#883 (2/11/17 - 2/24/17)

"You Never Knew"/"Fire In My Heart"
by Bobby Hall And The Kings
on Harlem 2322
released in 1954

[The above image is courtesy of Marv Goldberg.]

Above: The Kings (Back L-R) James Arthur (tenor), Raymond Holcomb (baritone), Gilbert Wilkes (bass), Rudolph Chew (guitar), and (Front) Adolphus Holcomb (tenor). This is a later group (1957) after Bobby Hall had left. The group members on the Jax and Harlem sides are Bobby Hall (tenor), both Holcombs, Wilkes, and Leon Smith (guitar). A sixth member, John Rush, was added for the Gotham sides.

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


Bobby Shad owned and operated the Jade, Sittin' in with, Jax, Time, Junior, and Brent record labels, all located in New York City. His brother, Morty Shad, was also involved in the Sittin' in with and Jax labels. Jax was replaced with Harlem Records, owned solely by Morty Shad, in 1954.

As A & R man at Mercury, he signed such artists as Wini Brown, The Eagles, The Chestnuts, and Red Prysock and, at Decca, Savannah Churchill, Little Esther, Margie Day, and Lightning Hopkins.

CASH BOX, 5/17/52: Bobby Shad Turns Out Mercury's R & B Hits One After Another—Bobby Shad completed his first six months with Mercury as head of the Rhythm and Blues department with a long line of hits. Bobby came over from Sittin In, an independent label which he started himself after working in the R & B field for a number of years with such firms as Savoy, Manor, Continental and National....

CASH BOX, 7/18/53: Bobby Shad Named Head of Decca's R & B Dept.—Milt Gabler, Director of Artists and Repertoire, today announced the appointment of Bobby Shad to head Decca's recently reactivated rhythm and blues department....

Shad entered the music business by opening a mail-order record house [in 1945]. After a short time he formed his own record company, which he operated for about one year. In addition to making his own records, Shad was at this time doing free-lance work for several independent labels.

Shad was A & R head at National Records for close to a year, then once again formed his own company for three years....

CASH BOX, 11/8/58: Shad Forms Own Record Operation With Two New Labels—Bobby Shad, well known veteran of the record business, announced last week that he has formed his own record operation with two new labels, Time Records and Junior Records. Shad recently resigned from Mercury Records after thirteen years in the diskery's A & R department. Both firms are pop music companies in nature....

EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):

Bobby Hall is the lead singer on all the Jax sides.

Listen to "Why? Oh, Why?" - The Kings Featuring Bobby Hall - Jax 314 - 1953.

Listen to "You Made Me Cry" - The Kings Featuring Bobby Hall - Jax 316 - 1953.

Listen to "Love No One" - Bobby Hall And The Kings - Jax 320 - 1953.

Listen to "Sunday Kind Of Love" - Bobby Hall And The Kings - Jax 320 - 1953.


The Cash Box Review (8/8/53):

THE KINGS — JAX 314.... Why? Oh, Why? (B+)
A slow blues ballad with Hall vocalizing smoothly and warmly against an easy and polished chorus. The light bounce comes through a good side that is already kicking up a bit of action in Philadelphia. Bears watching.

The Cash Box Review (10/24/53):

THE KINGS — JAX 316.... You Made Me Cry (B+)
The Kings follow up their "Why Oh Why" with another that looks like hit material. A slow blues ballad performed tenderly with Bobby Hall coming through with a fine emotional lead vocal. A good deck and it could happen big.

The Cash Box Review (12/26/53):

THE KINGS — JAX 320....
Love No One (B+) Bobby Hall and the Kings do a solid job on a slow rhythmic blues item. Hall does an emotional lead putting lots of feeling into his delivery. A good deck.
Sunday Kind Of Love (B) The boys come up with a smart and tender reading of the slow, pretty love tune.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered "very good" and B+ was "excellent.")

EXTRA EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):

Listen to "God Made You Mine!" - The Kings - Gotham 316 - 1955.

Listen to "The Good Book" - The Kings - Gotham 316 - 1955.


This record was released in October 1955.

Adolphus Holcomb is the lead singer on both sides.

Above: Label image of Harlem 2322 released in October 1954. Adolphus Holcomb sings lead on both sides. The Kings had four releases on Jax (1953-1954), this one release on Harlem (1954), and one on the Gotham label (1955). They also had two records on M-G-M as The Ramblers (1954-1955).

PRESS RELEASE, NEW YORK, September 11, 1954: Harlem, Dale Labels Launched by Shad—A pair of new labels, one rhythm and blues and one jazz, are ready to bow into the business in the next few weeks. Heading both outfits is Mort Shad [Bobby Shad's brother], long-time disk manufacturer, whose last major venture was the Sittin' In label a few years ago. Shad's r&b label, Harlem, has already set releases by the Kings, Brownie McGhee, the Serenaders, Lightning Hopkins, and the Bill Diablo mambo band....
(NOTE: The Sittin in with and Jax labels both depict a saxophone aligned with the center hole. Harlem also released records by The Empires and The Dixieaires.)

NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.

Listen to this week's selections featuring Bobby Hall And The Kings on Harlem 2322 from 1954:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. You Never Knew
          2. Fire In My Heart
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. You Never Knew
          2. Fire In My Heart

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. You Never Knew
          2. Fire In My Heart
          BOTH played in sequence

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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