Regal Records ©1999 written and compiled by JCMarion
The Regal Record label was begun by David and Jules Braun in Linden, New Jersey in 1949. The Brauns decided to record R & B performers and started to enter the field in a big way in September of 1949 with #3231 - "Mistreated Blues" by Blazer Boy Locks. Dennis McMullen recorded "Poor Little Angel" and "Going Back Home" on #3232. Paul Gayten and his band recorded "Fishtail" and "Confused" for Regal #3234, and "Cuttin' Out" with Annie Laurie on vocal for #3235. Larry Darnell recorded "I'll Get Along Somehow" for #3236, and Darnell returned on #3240 with "For You My Love".
In 1950, Paul Gayten had the first release of the year for Regal Records with #3245 - "Cook's Tour" and "You Shouldn't", and the label hires Howard Biggs as the label's musical director. Annie Laurie on vocals with Paul Gayten on #3446 with "Blue And Disgusted" and "Baby What's New", and Doc Sausage records "She Don't Want Me" and "Please Don't Leave Me Now" on #3248. Ernie Fields is featured on "T-Town Blues" and "Baritone Shuffle" for #3249 and female rocker Chubby Newsome records #3250 with "I'm Still In Love With You". Larry Darnell is a big seller, especially on the West coast during the year. Doc Sausage & His Mad Lads record "Rag Mop" and "You Got Me Crying" on #3251, and veteran blues singer Alberta Hunter is featured on #3252- "Midnight Blues" and "I Got A Mind To Ramble". Doc Sausage returns with "Sausage Rock" and "I've Been A Bad Boy" on #3256, and Dennis McMullen sings "Woke Up One Morning" and "Paper Wooden Daddy" on Regal #3257. Annie Laurie on vocal with the Paul Gayten band is on #3258 - "I'll Never Be Free". Another long time blues performer appears on Regal when Memphis Minnie records "Why Did I make You Cry" and "Kidman Blues" on #3259.
The colorfully named blues performer Pig 'n Whistle Red (aka Blind Willie McTell) records "River Jordan" and "How About You" on #3260. Larry Darnell records "Pack Your Bags And Go" and "God Bless The Child" on #3261. Chubby Newsome on #3268 records "Poor Dog" and "You Better Find A Job", and veteran blues singer and pianist Roosevelt Sykes performs "Blues 'n Boogie" and "Rock It" on #3269. New vocalist Sammy Cotton is featured on #3270 - "Heart Of Pain" / "Cool Playin' Mama". Pig 'n Whistle Red is back on #3272 with "It's My Desire" and "Hide Me In Thy Bosom", and Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten on #3273 - "I Ain't Gonna Let You In" and "I Need Your Love". Larry Darnell returns with "You're My Kind Of Baby" and "I Love My Baby". In July of 1950 Regal Records agrees to distribute records of the Royal Roost label, a New York jazz label. "Love Changing Blues" and "Talking To You, Mama" is recorded by Pig 'n Whistle Red on #3277.
The Coleman Brothers with the Paul Gayten band record the R & B version of Leadbelly's tune "Goodnight Irene" on #3281. In October Regal buys masters from the Detroit label Sensation, and furthermore, the Regal label announces that it will enter the pop music field with new acts the Ted Martin Orchestra and the Big Ben Trio. These pop releases will have a different numbering system than the R & B records for the label. Another veteran blues performer adds to the output of Regal when Roosevelt Sykes records "Drivin Wheels" and "West Helena Blues" on #3286. In November of 1950 The Colemans record "I Don't Mind Being All Alone" and "You Know I Love You" on #3297, and Larry Darnell records his version of Louis Prima's hit tune "Oh Babe" and the seasonal "Christmas Blues" on #3298. Milt Larkin & his X-Rays are featured on release #3299 - "Tennessee Waltz" and "Best Friend Blues". At year's end, Annie Laurie vocalizes "Now That You're Gone" and "Just One More Chance" for Regal #3300, and Paul Gayten records "I'm So Crazy For Love" and "If You've Got The Money Honey" on #3302.
The year of 1951 opens with Regal Records signing of Savannah Churchill formerly on the Manor label. She soon has a release for the label on #3309 - "Once There Lived A Fool" and "When You Come Back To Me" with backup by The Striders. Larry Darnell follows up with "Don't Go Don't Go" and "That Old Feeling" on #3310. Regal Records executive Jules Braun discusses the label and notes that total sales are up 22 per cent and most of that increase is in the R & B field. Different records sell well in different parts of the country. Roosevely Sykes is a big seller in the deep South, while Larry Darnell is a big seller in urban areas, especially on the West coast. Darnell is the label's biggest seller. "For You My Love" is well over a half million, and "I'll Get Along Somehow" and "My Kind Of Baby" are both over 250 thousand. The closest to Darnell's numbers is Paul Gayten, who has four records which have sold over 200 thousand each. The label signs old timer Cab Calloway, and vocalist Mary Lou Green, and adds a new label to feature country music to be called RFD Records.
Savannah Churchill records "Wedding Bells" and "And So I Cry" on #3313. Jimmy Locks is featured on #3314 - "Someday Darling" and "Bad Luck Blues", and Larry Darnell records "Nobody Cares Nobody Knows" and "When Did You Say Goodbye" on #3315. Regal Records forms a tour package of its talent called The Regal Hit Paraders. The lineup consists of Paul Gayten and his orchestra, with Annie Laurie and Sammy Cotten, Chubby Newsome, and Jimmy Scott (who records for Royal Roost which is distributed by Regal). Ther troup opens up at New Orleans Swing Club and will do a series of one nighters in the South. Chubby Newsome records "Where's The Money Honey" and "Little Fat Woman With A Coconut Head" on #3319. Cab Calloway on #3321 - "Frosty Morning" and "Que Pasa Chica", Titus Turner records ""Stop Trying To Make A Fool Of Me" and "Let's Forget The Whole Thing" on #3322, and the Fred Jackson band does "Buck Fever" and "Sentimental Blues" on Regal #3323. Roosevelt Sykes follows with "Green Onion Top" and "Wonderin' Blues" on #3324, and Joan Shaw with the Billy Ford Combo sings "Marcheta" and "Pretty Eyed Baby" on #3326.
In July of 1951 the Braun's discontinue the RFD label to concentrate on Regal Records. R & B veteran Sunnyland Slim records "When I Was Young" and "Orphan Boy Blues" on #3327, Larry Darnell does "Do You Love Me Baby" with Mary Lou Green, and "Sad And Lonesome" on #3328, and Paul Gayten and his band record "Baby I'm All Alone" and "Little Girl Little Girl" for Regal #3329.
Suddenly in November of that year, the Brauns and Larry Menselsohn announce that the Regal label will be shut down. Earlier in the year another label run by the Brauns - DeLuxe Records, was sold to King Records of Cincinati. The Brauns now will continue their association with DeLuxe under the leadership of King records. Past masters of Regal will be aquired by King, and the top stars of the label will move to Columbia's subsidiary label Okeh. Those going there include Paul Gayten, Annie Laurie, Sammy Cotten, Larry Darnell, and Titus Turner.
The Regal Records label operated for two years and had some big successes in the R & B field with Larry Darnell and Paul Gayten. Evidentally these hits were not enough to offset losses with other performers, the DeLuxe label and the ill fated startup of RFD. So Regal was gone but certainly not forgotten as long as lovers of this music seek out some of the big sellers of the early fifties that had a lot to do with the growing popularity of the music. So long live the memories of the R & B independent from deep in the heart of New Jersey.
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