Forgotten Sessions (part 3) ©2002JCMarion


Cadillac Records - The label was founded in September of 1951 Charles Boulanger and Graham Prince in New York City. The first release is by Ruth Casey of the songs "Hold Me Just A Little Bit Longer" and "Cry" on #103. The ballad "Cry" was soon covered for Columbia Records on its subsidiary label Okeh, by Johnny Ray and became a national sensation. This mostly unknown label bacame part of American musical history with this fact and although the label supposedly existed for a number of years after 1951, it is difficult to find further information on the company.

Intro Records - Los Angeles independent R & B label Aladdin Records announced in April of 1950 the formation of Intro as a subsidiary label. The label also announces that it will press its records on only 78 rpm speeds. The first release on the label is by the Nick Stuart Orchestra on the tunes "Third Man Boogie" and "At The Balinese Room" on #6003. In February of 1951 Intro #6006 is released and also hyped in the trade press as part of the Aladdin advertising. The record is by Leo & His Trio and the songs are "Silver Spurs" and the C & W turned pop hit "Anytime". In May of the year #6017 is released by veteran entertainer Scatman Crothers with the Red Callendar Sextet with the tunes "Free Samples" and "Gruntin' And A - Groanin'". In June of 1951 Aladdin puts all of its country performers on the Intro label. In March of 1952 the Joe Burton Sextet records "Got You On My Mind" and "The Sun Comes Up And The Sun Goes Down" on #6042. By the late spring of the year the wide range of music available on the Intro label is apparent with the release of "Nancy Jane" and "The Gossip Song" by C & W artist Tommy Duncan on #6054, and comedian Doodles Weaver with "April Showers" and "The Presidential Handicap" on #6056. In November of 1952 the Messner Brothers who run Aladdin Records start up 7-11 Records and will put all their R & B artists on this new label and keep Intro for C & W and pop releases. The label put out releases until 1957, but made no inroads on the R & B scene.

Big Nickel Records - In June of 1950 the label is formed by Jack Sloves and Chris Forde (of Tuxedo Records) in New York City. The first artist signed to the label is a fifteen year old vocalist named Lucille Linden. The ;abel soon signs Acey Prince, Mildred Gettings, and Henry Wright. The first release on the label is #1001 by Lucille Linden with the Acey Prince Orchestra. The songs are "Mister Morty Fat And Forty" and "Uh Oh Jo Jo". In August of the year Claude Hopkins recorded for Big Nickel with "You're Different" with vocal by Lucille Linden, and "Somebody Mentioned Your Name" with vocal by Buddy Brees on #1004, and "Crying My Heart Out For You" with vocal by Betty McLaurin, and "Are You Forgetting Love" with vocal by Henry Wright on #1005. By the end of the year of 1950 Big Nickel was no more.

Middle-Tone Records - This label was begun by Emanuel Middleton in Los Angeles in 1955. The first release was by Carmen Davis with "No No Baby" and "He's Mine" on #2001. This was followed by #2002 - "Let Me Hear It Again" by The Pebbles. In early 1956 Sonny Woods & The Four Winds record "Do You LOve Me?" and "I Promise" on #008. Carmen Davis returns with the Ernie Freeman Orchestra on the tune "Your Kiss" on #009. Riff Ruffin records "Foxey" parts one and two on Middle-Tone #010. The Cordells record "Lovely Girl" on #011, and the final release for the label in late 1956 is by Al ( Minnie ) Boyd - "Thanks For The Blues" and "You Are My Sunshine".

Big Town Records - In May of 1953, Bill McCall head of 4-Star Records acquires the Big Town label from Bob Geddins. Geddins stays on as A & R man and house song writing talent. Later that month Jimmy Wilson records "Tin Pan Alley" and "Big Town Jump" on #101, King Solomon's Trio records "Mean Train" and "Baby I'm Cutting Out" on Big Town # 102, and Jimmie Wilson records "Call Me A Hound Dog" and "Instrumental Jump" on #103. In June Little Caesar is signed to the label. "Tin Pan Alley" by Wilson is the label's first R & B hit selling well in L.A. , and cities in the Midwest such as St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Chicago. In July the label signs Jesse Thomas and Sister Roseann Winn. Little Caesar records "Big Eyes" and "Can't Stand It All Alone" on #106 for the label. J.R. Fullbright joins the label as talent scout nationwide. In October the label releases "Blues At Sundown" and "A Woman Is To Blame" by Jimmy Wilson on # 107. The label signs Fats Gaines and gospel performer Reverend Landers. Fats Gaines & his band record "Homework Blues" and "He's A Real Fine Man" with vocals by Rose Johnson on #108. The Thrillers record "Mattie Leave Me Alone" on #109. Big Town releases #110 with Little Caesar on the tunes "What Kind Of Fool Is He?" and "Wonder Why I'm Leaving?". At year's end King Records of Cincinnati agrees to handle national distribution for Big Town Records. In February of 1954 new artist Odie Ervin records "The Note I Pinned On My Bed" and "She's A Bad Bad Woman" on Big Town #111. In April Jimmy Wilson records "Mountain Climber" and "Teardrops On My Pillow" on #113. Angel Face with the Frank Motley Orchestra records "Don't Ever Leave Me" and "When The Saints Go Marching In" on Big Town #114. In October Frank Motley recorded "New Hound Dog" with vocal by Curley Bridges, and the flip side "Snatch It" with featured tenor sax solo by King Herbert on #116. In April of 1955 The Original Four Aces record "I Can See An Angel" and "You Were My First Affair" on #118 and Frank Motley recorded "Frantic Love" and "Honkin' At Midnight" on Big Town #119. The next month #120 is released featuring Que Martyn's band on "Lover's Rhapsody" and "Work With It" with vocal by Dell Graham. Frank Motley returns with "Lover's Mambo" and "Memories Of You" on #121. In June of 1955 Big Town #122 is released featuring Al Harrison with Que Martyn on the tunes "Don't Know Where I'm At" and "I'll Forget About You". In late November of 1956 Fats Gaines & his orchestra are still at it and record two tunes with vocals by Rose Johnson - "Ruff House Rose" and "Feeling Happy" on #124. At this time the Big Town label for all intents and purposes calls it quits. In four years the West Coast independent label had one hit record and a lot of misses. Their roster was not full of memorable performers but they took their shot and remained part of the history of American music.

Jaguar Records - George Bennett forms the new label and it is headquartered in the famous Brill Building. The first releases are a gospel side - "I Need Jesus" and "Dry Bones" by Watkins Bell & The All City Chorus on #202. The first non gospel sides are by Bay City Five : "Basin Street Blues" on #3001, and "Oh Marie" and "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" on #3002. The Volumes with the orchestra of Ben Smith on the songs "I Won't Tell A Soul" and "Got To Feed The 'Ol Horse A Lotta Hay" is released on #3004. In September of 1954 the label acquires the recording rights for the motion picture "Jazz Dance". The 4 Brothers & A Cousin are featured on the songs "Trust In Me" and ""Whistle Stop Blues" on #3005. LaCille Watkins records "Disappointed With Love" and "You Left Me Lonely" for Jaguar #3006. Jimmy Jones records "Who Me?" and "There's A Moon Over My Shoulder" on #3007. Late in the year Joan Shaw has a new release on #3010 - "I Want A Man For Christmas" and "Most Of All (Joe Loves Me)". Joe Weaver & his Orchestra record "The Lazy Susan" and "Do You Wanna Work Now ?" on #3011 for the label. The Crosstones with the Chris Cross Orchestra are featured on the tunes "Congratulations" and "Lies" on #3014. Little Walking Willie records a blistering tenor sax instrumental "Blow Little Willie Blow" and "Clayhouse Blues" on #1030. It is the label's biggest seller as it gets plenty of air play on rock 'n roll radio stations. During the spring Joan Shaw records "I Shouldn't Be Alone So Long" and " The Ten Commandments Of Love" on Jaguar #1032. That summer the label announces plans to record a jazz LP featuring Joan Shaw. Little Walking Willie comes back with "Heart Attack" on #3015. The Bey Sisters have the next two Jaguar releases - "Patience" and "Wake Up Wake Up" on #3016 and "Sugar Cookie" on #3018. The Ivories are featured on "Alone" and "Baby Send A Letter" on #3019, and Mary Jones "The Trouble With Tony" on #3022. Buddy Landon records "Raunchy Little Baby" and "Hello My Love" on #3026, The Four Swanks "Little Angel" and "Keep Walking" on #3027, and Buddy landon is back with "A Bolt Of Lightening" on #3028. The Carousels "Rendezvous" and Drive In Movie" is released on #3029, and the final known release on the Jaguar label in 1957 by rockabilly legend Jackie Lee Cochran on the songs "Georgia Lee Brown" and "I Wanna See You". In the almost four year existence of Jaguar records, other than the Little Walking Willie blaster, there was never any success for the label. However they were a part of the history and as with others in the same boat, they shouldbe remembered for the effort they put forth.

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