SPOTLIGHT ON THE CHORD LABEL
by The Four Steps Of Jive
on Chord 656-A/B
released in 1948
Above: Mid-1947 photo of The Four Steps Of Jive (L-R) Frank Ransom, Bennie Calloway, Eddie Johnson, and Minnie Whitlock.
Click HERE for an article about The Four Steps Of Jive by Marv Goldberg.
(Will open in a separate window)
Above: Circa 1947 photo of Michael Cudahy in his recording studio (located in his basement). He was owner of Chord Records, Cudahy Records and The Cudahy Recording Corporation, all located in Milwaukee. Chord Records existed for a couple of years starting in 1947. There was a different Chord label in Chicago about the same time. Cudahy later made a fortune with Marquette Electronics manufacturing electrocardiograph machines for hospitals. He's now in his 80's and still living in Milwaukee.
Special thanks to Michael Cudahy and Pete Grendysa for this great photo providing a rare glimpse into a 1940's recording studio.
Above: Label image for Chord 656-A released in April 1948. This is their only known record.
Milwaukee Sentinel, September 23, 1947 -- "....The Four Steps Of Jive, which has turned the East Town into Jump Town, recently completed the hottest eight weeks engagement in Chicago's history at the Silhouette Club and are being beseiged by offers from the manager to return there for an unlimited stint. They just cut a flock of records...."
NOTE: Would be nice to find any unissued sides.
From Pete Grendysa:
Chicago Defender, October 4, 1947 -- "The Steps Of Jive are back and things are jumping at the Club Silhouette, the Howard St. after-dark spot. The Steps Of Jive foursome, with Frank Ransom on the tom-toms, Eddie Johnson on drums, Benny Calloway on bass, and Minnie Whitlock on piano, churn out some unusually interesting variations on familiar tunes. Their novelty and jump notes with such tunes as 'Brother Beware', 'Ole Man Mose Is Dead' and 'Hamp's Boogie' is an example. Ransom, the leader of the 'jump group,' alternates from the tom-toms to the vocal department where he excels with the popular tunes of today and a mixture of hits from a few years back."
NOTE: On these two Chord sides, there is piano, guitar and bass with no evidence of tom-toms or drums.
Listen to this week's selections by The Four Steps Of Jive on Chord 656 (1948):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
[Above: Michael Cudahy in 2007) A. Stream RealAudio (DO NOT USE...LISTEN USING DOWNLOAD REALAUDIO)...
1. Brown Gal
BOTH SONGS played in sequence
B. Download RealAudio...
1. Brown Gal
C. Stream/Download** Media Player...
1. Brown Gal
[**To download Media file, right-click on link
under C and then click "Save (Link) Target
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