JVB Records ©1999written and
compiled by JCMarion
The second of our Detroit R & B independents was founded by Joe Von Battle (the JVB of the name) in 1948. In that year #75827 featured Walter Mitchell with "Stop Messing Around" and "Pet Milk Blues". Label owner Joe Von Battle took his turn with Boogie Woogie Red on "Looking For My Woman" on #75828, and Robert Richard's "Cadillac Woman" was #75829. The next two records on the label were by the R & B artist known as The Detroit Count. #75830 is the classic "Hasting Street Opera" parts one and two, and #75831 is "Hasting Street Woogie Man" and "I'm Crazy About You".
The JVB label shut down for a period of time in the early fifties, and then returned to the R & B field in 1953. The label now had a double digit numbering system and launched a new series of recordings. Baby Boy Warren released "Sara Lee" and "Hello Stranger" and #26. Gip Roberts on #29 was featured on "One Monkey Gonna Ruin My Show" and "Sandman". The vocal group The Gales recorded "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" on #34, and One String Sam's "My Baby" and "I Need A Thousand Dollars" on #40. Calvin Frazier on #49 sang "Rock House" and "We'll Meet Again", and Washboard Willie was featured on #59 with "Cherry Red Blues" and "Washboard Shuffle", and returned with #70 with "Washboard Blues" parts one and two.
The Twilighters recorded JVB #83 - "How many Times" and "Water Water", and Calvin Frazier on #86 - "Have Blues Must Travel" and "Lilly Mae". The oddly named Tye Tongue Hanley appeared on #88 with "I'll Try To Understand" and "You Got My Nose Wide Open". The JVB label kept at it into the late fifties and underwent another change in the numbering system of the label, now a five thousand series. In 1958 The Del-Rhythmettes recorded "I Need Your Love" and "Chick-A-Boomer" on #5000. Little Sonny was on release #5001 - "Love Shock" and "I'll Love You Baby".
This was the end of the line for Joe Von Battle and his JVB record label after more than a decade in business as part of the Detroit music scene. There was an auto worker and part time music promoter (named Berry Gordy) about to spring a recording empire on the world from the motor city, but for now JVB was history. A label with no big hits, no impact on the history of the music, but one that was a part of that history. That is what makes this history so interesting, that a small entity like JVB could become a player in the music that became rock & roll.
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