This is the continuing story of many of the small independent labels that recorded R & B music during the 40s and the 50s. They appeared quite suddenly, and disappeared almost as fast. This is their story as best can be pieced together from available information. JammUpp #5 devotes the entire issue to this phenomenon.
During the first few days of 1950, a new record label was formed in Los Angeles by former musician and MGM record man Walter Williams known as "Dootsie". The name of the label is called Blue Records. The first records on the new label are by Billy Mitchell formerly of The Harlem Dukes, and vocalist Hattie Noel. The first release is #118 by Cleo Brown called "Roll It Boogie". The next also by Cleo Brown - "Blues Boogie" / "Baby Let's Make Some Love" which came out in February of 1951. #120 was by Violet Hall - "You Better Come Home Baby". Three releases in order starting with #122 were by the comedian known as The Woodpecker. Releases at irregular times during the year culminated in #129 by Johnny Taylor called "Mr. Monkeyman" in November of that year. In mid December Dootsie Williams launches the Dootone label and ends the short history of Blue Records.
Blues & Rhythm Records
In February of 1952, the Bihari brothers who originated Modern Music Records (later Modern) and also would launch RPM, Meteor, Flair, and Kent labels, started a new label that would concentrate on recording blues tunes from the deep south. The original musicians signed to the label are Dudlow Taylor, Houston Boines, Peck Curtis, Charles Booker, Ernest lane, and Brother Bell. The releases forthcoming from this new label were -
#7000 - Ernest Lane : "What's Wrong Baby" / "Little Girl, Little Girl"
#7001 - Houston Boines : "Going Home" / "Relations Blues"
#7002 - Brother Bell - "If You Feel Froggish" / "Whole Heap Of Mama"
#7003 - Charles Booker - Rabbit Blues" / "No Riding Blues"
#7004 - Big Bill Dotson - "Dark Old World" / "Thinking Life Over"
Suddenly in October of 1952 the Biharis decide to shut down Blues & Rhythm Records and concentrate on their Modern and RPM labels. And so ends the short history of another small independent label.
This label appeared in September of 1951, and was located on 125th Street in Harlem. This three releases were advertised that month and nothing more was heard from Faith Records.
#238 - Freddy Jackson with Charles Singleton & his orchestra : "I KNow" / "You Sure Been Good To Me"
#239 - Freddy Jackson with Budd Johnson's All Stars : "Sometimes I Feel Like Leaving Home" / "Groovin' In Birdland (instrumenta)"
#240 - Budd Johnson's All Stars : "Talk Of The Town" / "I'm All Alone" -voc by Charles Singleton
Ruby was a label formed in late 1953 and was located in Newark, New Jersey. The founder was Mickey Cooper. The original announcement of the forming of the label noted that it was a product of the Anchor Recording Company in Newark. In February of 1954 the first release was out.
#101 - Bobby Smith & his orchestra : "Tread Lightly" / "Night Watch" - After a few weeks, this record reportedly has stong sales on the West coast.
#102 - Gloria Shannon with the Goo Goo Hutchinson orchestra : "Station Blues" and "Blues Shuffle"
#103 - The Bell-Aires : "I'm Looking For A Lover" / "I'll Never Forgive Myself" voc by Billy Ford
#104 - Mickey Cooper : "Four O'Clock Blues" and "Country Girl" (the label owner gives it a go)
The Ruby label also released two gospel sides during 1954 :
#1000 - The Gethsemane Singers : "I Know Him" / "All My Appointed Time"
#1001 - Dr. C.T. James : "In The Beginning, God" and "Oh What A Feeling In My Soul"
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