#956 (2/7/24)

JUBILEE RECORDS - PART FIVE

BY TONY FOURNIER



THE TOPPERS

Above: The Toppers, circa 1954, (L-R) Kenny Drye, Vernon Britton, Gabriel Gill, Jerry Halfhide (with guitar), Sam Fickling, and Freddie Williams (in back).

Disco-File has Drye, Britton, Williams, and John Kelly (lead singer) as the members on this record, their only one using The Toppers' name.

At Direct Left: Label image for Jubilee 5136, released in February 1954. John Kelly sings lead on both sides of this record.

"Let Me Bang Your Box" was composed by Theodore MacRae (ASCAP) and Sidney J. Wyche (BMI).

BMI.com shows Wyche with 204 work titles. He was co-composer of Elvis Presley's "Big Hunk Of Love", and the sole composer of Jackie Wilson's "Talk That Talk" and "A Woman, A Lover, A Friend".

Also, Wyche co-wrote Dolly Cooper's "Ay La Bah", which is included in the Modern Records - Part Five article. And The Nitecaps' "A Kiss And A Vow".

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

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Let Me Bang Your Box" - The Toppers - Jubilee 5136 - 1954.
2. "You're Laughing Because I'm Crying" - The Toppers - Jubilee 5136 - 1954.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


THE HURRICANES

With some changes in personnel, The Toppers became The Hurricanes when they went to King Records in 1955. They had ten records released on the King label (1955-1957).

Above: Still shot of The Hurricanes from the 1956 movie "Rockin' The Blues". In photo, (L-R) Henry Austin, Fred Williams, Vernon Britton, and James Brown. They are singing "You May Not Know" released by them on King 4947 in 1956. Williams and Britton were in The Toppers' group that recorded for Jubilee.

Above Left: Label image for King 4817, released in July 1955. This is The Hurricanes' first record on the King label. The song title "Poor Little Dancing Girl" is not listed at either BMI or ACSAP.

FROM THE DEE JAY "BIO" 45-RPM OF THIS RECORD:
The Hurricanes, only recently signed to a long term King contract, are expected to take the country by storm, bigger than any hurricane that has ever hit before.

This great new "find" was discovered by King A&R head man Henry Glover, who was walking down a street in Harlem sometime ago and heard the group singing on a corner.

So impressed with the group, Glover immediately signed them to record.

(NOTE: That was a neat trick for Glover as The Hurricanes were from Brooklyn and they had already recorded for Jubilee Records. Marv's article states that "Jelly Roll got the group a contract with King Records." Jelly Roll, of the comedy team "Jelly Roll And Zu Zu", was the group's manager.)

Above Right: Label image for King 4867, released in January 1956. Henry Alston sings lead on both of the side shown above.

Composer Bernice Shelton has 36 song titles listed at BMI.com. Of note, "Tell Her" (The Velvets on Red Robin 127 in 1954) and "I'd Like To Thank You Mr. D.J." (Otis Williams And The Charms on Deluxe 6097 in 1956).

At Direct Right: CASH BOX, February 11, 1956.

The Billboard Review (7/30/55):

THE HURRICANES — King 4817
Pistol Packin' Mama (70)
Fair r&b reading of the old novelty. The vocal group is backed by instrumentation that's strong on honking horns and beat.
Poor Little Dancing Girl (68) This side is a slow ballad. Tune is a pretty one, but the arrangement lacks sparkle.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 60-69 considered as "satisfactory" and 70-79 as "good".)

The Billboard Review (1/14/56):

THE HURRICANES — King 4867
Maybe It's All For The Best (75)
A refined ballad slow in tempo. The group gives a dignified solid reading.
Yours (73) The great standard gets an interesting performance. Lead singer has a high-pitched voice which sometimes has a feminine quality. A good side.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

As customary, The Billboard does not rate r&b vocal groups as highly as Cash Box does.
The latter magazine rates all four of the selected sides as "B", which is "very good".

Cash Box Review (8/20/55):

THE HURRICANES — King 4817
Pistol Packin' Mama (B)
The novelty hit of former years is given a rocking revival by The Hurricanes. Item still packs appeal and the treatment accorded the tune by the group is an infectious one. Happy, rocking side.
Poor Little Dancing Girl (B) The Hurricanes, with a Johnnie Rayish lead, project tenderly as they fashion a delightfully melodic feathery item. Effective side.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

Cash Box Review (1/14/56):

THE HURRICANES — King 4867
Maybe It's All For The Best (B)
The Hurricanes offer a slow melodious romantic tune with an easy to take treatment. Group treats it with an r&b tinted pop reading. Pleasant wax.
Yours (B) The lads bounce gayly through the tuneful oldie and come up with an ok deck.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Poor Little Dancing Girl" - The Hurricanes - King 4817 - 1955.
2. "Pistol Packin' Mama" - The Hurricanes - King 4817 - 1955.
3. "Maybe It's All For The Best" - The Hurricanes - King 4867 - 1956.
4. "Yours" - The Hurricanes - King 4867 - 1956.

ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.











THE HURRICANES — "ROCKIN' THE BLUES" STILL SHOT (1956)



THE RAVENS

Above: The Ravens, mid-1954, (TOP) Louis Frazier, (BOTTOM L-R) Tommy Evens, Joe Van Loan, and Jimmie Steward.

Click HERE for a multi-part article about The Ravens by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)




JIMMY RICKS
(BASS SINGER)

Above Left: Label image for Jubilee 5184, released in February 1955. This is the first of three by The Ravens on the Jubilee label, all released in 1955. The composer of "Bye Bye Baby Blues" is Howard Biggs, which is not shown on the Jubilee label.

Above Right: Label image for Jubilee 5203, released in April 1955. This is their second record on Jubilee.

NOTE: Disco-File has The Ravens' group members on the three Jubilee records as Jimmy Ricks, Joe Van Loan, Louis Frazier, and Jimmie Steward.

At Direct Right: THE BILLBOARD, March 19, 1955.

Cash Box Review (3/5/55):

THE RAVENS — Jubilee 5184
Happy Go Lucky Baby (B)
The Ravens sing a bouncer aimed at both markets. Jimmy Ricks’ voice always worth the price of admission. Cute arrangements of a melodic item.
Bye Bye Baby Blues (B+) A rock and roll item. A quick beat bouncer that drives. The cavern voiced chanter makes it a strong hunk of wax. Give it a listen.

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

The Billboard Review (3/26/55):

THE RAVENS — Jubilee 5184
Bye Bye Baby Blues (75)
This blues swings right along. Side has a fine beat and plenty of relaxed movement instrumentally. Nice wax.
Happy Go Lucky Baby (74) Ravens' lead singer gets off a very nice vocal here, backed by instrumental work with a good riff. Nice, relaxed side.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

Cash Box Review (6/4/55):

THE RAVENS — Jubilee 5203
Green Eyes (B+)
The Ravens come up with one of their best sides in years—a rhythmic interpretation of the evergreen, "Green Eyes". The amazing Ricks bass voice is tops. And the other lead [Jimmmie Steward] hands in another top vocal. Great arrangement. Could break big. A smash if it gets exposure.
The Bells Of San Raquel (C+) A soft and smooth romantic ballad is warmly interpreted by the group.

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

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Bye Bye Baby Blues" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5184 - 1955.
2. "Happy Go Lucky Baby" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5184 - 1955.
3. "Green Eyes" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5203 - 1955.
4. "The Bells Of San Raquel" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5203 - 1955.

ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.

Above: THE BILLBOARD, June 4, 1955.
NOTE: The picture of the group is from the 1940s. Jimmy Ricks (top-left) is the only remaining member on the Jubilee sides.



THE ORIGINAL "BYE BYE BABY BLUES"

Howard Biggs is the composer of "Bye Bye Baby Blues".

He is credited with 174 work titles at BMI.com. His notable other songs include co-writing "Got You On My Mind" (John Greer And The Rhythm Rockers, 1951; Big Three Trio, 1952) and "That's All I Need" (LaVern Baker, 1955; The DuDroppers, 1955).

Also, "I'd Rather Be Wrong Than Blue" (The Shadows, 1950; The Beavers, 1950), "Waiting For A Guy Named Joe" (Savannah Churchill And The Striders, 1952), and "I Didn't Sleep A Wink Last Night" (Arthur Prysock, 1952).

Above: Howard Biggs with Savannah Churchill. Howard's "Waiting For A Guy Named Joe" (with co-composer Joe Thomas) was released by Savannah on the RCA Victor label.

At Right: The Ravens, 1946, (TOP L-R) Leonard Puzey, Jimmy Ricks, (BOTTOM L-R) Ollie Jones, and Warren Suttles. This is the line-up that recorded the original "Bye Bye Baby Blues", as well as the other five Hub released sides.

Above Left: Label image for Hub 3033-A, released in October 1946.

Jimmy Ricks sings lead on this side, while Leonard Puzey has lead on the other side.

Above Middle: Label image for King 4234-A, released in August 1948. The flip is "Once And For All". Both sides of this record were purchased from Hub Records.

Above Right: CASH BOX, August 14, 1948.
NOTE: It would seem to be more productive if the artists' names were included.

At Direct Right: CASH BOX, August 7, 1948.
NOTE: The "King Red Label" was reserved for country & western, which was King Records' specialty at their inception in November 1943, remaining a large part of their catalog throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

Cash Box Review (12/2/46):

THE RAVENS
"Bye Bye Baby Blues"/"Once And For All" Hub 3033

The Ravens come up with a pip of a "race" tune here on "Bye Bye Baby Blues". A deep vocal bass handles the chant throughout the ditty and although it’s not a jazzy tune, the folk who flock for novelty vocal blues as done by The Ravens will latch on.

Flipped we find "Once and For All", a run of the mill, moon-in-June tune. Top side number for the money.

The Billboard Review (9/18/48):

THE RAVENS — King 4234
Bye Bye Baby Blues (84)
Popular group, lively up-tempo blues job already in the best-seller lists.
Once And For All (75) Ravens depart from usual format by having bary voice lead instead of bass on this slow ballad—as a result, side doesn't have distinction that characterizes most of their work.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good" and 80-89 as "very good".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Bye Bye Baby Blues" - The Ravens - Hub 3033-A - 1946.
2. "Once And For All" - The Ravens - Hub 3033-B - 1946.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.



EXTRA RECORD — THE RAVENS

Above: The Ravens, (L-R) Warren Suttles, Jimmy Ricks, Maithe Marshall, and Leonard Puzey. These are the group members that performed on the record below, "Ol' Man River"/"Would You Believe Me".
Above Left: Label image of National 9035-A, released in June 1947. It was The Ravens' second record out of twenty-one on the National label (1947-1951). This same version of "Ol' Man River" was purchased from National Records and released on Mercury 70554 in January 1955.

Jimmy Ricks sings lead on the top side, while Maithe Marshall has the honor on the other side.

Above Right: CASH BOX, October 6, 1947.

At Direct Right: CASH BOX, September 1, 1947.

THE BILLBOARD, April 12, 1947:
....National Records has inked the Ravens, a vocal quartet, to a pact which will run for three years, including options....

The Billboard Review (7/12/47):

THE RAVENS
"Ol' Man River"/"Would You Believe Me " National 9035

This vocal foursome adds to its stature on the spinning sides with a highly engaging rhythmic interpretation of the "Ol' Man River" classic. The deep bass voice carrying the lead all the way, with a flair for the rhythmic in his phrasings. The Ravens impart plenty of bounce to the old ballad as the other male voices add a sustained and lyrical harmony background.

Contrasting on the mated side, their singing is just as effective for the slow ballad in "Would You Believe Me", with the attractive tenor voice leading the way in and out of their closely blended harmonies.

The unusual vocal blend of the Ravens may attract coins with "Ol' Man River", and not only at the race spots.

CASH BOX, July 28, 1947:
....Seems as if everybody has a few flying saucers. The Ravens sounded the riot call last week, when they began tossing their waxing of "Ol' Man River" right into the river — the Hudson that is. Squads of policemen armed to the teeth, had to be soothed somehow, so the combo broke right into a couple of bars of the ditty, right there on the George Washington Bridge....

CASH BOX, December 27, 1947: RAVENS CLICK DISK HITS HALF MILLION MARK
NEW YORK — A. B. Green, president of National Records, announced last week that sales figures on The Ravens hit recording of "Ol' Man River" are nearing the half-million mark, setting an all time sales record for the company. Green further stated that The Ravens "Summertime", released recently is currently getting phenomenal play on coin machines and threatens the mark set by "Ol' Man River".

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Ol' Man River" - The Ravens - National 9035-A - 1947.
2. "Would You Believe Me" - The Ravens - National 9035-B - 1947.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.



DELLA REESE

Della Reese began her singing career as a gospel singer in her native Detroit. She was discovered by Mahalia Jackson and sang in Mahalia's gospel group at a young age.

After one secular record on Detroit's Great Lakes label in 1954, Della moved to the Jubilee label. Between 1955 and 1958, she had thirteen singles released on the Jubilee label, as well as three LPs. There were many more LPs after 1958.

Above: Two photos of Della Reese.
Above Left: Label image for Jubilee 5233, released in 1956. On both of the above labels, it appears as though the publishing firm was added at a later time. BMI.com has Bob Reiseman and Irving Reid as the composers of this song.

Above Right: Label image for Jubilee 5247, released in 1956.

Above Left: CASH BOX, June 2, 1956: CALM BEFORE STORM
NEW YORK—Everything was peaceful when this photo of (1eft to right) Sid Bass, Della Reese, and Della’s manager, Lee Magid, was taken.

But about ten minutes later, Bass’ baton started the orchestra rolling and Della broke loose with the wildest recording to hit the market in a long while. A powerful version of a tune called "Headin’ Home" which Jubilee issued last week.

Above Right: CASH BOX, June 23, 1956.

Above Left: CASH BOX SLEEPER, June 2, 1956.

Above Right: A somewhat better quality photo of Della Reese (than the same one in the Review).

Cash Box Review (1/21/56):

DELLA REESE — Jubilee 6021
Years From Now (B)
The thrush changes the pace and renders a touching dramatic ballad adapted for tin pan alley from a Beethoven theme. Stirring portrayal.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

The Billboard Review (1/28/56):

DELLA REESE — Jubilee 6021
Years From Now (73)
Della Reese gives a warm performance here. The tune is a classy item, out of the common groove.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

THE BILLBOARD, May 26, 1956:
....Manager Lee Magid tells us that Della Reese has gone all out on the rock and roll kick for her next Jubilee disk. The talented thrush, who has been looking for the right number to make her a really big name, is pinning her hopes on "Headin' Home". This is the Buck Ram tune, cut originally by Shirley Gunther [sic]....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Years From Now" - Della Reese (With Chorus) - Jubilee 5233 - 1956.
2. "Headin' Home" - Della Reese - Jubilee 5247 - 1956.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

NOTE: Shirley Gunter And The Flairs had a hit record with "Headin' Home"
on the Modern label in 1956. Shirley Gunter, the "Headin' Home" record, and Buck Ram,
the composer of the song, are all included in the Modern Records - Part Seven article.






CASH BOX — JUNE 2, 1956


CASH BOX DISK OF THE WEEK — DECEMBER 21, 1957



Above Left: Label image of Jubilee 5292, released in 1957. The Honey Dreamers did have at least one record on Jubilee by themselves, that also in 1957. And a record on Jubilee's subsidiary label, Josie, backing Kirk Stuart (as The Honeydreamers) in 1958.

Strangely, the song "And That Reminds Me" (or the alternate title "My Heart Reminds Me") is not listed at either ASCAP.com or BMI.com.

Above Right: CASH BOX, July 22, 1957.

Above Left: DAILY ITEM (Port Chester, NY), November 13, 1956:
THE HONEY DREAMERS will be one of the all-star acts which will appear at the Capitol Theater tomorrow night in the annual show of the Port Chester Police Association,

Above Right: Photo of Della Reese.

POMONA PROGRESS BULLETIN (Pomona, CA), October 22, 1958:
The Honey Dreamers have established quite a record of longevity in music. This five-person (three boys, two girls) vocal group was started in 1946 by some students at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Over the years, there've been changes in the compliment, but two of the originals (Marian and Bob Davis) are still with them....

Currently, The Honey Dreamers consist of two married couples—the Davises with Nan and Bob Mitchell—plus Kevin Gavin. Since Kevin is also married, they are five happy people....

CASH BOX, January 19, 1957: DELLA REESE SIGNS 5 YEAR PACT...
NEW YORK—The Boulevard [popular restaurant], Queens, L. I., New York, this week signed a five year contract with Jubilee singer, Della Reese. The contract calls for four weeks each year, with increases each year.

CASH BOX, September 7, 1957: DELLA REESE ON SULLIVAN SHOW
NEW YORK—Singer Della Reese, doing her latest Jubilee hit, "And That Reminds Me", has been added to the guest list for "The Ed Sullivan Show" to be broadcast directly from New York’s Madison Square Garden, Sunday, Sept. 8.

CASH BOX, December 7, 1957: GOLD DISK FOR DELLA
NEW YORK—Jubilee songstress Della Reese will be presented with a Gold Record on the Ed Sullivan TV stint, December 15, for having topped the 1,000,000 mark with her recording of "And That Reminds Me".

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "And That Reminds Me" - Della Reese And The Honey Dreamers - Jubilee 5292 - 1957.
2. "I Cried For You" - Della Reese And The Honey Dreamers - Jubilee 5292 - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above: CASH BOX, November 9, 1957.

The Billboard Review (7/22/57): DELLA REESE — Jubilee 5292
And That Reminds Me (73)
Beautiful theme adapted from "Autumn Concerto" has also been done by Kay Starr. Version here will probably run second to Miss Starr's disk, which carries title as "My Heart Reminds Me". [Kay Starr's version ended up a distant second.]
I Cried For You (73) The standard is given a bright, rockin' treatment. The artist really shines and side should go well. Jocks should also like it.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

Above Left: CASH BOX, December 28, 1957:
NEW YORK—Jim "Mr. Magoo" Backus (left) looks overcome by the whole thing as the "Honeydreamers" quintet carol out in the drawing room of Gracie Mansion, home of New York’s Mayor. Occasion was the Dec. 10 party of the New York Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television to benefit needy children at Christmas. The entire cast of the American Broadcasting Network’s "Jim Backus Show" showed up to help with the entertainment.

Above Right: DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE (Rochester, NY), April 4, 1955.


CASH BOX SLEEPER — JULY 27, 1957


THE BILLBOARD — AUGUST 5, 1957



JUBILEE RECORDS GOSPEL

The name Jubilee Records, in itself, sounds like it should be gospel oriented. And indeed, Jubilee Records, initially owned by Herb Abramson, had intended to be a gospel label. It's first four records were by gospel artists. This changed when Jerry Blaine bought the label from Abramson in 1947. Herb went on to become president and co-owner of Atlantic Records at its start in 1948, but that's another record company for another day.

Blaine went away from gospel music almost completely, although his main attraction, The Orioles, did have several records of that type over the years.


ETHEL WATERS

Ethel's "Partners With God" is one of the few gospel sides on the Jubilee label. Even with that, the flip-side, "Memories Of You", is a secular song.

Above: Photo of a young Ethel Waters. She was a blues singer and actress, who starred in a TV series, "Beulah", in 1950.
Above Left: Label image of Jubilee 5274, released in March 1957.

Above Middle: CASH BOX, April 6, 1957.

Above Right: Another young Ethel Waters photo.

CASH BOX, April 20, 1957:
....Jubilee making considerable noise in these parts [Chicago] with Ethel Waters’ "Memories Of You"....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Partners With God" - Miss Ethel Waters With The Bob Davis Singers - Jubilee 5274 - 1957.
2. "Memories Of You" - Miss Ethel Waters With The Bob Davis Singers - Jubilee 5274 - 1957.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Cash Box Review (3/23/57): ETHEL WATERS — Jubilee 5274
Partners With God (B+)
Ethel Waters, one of the show world’s great singers, makes a brilliant debut on Jubilee as she introduces a tender, inspirational ballad that gives this listener chills.
Enchanting melody with an emotional and warm lyric performed with great sincerity and understanding by the veteran vocalist.
A religious sleeper to watch closely. Could be tremendous.
Memories Of You (B) The queen, who has a wonderful feel for a lyric, hands in an absolutely delightful interpretation of the great Benny Goodman theme.
Excellent coupling.

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



JOSIE (JOZ) RECORDS

CASH BOX, April 10, 1954: BLAINE FORMS NEW R&B LABEL, JO-Z RECORDS
NEW YORK—Jerry Blaine, prexy of Jubilee Records, this week announced the formation of a new Rhythm and Blues label known as JO-Z (Josie) Records. The new company will feature the following names: The Starlings; The Four Bars; The Ray-O-Vacs; The Selah Jubilee Singers; and The International Gospel Singers.

This move seems to indicate that all the artists on the Jubilee label will be directed toward the pop field. JO-Z’s first release will feature the Starlings on "My Plea For Love" backed with "Music Maestro Please".


THE STARLINGS

The Starlings, on Josie, consisted of Larry Gales (tenor lead), Johnny Johnson (baritone), Clyde Franklin (bass), Stan Gilbert (first tenor), and Jackie Marshall (second tenor). They had one record on the Josie label (1954).

With some personnel changes, now Larry Gales, Johnny Johnson, Bill Lindsay (second tenor), and Donald Redd (bass), The Starlings had two releases on the Dawn label (1955). The same Dawn group changed their name to The Twilighters, resulting in two records on M-G-M (1955-1956).

Above Left: CASH BOX, April 10, 1954.
NOTE: Wonder who came up with "JO-Z" with a dash? The labels show the name as "JOZ".
The Josie numbering system, for some reason (or maybe not) started with 760.

Above Right: CASH BOX, April 17, 1954.
NOTE: The correct name of the song is "My Plea For Love".

At Left: CASH BOX, April 24, 1954.

Above: Label image of Josie 760, released in April 1954. Larry Gales sings lead on both sides. BMI.com credits "Lawrence Bernard Gales" as composer of the flip-side, "My Plea For Love".

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

Cash Box Review (4/24/54):

THE STARLINGS — Josie 001*
Music Maestro Please (B)
The Starlings etch an r & b reading of the one time big pop hit. Team performs the ditty in ballad style for pleasant listening.
My Plea For Love (B) The Starlings work over another slow blues ballad. A pretty melody smoothly done.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

(*NOTE: Interestingly, the Josie record number given here is "001". In Cash Box's review of The Four Bars Josie 762, that record is shown as "005".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Music Maestro Please" - The Starlings - Josie 760 - 1954.
2. "My Plea For Love" - The Starlings - Josie 760 - 1954.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


EXTRA RECORD — THE STARLINGS

At Left: Label image of Dawn 213 A, released in March 1955. Bill Lindsay and Johnny Johnson share the lead on this one, while Larry Gales does the honor on the flip-side, "I Gotta Go Now".

While Larry Gales is credited with eighteen work titles at BMI.com, "A-Loo A-Loo" is not one of them. The song is not listed at all. "I Got To Go Now" is credited to Larry at BMI.com as the solo composer. But somehow, Lee Magid, an A&R man at Dawn Records, got his name added to the label.

Cash Box Review (4/23/55):

THE STARLINGS — Dawn 213
A-Loo A-Loo (B)
The Starlings wax a slow blues ballad pretty and the result is a very listenable side. Melodic and easy on the ears.
I Gotta Go Now (B) The fellows change the pace with a bouncing big beat jumper and they come up with an item that has that pop flavor. Ok.

(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good".)

(NOTE: As stated in previous articles, The Billboard usually gave lower ratings than Cash Box for r&b vocal group records. Perhaps being the older of the two publications, they had a stodgy attitude.)

The Billboard Review (5/28/55):

THE STARLINGS — Dawn 213
I Gotta Go Now (68)
Bright rocker is projected rhythmically. Some Juke play likely.
A-Loo A-Loo (64) Romantic ditty is sung gently by the group, with the baritone solo standing above the rest.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 60-69 considered as "satisfactory".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "A-Loo A-Loo" - The Starlings - Dawn 213 A - 1955.
2. "I Gotta Go Now" - The Starlings - Dawn 213 B - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


THE CADILLACS

The Stars of Josie Records were The Cadillacs. They had nineteen records on the Josie label (1954-1960).

Above: Photo of The Cadillacs, (Top L-R) Earl Carroll, James Clark, (Center) Laverne Drake, (Bottom L-R) Bobby Phillips, and Johnny "Gus" Willingham. Per Disco-File, these are the members that recorded Josie 765, "Gloria"/"I Wonder Why".
Above Left: CASH BOX, July 24, 1954.

Above Middle: Label image of Josie 765, released in July 1954. The label does not show a composer credit. The song was written by Leon Rene, famous for his popular compositions and owner/president of Exclusive Records in the 1940s.

Above Right: CASH BOX, September 18, 1954.

Click HERE for a short history about the song Gloria by Marv Goldberg. (Will open in a separate window)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Gloria" - The Cadillacs - Josie 765 - 1954.
2. "I Wonder Why" - The Cadillacs - Josie 765 - 1954.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: Label image for Josie 773, released in January 1955. Jubilee also released "No Chance" by The King Sisters on Jubilee #5187 a month or two later.

Per BMI, the flip-side, "Sympathy", was written by Jeanne Burns and Esther Navarro. The label shows Burns and Earl Carroll as the composers. Burns and Navarro also composed The Cadillacs' "Window Lady", their next record.

Above Right: CASH BOX, January 9, 1955.

CASH BOX, January 29, 1955:
..... Jubilee Records out with a new Orioles "I Love You Mostly" and "Fair Exchange," and a Cadillacs "No Chance" and "Sympathy," both of which look like strong contenders....

Above Left: CASH BOX, June 23, 1956.

Above Right: Label image for Josie 798, released in May 1956. BMI.com lists 108 title credits for "Woe Is Me"; Esther Navarro is the writer of one of them.

The flip-side, "Betty My Love" is an answer song to The Teen Queens' "Eddie My Love" (RPM label, January 1956). Danny Small composed "Betty My Love". His most famous song is "Without Love" sung by Clyde McPhatter on Atlantic in 1956. He's also credited with one of the 560 "Gloria" titles listed at BMI.com.

CASH BOX, June 9, 1956:
Jerry Blaine, Jubilee-Josie Records, reports the plattery has four items that look like hit releases. "Headin’ Home" by Della Reese seems to be "home"; The Cadillacs taking off big with "Betty My Love" and "Woe Is Me"; ....

....The Four Tunes have a pair of standards that are creating more excitement than any since "Marie". They are "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" and "Far Away Places"; and Jimmy Ricks looks like a good choice with "She’s Fine, She’s Mine"....


CASH BOX AWARD O' THE WEEK — JUNE 9, 1956

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "No Chance" - The Cadillacs - Josie 773 - 1955.
2. "Sympathy" - The Cadillacs - Josie 773 - 1955.
3. "Woe Is Me" - The Cadillacs - Josie 798 - 1956.
4. "Betty My Love " - The Cadillacs - Josie 798 - 1956.

ALL FOUR SONGS played in sequence.

At Left: CASH BOX, January 28, 1956.

Above Right: Label image for Josie 785, released in October 1955. "Speedoo" is The Cadillacs' biggest hit.

BMI.com credits Esther Navarro as composer of the BMI AWARD WINNING SONG, "Speedoo". BMI.com also lists another "Speedoo" song with Earl Carroll as the songwriter. The label appears to have misspelled Esther's name.

TRADE MAGAZINE, November 1955:
....Kind of interesting to note how the tune "Speedoo" by The Cadillacs on Josie was written. The group's lead singer, whose given name is Earl, is a slow-moving fellow, and one time, on a gig with Jesse Powell (Josie orchestra leader), Jesse jokingly called him Speedoo. Agent-songwriter Esther Navarro was present and thus the new tune and Earl's new name were born....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Speedoo" - The Cadillacs - Josie 785 - 1955.
2. "Let Me Explain" - The Cadillacs - Josie 785 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.



Above: CASH BOX REVIEW, October 29, 1955.

NOTE: It's understandable that Esther Navarro's name is misspelled. Both the 45-rpm and 78-rpm "Speedoo" labels appear to have the same mistake.

"Let Me Explain" got top billing here ("Speedoo" was the big hit side). Perhaps because "Let Me Explain" was composed by Chuck Willis. Also, it is a nice, well done song.

Chuck had previous hit songs with "The Door Is Still Open" by The Cardinals, "Oh What A Dream" by Ruth Brown And Her Rhythmakers (actually The Drifters), and "Close Your Eyes" by The Five Keys, among others.


SPEEDOO BY THE CADILLACS — DECEMBER 1955


THE FOUR BARS

Above: 1955 photo of The Four Bars, (L-R) Francis Henry, Melvin Butler, Eddie Daye, and Alfonso Feemster. Per Disco-File, these are the members that recorded all three of their Josie records (1954-1955).

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

Above Left: Label image for Josie 768, released in September 1954. Eddie Daye and Alfonso Feemster share the lead on this top side, while Alfonso leads the flip-side, "Stop It1 Quit It!" by himself.

Doris Day and Denise Lor had popular hits with "If I Give My Heart To You" in 1954.

The label shows Eddie Daye as composer of "Stop It1 Quit It!", but it's not listed at BMI.com. However, The Four Bars' songs "Grief By Day Grief By Night", "Hey Baby", and "What's On Your Mind" are listed and credited to Eddie.

BMI.com also shows that Eddie wrote both sides of The Earls' 1954 Gem record, "Believe Me, My Love" and "Spinnin'".

Above Right: CASH BOX, September 11, 1954.

At Direct Right: CASH BOX, August 28, 1954.

At Far Right: CASH BOX, September 25, 1954.

Cash Box Review (4/24/54):

THE FOUR BARS — Josie 768
If I Give My Heart To You (B+)
The first r & b recording of the hauntingly lovely tune currently creating pop excitement. The Four Bars handle the tune tenderly and come up with a wax that should meet with good acceptance.
Stop It1 Quit It! (B) The group dishes up a change of pace as they sock out a rocker for the flip. A happy lyric sung with enthusiasm.

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

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "If I Give My Heart To You" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1954.
2. "Stop It! Quit It!" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1954.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.


PATTI JEROME

Patti Jerome recorded for Central, Josie, Wing (a subsidiary of Mercury), and Rama between 1954 and 1957. In the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, she appeared as an actress in several movies and TV shows.

Above Left: Photo of Patti Jerome.

Above Middle Top: Label image for Josie 774, released in January 1955. There were two other versions of this song, the original by Varetta Dillard on Savoy and a vocal group version by The Five Wings on King.

Above Middle Bottom: THE BILLBOARD, February 19, 1955.

Above Right CASH BOX, February 26, 1955.

At Direct Right CASH BOX, March 19, 1955.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Johnny Has Gone" - Patti Jerome - Josie 774 - 1955.
2. "Johnny Has Gone" - Varetta Dillard - Savoy 1153-A - 1955.
3. "Johnny Has Gone" - The Five Wings - King 4778 - 1955.

ALL THREE SONGS played in sequence.


THREE MORE JOSIE VOCAL GROUPS

The February 4, 1956 edition of The Billboard lists the following vocal groups currently with Jubilee and Josie.

JUBILEE: The Dominoes, Four Tunes, Heartbeats, Orioles, Ravens, and Stylers.
JOSIE: The Cadillacs, Charioteers, Clicks, Kansas City Tomcats, Ray-O-Vacs, and Tear Drops.

Above Left: Label image for Josie 784, released in October 1955. This is their only record. It was first released on Jen D, a Philadelphia label, earlier in 1955. Disco-File does not include any member names.

Composers shown on the labels for both sides are "Dougherty-Teoli". ASCAP.com credits "You Are So Beautiful" to Jennie Genevieve Dougherty and Albert G. Teoli. Jennie is probably short for Genevieve. Makes one wonder if they were somehow directly associated with The Five Notes. Is it possible there was a female singer in this group?

Above Right: CASH BOX SLEEPER, October 15, 1955.
NOTE: It's sad that, with such a good review, this group seems to have faded into oblivion.

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "You Are So Beautiful" - The 5 Notes - Josie 784 - 1955.
2. "Broken Hearted Baby" - The 5 Notes - Josie 784 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: Label image for Josie 786, released in September 1955.

Above Right: CASH BOX, October 22, 1955: QUICK CONTRACT
NEW YORK—These five strapping fellows marched into the office of Herb Dexter, Jubilee A & R head, recently, with the subtle request "We want a contract." Dexter was in a listening mood and allowed the boys to display their talents, and after a few numbers, they got the contract.

That same night, they were recorded and their first record, "Nobody Knows" b/w "Meet Me, Meet Me Baby", is scheduled for release in the near future. The group is called the Kansas City Tomcats and includes Lucky Enois (leader, guitar), Eddy Saunders (sax), Brooks Lewis (bass), Jimmy Waters, (drums and vocals) and Walter Spriggs (lead singer).

(NOTE: So which one is the piano player in the picture?)

At Direct Right: CASH BOX, November 5, 1955.

THE BILLBOARD, October 29, 1955:
.....Jubilee Records has signed the Kansas City Tomcats, band now playing at the Mocambo, Montreal, and including Lucky Enois, Eddy Saunders, Brooks Lewis, Jimmy Waters, and Walter Spriggs....

Cash Box Review (11/5/55):

KANSAS CITY TOMCATS — Josie 786
Nobody Knows (B+) The Kansas City Tomcats, a new group to the trade, makes an impressive debut with this middle beat rhythmic bouncer. Shouty lead, backed with a well organized group and good instrumental support, come up with an attention grabber on the first try.
Meet Me, Meet Me Baby (B) The K. C. Tomcats back with another top quality product that just fails to meet the standard of "Nobody Knows". It is a middle beat jump fashioned with an adhesive performance that indicates this group has worked together for some time.
(NOTE: A rating of B was considered as "very good" and B+ as "excellent".)

The Billboard Review (11/19/55):

KANSAS CITY TOMCATS — Josie 786
Nobody Knows (73) The group wails appealingly on a driving rhythm tune with a pounding beat. Lyric concerns a gal who pets her sweetie in front of company, but treats him rough in private.
Meet Me, Meet Me Baby (71) A catchy little rhythm tune wrapped up in a happy vocal and a catchy beat.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
1. "Nobody Knows" - The Kansas City Tomcats - Josie 786 - 1955.
2. "Meet Me, Meet Me Baby" - The Kansas City Tomcats - Josie 786 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Above Left: Label image for Josie 786, released in October 1955. BMI.com Gives Jimmie H. Davis and Fred Stryker credit for writing the flip-side "I've Got My Heart On My Sleeve". Or should it be Ziggy Lane, who composed "I Don't Wear My Heart On My Sleeve", which is what's actually sung in this song? This is The Charioteers only record on the Josie label.

Above Right: KINGSTON DAILY FREEMAN (Kingston, NY), October 13, 1954:
The Charioteers will be one of the acts to appear at Joyce-Schirick Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars Charity Revue at Broadway Theatre, Tuesday, Oct. 26.

This singing group has appeared in all leading theatres and clubs, in addition to four years with Bing Crosby on Kraft Music Hall, four years with Olson And Johnson in Hellzapoppin', and on TV with Milton Berle and Kate Smith.

THE BILLBOARD, June 18, 1955:
The Charioteers, long-established vocal group, have signed with Jubilee and cut their first wax last week with the support and arrangements of Sid Bass. Bass has developed into one of the top group arrangers....

LISTEN (Windows Media Player):
3. "Don't Play No Mambo" - The Charioteers - Josie 787 - 1955.
4. "I've Got My Heart On My Sleeve" - The Charioteers - Josie 787 - 1955.

BOTH SONGS played in sequence.

Cash Box Review (12/24/55):

THE CHARIOTEERS — Josie 787
I Don't Wear My Heart On My Sleeve (B)
The Charioteers display some beautiful harmony as they fashion a pretty piece of ballad material.
Don't Play No Mambo (C+) A clever novelty with a good beat and a lot of drive.

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

The Billboard Review (12/24/55):

THE CHARIOTEERS — Josie 787
Don't Play No Mambo (76)
The veteran group injects flavor into the rock and roll idiom and comes up with a rompis novelty. Good wax, with sock backing by the Sid Bass ork.
I Don't Wear My Heart On My Sleeve (70) Falsetto lead carries this slow ballad all the way. So-so stuff.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 70-79 considered as "good".)

(NOTE: Both above reviewers used the correct song title versus the one given on the label. Cash Box shows "Roosevelt-Lane" as the composers, while The Billboard has only "Roosevelt".)




PART FIVE CONCLUDES THIS SERIES OF "JUBILEE RECORDS" ARTICLES.

JERRY BLAINE WAS PRESIDENT AND OWNER OF JUBILEE. HIS MAIN INTEREST WAS POPULAR MUSIC. MANY OF HIS JUBILEE "R&B" RECORDS WERE "POP" ORIENTED.

EVEN SO, THERE WERE SOME R&B GEMS BY THE MARYLANDERS AND THE SULTANS. AND, OF COURSE, THE MANY GREAT RECORDS BY THE ORIOLES.

TO BLAINE'S CREDIT, IN 1954 HE STARTED A SUBSIDIARY LABEL, JOSIE RECORDS, DEDICATED TO R&B AND ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC.

OVERALL, JUBILEE WAS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER INDEPENDENT LABELS OF THE TIME, BUT INTERESTING IN ITS OWN WAY.



JUBILEE RECORDS - PART ONE FEATURES THE ORIOLES, THE BALLADEERS, CLIFF AYERS, THE MELLO-MOODS, THE MASTER KEYS, VIOLA WATKINS, AND RALPH WILLIS. ALSO INCLUDED IS A SECTION ON JERRY BLAINE, OWNER AND PRESIDENT OF JUBILEE RECORDS.

JUBILEE RECORDS - PART TWO FEATURES THE SULTANS, THE ENCHANTERS, THE SUGAR TONES, THE DELLTONES, EDNA McGRIFF, THE MARYLANDERS, SONNY TIL, LITTLE SYLVIA, ANDREW WIDEMAN, THE BEY SISTERS, THE FIVE SHARPS, AND ANOTHER SECTION ON JERRY BLAINE. ALSO INCLUDED ARE SPOTLIGHTS ON THE SONGS "DON'T BE ANGRY" AND "THE RING".

JUBILEE RECORDS - PART THREE FEATURES THE DREAMERS, BETTE McLAURIN, LITTLE SYLVIA (RE-VISITED), DOLLY DAWN AND THE C-NOTES, AND THE RAY-O-VACS. ALSO INCLUDED ARE SPOTLIGHTS ON THE SONGS "I MAY HATE MYSELF IN THE MORNING", "I WENT TO YOUR WEDDING", AND "BE ANYTHING, BUT BE MINE".

JUBILEE RECORDS - PART FOUR FEATURES THE TOP NOTES, BUDDY HAWKINS AND THE KEY NOTES, BUDDY HAWKINS AND THE SONGMASTERS, THE FOUR TUNES, GLORIA MANN, THE CARTER RAYS, THE HEARTBEATS, AND THE THREE FRIENDS. ALSO INCLUDED ARE SPOTLIGHTS ON THE SONGS "I'M JUST A DREAMER", "DON'T CRY DARLING", "GOODNITE SWEETHEART, GOODNITE", AND "DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON ME".


Listen to all of this article's audio selections using Windows Media Player:

          1. "Let Me Bang Your Box" - The Toppers - Jubilee 5136 - 1954.
          2. "You're Laughing Because I'm Crying" - The Toppers - Jubilee 5136 - 1954.
          3. "Poor Little Dancing Girl" - The Hurricanes - King 4817 - 1955.
          4. "Pistol Packin' Mama" - The Hurricanes - King 4817 - 1955.
          5. "Maybe It's All For The Best" - The Hurricanes - King 4867 - 1956.
          6. "Yours" - The Hurricanes - King 4867 - 1956.
          7. "Bye Bye Baby Blues" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5184 - 1955.
          8. "Happy Go Lucky Baby" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5184 - 1955.
          9. "Green Eyes" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5203 - 1955.
        10. "The Bells Of San Raquel" - The Ravens - Jubilee 5203 - 1955.
        11. "Bye Bye Baby Blues" - The Ravens - Hub 3033-A - 1946.
        12. "Once And For All" - The Ravens - Hub 3033-B - 1946.
        13. "Ol' Man River" - The Ravens - National 9035-A - 1947.
        14. "Would You Believe Me" - The Ravens - National 9035-B - 1947.
        15. "Years From Now" - Della Reese (With Chorus) - Jubilee 5233 - 1956.
        16. "Headin' Home" - Della Reese - Jubilee 5247 - 1956.
        17. "And That Reminds Me" - Della Reese And The Honey Dreamers - Jubilee 5292 - 1957.
        18. "I Cried For You" - Della Reese And The Honey Dreamers - Jubilee 5292 - 1957.
        19. "Partners With God" - Miss Ethel Waters With The Bob Davis Singers - Jubilee 5274 - 1957.
        20. "Memories Of You" - Miss Ethel Waters With The Bob Davis Singers - Jubilee 5274 - 1957.
        21. "Music Maestro Please" - The Starlings - Josie 760 - 1954.
        22. "My Plea For Love" - The Starlings - Josie 760 - 1954.
        23. "A-Loo A-Loo" - The Starlings - Dawn 213 A - 1955.
        24. "I Gotta Go Now" - The Starlings - Dawn 213 B - 1955.
        25. "Gloria" - The Cadillacs - Josie 765 - 1954.
        26. "I Wonder Why" - The Cadillacs - Josie 765 - 1954.
        27. "No Chance" - The Cadillacs - Josie 773 - 1955.
        28. "Sympathy" - The Cadillacs - Josie 773 - 1955.
        29. "Woe Is Me" - The Cadillacs - Josie 798 - 1956.
        30. "Betty My Love " - The Cadillacs - Josie 798 - 1956.
        31. "Speedoo" - The Cadillacs - Josie 785 - 1955.
        32. "Let Me Explain" - The Cadillacs - Josie 785 - 1955.
        33. "If I Give My Heart To You" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1954.
        34. "Stop It! Quit It!" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1954.
        35. "Johnny Has Gone" - Patti Jerome - Josie 774 - 1955.
        36. "Johnny Has Gone" - Varetta Dillard - Savoy 1153-A - 1955.
        37. "Johnny Has Gone" - The Five Wings - King 4778 - 1955.
        38. "You Are So Beautiful" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1955.
        39. "Broken Hearted Baby" - The Four Bars - Josie 768 - 1955.
        40. "Nobody Knows" - The Kansas City Tomcats - Josie 786 - 1955.
        41. "Meet Me, Meet Me Baby" - The Kansas City Tomcats - Josie 786 - 1955.
        42. "Don't Play No Mambo" - The Charioteers - Josie 787 - 1955.
        43. "I've Got My Heart On My Sleeve" - The Charioteers - Josie 787 - 1955.
 
          ALL FORTY-THREE ABOVE SONGS played in sequence.

          ALL THIRTY-ONE ABOVE JUBILEE/JOSIE LABEL SONGS played in sequence.


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