of Marion Abernathy.

At Left: DETROIT TRIBUNE, February 28, 1942. "Queen of the Blues"

Above: DETROIT TRIBUNE, August 30, 1947. "The Blues Woman"

Above: 1945 photo of the Buddy Banks Sextet, (L-R) Wallace "Wiley" Huff (trombone), William "Basie" Day (bass), Ulysses "Buddy" Banks (tenor saxophone), William "Frosty" Piles (guitar), Nat "Monk" McFay (drums), and Joe "Earl" Knight (piano).

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, January 26, 1946. Both above clippings: "The Year-Long Sensation Of Hollywood's Suzy Q Nite Club".

Above Right: CASH BOX, February 11, 1946.

Above Left: CASH BOX, February 18, 1946.

Above Right: CASH BOX, June 8, 1946. Roy Milton And His Solid Senders were hugely popular throughout their career.

Banks and His Buddies, currently appearing at a local night spot, according to reports were the victims of a neat gyp insofar as their recording of the tune "Voo It Voo It" is concerned. The song was written by "Frosty", their guitar player, with Marion Abernathy doing the vocalizing.

When the song was recorded it was allegedly labelled as by "The Blues Woman" and the band failed to get the usual build-up that follows a popular selling record.

Banks stated that he finally had to sue the recording company to get any returns from it despite the fact that the disc sold several thousand copies.

At Right: ARIZONA REPUBLIC, December 9, 1946.

DETROIT TRIBUNE, August 16, 1947:
Holding down the top spot in the show at the Frolic Show Bar is Marion Abernathy, labeled "The Blues Woman", who is making her first local appearance in five years.

Miss Abernathy, daughter of the former band leader, George (Shuffle) Abernathy, has scored solidly with the Frolic patrons with her unique rendition of such bluesy numbers as "Sunny Road" and "Voo-It Voo-It".

Although her fame and popularity rests on her blues stylings, Miss Abernathy says that her secret ambition is to "sing like Ella Fitzgerald", her inspiration....

Above: Label image for Juke Box JB504B, released in 1945. On this record are Roy Milton, Camille Howard, Buddy Floyd, David Robinson, Hosea Sapp, and Earl Simms.

Above: Photo of Roy Milton playing the drums.

CALIFORNIA EAGLE, January 16, 1947:
The famed Roy Milton Combo walked away with first place in "Billboard's" first annual music poll of "Race Records", and the title of the winning record was "R. M. Blues". The poll is from coast-to-coast, taking in records from all over the country.

This group can be acclaimed as the only instrumental group "completely" owning their own record pressing company, having been organized by well-known radio commentator, War Perkins, since the first of July [Miltone Records which is covered in detail further below on this webpage].

Having reached the top of swingdom, the Roy Milton group uses a subdued brand of rhythm dished out in a mellow or hot vein, whatever the customer calls for. If there is a combo that an Angel City music lover would walk a mile to hear, it is that of Roy Milton.

At Left: A picture of Roy Milton, from the above article.

Above Left: CASH BOX, January 14, 1946.

Above Right: CASH BOX, April 29, 1946.

Above Left: CASH BOX, April 22, 1946. "Still A Colossal Collector Of Coins" for the juke boxes.

Above Right: CASH BOX, August 24, 1946. The number one song, "Stone Cold Dead In The Market" can be heard in the "Louis Jordan - Part One" article.

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, April 13, 1946. Roy Milton, not Camille Howard, does the vocal on "R. M. Blues". Camille plays the piano on it.

Above Right: CASH BOX, May 18, 1946.

Above: Label images for both sides of Juke Box JB 505, released in April 1946. "Frankie And Her Boys" is actually a pseudonym for Frankie Trumbauer And His Orchestra with vocals by Fredda Gibson (later to become "her nibs" Georgia Gibbs!). The sides, recorded in February 1940, were originally issued on the Varsity label in 1940.

"The Laziest Gal In Town" is a Cole Porter song, first released by Frankie Trumbauer and Fredda Gibson in 1940. Notice that the Juke Box label does not credit any composer on either side.

Above: Two photos of Fredda Gibson, also known as Georgia Gibbs.

TAMPA TRIBUNE, March 14, 1937 [Edited]:
Cinderella stories are common on Broadway, but most of them are press agent's pipe-dreams.
Here is one that isn't:

Dick Himber was sitting in his office in Essex House. A song plugger burst into the office waving a phonograph record and shouting that he had found a great new number. The record was played. About mid-way, a girl's voice picked up the chorus, ran it through.

"Whose the girl?" asked Himber. "Aw, Dick, don't mind her", the plugger pleaded. "This is the first sweet number she ever did. It's not her style. Don't pay any attention to the voice, just listen to the song. Ain't it a honey?"

"A honey" Himber repeated. "It's in, Dick, isn't it? How about it?" "Not the song, you dope" said Himber, "the girl". And two hours later (it took that long to find the woman), Himber was talking to Fredda Gibson.

Fredda sang on the air with Himber's orchestra twice before the week was over, got a three-year contract from Himber, and an offer from Warner Brothers to make a screen test.

Fredda Gibson will be heard in vocal solos on Your Hit Parade program over WCAU at 10 o'clock this evening.

Dark-eyed Fredda Gibson, CBS Network rhythm singer, will be heard with the Summer Symphony Orchestra, Percy Faith conducting, over WCAU, WABC at 9:00 o'clock tonight.

CASH BOX - MAY 6, 1946

Above Left: Label image for Juke Box JB-508-A, released in 1946. Ollie Jackson plays the piano and sings lead vocal. In this song, his band provides ensemble vocal backing for him.

Above Right: THE BILLBOARD, October 26, 1946. Ollie Jackson's record is listed at bottom left. Juke Box 509 is also by Ollie. Juke Box 510 and 511 are by Alberta Hunter.

The Cash Box Review (9/9/46):

OLLIE JACKSON AND HIS BAND — Juke Box 508.... Fat Boogie Woogie
Chalk one up for Ollie Jackson as a lad with a top talent, and, as a virtuoso of the piano, he's right up there among the top. If you don't believe that, grab a listening to this disk as he tickles the keys on "Fat Boogie Woogie".

It's a "race" record with jive as solid as Gilbralter, and if your location's cutomers call for something to make the place jump, this'll make 'em skyrocket. "Fat" is Ollie's side all the way, instrumentally and vocally, tho his crew do help out with a few tricks of their own.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Voo-It! Voo-It!" - The Blues Woman - Juke Box JB 502-A - 1945.
2. "Cryin' Blues" - The Blues Woman - Juke Box JB 502-B - 1945.
3. "R. M. Blues" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Juke Box JB504B - 1945.
4. "Not On The First Night" - Frankie And Her Boys - Juke Box JB 505 - 1946.
5. "The Laziest Gal In Town" - Frankie And Her Boys - Juke Box JB 505 - 1946.
6. "Fat Boogie Woogie" - Ollie Jackson And His Band - Juke Box JB-508-A - 1946.

ALL SIX SONGS played in sequence.

THE BILLBOARD, September 1, 1945:
LOS ANGELES—Al Middleman, formerly with Hit and Elite Record firms, has taken over the Juke Box label of the United Record Company here and will come out with a new label of his own, called Sterling. Ben Siegel and Art Rupe, former heads of Juke Box, join Middleman in the new disk outfit.

In setting deal with Siegel and Rupe, Middleman gained access to presses. Middleman will press here and in the East, releasing a new platter every three weeks. His Sterling record will sell for 75 cents. Some records under the Juke Box label may be released later. Sterling label will cover popular and race fields....

(NOTE: When Juke Box Records was bought out by Al Middleton, Art Rupe became co-partner of the Sterling label. Juke Box continued to release records as a subsidiary label of Sterling Records. Rupe sold his interest to Middleman, keeping some of the Juke Box masters, which would be released on Rupe's new label, Specialty Records.)

HOLLYWOOD—Art Rupe, who tied his Juke Box record company to a partnership arrangement with Al Middleman over a half year ago in a deal which included Middleman's Sterling Records, has just sold out his entire interest to Middleman....

Above Left: Label image for MeloDisc M-1001, released in March 1946. The Dukes were an instumental combo led by Karl George; the Duchess was Marion Abernathy on vocals.

Above Right: Label image for King 4188-B, released in 1947.

Above: Label image for Bel-Tone BTJ 35-1, released in 1946. Bob Mosely's All-Stars consisted of Bob Mosley, Charles Mingus, Gene Phillips, Karl George, Lee Young, Lucky Thompson, and Marshall Royal. These are at least some of the same musicians as on the above MeloDisc record.

Notice that this song, as well as the further above King Record song, were composed by Marion Abernathy. "Stormy Mood" was redone by Marian with Paul Bascomb's band on King 4179 in 1947.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Abernathy's Voo-it Voo-it" - George's Dukes And Duchess (Vocal Marion Abernathy) - MeloDisc M-1001 - 1946.
2. "Scroogli-Oli-Re-Bos" - Marion Abernathy - King 4183-B - 1947.
3. "Stormy Mood" - Bob Mosely And All Stars (Vocal By Marion Abernathy) - Bel-Tone BTJ 35-1 - 1946.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: Label image for Modern 846, released in 1951. Again, as with the Juke Box record, there is no composer credit shown on the label.

Above Right: 1946 photo of Helen Humes.

In addition to the Fredda Gibson and Helen Humes versions, this song was released by Nan Blakstone on Decca in 1942 and again on Gala in 1946; Madelyn Russell on Mercury in 1949; and Dottie O'Brien on Capitol in 1950.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Laziest Gal In Town" - Helen Humes - Modern 846 - 1951.


Above: A still shot from the 1944 Soundie "Hey Lawdy Mama". Roy Milton is in back right playing the drums. Camille Howard is at the piano.

June Richmond was a featured vocalist with the Jimmy Dorsey, Les Hite, Cab Calloway, and Andy Kirk orchestras. She was featured in three soundies with Roy Milton. June had previously released "Hey Lawdy Mama" with Andy Kirk's Orchestra on Decca 4405 in 1943. She also recorded "Hey Lawdy Mama" on Mercury 2011 in 1945, but without Roy Milton And His Band.

WATCH the VIDEO of June Richmond With Roy Milton And His Band performing in "Hey Lawdy Mama" in MP4 format.
(Will open in a new window)

Above Left: Label image for Decca 4405 A, recorded on July 14, 1942, but not released until 1943.

Above Right: Photo of June Richmond circa 1946. Harry Revel is composer of some of the songs that June recorded.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
"Hey Lawdy Mama" - Andy Kirk And His Clouds Of Joy (Vocal By June Richmond) - Decca 4405 A - 1943.



Roy Milton started Roy Milton Records in 1946. The first release features a picture of him on the label. Roy Milton Records later went full picture label.


Above: Label images for Roy Milton 101/102, released in 1946. This record was also issued on a full picture label.
Above: Label image for Roy Milton 1-10 A, released in 1946.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "It Never Should Have Been This Way" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Roy Milton 101 - 1946.
2. "Red Light" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders (Vocal Ensemble) - Roy Milton 102 - 1946.
3. "Rainey Day Confession Blues" - Roy Milton - Roy Milton 1-10 A - 1946.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: THE BILLBOARD, July 19, 1947. All of the sides shown in this clipping are featured below.

Above Right: An early photo of Roy Milton And His Swing Band. Standing at the piano is Camille Howard. Second from the top at right is David Robinson. [NOTE: This photo is courtesy of Paul Ressler.]

Last week, the Roy Milton Recording Company dissolved its existence. The entire personnel and staff of the old Roy Milton Record Company made a change to the new banner of the Miltone Label.

The change was made with practically no interruptions and little notice other than a brief speech to the office and plant workers from War Perkins, general manager of the company.

The dissention in the Roy Milton Record Company started last november, when War Perkins flew to Detroit, Mich., to settle a misunderstanding between some of the members of the band and Roy Milton. Perkins stated that at that time Milton demanded a larger percentage of the net profits from the Roy Milton Record Company and more recently requested a big slice of Day Distributing Company and California Pressing Company profits.

Perkins stated further that he and his partner flatly refused Milton's requests on the grounds that Milton was practically unknown when he started making recordings of his band and that in less time than four months they had taken Milton from a cocktail bar in Los Angeles and built his name up to one of the nation's best known combos.

Perkins emphasized heavily that Roy Milton had made statements to the effect that he dismissed three members of the band, but to the contrary, the "power-house" members of the band, namely David Robinson, Lorenzo (Buddy) Floyd, and Caughy Roberts became disatisfied with Roy Milton and Ben Waller's business deals.
(NOTE: Ben Waller was Roy Milton's personal manager.)

....These band members claimed Roy Milton received twice the amount that he formerly received from weekly engagements, but their increases were less than eight percent per month. Milton contended that the public was interested mainly in his name and not so much in the members of the band. ....The three "power-house" members of the band handed in their "Notices to Quit".
(NOTE: That left three band members, Roy Milton, Camille Howard, and Hosea Sapp.)

Perkins further stated that even though he and his partner, William O. Reed, are not owners of the Miltone label, the same has an excellent personnel of artists, including the outstanding artists formerly owned by the Roy Milton Record Company, plus a number of new artists, such as Jimmie Grissom, 19-year-old singing star and nephew of Dan Grissom, Vivian Green, The Big Three, King Kolax and Band, The Miltones, the original Solid Senders, and eight spiritual quartets.

At the present time Roy Milton has been restrained from recording and the Specialty Record Company from selling any Roy Milton records....

Signed by WAR PERKINS.

Above: Label image for Miltone 201-A, recorded in October 1946 and released in 1947. Personnel on this recording are Roy Milton (drums), Camille Howard (piano), Hosea Sapp (trumpet), Couchy Roberts (alto sax), Lorenza "Buddy" Floyd (tenor sax), and E. David "Dave" Robinson (bass). A different version of "Them There Eyes", recorded in July 1947, was released on Specialty 516, also in 1947.

Note the signature "Wm Alexander" on this label (and all but one of the Miltone labels below). Here it's near the top left edge. He is the artist that draws the pictures for these labels. By the way, if those guys are looking at her eyes, they're closed!

CALIFORNIA EAGLE, June 20, 1946:
....Couchy Roberts is the newest addition to the Roy Milton aggregation, presently holding forth at the Cobra Club....

Above Left: Label image for Miltone 202 AA, released in 1947. "Jimmy Grissom" should be "Jimmie Grissom".

Above Right: Label image for Miltone 202 A, released in 1947. The song title is misspelled on the label. A different version of "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" was released on Specialty 517, also in 1947.

....Jimmie's inspiration and coaching came through the enthusiastic efforts of his uncle, Dan Grissom, former singing star of Jimmie Lunceford's orchestra. Jimmie is now appearing nightly at 4201 South Central Avenue at the popular Down Beat night spot. His record "DO AS I SAY" has met with universally increased demand.

Above Right: Photo of Jimmie Grissom.

Miss Bernadyne Powell, youthful song writer of Los Angeles and daughter of the late Lt. William J. Powell, aviator, recently after many tries hit the jack pot by writing a song entitled "Do As I Say" recorded by Jimmie Grissom and the Blenders for the Miltone label.

Bernadyne is one of the co-writers of the song "A Broken Heart And A Wedding Ring". She is now working on another song for the Miltone Record Company.

(NOTE: Per Wikipedia, William J. Powell, who died on July 12, 1942, was an American engineer, soldier, civil aviator, and author who is credited with promoting aviation among the black community.)

Jimmie Grissom, 19-year-old nephew of Dan Grissom, who has an unusually new style of vocal presentation, signed a contract with Miltone Records for five years.

The first release of this young artist is scheduled to hit the market next week. Grissom is now preparing two sides,
"Welcome Home Baby" and "Three Little Bears". The musical background on this record will be by "The Big Three"
(the old Roy Milton band).

The Cash Box Review (6-2-47):

ROY MILTON ORCH. — Miltone 202.... Do As I Say/When I Grow Too Old To Dream
Outfit enjoying a favorable position in the phonos with a recent clickeroo steps out here with more stuff that looks good. “Do As I Say”, featuring Jimmy Grissom in the vocal department, should turn up right for music ops with race locations. The kid’s tonsils are in there all the way and the job he does is worthy of your ear. He’s got that quiver in his pipes that will send chills up the spine of your customers.

On the backing with more oldie material “When I Grow Too Old To Dream” is a piece that undoubtedly will go for years to come, and this version, altho jazzed up a bit, should do well. Maestro Roy Milton takes vocal bows here and offers an effective rendition.

The pair is there for the asking, and since you know your route better than we do, go to it.

Above: Label images for both sides of Miltone 225, released in 1947. On both above labels, "Jimmie" Grissom is now spelled correctly. Wonder who belongs to the initials "A. O." and "G. C." on the suitcases.
Above: Label image for Miltone 218-A, released in 1947. The woman on the picture label looks a lot like Effie Smith.
Above Left: CALIFORNIA EAGLE, August 4, 1949: EFFIE SMITH
Just thought you'd like to know that blues vocalist Effie Smith's eyes aren't always closed, like a lot of you think....Look see here yourself.

Above Right: Photo of Effie Smith.

The Valley's newest song toast is that sweet-blues-and-jive gal, Effie Smith, now appearing in person at Rose and Harry Harbstreet's Driftwood Cafe. Effie really IS a song stylist. She cries such torch numbers as "Embraceable You" and "The Man I Love", and gives out with solid tempos on such tunes as "Straighten Out And Fly Right".

Beautifully gowned and smartly coiffured, she makes an expressive picture in the spotlight. Two of her specialties are "Honey, Do You Want It That Way?" written for her by Fletcher Smith, and "In The Groove Tonight", her own composition.... (NOTE: The latter song is featured further down in this section of the page.)

Above Left: CALIFORNIA EAGLE, October 7, 1943. "M-G-M's New Singing Star"
(NOTE: No evidence of Effie recording for M-G-M could be found.)

Above Middle: CALIFORNIA EAGLE, February 22, 1945. Effie seems to be always smiling.

Above Right: SACRAMENTO BEE, February 14, 1947. "Queen of the Blues" "Famous Recording Star"

The Cash Box Review (6-23-47):
JIMMIE GRISSOM ORCH. — Miltone 218.... Answer To R.M. Blues
Picking up the strains of a clickeroo of last year, the Jimmie Grissom ork steps out to do “Answer To RM Blues”, and the way the boys do it, spell coin play for those race locations just waiting for a coin culler.

Chirp Effie Smith renders the lyrics in tricky fashion, as she warbles her fable all about the love that is gone. Mood is slow and low down, and ops who have spots that go for this brand would do well with the side.

Ops should, by all means, lend an ear in this direction. (NOTE: "ops" is short for juke box operators.)

Above: Label image for Miltone 3199-A, released in 1948. This same record was also released on DeLuxe 3199 in 1948. There was a deal between the two record companies, who both used the same pressing plant, to share the cost of pressing by jointly sharing their catelogs.

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

When you listen to Chubby Newsom, the glamorous, very womanly DeLuxe recording artist, lustily sing the blues and bounce around the stage as if powered with uranium, you realize the gal's got audience response down to a science.

"Blame it all on psychology", Chubby explains.

Any kind of a guy or gal, in any kind of a mood, keeps their eye peeled on Chubby Newsom, the blues bombshell, who kicks around a song and makes it do tricks like no other femme artist in many a moon.

The Cash Box Review (1-8-49):

CHUBBY NEWSOM — DeLuxe 3199.... Hip Shakin' Mama
The vocal warbling of chirp Chubby Newsom is definitely a winner for the juke box trade. “Hip Shakin’ Mama” is already kicking up a storm in a zillion locations and should come up to be a big one. It’s slow stuff done up in top vocal treatment with the lyrics running rings around the title. Don’t miss this hunk of wax—get with it.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "Them There Eyes" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Miltone 201-A - 1947.
2. "Do As I Say" - Jimmy Grissom - Miltone 202-AA - 1947.
3. "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" - Roy Milton (Vocal Ensemble) - Miltone 202 A -1947.
4. "Answer To R.M. Blues" - Effie Smith (Jimmie Grissom Orchestra) - Miltone 210-A - July 1947.
5. "Get Out" - Maxwell Davis And His Blenders (Vocal By Jimmie Grissom) - Miltone 225-A - 1947.
6. "Welcome Home Baby" - Jimmie Grissom - Miltone 225-B - 1947.
7. "Hip Shakin' Mama" - Chubby "Hip Shakin" Newsom - Miltone 3199-A - 1948.

ALL SEVEN SONGS played in sequence.

Above: Label images for Gem 7-B, released in 1945, and G&G 7-B, released in 1947. As you probably guessed, Gem and G&G are related to each other.

HOLLYWOOD—Royal Record Company, previously recording under Gem label has changed name of firm to Sepia Record Company and will issue platters under G. Clef tag. Indie diskery has been plagued with name-aches for some time.

Org found it necessary to drop Royal and Gem names because of difficulty in clearing the titles, and previously had dropped Coronet tag because of objections raised by the magazine of that name. (There is a Coronet Record Company, however, operating in the East, which has no connection with the magazine publisher.)

Sepia prexy is Joe Greene, who wrote "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine" and other ditties.

(NOTE: Above release years are per discogs.com. But, if the above G&G record is from 1947, then why is "Royal Record Company" still on the label?)

Above: Label images for Aladdin 152A and Aladdin 153A, both released in 1946. Johnny Criner, the composer shown on both above Aladdin labels, also recorded for the Gem and G&G labels.

The Billboard Review (9-14-46):

EFFIE SMITH — Aladdin 152A.... Haunted By The Blues
The blending of Effie Smith's sultry piping with the solid grooving of Buddy Harper's All Stars makes for a happy spinning combination. The beat is slow for this A side as the blues lady projects slow Harlemese chants in fine style. Will spin for profit in race locations.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player): [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
1. "I'm In The Groove Tonight" - Effie Smith - Gem 7-B - 1945.
2. "Haunted By The Blues" - Effie Smith - Aladdin 152A - 1946.
3. "Go Ahead With Your Lucky Self" - Effie Smith - Aladdin 153A - 1946.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.

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

          1. "Boogie #1" - The Sepia Tones - Juke Box UR-100-A - 194.
          2. "Sophisticated Blues" - The Sepia Tones - Juke Box UR-100-B - 1944.
          3. "My Lips Remember Your Kisses" - King Cole Trio - Atlas KC 100 - 1944.
          4. "I Can't Make Up My Mind" - The Four Vagabonds - Atlas VA 111 - 1945.
          5. "Oh, What A Polka" - The Four Vagabonds - Atlas VA 111 - 1945.
          6. "Voo-It! Voo-It!" - The Blues Woman - Juke Box JB 502-A - 1945.
          7. "Cryin' Blues" - The Blues Woman - Juke Box JB 502-B - 1945.
          8. "R. M. Blues" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Juke Box JB504B - 1945.
          9. "Not On The First Night" - Frankie And Her Boys - Juke Box JB 505 - 1946.
        10. "The Laziest Gal In Town" - Frankie And Her Boys - Juke Box JB 505 - 1946.
        11. "Fat Boogie Woogie" - Ollie Jackson And His Band - Juke Box JB-508-A - 1946.
        12. "Abernathy's Voo-it Voo-it" - George's Dukes And Duchess (Vocal Marion Abernathy) - MeloDisc M-1001 - 1946.
        13. "Scroogli-Oli-Re-Bos" - Marion Abernathy - King 4183-B - 1947.
        14. "Stormy Mood" - Bob Mosely And All Stars (Vocal By Marion Abernathy) - Bel-Tone BTJ 35-1 - 1946.
        15. "Laziest Gal In Town" - Helen Humes - Modern 846 - 1951.
        16. "Hey Lawdy Mama" - Andy Kirk And His Clouds Of Joy (Vocal By June Richmond) - Decca 4405 A - 1943.
        17. "It Never Should Have Been This Way" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Roy Milton 101 - 1946.
        18. "Red Light" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders (Vocal Ensemble) - Roy Milton 102 - 1946.
        19. "Rainey Day Confession Blues" - Roy Milton - Roy Milton 1-10 A - 1946.
        20. "Them There Eyes" - Roy Milton And His Solid Senders - Miltone 201-A - 1947.
        21. "Do As I Say" - Jimmy Grissom - Miltone 202-AA - 1947.
        22. "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" - Roy Milton (Vocal Ensemble) - Miltone 202 A -1947.
        23. "Answer To R.M. Blues" - Effie Smith (Jimmie Grissom Orchestra) - Miltone 210-A - July 1947.
        24. "Get Out" - Maxwell Davis And His Blenders (Vocal By Jimmie Grissom) - Miltone 225-A - 1947.
        25. "Welcome Home Baby" - Jimmie Grissom - Miltone 225-B - 1947.
        26. "Hip Shakin' Mama" - Chubby "Hip Shakin" Newsom - Miltone 3199-A - 1948.
        27. "I'm In The Groove Tonight" - Effie Smith - Gem 7-B - 1945.
        28. "Haunted By The Blues" - Effie Smith - Aladdin 152A - 1946.
        29. "Go Ahead With Your Lucky Self" - Effie Smith - Aladdin 153A - 1946.
          ALL TWENTY-NINE ABOVE SONGS played in sequence.


Back to Main Page

Last Update: January 7, 2022

E-mail Me: