Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#722 (Week of 8/27/11 - 9/2/11) [Complete Upgrade on 2/10/18]

"Good Man"
by Todd Rhodes Orchestra
Vocal by Kitty Stevenson and The Band
on King 4486-AA
released in 1951

Above: Todd Rhodes, from Detroit, was a pianist, composer, arranger and orchestra leader. He began his career circa 1927 playing piano in the famous McKinney's "Cotton Pickers" band. It was his "Blues For The Red Boy" that opened each Alan Freed Moondog Show on WJW radio in Cleveland.

DETROIT FREE PRESS, March 25, 1950: ....There are two engaging rhythm renditions just released by Sensation Records, an enterprising Detroit discery. Replete with rich orchestral sounds and persuasive meters is "Comin' Home" by the veteran pianist Todd Rhodes and His Toddlers.

Todd's band, as usual, sounds like Ellington a bit, and is running over with resonance and melody. The other Sensation item worth investigating is "Midnight Clipper" by another Detroit band, T.J. Fowler's....

These two pieces of warm wax are expertly recorded, and are pressed on plastic surfaces. Some of the other small record companies around the country could take lessons from Sensation....

(At Left: Accompanying picture of Todd Rhodes.)

Above: (L-R) Kitty Stevenson from Detroit Free Press 1/9/48 and 11/11/49; Clipping from Indianapolis Recorder 10/27/45; and Clipping from Detroit Free Press 12/10/49.

Above: Todd Rhodes Orchestra....also known as "His Zombie Rhythmettes," "His Toddlers," and "His Recording Orchestra."

Above: Columns from The Billboard (L) 9/27/47, (M) 10/25/47, and The Cash Box (R) 6/19/48.

Above: Columns from the (L)1/22/49 and (M, R) 1/29/49 issues of The Billboard magazine. The referenced Four Shades Of Rhythm had releases on both Vitacoustic and Old Swingmaster.
Above: Column from the 8/20/49 issue of The Billboard magazine.


(The Billboard 1945-46 Yearbook)

(Detroit Free Press 12/1/50)

(Detroit Free Press 8/28/50)

(Detroit Free Press 8/5/49)

(Detroit Free Press 9/26/49)

(Detroit Free Press 8/28/53)

(Detroit Free Press 12/9/49)

(Detroit Free Press 12/17/49)

(Detroit Free Press 10/14/49)

(Detroit Free Press 3/4/49)

(New York Age 4/21/51)

NEW YORK AGE, April 21, 1951: ....And there's plenty of young talent on the bill too. For example the fine piano work of Todd Rhodes and his new band, making its first appearance at the Apollo. Kitty Stevenson, received rave notices from Alan McMillan among others for her wonderful blues singing, and Ace dancer Ralph Brown taps out his rhythms in grand style....

EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):

Above Left: Label for Sensation 32 released in May 1950.

Above Right: Clipping from Detroit Free Press dated 9/26/49.

The Billboard Review (5/13/50):

It Ain't Right
(76) Rocking beat thumps solidly all the way thru this enthusiastic slicing of a light, catchy rhythm piece which is warbled adequately by the chick.
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")

Listen to "It Ain't Right" - Kitty Stevenson With Todd Rhodes And His Toddlers - Sensation 32 - 1950.

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

Above Left: Label for King 4528 released in 1952. [Label image provided by Dave Saviet.]

Above Right: Connie Allen. She had worked previously with Paul Williams' band. Other females that sang with Todd's orchestra were Olive Brown, Kitty Stevenson, LaVern Baker (Little Miss Sharecropper), and Sadie Madison.

Above: Clippings from (Left) Detroit Free Press dated 1/24/55 and (Right) Indianapolis Recorder dated 2/19/55.

Listen to "Rocket 69" - Todd Rhodes Orchestra (Vocal by Connie Allen and the Band) - King 4528 - 1952.

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

Above Left: Todd Rhodes.

Above Right: Label image of King 4240-B, "Blues For The Red Boy," an instrumental released in 1948. The label shows the musicians as T. Rhodes - Piano; J. Williams - Bass; H. Tally - Drums; H. Thompson - Trumpet; H. Dismukes - Alto Sax; L. Barnett - Tenor Sax; G. Favors - Baritone Sax. This was Alan Freed's theme song for his WJW radio broadcasts in Cleveland.

The Cash Box Race Disk O' The Week (11/6/48):

Blues For The Red Boy
It's Todd Rhodes and his gang back with another ditty that is certain to garner an avalanche of coin play in juke boxes throughout the land. The great instrumental wares that Todd and the boys offer here is nothing short of terrific. Disk is already climbing in popularity in many sections. Ditty spins in slow tempo with some wonderful sax licks highlighting the waxing thru-out. Song has loads of life in it and makes for wonderful listening pleasure. The dance crowd as well is sure to take to this. Rhythm is terrific with loads of drive shown in the group's delivery....Climb on the bandwagon—but fast!

Listen to "Blues For The Red Boy" - Todd Rhodes Orchestra - King 4240-B - 1948.

Listen to "Blues For The Red Boy" - Alan Freed WJW Moondog Show Theme Song - 1954.

Above Left: Label image of King 4486-AA released in November 1951. Bio DeeJay label: "For a long time Todd Rhodes was a fixture in the Detroit area. He played in and around the Motor City for years, but lately he has been on the road constantly. Todd has the knack of making his small band sound very big. He arranges in such fashion that his combo of alto, tenor, baritone, trumpet, piano, bass and drums sounds much bigger."

Listen to this week's selection by Todd Rhodes Orchestra and Kitty Stevenson: [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     Good Man - King 4486-AA - 1951

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     (At Right) Detroit Free Press 11/26/47.