SHORT ARTICLES AND BLURBS....
OAKLAND TRIBUNE, August 26, 1938: FLOYD RAY AT SWEET'S
Rhythm of the sort supplied so well by Harlem entertainers will be brought to Sweet's Sunday night by the newly crowned "King of Swing," Floyd Ray and his company of 15 Harlem musicians and specialty artists. The show, in addition to the dance music, has a variety of acts headed by Joe Alexander, dubbed the "Sepia Bing Crosby"; Ivy, Vern and Von and the Glee Club.
At Right: Label image for Decca 2923 released in 1939 with vocal by Joe Alexander.
CALIFORNIA EAGLE, February 23, 1939: FLOYD RAY BAND SIGNED BY DECCA RECORDS
Culminating a year of negotiations, Floyd Ray and his California Orchestra were signed February 14th, to an exclusive recording contract by Decca Records and will start immediately cutting discs for that organization. Deal calls for a minimum of 48 "sides" to be made in a period of two years....
CALIFORNIA EAGLE, January 23, 1947: ALEXANDER ON CAPITOL RECORDS
With the release of "At Your Command" and "I Keep Telling Myself" in late January on Capitol record No. 359, the exciting new voice of Joe Alexander will be introduced on wax by Capitol. Capitol will feature the Alexander pipes heavily throughout 1947. His new contract is a long-term deal and is destined to make him one of the nation's favorite baritones. (NOTE: Alexander was "introduced on wax" in the 1930s with Floyd Ray's orchestra.)
PITTSBURGH COURIER, February 1, 1947: "NEW SEPIA ARTIST SIGNED BY WAXERY
NEW YORKMaking his debut on the Capitol record label this week, Joe Alexander, vocal sensation of the West Coast, revealed he had just signed a long-term contract with that firm. "At Your Command," the ballad composed by Bing Crosby in 1931, is Alexander's first release, on which he receives superb accompaniment by a Hollywood studio orchestra, conducted by Dave Cavanaugh, The backing side, also a ballad, is one of the singer's own compostion, "I Keep Telling Myself."
Alexander was featured for several years with the Floyd Ray Orchestra and for the past two years has led his own quintet at the Pico Club, ornate Los Angeles bistro. Dave Dexter of Capitol, author of "Jazz Calvalcade" and prominent radio commentator on jazz in Hollywood, discovered Joe's splendid baritone voice and promptly tendered Joe a contract....
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, February 8, 1947: ON CAPITOL RECORDS
With the release of "At Your Command" and "I Keep Telling Myself" in late January on Capitol record No. 359, the exciting new voice of Joe Alexander will be introduced on wax by Capitol. Alexander, star of the show at the Pico Club in Los Angeles, is regarded as the most talented baritone to be uncovered in southern California since Andy Russell hit the jackpot in 1943. With an orchestra conducted by Dave Cavanaugh, who helped build Bobby Sherwood's band, young Alexander's first two sides for Capitol reveal his powerful, virile, masculine voice excellently; no "swoon" crooner, Alexander's robust style is reminiscent of Bing Crosby's in the early 1930s.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, March 8, 1947: JOE ALEXANDER HAS NEW SONG
Just a few seasons back, Herb Jeffries hit the jackpot with his stirring singing of "Flamingo". Billy Eckstine followed with "Jelly, Jelly". Last year it was Lee Richardson with "Don't Take Your Love From Me". The 1947 champion appears to be looming in big-voiced Joe Alexander, whose platter of "Heartaches" is now one of the five biggest sellers in America.
Alexander, just 27 and handsome, hails from Baton Rouge, La. For several years he batted around, in his own words, "from pillar to post and then some." Finally, two months ago, Dave Dexter of Capitol Records signed him to a recording contract.
"At Your Command" and "I Keep Telling Myself" marked Joe's first wax under his Capitol deal, and while the two sides served to introduce him to the nation's record-loving public neither was a smash click. "Heartaches", Alexander's second disc, was released only two weeks ago and according to Capitol executives, is already selling as briskly as the King Cole Trio's "For Sentimental Reasons" sold in its first fortnight in the stalls.
NEW YORK AGE, March 15, 1947: BARITONE GIVES INTERVIEW OVER RADIO
HAPPINESS IS A THINGYes, called Joe. Joe Alexander, to be specific. The personable young baritone, center, is shown being interviewd by Al Jarvis over Hollywood's KLAC on Al's famous "Make Believe Ballroom" program as Dave Cavanaugh, right, chimes in. Cavanaugh is Alexander's arranger and conductor on Capitol Records. Joe's new disking of "Heartaches" this week was reported to be one of the season's five biggest sellers. "The best singer to come up the Apple since Herb Jeffries" is how Nat (King) Cole describes Alexander's unique talents. (See accompanying picture at left.)
CALIFORNIA EAGLE, 1947: NO HEARTACHES FOR HIM
Joe Alexander, who came out of Baton Rouge to become the 1947 singing sensation of Hollywood, is hitting the heights this week with his new Capitol record of the old tune, "Heartaches." Just 27, Joe has jumped almost overnight into a class with Billy Eckstine and Herb Jeffries.
CALIFORNIA EAGLE, April 10, 1947: CAPITOL RECORDS WILL PROMOTE NEGRO PERFORMERS....
Delighted with the reception accorded the records made by Julia Lee, Jesse Price, Joe Alexander and Geechie Smith's orchestra for the first quarter of 1947, executives of Capitol Records this week announced that increased production will immediately be allotted records featuring colored talent and that heavy emphasis will be placed in the promotion of their Sepia performers for the remainder of the year....
Current hit discs now being produced by Capitol include....Joe Alexander's sensuous and exciting version of "Heartaches." The record, according to Dave Dexter of Capitol, is one of the ten most popular platters and is receiving a particularly heavy spin by disc jockeys on 1400 radio stations from coast to coast.... (See accompanying picture at right.)
THE BILLBOARD, May 5, 1947: (Review of Capitol 407)....Joe Alexander really begins to show the depth and quality of his voice. What's more, where others have used tricks to score, here it can be plainly heard that Joe need only demonstrate pure talent to score a wow....It should be added, too, that the instrumental support of the Dave Cavanaugh ork is tops.
ASBURY PARK PRESS, August 10, 1947: "Everything You Said Came True," a new Capitol disc, seems headed for a place on the Hit Parade. Joe Alexander does a great job on a number that was first popular in 1934. He is accompanied by a male vocal group and a small instrumental combo led by Dave Cavanaugh's tenor sax and featuring the trumpet of Rico Vallese, plus an outstanding rhythm section. "Cling To Me, Baby," the flipover, is a slow blues, well adapted to the soloist's baritone voice.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, September 6, 1947: "CLING TO ME, BABY" IS TOPPIN' LIST
LOS ANGELESHotter than the August heatwave these days is smiling, personable Joe Alexander, whose Capitol record of "Cling To Me, Baby" has zoomed into the nation's best-seller listings within the past two weeks. Alexander, a former member of Floyd Ray's band was signed yesterday to open at San Diego's famous Cin-A-Bar Club immediately following his one-week appearance at the Los Angeles Lincoln Theater Sept. 4-10. He will be co-featured at the Lincoln with Nellie (Real Gone) Lutcher and Joe Lutcher's sizzling combo.
It was Joe who recorded the first "modern" version of "Heartaches" last December. It was a smash success. A former Louisianan, Alexander has lived in California since 1940. Later this fall he will hit the road for personal appearances. "Cling To Me, Baby" apparently is proving to be another "Jelly Jelly." It was composed by Dave Cavanaugh.
INDIANAPOLIS RECORDER, November 8, 1947:
RECORD OF THE WEEK: "For You" as sung by JOE ALEXANDER with Dave Cavanaugh's Music. This wonderful old ballad, which dates back to the early 1930's, is dressed in a magnificent package by the fast-rising young Joe Alexander. The vocalist sets a warm and romantic mood as his big baritone voice delineates the lyrics with an appeal that is undeniable.
TERRE HAUTE TRIBUNE, January 25, 1948: ...."Hold Me," a favorite old song given a new cloak, has the combined talent of Joe Alexander and Dave Cavanaugh. In addition to Alexander's vocal, there is a humming harmony and instrumental work of the Cavanaugh group. The same styling characterizes the flipover number, "When I Close My Eyes."....
CALIFORNIA EAGLE, January 29, 1948: ....Joe Alexander is now featured on his own radio show over KFMB in San Diego seven days a week. The Capitol recording star uses a small instrumental combo on this show and may get on a network soon....
SALT LAKE TELEGRAM, June 19, 1948: CAVANAUGH BAND SET AT SALTAIR
Dave Cavanaugh and his orchestra are next on the parade of bands to visit the local Saltair Pavilion. They open at Saltair this Saturday night and will play nightly for dancing during the next three weekends. Cavanaugh is noted as a conductor-arranger-composer, clarinet and saxophone soloist and movie and recording artist. He organized his famous orchestra late in 1946 and quickly attained popularity among college groups throughout the country for his danceable rhythms. (NOTE: No movie credits were found for him at IMDB.com.)