The Legendary Parkway Label

© Robert Pruter, Robert L. Campbell, and Mark Mumea

Latest revision: October 31, 2018


Little Walter,
From the collection of Victor Pearlin

Revision note. We have added more about Fred Mendelsohn's ups and downs in the record business after the fall of Regal: besides his days at Herald, it turns out he had two tours of duty at DeLuxe under Sid Nathan, two tours at Regent/Savoy under Herman Lubinsky, a year at a start-up called Arrow, a couple of years at another start-up called United Telefilm (Tel, Warwick), and a few months at Duane. But his second tour at Savoy was for keeps. We have added a discography of the Linden, New Jersey-based Regal label and its subsidiaries (see Appendices B through H). We have updated the Essie Sykes session, with a lot of help from Big Joe Louis and Bert van Oortmarssen. Readers will note the larger number of Parkway sessions, and a new history of Parkway's connections with Fred Mendelsohn and Regal, as well as Mendelsohn's brief involvement with Herald and his much longer tenure at Savoy. (Artist biographies and other details are still to be added.) We have added information about Monroe Passis' work in the record business before he started Chord Distributors, and about the swift pace of Leonard Chess's retaliation (rushing the Aristocrat "Rollin' and Tumblin'" into distribution, getting it into stores around the same time as the Parkway version, which had been recorded earlier). We have added information on the enigmatic Jimmy Rogers track, "Ludella," on the possible identity of the harmonica player on "Steelin' Boogie," on an Eddie Boyd session that was released on Regal, and on four sessions involving Roosevelt Sykes. We have added information about the Memphis Minnie release on Regal 3259, which we know now came out in April 1950, after the Leaner brothers had exited but while Parkway was still in operation. This could indicate that Fred Mendelsohn already had a piece of Parkway before the company closed; our thanks to Steve Franz for bringing the release date to our attention. We have also added information about Monroe Passis' activities in the record business after September 1950, when Parkway closed, and about Fred Mendelsohn's career with Regal, DeLuxe, Herald, and Regent/Savoy after that date. From additional research in the trade papers, focusing mostly on Mendelsohn's activities, we have discovered multiple business relationships between Passis and Mendelsohn, stretching from June 1949 through November 1951, when Regal announced it was shutting down. The Chicago sessions described here are best seen as part of a messy Parkway-Chord Distributors-Record Distributors, Inc.-Regal nexus, extending from January 1950 through April 1951, while Monroe Passis had a business relationship with Fred Mendelsohn from May 1949, if not earlier, until November 1951.


Parkway is one of those small Chicago postwar blues labels that developed a legendary reputation from a handful of recorded sides. Parkway was officially in business for 7 months; ongoing relationships between its owner, Monroe Passis, and Fred Mendelsohn of the New Jersey-based Regal company probably extended its involvement in recording out to 15 months. In all, the Parkway-Regal nexus produced 43 titles (not counting sides unissued on singles or surviving alternate takes): four by the Baby Face Leroy Trio, four by the Little Walter Trio, four by Memphis Minnie, one by Jimmy Rogers, two by Robert Jenkins, who may or may not have played the harmonica, three by Eddie Boyd, ten by Roosevelt Sykes, two by Essie Sykes, four by St. Louis Jimmy, and four by Sunnyland Slim. Of these, 31 were released on singles between March 1950 and May 1953. Most of the releases were on Regal or Herald; a couple more even followed on Savoy. Just four singles ever carried an original Parkway label—but what extraordinary records they were.

The Baby Face Leroy Trio (featuring vocals by Leroy Foster) and Little Walter sides were recorded in one 8-tune session (which we have broken down below, for readability, into Pk1 and Pk2). Most outstanding of the four Baby Face sides was the two-part "Rollin’ and Tumblin’," which ranks as one of the most exhilarating products of the Chicago postwar bar-band blues explosion (Muddy Waters and Little Walter were both in the band). The notable Little Walter Trio release featured blues harpist Little Walter on "Just Keep Lovin’ You" and "Moonshine Blues." Two other Little Walter sides were sold to Fred Mendelsohn and not released on Parkway; they showed up later on Regal or Herald.


Baby Face Leroy Trio,
Courtesy of Big Joe Louis

The Memphis Minnie session, almost certainly done back-to-back with the Baby Face Leroy, produced four sides, two of which were released on Regal; unlike the Little Walter release they showed up on Regal while Parkway was still officially in business. Either in between the Baby Face Leroy and Memphis Minnie sessions, or at the tail end while everyone was still present, Minnie's long-time associate Jimmy Rogers got a chance to cut as a leader, though his effort was left in the can, finally emerging two decades later under rather mysterious circumstances.

The Robert Jenkins sides were recorded at a separate session, released on Parkway and never dealt to anyone else, so far as we can tell. Finally, 4 sides cut by jazz trombonist Bennie Green, in the last known session for the company, never saw release anywhere and may be lost.

The rest of Parkway's output was either recorded by Monroe Passsis for Fred Mendelsohn of Regal Records, or dealt to Mendelsohn after Passis recorded it: sessions by Roosevelt Sykes from March 1950 (when Sykes was not yet under contract to Regal) and Eddie Boyd from July, then a patch of sessions from April 1951 (more Roosevelt Sykes, Essie Sykes, St. Louis Jimmy, and Sunnyland Slim), when Passis was not officially running Parkway but Mendelsohn and his company held a substantial stake in Passis' second distribution enterprise, Record Distributors, Inc. The window for recording snapped shut in November 1951, when Regal closed and Passis' days in the music business were numbered.


Monroe Passis, who headed Chord Distributors at 2320 South Michigan, founded the label in January of 1950. Two African-American brothers, Ernie and George Leaner, who were managers at Chord Distributors, were assigned to run the label. A Billboard story, datelined January 28, 1950, announced the formation of the firm and said that Passis has "set up his own Parkway disks, which will be exclusively a blues and rhythm diskery. Passis will operate the label as a separate subsidiary under Hit Record Distributors, 2320 South Michigan Avenue." (See "Passis in Chicago Sets Up Own Label for Blues, Rhythms," Billboard, Febuary 4, 1950, p. 45. The article ominously noted that Parkway had two distributors outside of Chicago: one in Cincinnati and one in New York City. We doubt the label ever got much further.)

This is a complicated set-up for such a small label. But Hit Record Distributors, it appears, was the Leaner brothers’ proprietary firm under Chord. It had the same address as that of Chord, and Passis in a 1984 interview with blues researcher Jim O’Neal said the Leaners operated Hit Record (but mangled some of the details). The Billboard article listed the Parkway officers as Passis, president; Ernie Leaner, vice president in charge of artists and repertoire; and George Leaner, in charge of sales and promotion. The article related that the label already has "two artists on its tee-off release," namely the Little Walter Trio and the Baby Face Leroy Trio.

Passis's statement to O’Neal in 1984 that the Leaners had no association with Parkway and had left his firm two years earlier is incorrect, stemming from his imperfect effort to recall events involving a tangle of enterprises many decades earlier. In fact, the Leaners probably gave the label its name. South Parkway was not only the main north-south thoroughfare through the black community, but located on the street was the Groove Record Shop (4708 South Parkway), which the brothers had once operated with their sister, Bernice.


Nesting such a small operation as Parkway under Hit Distributors, then nesting Hit Distributors under Chord Distributors, may seem needlessly complex. But, as we have gradually learned, that wasn't the half of it. Before Passis brought the Leaners into Chord, he was already working with East Coast record man Fred Mendelsohn, and the connection would continue after Parkway had officially ceased to exist. Mendelsohn never owned a piece of Chord, or of Hit. He may have acquired an interest in Parkway, but if he did it never became public knowledge. But he had multiple connections with both Chord and with Parkway; he and his company did take a direct interest in Chord's successor, Record Distributors Inc.; and Mendelsohn was releasing Parkway material on his Regal label on at least two occasions while Parkway was still in business. We'll hold off on Mendelsohn's back story until we've introduced Monroe Passis, George Leaner, and Ernie Leaner.


The Principals


Monroe B. Passis was born on May 11, 1914, in Racine, Wisconsin. The 1930 census shows the Passis family living in Chicago, with the 15-year-old Monroe identified as "Morris." By the late 1930s he was in the record distribution business, handling the Columbia label. According to his daughter, Rene Thaler, Passis produced for six record labels, notably Black & White, recorded Lena Horne, among others, and was an associate producer on Bing Crosby’s "White Christmas." Thaler was an infant during these years, and some of these stories may be mere family lore. However, we have spotted a reference to Monroe B. Passis as a "regional supervisor" for Black & White, in a Cash Box record industry column (January 20, 1947, p. 13; he had been in New York City to promote Jack McVea's version of "Open the Door, Richard!"


Chord Distributors listing

After World War II, with the rise of independent labels, there was a concomitant growth in indie distribution firms. Probably in the middle of 1947, Passis formed Chord Distributors to exploit this growing market. One of its first clients was the rising Miracle label, which put Chord as its Chicago distributor in a display ad in Billboard for August 23, 1947. In September, Chord announced it was the exclusive Midwest distributor for Bullet. In Billboard's June 19, 1948 list of record companies and their distributors, Chord was identified as the Chicago distributor for Atlantic, Bibletone, Disc, Embassy, Rocking Horse, Signature, and Super Discs (Bullet and Miracle didn't submit entries). Chord was originally located at 2406 South LaSalle, the address given in Billboard in June 1948. Though the company probably maintained a presence on LaSalle, in October 1948 (see Cash Box, October 2, 1948, p. 23; see also the Signature Records ad in Billboard's Juke Box Supplement, January 22, 1949, p. 6), Passis moved his main office several blocks east to join the other distributors on Michigan Avenue, occupying the 2320 address.

On August 1, 1949 Passis brought George and Ernie Leaner into his firm, and reflecting his background, told Jim O’Neal, "They were nice black boys, I liked them. They were sales men for another company and I brought them into mine." Passis had picked them up from Milt Salstone's M S Distributing and made Ernie vice president and general manager and George secretary. The article in Billboard presented the story as a major push by Passis into distributing R&B. Getting two young and aggressive African-American talents into his firm was a part of the push, along with adding new manufacturing lines.

Chord Distributors in the March 1948 telephone directory listed its lines as "popular, race, religious, and kiddy records." Billboard advertisements and announcements show us that that the company was handling such labels as Signature (which it had had for a while) and Damon; a blurb in Billboard (March 20, 1948, p. 19) about a new catalogue Passis had prepared claimed that he was handling "approximately" 20 labels in 5 states. The same issue of Bilboard ("Gem Adds 5 Distribs, p. 17) announced that Chord was now handling Nat Cohn's label out of New York. By July, Passis was showing a stronger interest in R&B, picking up Apollo (Chord was formally announced as an Apollo distributor in Billboard, July 17, 1948, p. 41). Passis told O’Neal, "I was interested in the blues. Loved them. I used to go down to Indiana Avenue, 47th Street, 33rd Street, 31st Street, I was all over the South Side; 51st, 53rd, 55th. Traveled up and down that area."

In 1949 Chord was distributing such labels as Bravo, a New York-based polka specialist, and Crystalette out of Los Angeles (Billboard, May 14, 1949, p. 27; July 2, 1949, p. 23). The company sustained $17,000 in damage after a fire (the Mercury distributor in Milwaukee burned down the same week, and Aristocrat would suffer its own fire in August, which reportedly was set by burglars; Billboard, May 28, 1949, p. 37). With the Leaners on board, Chord quickly picked up more imprints that would appeal to black record buyers; by the end of September, these included Exclusive, New Jazz, Sunrise (then, unfortunately, on its last legs), and Coleman (Billboard, October 1, 1949, p. 42; Cash Box was two weeks late with the same announcement, October 15, p. 9). When Don Robey launched Peacock, Chord was its first distributor in Chicago ("Peacock Disks into Blues, Rhythm Field," Billboard, December 24, 1949, p. 40).


Groove Record Shop listing

The Leaner brothers were born in Mississippi—George, on June 1, 1917, and Ernie on August 15, 1921. They came up to Chicago in the late 1930s and entered the record business during the 1940s when they joined their sister Bernice in operating the Groove Record Shop. George and Ernie were nephews of famed disc jockey Al Benson (whose real name was Arthur Leaner). George began working as an assistant to blues producer Lester Melrose in 1946, and both brothers joined M S Distributors in 1947. In their move to Monroe Passis’ Chord Distributors they were assuming management positions.

Based in New Jersey, Fred Mendelsohn was an entrepreneur, manager, A&R person, and salesman in the recording business. He was born on May 16, 1917. Judging from a 1954 remark about him in Cash Box, Mendelsohn got into the business as a "coin man," a juke box operator or servicer. In the fall of 1947, he opened a label called Regent, with offices at 1184 Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth, New Jersey (Cash Box, October 6, 1947, p. 15). Advertising on the first four Regents (Cash Box, October 13, 1947, p. 26; October 20, 1947, p. 28) boasted that they were "Made for Juke Box Operators by Operators" (this prefigured the sales pitch for Oriole, a Chicago label that lasted one year).

As would be the case with each of Mendelsohn's ventures into the record business, Regent was undercapitalized. The second Petrillo ban couldn't have helped, as it doesn't appear that Regent did any stockpiling in advance. In June 1948, Herman Lubinsky of Savoy acquired a part interest. There may have been an option attached to the deal; Lubinsky never shared such details with the press. By February 1949, Cash Box was complaining in "'Round the Wax Circle," "Wonder what happened to Freddie Mendelsohn, prexy of Regent Records? Haven't heard from the lad (February 12, 1949, p. 7). After a year working for Lubinsky, under a "Chinese wall" arrangement that probably didn't put up much of a wall, Mendelsohn let Lubinsky buy him out of Regent, which would spend the rest of its natural life as a Savoy subsidiary.

Mendelsohn announced in a story bylined June 18, 1949 that he had sold his remaining share and was starting his own new company, Merit ("Label Set up by Mendelsohn," Billboard, June 25, 1949, p. 17; "Fred Mendelsohn Bows with New Inide Label," Cash Box, June 25, p. 19). Its offices were at 1184 Elizabeth Avenue in Newark, right where Regent had been (in the interim, town lines had been adjusted). Merit reportedly recorded 40 masters (by our count, it was more like 60, but we don't know when Mendelsohn started thinking he was recording for Regal). Merit proved incapable of getting records out, most likely because it, too, was undercapitalized; we know of just 2 releases, from July 1949. Merit 300 and 301, which were announced when the company was founded and started being distributed in the first week of July, were by a duo, the Bailey Brothers, who would get a third relase on Regal. The two Merits were announced as new releases on July 16, 1949, p. 39; the brothers did a then-faddish organ and bones thing, which didn't impress the Billboard reviewer a week later (July 23, 1949, p. 31). As an independent venture, Merit lasted maybe six weeks.

In the first week of August 1949, Mendelsohn joined with Dave and Jules Braun, who had owned the DeLuxe label and were tired of an arrangement just as awkward as Mendelsohn's had been (for the past year, they had been working for Sid Nathan of King Records, who bought the remains of their company after it went bankrupt). The Brauns and Mendelsohn started a new company called Regal, with offices in Linden, New Jersey, where DeLuxe had been.

In two stories, datelined August 6, 1949, we learn that the first releases on Regal "will be out next week" ("Split Reported between King & DeLuxe Firms," Billboard, August 13, 1949, p. 18; a follow-up story ran on September 3, "King & DeLuxe Split Confirmed by Sid Nathan," p. 14). For its main release numbering system, Regal picked up exactly where DeLuxe had left off, at 3229. (During 1950 and 1951, in a trend neither company is likely to have appreciated, the numbers on new Regal and DeLuxe releases remained fairly close to each other.)

The Billboard story announcing the launch of Regal said the "first sides available" on the new label would be by bop vocalist Buddy Stewart and a gospel group, the Mount Vernon Men's Choir. Mendelsohn had masters on these artists, and a jazz single by George Wallington featuring Buddy Stewart as the vocalist on one side (Regal 1196) was probably the very first release on the new label. Maybe the gospel material appeared, too, under a different name. But the new company had bigger priorities that it wasn't going to announce.

What got under Sid Nathan's skin was Regal's diversion of the most successful DeLuxe artist: Paul Gayten. It just so happened Gayten, and his new band singer, Larry Darnell, would be Regal's most commercially successful artists. Gayten, whose band often backed other Regal headliners in the studio, would be Regal's most recorded artist. Gayten's female singer, Annie Laurie, did OK for Regal, too. At least two other DeLuxe artists, Ted Martin and Chubby Newsom, went with Regal. The longer of the two Billboard stories, out of Chicago, went on to state that "A check of local distributors revealed that Chord Distributing Company, local distributor of rhythm and blues platters, is handling Regal. A rep of Chord said that the Braun brothers had contacted the firm when they took over the line." Not a hard deal to arrange, when Monroe Passis and Fred Mendelsohn knew each other, and Chord had previously been a Merit distributor.


The Musicians

Muddy Waters was born McKinley A. Morganfield, on 4 April 1913, near Rolling Fork, Mississippi. He was raised on Stovall's Plantation, just outside of Clarksdale. His voice and guitar were first heard on Library of Congress field recordings, cut in 1941 and 1942 by folk music researcher Alan Lomax. In 1943 Waters moved up to Chicago, working mainly at house parties, as there was virtually no market at this time for country blues in the clubs. In 1944 he switched from acoustic guitar to electric. As the migration of southern blacks increased after World War II, a market for his style of blues began to develop. To be able to play in the higher-profile clubs, Waters joined Musicians Union Local 208 in September 1945, and by the following year was working regularly with Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers in an informal group called the Headcutters or Headhunters, at times bringing in Leroy Foster on drums. In 1946 Waters made one recording for J. Mayo Williams (which was credited to the wrong artist on release by the 20th Century label) and some recordings for Lester Melrose (which Columbia left in the can).

Waters began his association with Aristocrat in September 1947, when he was entrusted with two sides at the tail end of a Sunnyland Slim session. They didn't sell much, but the company decided to try him again. His second session in December established Waters commercially. "I Can’t Be Satisfied" became a local hit when released in June 1948, and the flip, "I Feel Like Going Home," became a national hit. In June 1950, Aristocrat would morph into Chess, which became a leading independent partly built on the sales of Muddy Waters records.

While building his career at Aristocrat, Waters was still recording as a sideman for other companies, notably for Tempo-Tone (which put his name on the label) in May of 1949. By the time he made those extraordinary sides for Parkway, the company found it advisable to keep his name off the label as a performer (but credited him as songwriter on "Rollin’ and Tumblin’").

Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane on June 3, 1924, in Ruleville, Mississippi. He began performing on harmonica. Shortly after arriving in Chicago in 1945, Rogers in short order was performing with Muddy Waters and then Little Walter, and then all three together as the Headhunters. With Walter dominant on harmonica, Rogers switched to rhythm guitar to play with the group. Rogers first recorded, on harmonica, for Mayo Williams' Harlem label, but the single side featuring him was mislabeled (as being the work of Memphis Slim) and his presence was not recognized for many years. Rogers next recorded on guitar for Ora Nelle in 1947, backing Little Walter on his single, and recording a number under his own name, which went unreleased. Rogers' next two recording opportunities, for Tempo-Tone and JOB (promptly unloaded to Apollo), also went unreleased at the time. Though a regular in Muddy Waters' band, he had yet to appear on any of Muddy's sessions for Aristocrat when the Parkway opportunity cropped up.

Harpist Little Walter in the 1950s would become one of the giants of Chicago’s postwar blues boom. He was born Marion Walter Jacobs on May 1, 1930, in Marksville, Louisiana. Walter left his home with his harmonica at the young age of 13 to become an itinerant street musician, going to New Orleans, then up to Memphis, then St. Louis, and finally Chicago in 1946. He took up performing in Chicago’s famed open air flea market on Maxwell Street. The following year he made his first recordings for the tiny Ora Nelle label, owned by Bernard Abrams of Maxwell Street Radio and Record. Walter backed Othum Brown and Jimmy Rogers on their sides and then took the lead on one number. His next session would be for Tempo-Tone in May 1949, followed by the Parkway sides in January 1950.


Baby Face Leroy Foster
Baby Face Leroy Foster

The multitalented Baby Face Leroy Foster was born on 12 February 1923, in Algoma, Mississippi. He was one of the pioneers of the post-World War II southern blues resurgence in Chicago, arriving in the city in 1945. His vocals, drumming, and guitar picking can be found on some of the greatest Chicago bar-band blues records. Before joining Muddy Waters' band, he worked with Sunnyland Slim and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. He first recorded on two sessions (1945 and 1946) with pianist Lee Brown for J. Mayo Williams; two sides were released on Williams' Chicago label, two (with misleading label copy) on Harlem; and two more ended up on Sid Nathan's Queen label. He also recorded with James Clark and Muddy Waters for Columbia in 1946 (but only Clark's records were released). His next appearance on record was probably as the guitarist on two sides that Sunnyland Slim did for the Opera label, under the pseudonym Delta Joe; these could have been done in December 1947, although a 1948 date can't be ruled out. He made his first recording in his own name for Aristocrat in November 1948, when he recorded two titles with Muddy Waters as "Leroy Foster & Muddy Waters." In May 1949, he was in the studio for Tempo-Tone, singing two unreleased sides that heretofore have been totally unknown to discographers. (Foster played guitar on these and several other Tempo-Tone sides, not drums as stated in previous discographies.) Following the Tempo-Tones, Leroy Foster would appear (playing guitar with two hands and as much of a drum kit as he could handle with two feet) on one more of Muddy Waters' sessions for Aristocrat, in September 1949. But he got no opportunity to sing on that occasion, since Muddy was sharing the lead vocals with pianist Johnny Jones. As it turned out, the last recording Foster would make with Muddy was for Parkway.

Trombonist Bennie Green was born in Chicago on April 16, 1923. Like so many Chicago-based jazzmen, he graduated from DuSable High School, where he played in the band under Captain Walter Dyett. After graduating from DuSable, he played in local groups, joining Earl Hines' big band in 1942. Unfortunately, this edition of the Hines band, which included Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan, did not record. After service in an Army band during World War II (1943-1946), Green returned to the Hines orchestra, remaining there until early 1948. He appeared on two sessions with Hines, one of them made in Chicago for Sunrise. He then spent a little time in Gene Ammons' combo before joining Charlie Ventura's outfit. Green recorded with Ventura for National (October 1948) and RCA Victor (several sessions in 1949); he also appeared with Ventura in a "Just Jazz" concert (May 1949) that was picked up by Decca. "Pennies from Heaven" was his ballad feature with Ventura, but an earlier Ventura group had recorded a version featuring Kai Winding and Green did not get an opportunity to redo the number. He had recently left Ventura when Parkway picked him up, offering him his first session as a leader.

Tenor saxophonist Claude McLin was born in Chicago on December 27, 1925. Also a DuSable product, he was a member of Levi Sayles' "baby band" in 1944, playing alongside Johnny Griffin. He served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, and began working as a leader in the clubs on returning to Chicago. He was also featured in the Sunday dances that McKie Fitzhugh put on at the Pershing Ballroom, where he appeared in tenor battles with Gene Ammons, Tom Archia, Johnny Griffin, Von Freeman, and even his idol, Lester Young. From 1947 through 1949 his band found regular work in South Side clubs. In March 1949, after his combo had played the Macomba Lounge for about a month, Aristocrat used his band to back singer/pianist Laura Rucker. The Green session for Parkway, done at a time when he was scuffling for gigs, was McLin's second studio recording.

Willie Jones, known in his heyday as the "piano wrecker," was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on February 21, 1920. He served in the military during World War II, and joined Local 208 in Chicago in November 1945. By October 1946 he was working in a combo led by drummer Wally Hayes. He made his first recording with Buster Bennett for Columbia in June 1947. After joining King Kolax's combo, he appeared on Kolax's Opera session (late 1947 or 1948). By October 1948, when he recorded for Aristocrat with Tom Archia's All Stars, he was a regular member of Archia's group at the Macomba Lounge; he was still in residence there when he got the call for the Parkway session. Jones played in the locked-hands style made popular by Milt Buckner, but drew some of his inspiration from 20th century classical music, such as the works of Lukas Foss. Both Sun Ra and Andrew Hill counted him as an influence.

Gene Wright was born in Chicago on May 29, 1923. He first learned the cornet and later switched to string bass. In 1943 and 1944 he led a group called the Dukes of Swing. After returning from military service, he revived the Dukes in 1946. In 1947, he made his first recording for Mercury as a member of Gene Ammons' combo. In 1948, he spent a few weeks subbing for Walter Page in the Count Basie band, then returned to Chicago in October to organize another Dukes of Swing band that included such up and coming musicians as Hobart Dotson (trumpet), Johnny Avant (trombone), Bill Evans (later known as Yusef Lateef, tenor sax), and Sonny Blount (later known as Sun Ra, piano); the group recorded for Aristocrat in December. But Wright disbanded this orchestra around Christmas 1948 and went back on the road with Count Basie until the summer of 1949. At the time of the Parkway session, Wright was once again gigging around town with Gene Ammons' group, among others.

About Dorell Anderson, we know the least. His name often showed up in advertisements as "Darnell," but fellow drummers Vernel Fournier and Alvin Fielder have verified that his name was Dorell. Anderson came on the scene in the late 1940s, when, according to Fielder, he was considered the number 2 bebop drummer in Chicago after Ike Day. But Anderson had little more success getting recorded than Day did. The Parkway outing is his first known studio session.


The Sessions

The legendary first Parkway session involved most of Muddy Waters’ regular working band: Baby Face Leroy Foster on drums, Little Walter on harmonica. Jimmy Rogers was around for part of the proceedings, as we will see, but did not play on the Foster and Walter tracks. Instead, Foster played guitar on some of the sides while operating the bass drum and high-hat with pedals. Waters had been playing in clubs with this lineup in the previous months, and was frustrated by Leonard Chess’s lack of interest in recording it. The session, reportedly, did not take place in a regular studio. Muddy Waters' biographer, Robert Gordon, declared that it took place in a "warehouse." On the Delmark reissues, the location is given as Chord Distributors, but the basis for that attribution is not clear.


Baby Face Leroy Trio,
Courtesy of Big Joe Louis

The session was cut on nine 16-inch lacquers, which contained alternate takes of all of the pieces except "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and "Bad Actin' Woman." The original lacquers were all thought to be lost, but around a decade ago three of them were located (it looks as though Fred Mendelsohn brought them to DeLuxe during his brief tenure there). One of the lacquers contains all 3 takes of "Boll Weevil," plus a false start to an unknown title; a second contains the single takes of parts 1 and 2 of "Rollin' and Tumblin'," numbered as on the original release; the third includes the last two takes of "Just Keep Lovin' Her." In 2012, these lacquers were used for the Parkway 45-rpm releases on Louis Records.

The overall order in which the lacquers were recorded is still not known. Take 2 of "Boll Weevil" broke down after a minute and a half, in part because the two guitars weren't properly balanced.

In the absence of better information, we've disassembled the session into the four Leroy Foster tracks, followed by the four Little Walter tracks, and used the matrix numbers that appeared on the first release of each side. (We'll assume, having no better idea, that the H prefix stood for Hit.)


Pk1. Baby Face Leroy Trio | Vocal by Baby Face Leroy* / Baby Face Leroy Trio | Vocal Leroy Foster^ / Baby Face** / Little Walter***

Leroy Foster (eg -2; voc, d); Little Walter (hca); Muddy Waters -1 (eg).

Chord Distributors, Chicago, January 1950

H-512 [tk. 1] Boll Weevil (Foster) -1
Parkway 505 (45 rpm)
H-512 [tk. 2 - inc] Boll Weevil (Foster) -1, 2
unissued
H-512 [tk. 3] Boll Weevil (Foster) -1, 2
Parkway 104^, Herald 404***, Blues Classics LP 8, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD]
H-513 [tk. 1] Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Part I (Waters) -1*
Parkway 501 (78 rpm)*, Blues Classics LP 8, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD], Parkway 501 (45 rpm)
H-514 [tk. 1] Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Part 2 (Waters) -1* / Rollin' Blues***
Parkway 501 (78 rpm)*, Herald 404***, Blues Classics LP 8, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD], Parkway 501 (45 rpm)
H-515 [tk. 3] Red Headed Woman (Foster) -1, 2
Parkway 104^, Savoy 1122 A**, Savoy 1501 A**, Muskadine 1, Muskadine M 100, XTRA [Br] 1133, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD]

Blues Classics LP 8 is Chicago Blues: the Early 1950’ (1965). Muskadine 1 (c. 1969), Muskadine M 100 (1971), and XTRA 1133 were all titled On the Road Again: An Anthology of Chicago Blues 1947-1954. P-Vine Special PLP 9038, Down Home Blues, a Japanese release from 1982, is the direct forerunner of the Delmark LP, using the same tracks in the same order. Delmark DL-648 (LP) and DD 648 (CD) are The Blues World of Little Walter (1984 and 1993, respectively). P-Vine Special PLP-364 is the Japanese version of Delmark DL-648—with different cover art that includes two photos of Baby Face Leroy.

Leroy Foster on this session was given credit on four sides, two of which made up a remarkable performance of "Rollin' and Tumblin'." He also took the opportunity to rerecord his two Tempo-Tone numbers, "Red Headed Woman" and "Boll Weevil," which he had done in May of 1949. It was undoubtedly gratifying to Foster to see these titles released—or at least given much greater visibility.


Baby Face Leroy Trio,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

"Red Headed Woman" and "Boll Weevil" were paired for release on Parkway 104. "Red Headed Woman" is a spirited workout, and over the pulsating rhythm, Foster sings with a swing in his voice and Walter blows exuberantly. In "Boll Weevil" the proceedings are brought down to a slow tempo, with Walter’s wailing harp establishing the atmospherics around Foster’s insinuating vocals. (The first take, with just Muddy's guitar, was not selected for release on account of Foster's mannered vocal, but it makes a good account of itself as finally released on Parkway 505.) Despite the excellence of the two sides, Parkway 104 sold poorly. But the company rightly felt strong about the Foster sides, and released all of them within a couple of months.


Baby Face Leroy Trio,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

"Rollin’ and Tumblin" was based on an old blues theme, first recorded in 1929 by Hambone Willie Newbern as "Roll and Tumble Blues" for OKeh. (Muddy Waters had already used the tune, though not the words, for his "Down South Blues," which he recorded for Aristocrat.) The number is a two-sided recording, labeled Part 1 and Part 2. But unlike most such releases that are divided into parts, "Rollin’ and Tumblin’ was really two takes of the song, one with sung lyrics and the other with wordless moaning. The song exhibits a powerful drive built on Muddy Waters' slide guitar playing. We’re going to quote the description of the song as it appeared in Tony Glover, Scott Dirks, and Ward Gaines’ Little Walter biography:

The tone is set by an insistent instrumental lead-in, guitar and harp together playing the sinuous, hypnotically droning riff. Foster sings with passion as Muddy moans wordlessly behind Foster’s vocals, and Foster even quotes the "Baby’s going to jump and shout, when the train come wheeling up, and I come walking out" verse that Muddy used in his hit "I Can’t Be Satisfied" a year and a half earlier. Walter plays with fire, sometimes echoing, sometimes answering Muddy’s biting lead lines. The take is so hot that they immediately continued on with another take, this one with wordless vocals, Foster and Waters moaning in unison lines, Foster taking the high end. Walter carries the lead melody on a few choruses, his harp tone fat and funky. The result is a compelling two-sided release, with an insistent groove that just won’t quit.

The original Parkway release listed the moaning take as Part 1 and the lyrics take as Part 2. The Little Walter authors reversed the order, and Delmark Records, in its Blues World of Little Walter album, also reversed the Parkway designations. The rationale for the change is that the take with the lyrics show a cleanly developed lead in, the lead in on the moaning take is somewhat messy and unfocused, as though the musicians were interrupted and then allowed to resume what they had started. However, the session lacquer for "Rollin' and Tumblin'" consists of the moaning take followed by the take with lyrics, and the 2012 reissue on Parkway 501 presents them in that order.

Also, the original moaning take ran to 3:19. The session lacquer carries instructions to "Fade Out Cut 1 about 2:45," which were followed on the original Parkway release. Some subsequent reissues cut the introduction to the track. The 2012 reissue of Parkway 501 restores the unedited take as its Part 1.

The "Rollin’ and Tumblin’" release on the original Parkway 501, which came out in March, was such a remarkable production that it even caught the attention of the Chicago Defender, which usually ignored all citified country blues artists—the most representative of these being Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and Baby Face Leroy. In his "About the Records" column for March 11, Edward Myers treated it as some exotic specimen, saying "The first record I’d like to mention is ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’’ on [the] Parkway label with Parts one and two. This record is unique in that it has the sound and beat of African chant. Must have been taken from one of our earliest American Negro folk songs. The second part takes on a vocal that is typical blues." The next three records discussed in the column were by artists more typically covered by Myers—Mahalia Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and Bud Powell.


Little Walter,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

Fred Mendelsohn acquired the first Parkway session from Passis. According to Mike Rowe in his history of Chicago blues, this was to settle a debt. (As will be discussed below, Mendelsohn may have acquired a piece of Parkway while it was still in operation. Mendelsohn, at least in his capacity as a principal at Regal, was also involved in Passis' Record Distributors, Inc., the successor to Chord.) Regal powered down in October 1951 and announced its closure in November. After some time working for the revived DeLuxe label (a subsidiary of King), probably on a one-year contract, Mendelsohn conducted a recording session in New York in August 1952, and in October 1952 started Herald Records there. Meanwhile Little Walter had become a huge star in the R&B world, so after taking pressing plant executive Al Silver and Jack Braverman on as partners in February 1953, Mendelsohn put out four of the Parkway sides under Walter's name. Two of these were the Baby Face Leroy Trio’s "Boll Weevil" (H-512) and "Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Pt. 2" (H-514), the latter renamed "Rollin’ Blues." Virtually all of the surviving Heralds are 78s, but according to Barry Soltz, both of the Heralds that bore Little Walter's name also came out on 45 rpm. While the commercial instinct may have been sound, between February and May 1953 Mendelsohn and his partners in Herald could not afford to put anything behind the Walters and other Chicago blues releases on the label, and sales were poor. Herald only started making money on the strength of a doowop record, Herald 410 by the Embers, that Al Silver, Jack Angel, and Jack Braverman brought to the label in May 1953.


Little Walter,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

From the collection of Barry Soltz

Baby Face,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

In June 1953, with Herald enjoying its first hit record and getting coverage in the trade papers, Mendelsohn's share of the company was bought out by Silver, Braverman, and Angel. In December 1953, Fred Mendelsohn was hired by Herman Lubinsky to work at Regent (though almost immediately he was also involved in Savoy projects). He took the Parkway sides there with him, as he had previously at the revived DeLuxe and at Herald. "Red Headed Woman" reappeared in March 1954, not long after Mendelsohn started working for the company, as Savoy 1122, which was released on both 78 and 45 rpm (it was reviewed in Cash Box on March 6, 1954, p. 26). The flip was the Little Walter track, "Moonshine Blues" (renamed "Moonshine Baby"). Both sides were credited to Foster, as "Baby Face." In October 1956, the single was reissued, again in both formats, as Savoy 1501; Billboard, not noticing any differences, actually reviewed it under its old number.


Baby Face,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

Parkway 501 (45 rpm version) and 505 (also in 45 rpm) are 7-inch singles released in May 2012 by Louis Records. Parkway 505 couples the recently discovered take 1 of "Boll Weevil" with the previously unissued take 3 of "Just Keep Lovin' Her" (see the next listing below). Parkway 501 (available only in 45 rpm, where the original 501 was released only as a 78) presents "Rollin' and Tumblin'" with an unedited Part 1 (the original Parkway release was faded at 2:46 into the track). There is no chance of confusion with original Parkway releases—they were on 78 rpm only.


Little Walter,
From the collection of Victor Pearlin

Pk2. Little Walter Trio | Vocal by Little Walter* / Little Walter Trio^ / Little Walter** / Baby Face***

Little Walter (voc; eg -1; hca -3); Muddy Waters (eg); Leroy Foster (eg -2; d).

Chord Distributors, Chicago, January 1950

H-511 [tk. 3] Just Keep Lovin' Her (Jacobs) -2, 3
Parkway 505 (45 rpm)
H-511 [tk. 4] Just Keep Lovin' Her (Jacobs) -2, 3
Parkway 502*, Herald 403**, Muskadine 1, Muskadine M 100, XTRA [Br] 1133, Nighthawk LP 102, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Black Gold Heritage [It] BGH 3370, Delmark DD 648 [CD]
H-516 [tk. 2]
R 1356^
Muskadine Blues^ / Take a Walk with Me** -1
Regal 3296^, Herald 403**, Blues Classics LP 8, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Black Gold Heritage [It] BGH 3370,, Delmark DD 648 [CD]
H-517 [tk. 1] Moonshine Blues* / Moonshine Baby*** (Jacobs) -1
Parkway 502*, Savoy 1122 B***, Savoy 1501 B***, Muskadine 1, Muskadine M 100, XTRA [Br] 1133, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Black Gold Heritage [It] BGH 3370, Delmark DD 648 [CD]
R-1357 [tk. 1] Bad Actin' Woman^ -1
Regal 3296^, Muskadine 1, Muskadine M 100, XTRA [Br] 1133, P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Delmark DL-648, P-Vine Special [J] PLP-364, Black Gold Heritage [It] BGH 3370, Delmark DD 648 [CD]

Blues Classics LP 8 is Chicago Blues: The Early 1950’s (1965). Muskadine 1, Muskadine M 100, and XTRA 1133 were all titled On the Road Again, and released around 1969, in 1971, and in 1973, respectively. Nighthawk 102 is Chicago Slickers 1948-1953, an LP released in 1976. P-Vine Special PLP 9038 is an LP relesed in Japan in 1982, Delmark DL-648 (LP) and Delmark DD 648 (CD) are The Blues World of Little Walter (1984 and 1993). P-Vine Special PLP-364 was the Japanese reissue of Delmark DL-648. Black Gold Heritage BGH 3370 was a 7-inch 33 rpm LP released in in Italy in 1990, as a bonus to a 3-LP set titled Little Walter: Neglected Masters.

Parkway released only two the Little Walter tracks, "Just Keep Lovin' Her" (H-511) and "Moonshine Blues" (H-517), both as by the Little Walter Trio. Chicago bar band blues in the immediate postwar era was very much a folk form, where musicians used verses, melodies, and riffs from other songs to build new songs, and the songs on the Parkway session were fully or partly derivative. Extraordinarily, on three of the four Walter sides the greatest blues harmonica talent in the world put down his harp to play guitar. Though Walter's guitar sound is heavy, almost doom-laden, his work on these sides is more than acceptable.

The one song where his harmonica prevailed was the best of the four, the highly propulsive and swinging "Just Keep Lovin' Her," which was a remake of his Ora Nelle side from 1947. The originally issued take is clearly the better of the two still extant; take 3 is noticeably shortened (at 2:14) because the band muffed the beginning. On "Moonshine Blues" Walter sings about his girl’s fondness for moonshine, using the melody from a 1938 Sonny Boy Williamson song, "Whiskey Headed Woman." Muddy Waters took the lead over on the instrumental chorus. "Muskadine" represented an even heavier borrowing, in which the Walter used the melody, chorus, and one of the verses from Robert Junior Lockwood’s 1941 tune "Take a Little Walk with Me." The last Walter number, "Bad Actin’ Woman," is a medium tempo blues that Glover, Dirks, and Gaines describe as a journeyman effort, saying that it borrowed "generic verses from the blues stockpile."


Little Walter,
From the collection of Victor Pearlin

The Little Walter tracks, like Leroy Foster's, had a rather convoluted history, as they followed Fred Mendelsohn from label to label. Under Mendelsohn’s Regal imprint, two of the trio’s sides that never saw release on Parkway, "Muskadine Blues" (H-516); and "Bad Actin' Woman" (no H-500 number, but given the number R-1357 by Regal), appeared in September 1950.


Little Walter,
From the collection of Victor Pearlin

Little Walter,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

Little Walter,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

In 1953, with Little Walter riding high as a solo artist for Checker with the number one "Juke" and other hits under his belt, Mendelsohn, now trying to put oomph into his new Herald operation, thought he might garner a little green by releasing some of the Parkway sides. He put out two singles as by "Little Walter." One single paired "Muskadine Blues," which Herald retitled as "Take a Walk with Me" (H-516), with "Just Keep Lovin' Her" (H-511). The other "Little Walter" single, as explained above, actually consisted of two of Foster’s numbers.


Baby Face,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

In March 1954, with Mendelsohn now at Savoy, a Leroy Foster release attributed to "Baby Face" showed up on Savoy 1122, mistakenly pairing Little Walter's "Moonshine Blues," which was called "Moonshine Baby," with "Red Headed Woman." The single was reissued in October 1956 as Savoy 1501.


Baby Face,
From the Big Joe Louis collection

Parkway 505 (45 rpm) is a 7-inch single released in May 2012 by Louis Records. Parkway 505 couples the recently discovered take 1 of "Boll Weevil" (see previous listing) with the previously unissued take 3 of "Just Keep Lovin' Her."


Now we have two blues mysteries. Passis told Jim O'Neal that Sunnyland Slim had recorded for the label—so what happened to the sides? And Memphis Minnie was also identified as a Parkway artist in a Down Beat item—so what happened to hers? The Minnies have been hiding in plain sight for all these years, and Sunnyland Slim played on them. Fred Mendelsohn issued some material from them on Regal, and many years later sold the masters to others. The reissues have all misidentified the tracks as having been recorded by Regal, and have sometimes given wildly inaccurate recording dates. Jimmy Rogers also recorded for Parkway, but not on the Leroy Foster sesson as we had previously thought—instead, he sang and played one number, either in between the Leroy Foster session and the Memphis Minnie session, or at the end, while Muddy Waters and Little Walter were still on the premises. Our thanks to Wayne Goins (communication of December 13, 2007) for helping to sort out these messes.



Pk3. Memphis Minnie and her Jumping Boys

Memphis Minnie [Lizzie Douglas] (voc, eg); Little Son Joe [Ernest Lawlars] (eg); Sunnyland Slim (p); Ernest "Big Crawford (b); Leroy Foster (d).

Chord Distributors, Chicago, late January 1950

R 1214-1 Down Home Girl
Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124, Wolf WBCD-010
R 1215-1 Night Watchman Blues
Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124, Wolf WBCD-010
R 1215-2 Night Watchman Blues
Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124, Wolf WBCD-010
R 1216-1 Why Did I Make You Cry
Regal 3259, Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124, Wolf WBCD-010
R 1217-1 Kidman Blues
Regal 3259, Wolf WBCD-010
R 1217-2 Kidman Blues
Savoy MG 16000, Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124, Wolf WBCD-010

This session has previously been dated 1949 in most discographies (Fancourt and McGrath hedge to "1949/50"). In all cases, it has been credited as recorded by Regal.

But Memphis Minnie was announced in a press release as a Parkway artist. And Mendelsohn had a licensing deal with Parkway while it was still running—if he hadn't also acquired a piece of the operation. He then bought most of the company's mortal remains, either by paying for Parkway recording sessions or buying the masters after the fact.

Only two sides from this session were released in 1950. They appeared on Regal 3259, the first on that label to be derived from Parkway—in April 1950, while Parkway was still letting everyone know it was in business. Regal 3259 was included in a Regal advertisement in Billboard on April 8, 1950 (p. 46) and in the company's Cash Box advertisement on April 15. The highest numbered single mentioned in the ad was Regal 3262. On May 13, Billboard (p. 139) reviewed 3259 alongside 3258 by Paul Gayten with Annie Laurie, which had been included in the same release. There was no further action during Mendelsohn's months at Herald, but another side from the session (the second take of "Kidman") first appeared on a Savoy LP while Fred Mendelsohn was working there.

Here's how we reconstruct the lease (or outright purchase) of the Memphis Minnie sides. They were recorded on the same occasion as the Baby Face Leroy items. But by the time Parkway was getting its first record (501) into the stores, Leonard Chess had gotten Muddy Waters to redo "Rollin' and Tumblin'" for Aristocrat, and Aristocrat 412 was also arriving. The intent was to step on sales of the Parkway; the mission was accomplished. Probably the same week as the bad news arrived about the Aristocrat, Passis got notices from the Leaners, who were leaving Chord to start a competitor. So he turned to Fred Mendelsohn to find an outlet for the Memphis Minnie sides he had recorded but not yet scheduled for release on Parkway. And he would do the same with the sides from his next session, by Roosevelt Sykes from March 14, 1950—if Mendelsohn was not already helping to pay for it.

"Down Home Girl" and the two takes of "Night Watchman" were released in 1971 on Blind Willie McTell / Memphis Minnie: Love Changin' Blues, Biograph LP 12035. The rest of Side B consisted of "Ludella" by Jimmy Rogers (Pk4), while Side A was given over to six of Blind Willie McTell's Regal sides, which were recorded in Atlanta.

Biograph BCD 124, Memphis Minnie: Early Rhythm & Blues 1949, was a various-artists CD released in 1992. The subtitle was typically inaccurate. Only the tracks by Pee Wee Hughes (definitely) and Little Brother Montgomery (probably) were recorded in 1949.

Wolf WBCD-010, Memphis Minnie: The Complete Postwar Recordings Volume 3, was released in 1992. It includes her complete last session for Columbia, her complete Parkway/Regal session, her complete session for Checker, and her and Little Son Joe's tracks from the October 1953 session for JOB.

The studio ambiance is unusual, with lots of whooping and hollering in evidence (for instance, on "Kidman Blues" where Minnie breaks out in raucous laughter after vocally imitating a train leaving the station). Most likely, these sides immediately followed the legendary Baby Face Leroy and Little Walter sessions. This would also make sense of the story that Jimmy Rogers arrived late for the session; he is not playing on the Leroy and Walter sides.

What's more, the drumming seems to be work of Leroy Foster, mainly relying on his feet. Discographers haven't previously recognized that the drummer is present, albeit recessed, on all of the tracks.


Pk4. Jimmy Rogers

Jimmy Rogers (eg, voc); Muddy Waters (eg); Little Walter (hca); Sunnyland Slim (p); Ernest "Big" Crawford (b); Leroy Foster (d).

Chord Distributors, Chicago, late January 1950

"R 1218-2" Ludella
Biograph LP 12035, Boogie Disease BD 101/102, Biograph LP 12035, Biograph BCD 124

The single track by Jimmy Rogers, "Ludella," has proven enigmatic. For starters, the matrix number assigned to it in later years puts it at the end of the Memphis Minnie session, but the original R 1218 was from a six tune session (R 1218 to R 1223) by a gospel group, The Harmony Kings, who recorded for Regal in February 1950 (see Appendix H below). "Leanin' on Jesus," released on Regal 3279, carried R 1218.

Depending on where the Regal session by Floyd Taylor ended (three sides are known, with matrix numbers R 1210 through 1212), it's possible that this side was supposed to be numbered R 1213 (our thanks to Big Joe Louis for raising this issue).

The truncated track was first released in 1971 on Blind Willie McTell / Memphis Minnie: Love Changin' Blues, Biograph LP 12035. The rest of Side B consisted of the Memphis Minnie tracks from Pk3, while Side A was given over to six of Blind Willie McTell's Regal sides, which were recorded in Atlanta in 1949. It next appeared on Boogie Disease BD 101/102, Take a Little Walk with Me: The Blues in Chicago 1948-1957, a limited-edition 2-LP set from 1972, where it was billed "Ludella No. 2." The surviving take has lost nearly all of its instrumental introduction (what's left comes in just before Rogers starts singing, and it quits after a measly 2:00). Mark Mumea identifies the lead guitarist as Muddy Waters and the second guitarist as Jimmy.

Jimmy Rogers had worked with Memphis Minnie in the late 1940s, and claimed to have recorded with her—but the when and where were long unclear.

Robert Jenkins,
From the collection of Helge Thygesen

The next sesion to produce an actual Parkway release (perhaps also the last release—that depends on what happened to the Bennie Green single) featured Robert Jenkins, of whom we know essentially nothing. He has been identified as the harmonica player, but even that is not definite.

Leadbitter and Slaven say the harmonica player on the session was Robert Jenkins and the lap steel guitar was played by Gene Pierce.

The harmonica player, experts all agree, is an adept of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, and an accomplished one. After that the agreement stops. In 1950 in Chicago there were many practitioners of the Sonny Boy I style. One of them was Little Walter, who of course was already a Parkway artist. But there were many more, and comparisons are hard because most would never made a commercial recording. Was Robert Jenkins among them?

For that matter, Jimmy Rogers played the harmonica in a similar style, before he switched to guitar.

According to Mark Mumea, the harmonica work on side B is most likely the work of Little Walter. According to Scott Dirks, it probably isn't Little Walter, on the grounds that he had advanced beyond this manner of playing in 1950.

Which leaves other mysteries. If Robert Jenkins was the leader, one would expect him to appear on both sides of the record. The harmonica player plays on one side. OK, so what did Jenkins play? The lap steel guitar is said to be the work of Gene Pierce. So was Jenkins the second guitarist? The drummer?

Worse yet, no one seems to know anything about either Jenkins or Pierce, suggesting neither of them stuck around Chicago for long. And the lap steel is played in a Country style, suggesting the performer was not exactly at the center of the Chicago blues scene—or of any other blues scene. The trail, unfortunately, is old and cold.

There's also the matter of a composer credit to "Monroe." Monroe Passis did not take composer credit on other Parkway sides, so this is presumably someone else whose last name was Monroe. A band member?

Then there's the ending to Side B, P 106, where it appears the harmonica player has been taken out and shot. Maybe they ran out of tape, and didn't attempt another take?


Pk5. Robert Jenkins and Trio

poss. Little Walter (hca -1); poss. Gene Pierce (lap steel eg); unidentified (eg); unidentified (d); Robert Jenkins (unidentified insttument).

Chord Distributors, Chicago, early 1950

P 105 Steelin’ Boogie Pt. 1 (Jenkins-Monroe)
Parkway 103, Negro Rhythm 107
P 106 Steelin’ Boogie Pt. 2 -1 (Jenkins-Monroe)
Parkway 103, Negro Rhythm 107

This session could have been made in the Chord Distributors warehouse; if anything, the sound is cruder than on Pk1 through Pk4. Is the switch to a P series (for Passis?) a way of signifying that the Leaners had departed?

These sides have developed far less reissue interest. The only reissue we know of is an LP from 1978, Negro Rhythm 107, Goin' to Chicago Blues! The notes give the standard personnel with Jenkins on harmonica and Gene Pierce on the steel guitar. The other tracks on this various-artists assemblage were by Robert Jr. Lockwood, L. C. McKinley, J. B. Lenoir, Forest City Joe, Willie Mabon, and Sunnyland Slim (his two sides for his own Sunny label, from later in 1950). All of the LP credits are pseudonymous ("Photos: Dudlow Tutwiler Archives"); in fact, it was the work of the late George Paulus.

Chris Bentley's review of the LP reissue in Blues Unlimited (1978) was none too encouraging about the Jenkins sides:

...this record is super-rare and deservedly so. After a loud explosion-type noise at the beginning...the listener is subjected to a boring couple of minutes of monotonous drumming, two-note boogie guitar providing the rhythm and a lead guitar producing Hawaiian-type licks. Anyone thinking this is anything like Elmo's classic ["Hawaiian Boogie"], beware: it's more like a senile Steve McGarrett. "Part 2" is at least redeemed by a good harp player who is emasculated in mid-stride.

Helge Thygesen (email communication, June 9, 2006) is more sympathetically inclined, at least toward Pt. 2: "the harmonica side is not that bad in my opinion. Maybe because it is so unlike anything else from the Chicago blues scene I find it interesting and I enjoy listening to it. It is a more primitive recording than anything else to come out on Parkway."


Robert Jenkins,
From the collection of Helge Thygesen

In early March, Passis joined with J. Mayo Williams (who in 1950 was between record labels; he had shut down his Harlem/Chicago/Southern/Ebony operation, dealing some of his sides away to Apex and others to Decca, and would not be starting his new-model Ebony label until the beginning of 1952) in forming a personal management firm. "Thus far they have Memphis Minnie, Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Rodgers [sic], Little Walter, Baby-Face Leroy, and St. Louis Jimmy under contract" (Billboard, March 11, 1950, p. 22). Right around this same time (the Billboard mention sits on the same page, immediately above the one about Passis and Williams) the Leaner brothers left Chord Distributors to set up their own company, United Record Distributors. United was the country’s first major black-owned distribution firm. It got off to a running start, with Prestige, New Jazz, and Swing Time among the labels it initially carried.

The Leaners had brought New Jazz to Chord and they promptly took it away. Years later, Ernie Leaner recalled that Monroe Passis needed him more than he needed Passis:

There was another fellow named Monroe Passis, who had a place called Chord Distributors, who was on his last leg in business. He didn't really have the financing. He was at one time a sales manager for a company called The Sampson Company [3201 S. Michigan], which distributed Columbia Records. He really didn't have a feel for what the Black thing was all about. Black recordings were called race records, which later became rhythm and blues. Monroe had some good lines, such as Atlantic and a few others. I brought over a number of the labels that M.S. was distributing when I left. George and I made Monroe, in almost a couple or three months, very healthy. (Interviewed by Charles Walton, November 1979)

Although Leaner had a point, Passis had gotten other good lines besides Atlantic before Ernie and George came to Chord. Regal was considered a pretty good line at the time.

Still, the advent of United altered the competitive balance among the distributors in Chicago. It wasn't just United that was biting into Chord's business. In April Chord lost its Apollo account partly to the Leaners at United and partly to another competitor, Hy Frumkin of Frumkin Sales ("Apollo Records Announce Nine Distributor Changes," Cash Box, April 22, 1950, p. 18). Meanwhile Cash Box (April 1) had already announced the loss of Imperial—to Art Sheridan's American Record Distributors. In June American picked up Modern, another label Chord presumably would have wanted for itself (Cash Box, July 1, 1950, p. 9).


Although he was not an announced Passis-Williams client, a session by Roosevelt Sykes came along just after their announcement, and gives every indication of being a Parkway product released on Regal. A 6-tune session with just Sykes and drummer Jump Jackson is dated March 1950 by Fancourt and McGrath, and March 14, 1950 on the Delmark reissue CD. If accurate, the date is within Parkway's initial span of activity. And, having booked it some time in advance (we don't know which studio, or how long the waiting period would have been), Passis was about to cut 6 sides having just been apprised that George and Ernie Leaner were leaving Chord to start a competitor—and Leonard Chess had gotten Muddy Waters to rerecord "Rollin' and Tumblin"" for Aristocrat and was already distributing it just as the first Parkway got to market.


Pk6. Roosevelt (Honeydripper) Sykes* / Roosevelt Sykes

Roosevelt Sykes (voc except -1, p); Armand "Jump" Jackson (d).

Chicago, March 14, 1950

R 1224 Drivin' Wheel
Regal 3286, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1225-1 Rock It (Sykes)
Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1225-2 Rock It (Sykes)*
Regal 3269, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1226 West Helena Blues
Regal 3286, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1227 Mail Box Blues
Regal 3306, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1228 Winter Time Blues
Regal 3306, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1229 Blues n' Boogie (Sykes)* -1
Regal 3269, Delmark DD 773 [CD]

Dave Braun, the sales manager for Regal, announced the signing of Roosevelt Sykes to the label in a story datelined July 1, 1950, along with an elder blues artist referred to rather directly as "Blind Willie," not by his initial recording handle of Pig 'n' Whistle Red ("R. & B. Blue Notes," Billboard, July 8, 1950, p. 32). But the first Sykes release, on Regal 3269, pre-dated Braun's announcement. Regal did not advertise it in Billboard, but on June 10, 1950, a Regal ad for new singles by Larry Darnell, the company's biggest selling artist, and others ran as high as 3274; a similar ad had run in Cash Box on June 3 (p. 16). And as we know from Memphis Minnie's release on Regal 3259, the company was already up to 3260 in early April. Regal 3269 was mentioned in a display ad in Cash Box, on July 15, 1950 (p. 31); the highest numbered release then was still 3274

In November, Regal saw fit to advertise Sykes on his second release, Regal 3286 ("Drivin' Wheel" b/w "West Helena Blues," Billboard, November 11, 1950, p. 42); the record also got a mention in a Cash Box ad (November 11, 1950, p. 17). The final release from the session, Regal 3306, we suspect was timed to gp with one of the titles ("Winter Time Blues")—the end of the year seems right, and Regal 3309 and 3310 were announced as New Year's releases for 1951 (Cash Box, January 6, 1951, p. 14). Regal 3309 was reviewed two weeks later, Cash Box, January 20, 1951, p. 18), while Regal 3302 and 3309 were among the "Advance Rhythm & Blues Releases" in Billboard for January 20, 1951 (p. 24).

Sides from this session have been reissued on Document (a 1994 CD) and Delmark. The Delmark adds an alternate take. The Delmark CD, Chicago Boogie, also gives March 14, 1950 as the date for the session.


There is more Roosevelt Sykes material that saw release on Regal. It is from April 1951 and will be covered below (see Re9, Re10, and Re12).


In April Passis signed the Blues Rockers, a band that included pianist Willie Mabon. They had recorded for Aristocrat in late 1949. The item in Billboard (April 15, 1950, p. 28) that mentioned this signing (calling the band the "Rhythm Rockers") also stated that Passis was considering signing trombonist Bennie Green, which would constitute his first "jazz acquisition" according to the magazine. The "Rhythm Rocker" signing was also mentioned in Cash Box.

Green was recorded. We have no evidence of a Parkway session by the Blues Rockers. It is interesting, however, that a second session by the group for Aristocrat never led to a release (one was scheduled as Chess 1483, but withdrawn and not heard until the CD era).


If the personnel list that has come down to us is correct, the Bennie Green session featured some of the best young jazzmen in Chicago.


Pk7. Bennie Green's Band

Bennie Green (tb); Claude McLin (ts); Willie Jones (p); Gene Wright (b); Dorell Anderson (d).

Chicago, April 10, 1950


Pennies from Heaven
Parkway 1 [?]

unidentified title
Parkway 1 [?]

2 unidentified titles
unissued

This enigmatic listing is drawn from Tom Lord's Jazz Discography. Lord got it from Walter Bruyninckx. Bruyninckx seems to have derived his, in turn, from Jørgen Jepsen, who identified the group as "Bennie Green's Band" but listed only "Pennies from Heaven." The three unidentified titles were mentioned in the Jazz Directory for February 1952, and incorporated into Bruyninckx' discography. Our thanks to Howard Rye for tracing the history of this discographical entry back to 1952.

A contemporary announcement of the recording session was a two-paragraph blurb in Down Beat for May 5, 1950. It ran on page 4 under the title "Record Distributor Waxes Benny Green":

Chicago—Record distributor Monroe Passis, whose Parkway label has heretofore been limited to such artists as Muddy Waters, Memphis Minnie, Sunnyland Slim, and so on, planned to record Benny [sic] Green's new band for its first pop release.
Among the four sides cut April 10 was Pennies from Heaven, tune most closely associated with former Ventura trombonist Green.

The alleged release number (with no B side title) and the band personnel must have come from another source not yet traced.

Was a Parkway 1 ever released? If so, does anyone possess such a rare artifact? Could tapes still be extant?


Parkway was still in business in July 1950, because Monroe Passis attended a record industry trade show in Chicago and his presence was duly noted in Billboard. The only new recording activity, however, was an Eddie Boyd session that took place during the week of the show. It was actually mentioned in Billboard (July 22, 1950, p. 16) as a Regal project. We know that it was done for Regal, that Dave Braun had been in town in June (Cash Box, June 24, 1950, p. 11), and that both Brauns and Fred Mendelsohn were in the city when the session took place; we don't know for sure that Passis was involved, but he had multiple business relationships with Mendelsohn, and attended the same convention. Of further interest: during the same visit, Mendelsohn announced an agreement, possibly executed during Dave Braun's June visit, to lease sides from another small Chicago operation, Jazz Ltd., which would lead to Regal's only LP (a 10-incher). What Eddie Boyd got out of it all was one release on Regal and, much later, one on Herald.


Pk8. Eddie Boyd

Eddie Boyd (p, voc); unidentified (tp); undidentified (ts); Sam Casimir (eg); unidentified (b); unidentified (d).

Chicago, c. July 13, 1950

R 1326 Why Don't You Be Wise, Baby
Regal 3305, Blues Collection [Fr] 16002 [CD]
R 1327
H 1016*
I Gotta Find My Baby (Lonesome for My Baby*)
Regal 3305, Herald 406*, Blues Collection [Fr] 16002 [CD]
H 1017 I'm Goin' Downtown
Herald 406, Blues Collection [Fr] 16002 [CD]

An article in Billboard about doings at and around the National Association of Music Manufacturers convention in Chicago, which took place July 11 through 15, 1950, mentions that Dave and Jules Braun and Fred Mendelsohn were all present and that "While in Chi, the firm cut Eddie Boyd, local blues singer" ("NAMM Men Alerted for Biz; Distributors Flock to View New Lines, Labels, and Plans," July 22, 1950, p. 16). Monroe Passis was also there—it was the last time he was identified in print as a record company executive, though there would be at least one later reference to reopening Parkway.

Little is known about this outing, which is either the most obscure or the second most obscure in Eddie Boyd's entire output. Three tracks survive from it, with no alternate takes. Boyd's last session for RCA Victor had taken place on June 29, 1949. None of those four sides had been released on Victor (though three eventually appeared over half a century later on the Blues Collection CD). Then Boyd had to take his place at the back of a long line of blues artists cut by the label. Regal gave him his first recording opportunity in a year—and, not long afterward, he took his famous day job at the steel mill.

The notes to the only CD reissue, Eddie Boyd: The Complete Recordings 1947-1950 (Blues Collection 160002, released in France in 2001), fail to recognize that the Regal and the Herald release come from the same session. They put Bill Casmir on tenor sax on R 1326 and 1327. This can't be Bill Casimir—he never sounded nearly so rough. They put Bill's brother Sam on guitar, a much more credible identification. They identify Alfred Elkins as the bassist and Judge Riley as the drummer, on what basis we do not know. For H 1016 and 1017, Sam Casimir is given a possible, none of the others are identified, and a baritone sax is credited when none can be heard.

Besides, "I Gotta Find My Baby" and "Lonesome for My Baby" are the same take of the same song. The only difference is that this side of the Regal release (if the Blues Collection reissue reproduces it accurately) plays too slowly, running 14 seconds longer than the Herald, which sounds right. "Why Don't You Be Wise" does appear to be playing at the correct speed, so we're not sure what was going on with Regal 3305.

Regal 3305 was released in December 1950; Herald 406 some time between February and May 1953. As Herald 403 and 404, credited to Little Walter, tried to take advantage of his big recent sales on Checker, 406 tried to capitalize on the big hits Eddie Boyd had made for JOB and was making for Chess.

The liners to the Blues Collection CD refer to the session that produced Regal 3305 as "bordélique" (a hot mess). Boyd is said to have regretted the release. But the same notes speak more favorably of Herald 406—which is from the same session. What we notice today is that the sides sound OK when played at the correct speed, but the raspy trumpet and buzzing tenor sax are a bit too prominent, Boyd's piano is recessed, and the rhythm is a little loose. It would be interesting to know who actually played on the session; besides Boyd and Sam Casimir, we really have no idea. In our opinion, the session came out decent, though not inspired.


In the spring of 1950, Mendelsohn and the Brauns acquired a part interest in a small New York jazz label named after the famed bop club, the Royal Roost. The first releases under the Regal-Roost configuration arrived in June 1950, but from the matrix numbers (see the appendices), Regal was recording material for the Roost operation in March and April. A belated announcement of the deal took place in July.

Regal's other initiative in July 1950 was a series of mini-albums for children. The Tots 'n' Teens line was presented in the same announcement (Billboard, July 22, 1950, p. 16) as brand-new. It wasn't, either on the Regal side or the Tots 'n' Teens side. Fred Mendelsohn was recording children's material during his Merit days, and by July 1950 Regal was already in the children's record business, with three mini-albums or "packages" out on its flagship label. These started with a Christmas release from October or November 1949; it was numbered, either then or later, as Regal 32. Regal 30, the only package in the series to catch a review in the trades, had hit the shelves in March 1950 (Billboard, March 25, 1950, p. 41). All three of the Regal albums (30, 31, and 32) would be re-pressed with Tots 'n' Teens labels. Meanwhile, Tots 'n' Teens had been started, in late 1949 or early 1950, by Graham Manufacturing of New York City. Graham, in turn, made some use of the production services offered by Hugo Peretti (aka Hugh Parette), who in that era was running his own children's record company in northern New Jersey, which was called Mayfair, and doing other kiddie productions on the side. We don't know whether the original Tots 'n' Teens (we've seen one so far) were sold in 4-packs, but they had the same logo and type of label copy that Regal took over, and their releases started at 101 (which would leave room for two 4-packs until Regal's children's disks commenced at 109). Peretti, who would go on to handle children's records for Mercury and then to do A & R with such artists as Sam Cooke, was obviously not expecting to keep Mayfair going forever; his productions were appearing in multiple venues, and a Peretti deal with another label was announced in the same issue of Billboard as Regal's Tots 'n' Teens acquisition.

The company's "kidisk" offerings were miniature 4-pocket albums of 7-inch 78s, pressed, of course, on plastic. Suggested retail on these was $1.00. The July 1950 announcement projected 8 packages, five by Ireene Wicker, "The Singing Lady," who had a long-running children's show on radio in New York City (at the time, she also had a TV show); two by Boyd Heath, a Country artist; and one by Murray Phillips, the "Gay Musician" (which did not have the same meaning in mainstream culture as on the South Side of Chicago). All of the sides had been recorded prior to the announcement, with Phillips' material, and some of Wicker's, going back to the Merit days. The 8 mini-albums (Tots 'n' Teens 30 through 37) were released as promised, with their individual records neatly stamped with RE 1 through RE 32. Another 12 "packages" were projeced for 1951; to our knowledge, some tracks could have been laid down but no such albums materalized.


Probably one or more of the principals at Regal was in town at the beginning of September 1950, when Record Distributors, Inc., was being set up to take over from Chord (and Fred Mendelsohn was readying Little Walter masters for release on Regal 3296). Cash Box (September 9, 1950, p. 7) talked up "a whopper" of a lineup at the Regal Theatre, featuring Toni Harper, Larry Darnell, and Chubby Newsome. Darnell and Newsome were Regal artists.


At the end of 1950 and beginning of 1951, there was a flurry of activity at Regal. The company released sides by Savannah Churchill, who had recorded for the label in December; signed singer Mary Lou Green; signed and recorded veteran jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway, and then there was this bit: "Regal execs Jules Braun and Fred Mendelsohn took off last week for a six-week tour of the coutnry; they will visit distrib points and hit the deejay routes as well" (Billboard, January 20, 1951, p. 24).

Although these activities sounded impressive, and were "hypoed" and "ballied" as such in the trades, what happened was that Regal cut one session on Savannah Churchill, leading to two releases. Her hits had been for Manor, she had not sold nearly so well for Arco, and she would not pull in the green at Regal. By September 1951, the singer was with RCA Victor (which took out a full-page ad to promote her first release, Cash Box, September 15, 1951, p. 9). The timing suggests she had been given a release from her Regal contract, Calloway was likewise good for one sesson (January 1951, before his band boarded a plane for a special engagement in Montevideo, Uruguay) and two releases. Mary Lou Green got just one on Regal.

The remaining sessions on this page were done in Chicago, after the six-week tour, and near the end of Regal's activity in the recording studio (we seriously doubt anything was cut after April 1951). All plausibly involve a Regal-Parkway or a Regal-Record Distributors nexus. Vague or conflicting dates have been given for them. At one time we thought the Sunnyland Slim session belonged to a group with the others that launched Parkway in January 1950. But from the evidence of commercial releases on Regal and the numbers affixed to them (not always right away) in the now familiar D-M-R matrix series, we've inferred they were clustered fairly tightly in April 1951. We don't know whether Fred Mendelsohn was in town when they were done. We do know that Monroe Passis was there the whole time. We also know that the early 1500s were the tail end of D-M-R matrix series (see Appendix H).



Re9. Roosevelt Sykes

Roosevelt Sykes (p, voc); J. T. Brown (ts); Ransom Knowling (b); Armand "Jump" Jackson (d).

Chicago, April 10, 1951

R 1501 Green Onion Top
Regal 3324, Delmark DD 773 [CD]
R 1502 Wonderin' Blues
Regal 3324, Delmark DD 773 [CD]

Chicago Boogie
Delmark DD 773 [CD]

Security Blues
Delmark DD 773 [CD]

Regal matrix numbers are extant only for the two sides released on Regal 3324. A reasonable guess is that the other two sides were meant to be R 1500 and 1503, but in that event we don't know which was which.

A 4-tune session, on which Roosevelt Sykes and Jump Jackson are joined by J. T. Brown on tenor sax, is said to be from April 1951; the Delmark CD reissue says April 10. On April 5, the saxophonist, freshly back in town from 6 to 8 weeks down South, had just contracted for 6 weeks at the Hollywood Rendezvous.

Regal's release rate was undergoing deceleration: Regal 3321 (the second Cab Calloway single) was reviewed in Cash Box on May 5, 1951 (p. 15). Sykes' single on Regal 3324 was annnounced in Billboard on June 16, 1951 (p. 82) and reviewed on June 30 (p. 31). Meanwhile Cash Box reviewed it on June 16 (p. 13). Regal got it out just in time: the next month Sykes, identified as "ex-Victor and Regal" ("Mum Is Word of Execs," Billboard, July 28, 1951) was recording for United. Assuming Sykes signed for one year with Regal around July 1, 1950, his contract had just had time to expire.

"Chicago Boogie" is a short instrumental, probably done impromptu at the session, but "Security Blues" is already a developed performance. Sykes would remake the piece for United. If Regal was interested in putting these sides out, it ran out of time. During Mendelsohn's next window of opporunity, a Herald release of "Security Blues" would have had to compete with the United.


Re10. Essie Sykes

Essie Sykes (voc); Roosevelt Sykes (p); unidentified (eg); unidentified (b); unidentified (d).

Chicago, prob. April 1951

R 1504 Easy Walkin' Papa
Regal 3330
R 1505 Please Don't Say Goodbye
Regal 3330

An Essie Sykes is listed in the 1940 US census as Roosevelt's wife; supposedly 23 years old, born in Mississippi, and in 1935 resident in Memphis, Tennessee. That same year, Roosevelt Sykes cut "Essie Mae Blues" (Decca 7769 B), which sounds autobiographical. Miss Essie Mae was the love of his life, he sings, and he met her in Tennessee. On the other hand, he supposedly stole her from one Bill McKay—in 1929. (Did he take some liberties with the time frame?) So most likely the singer was Mrs. Sykes, around age 34 when she recorded these sides.

The R series numbers suggest the same session as Re9, or one following close in time. But the identity of the guitarist is also still under discussion, and the other musicians have not been identified.

We don't know whether more Essie Sykes sides were recorded, and we don't currently know of Regal tracks with matrix numbers between R 1506 and R1512.

Both Robert Nighthawk and Robert Jr. Lockwood have been nominated for the guitar role, but, as Big Joe Louis has noted, the solo on "Easy Walkin' Papa" (though making some imitation of Lockwood's style) just isn't up to his level technically. And there is no discernible resemblance to anything by Robert Nighthawk. While Lockwood is definitely on the Sunnyland Slim sides (next session), there is no guitarist on the Roosevelt Sykes tracks (previous session).

Regal 3329 (by Paul Gayten) was reviewed in Cash Box on August 18, 1951 (p. 17). Was 3330 the very last Regal 78 in the the company's main post-DeLuxe series? As far as we can tell, yes. The 4-volume R&B Indies ends its Regal listing at 3329.


Re11. Sunnyland Slim

Sunnyland Slim (p, voc); Oliver Alcorn (ts); Robert Jr. Lockwood (eg); Ernest "Big" Crawford (b); Alfred "Fat Man" Wallace (d).

Chicago, poss. April 19, 1951

R 1512 I Done You Wrong
P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Airway AR-4279, Delmark DL 648, P-Vine [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD], Classics 5035 [CD]
R 1513 Orphan Boy Blues
Regal 3327, Airway AR-4279, Classics 5035 [CD]
R 1514 When I Was Young
Regal 3327, Biograph LP 12010, Classics 5035 [CD]
R 1514 [alt.] When I Was Young
Biograph LP 12010, Biograph BCD 124
R 1514 B (Low Down) Sunnyland Train
P-Vine Special [J] PLP 9038, Airway AR-4279, Delmark DL 648, P-Vine [J] PLP-364, Delmark DD 648 [CD], Classics 5035 [CD]

These sides have always been credited as new recordings for Regal, but with suspiciously varying dates (April 19, 1949 or April 19, 1951).

The last few Regals rolled out slowly. Regal 3326 (by Billy Ford) was reviewed in Cash Box on June 30, 1951 (p. 18). Regal 3327 was reviewed in Billboard on August 18, 1951 (p. 74).

Given Sunnyland's role in the Memphis Minnie/Jimmy Rogers session, he could have recorded his own material in early 1950. We thought the "room" sound on "Orphan Boy Blues" (especially) and "Sunnyland Train" pointed to the warehouse, but the other tracks from the session don't have it, so it was probably an artifact of differential mastering. The personnel are as listed in Fancourt and McGrath. Robert Jr. Lockwood is easily recognized, and the drummer on this session is definitely not Leroy Foster.

There are two compelling arguments for a 1951 date for these sides. First, Robert Jr. Lockwood is on them. Second, the R series numbers that were attached to them prior to their release on Regal put them in between the Roosevelt Sykes numbers from April 1951 and the St. Louis Jimmy sides with Sykes and Lockwood. Had they been cut for DeLuxe in April 1949, they would have carried numbers in the D 900s.

After Mendelsohn decided what to release on Regal, the tracks from this session ended up being split three ways. Two went to Delmark and its Japanese licensee, P-Vine Special, though P-Vine beat Delmark to market. Then they found their way to Sunnyland's own Airway label. Two appeared on Biograph. And "Orphan Boy Blues" was released on Regal, then sat until Airway picked it up in 1983.

Biograph LP 12010, After Hour Blues, was released in 1969. The LP was split among St. Louis Jimmy and Sunnyland Slim (Side A), and Little Brother Montgomery (Side B), with Fred Mendelsohn the obvious source for everything but two Paramount sides by Little Brother. On the LP, the two takes of R 1514 are labeled "When I Was Young (Shake It Baby)." Sunnyland combines elements of both songs (which have the same melody and rhythm).

Biograph BCD 124,Memphis Minnie: Early Rhythm & Blues 1949 was a various-artists CD released in 1992. Only the tracks by Pee Wee Hughes (definitely) and Little Brother Montgomery (probably) were recorded in 1949. Just the alternate of "When I Was Young" was included from this session.

The P-Vine/Delmark compilations (all including the same tracks) were titled Down Home Chicago Blues: Black Music in the 1950s Volume 5 (P-Vine Special PLP-9038, released 1982), and The Blues World of Little Walter (Delmark DL 648, released 1984; Delmark DD 648, released 1993, and P-Vine Special PLP-364).

Sunnyland Slim started his own label, Airway, in 1973. Airway AR-4279, Be Careful How You Vote, was an LP compilation of Sunnyland sides from 1950-1951 (the liners said 1949), 1954, and 1983; it was released in 1983. In his own notes, Sunnyland gave the same personnel we have listed above, except he referred to the saxophonist as Oliver "Crawford."

The entire session (minus one alternate take) was finally brought back together on Classics 5035, Sunnyland Slim 1949-1951, which was released in 2001.



Re12. St. Louis Jimmy

St. Louis Jimmy (voc); Roosevelt Sykes (p); Robert Lockwood Jr. (eg); Ernest "Big" Crawford (b).

Chicago, April 19, 1951

D 1538 [?]
H 1018
Hard Luck Boogie (Hard Work Boogie)
Herald 407, Biograph LP 12010, Biograph BCD 124, Document DOCD-5235
D 1539
H 1019
Good Book Blues (Tryin' to Change My Ways*)
Herald 407, Savoy LP 16000, Document DOCD-5235*
D 1540
H 1028
Your Evil Ways
Herald 408, Biograph LP 12010, Biograph BCD 124, Document DOCD-5235
D 1541
H 1029
Whisky Drinkin' Woman (I Sit Up All Night*)
Herald 408, Biograph LP 12010*, Biograph BCD 124*, Document DOCD-5235*

State Street Blues
Biograph BLP 12010, Biograph BCD 124, Document DOCD-5235

This session has been dated June 19, 1949, which is not credible, and April 19, 1951, which is. First, Robert Jr. Lockwood is on guitar. He wasn't recording in Chicago in 1949. He was in 1951. Second, Roosevelt Sykes is the pianist, and he was recording for Parkway and Regal during 1950 and the first half of 1951. In June 1949, Sykes was still under contract to RCA Victor. Third, St. Louis Jimmy was announced in March 1950 as an artist represented by Monroe Passis and Mayo Williams; in 1949, he was recording for a bunch of other labels, and in June of that year he and Joe Brown were about to open JOB. Fourth, the matrix numbers that Mendelsohn assigned to these sides, either originally or a little after the fact, come after the sessions by Roosevelt Sykes, Essie Sykes, and Sunnyland Slim in the Regal matrix series. DeLuxe masters from June 1949 would have been in the D 900s and Merit masters apparently started at M 1000. When Regal closed, at the beginning of November 1951, Mendelsohn, like the Braun brothers, was at least briefly affiliated with DeLuxe, now a King subsidiary. He could have put the D prefix on during this period. The last R series numbers we can attach to an actual newly recorded Regal release are R 1525 and R 1526 (from Regal 3326 by Billy Ford and Joan Shaw).

Herald 408 was the only pre-410 release to draw a review from a trade publication. Benefitting from appearing concurrently with Herald 410 by the Embers, which the company bought ads for and was selling, Herald 408 actually got coverd by both trades (Billboard, May 9, 1953, p. 40; Cash Box, May 16, 1953, p. 20). The reviews confirm that "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" was the original title to D 1541; the Cash Box reviewer, who liked the record, thought "Whiskey" wasn't just the same tune but the same performance that St. Louis Jimmy had recently cut for Duke. A pardonable mistake, considering Herald wasn't telling anyone that this was material from 2 years back. The H numbers belonged to the label's own matrix numbers series, but these were purely a function of when Herald prepared the sides for release.

On "State Street Blues," which didn't see release till Biograph acquired this material from Fred Mendelsohn, the snapback bass work is obviously Big Crawford's (also note the snaps on "Hard Work Boogie"). And the pianist isn't Sykes. Suspicion consequently falls on St. Louis Jimmy himself (for years, he'd avoided entanglement with the Musicians Union by not playing on his recording dates).

Biograph LP 12010, After Hour Blues, was released in 1969. The LP was split among St. Louis Jimmy and Sunnyland Slim (Side A), and Little Brother Montgomery (Side B), with Fred Mendelsohn the obvious source of everything but two Paramount sides by Little Brother.

Biograph BCD 124,Memphis Minnie: Early Rhythm & Blues 1949 was a various-artists CD released in 1992. Only the tracks by Pee Wee Hughes (definitely) and Little Brother Montgomery (probably) were recorded in 1949. Document DOCD-5235, St. Louis Jimmy Oden Volume 2: 1944-1955 was released in 1994. The credits to the Document make no mention of Herald 408, either because no one had heard of it or because the compilers weren't sure which tracks had been on it. But then the liner notes described Herald as a Chicago-based label and implied that it was active between 1949 and 1951. Oh well.

By the time these sessions were done, Regal was finished booking studio time and had about six months to go. Its RFD subsidiary, announced at the beginning of the year, started winding down. Melvin Price, who led a Country band in eastern Maryland, was first a Regal artist and then an RFD artist, in the same 5000 series. Ed McMullen, who performed regularly in the New York area, and his wife Sally Clark, were already associated with Price, who recorded some of their songs. Now McMullen was announced as the new label's music director (according to Billboard for April 14, 1951). To our knowledge the only other Country act that McMullen had time to sign was country DJ "Grandpappy" Earl Davis. Cash Box reviewed (May 12, 1951, p. 10). There was an RFD by big band leader Bob Chester, who in 1950 and 1951 was attempting a comeback, but he must have thought he was recording for Regal. Two pop sides by Ted Martin, who had previously gotten a release in Regal's 1196 pop series, were also slotted into RFD's release schedule.

Mendelsohn had briefly operated the Merit label, for six weeks in 1949; in May 1951, Regal tried to relaunch it as a budget line selling 49 cent singles. This effort was good for maybe a month ("Two New Labels Set to Issue Disks at 49c Retail with Special Price to Ops," Cash Box, May 5, 1951, p. 11). Merit 307, a pop record by one Bobby Hart, was reviewed on June 9, 1951, p. 18, and we know of no further releases on the budget label. In July "Julie" Braun and Fred Mendelsohn were in Chicago for the NAMM convention (Cash Box, July 28, 1951, p. 9), but to our knowledge they neither leased anything from local labels nor did any recording. RFD was already kaput, after 11 releases if there were no gaps in the series. On July 28, Billboard (p. 56) noted that McMullen and Clark were performing in New York, and ready to "go with Decca in September." On August 4, Cash Box mentioned Savannah Churchill singing at the Hi Note in Chicago but pointedly made no reference to Regal or to her recordings for the company. She'd probably been released from her Regal deal and was about to sign with RCA.


After Parkway—The Musicians

The Parkway session of Muddy Waters was considered a bit of moonlighting by Leonard Chess. While Muddy was not named as a performer on the record, his fervent guitar playing and verbal whoops and interjections ("Play a looong time!") made his presence obvious. Little Walter and Leroy Foster each referred to him by name on the records, and the company was so indiscreet that it gave him the composer credit for "Rollin' and Tumblin'." Some of the musicians told Chess about the session. Said Passis, "They went and told him what they had done and Chess said, ‘Let’s record it and kill it.’" Almost immediately (as soon as session time was open; we figure it was no more than two weeks after the Parkway outing), Leonard Chess had Muddy at Univeral Recording cutting a new version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" with bassist Big Crawford for release on Aristocrat. Another two-part recording, this too was excellent, but it did not match the primal energy of the Foster version. Nonetheless, Waters was surging in popularity at this time and there is little doubt that his version substantially outsold the Foster version.

Aristocrat, despite recording later, probably got 412 into the stores around the same time as Parkway 501 (and Aristocrat's distribution was much better). The Defender reviewed the Parkway on March 11, 1950. But on that same date, Aristocrat was already advertising 412 in Cash Box (up to that point, Aristocrat's big push had been for 411 by Gene Ammons—412 was now suddenly added). Cash Box did review the Parkway—but not until April 8 (p. 16), and the review was surprisingly tepid.

This February session for Aristocrat also produced "Rollin’ Stone," the first Waters side to be released on the Chess imprint. Waters by this time had emerged as the preeminent blues artist from Chicago. We can also be sure that the Chess brothers put the kibosh on Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, and Little Walter remaining under the personal management of Monroe Passis and J. Mayo Williams.

In August 1950, the Chess brothers finally acknowledged the broader lesson of the Parkway episode. They began including Little Walter on Waters' recording sessions; Jimmy Rogers shared the session with Muddy in August and began playing on Muddy's own sides starting in October 1950. Recording for Chess, Muddy Waters put 15 songs on the national R&B charts from 1951 to 1958. In the 1960s, Chess tried to broaden Waters’ audience with folk-styled and rock-styled albums, which were sometimes commercial if not critical successes. Remaining with the label after the sale of the company and the death of Leonard Chess, Waters eventually signed with Blue Sky, where under the production aegis of Johnny Winter he recorded four albums in a more traditional manner from 1977 to 1981. Waters died on 30 April 1983, in Westmont, Illinois.

After his Parkway session, Jimmy Rogers signed with Chess Records, which used his smooth vocals on many terrific recordings, beginning with "That's All Right" from an August 1950 session done back to back with one by Muddy Waters. Rogers continued as rhythm guitarist in the Waters' band until 1955, appearing on most of Waters' Chess recordings during that period, and recorded under his own name for Chess until 1959. He was mostly retired from the music business during the 1960s, but returned to recording in 1972 on the Shelter label. Other LPs followed, for Black and Blue (1973), JSP (1982), Antone's (1990), and Bullseye (1994). Rogers died in Chicago on December 19, 1997.

Little Walter after the Parkway recordings concentrated on his harmonica to the greater benefit of the blues world (he would make just two further appearances on guitar, on two sides he cut with Muddy Waters in 1951). But he would not record as a leader again for some two years. From July 1950 to August 1952, Walter performed and recorded with the Waters band; he was also used on Chess sessions with Jimmy Rogers, Floyd Jones, Eddie Ware, Memphis Minnie, and John Brim. But he recorded his gigantic hit, "Juke," for Checker in May 1952, he went on to one of the most successful recording careers of any Chicago blues artist, scoring 14 Top Ten R&B hits. By the end of the 1950s, his hitmaking was at an end. The 1960s saw blues decline in the black community, along with Walter’s descent into alcoholism and bar fights. After one blow to the head too many, Walter died in Chicago on February 15, 1968.

After leaving Muddy's group for good, Leroy Foster cut three sessions for JOB in 1950 (this was later reissued on Chess), 1951, and 1952. He backed Mildred Richards and Snooky Pryor on their1950 sessions for JOB; backed J. B. Lenoir on his debut session (made in 1950 for JOB but dealt to Chess); and accompanied Sunnyland Slim on two sides cut in October 1950 for the Sunny label. Foster's 1952 sides, which included the ominous title "Blues Is Killing Me," remained unissued for two decades, and he never recorded again, dissipating his career in alcoholism. He died in Chicago, on 26 May 1958.

Parkway's failure to do anything with his first session as a leader did no discernible harm to Bennie Green's career. He wasn't hanging around town waiting for his single to be released. By April 26, he was in New York City recording with Gene Ammons for Prestige; on May 18 and 19 he was part of an all-star ensemble that backed Sarah Vaughan for Columbia. In fact Green would record in Chicago on just one further occasion, when he made four titles with strings for Prestige in 1952. In his next opportunity as a leader, Bennie Green made 4 sides for Jubilee in August 1950; all were released, with "La Vie en Rose" and "Blues Is Green," which had been recorded, as the ads said, "in echo chamber," getting the rush treatment. In 1951 and 1952 he led sessions for Prestige. From 1951 to 1953 he was a member of Earl Hines' last big band. Green then worked for over a decade as a leader of quintets; he shared the front line with such tenor saxophonists as Frank Foster, Charlie Rouse, Jimmy Forrest, and Johnny Griffin. After leaving Hines in 1953, he made a 10-inch LP for Decca. He did three LPs for Prestige (1955 and 1956), four for Blue Note (1958 and 1959), and one each for Vee-Jay (1959), Enrica (1960), Time (1960), Bethlehem (1960), and Jazzland (1961), not counting numerous sideman appearances in the studio. His last sides as a leader were done for Prestige in 1967. For two stretches in 1968 and 1969 he performed and recorded with Duke Ellington. Later in 1969, he settled in Las Vegas, where he worked regularly in hotel bands. He made his last appearance on record in 1972, during a Newport in New York festival, and died in San Diego on March 23, 1977.

After Parkway sessions, Claude McLin's fortunes improved for a while when Chess recorded his version of "Mona Lisa" in July 1950—it would be his only hit. "Tennessee Waltz," cut in October 1950, was intended as a follow-up but Schoolboy Porter's rendition on Chance outsold it. McLin also appeared on a fan's tape recording of an October 1950 Charlie Parker set at the Pershing Ballroom. After another session for Chess in 1951, McLin became fed up with the lack of steady work in Chicago; early in 1952, he moved his family to Los Angeles. There he found plentiful gigs in clubs and occasional studio work, appearing on an Amos Milburn session for Aladdin (1954) and cutting for small labels such as Golden Tone (1958), Dootone (also 1958), his own Mac-Jac enterprise (1960 and 1963), and Allegro/C&C (1962). But his final effort, for Dootone in 1963, found him attempting garage rock. The demand for Claude McLin's music dried up after 1965 and he took a job driving a bus for Avis Rent-a-Car at the Los Angeles International Airport. Claude McLin retired from Avis around 1993 and died in Los Angeles on July 21, 1995.

Willie Jones remained at the Macomba until the club burned down in October 1950. For the next decade he enjoyed steady work in various Chicago-area clubs with quartets and trios. He picked up occasional studio gigs backing doo-wop groups (the Five Blue Notes for Sabre in 1953, the Five Echoes for the same label in 1954 and the Flamingos for Chance that same year, the Flamingos for Parrot later in 1954, and three sessions for Parrot/Blue Lake in 1955). He got his sole opportunity to record as a leader, for Vee-Jay in 1954; "My Thing" and "My Other Thing" are precursors to the music of Cecil Taylor. Willie Jones also appeared on the LPs that Clark Terry and Paul Gonsalves cut for the Chess brothers' Argo label in 1957. Jones continued his piano playing and singing in the clubs during the 1960s and early 1970s (regrettably, his vocals were never recorded). His last appearances on record were with Tommy "Madman" Jones for the saxophonist's M&M label (1963 and early 1970s). After 1972, Willie Jones' health declined; he died of arteriosclerosis in Chicago on December 31, 1977.

Gene Wright next recorded with Gene Ammons, on the saxophonist's last session for Aristocrat (May 1950). He was Ammons' regular bassist until May 1951, appearing on both of the tenor man's sessions for Chess. Subsequently, he moved to the West Coast, where he worked with Buddy DeFranco, Red Norvo, and Cal Tjader. He reached the height of his fame as a member of Dave Brubeck's quartet from 1957 to 1967, acquring the nickname "Senator" along the way. In his later years Wright has been active as a musician, a teacher, and a composer.

Dorell Anderson remained on the scene until the mid-1960s. Although somewhat more durable than Ike Day, he had a comparable series of run-ins with the Union:

Erased member Dorel [sic] Anderson, 9233 South Wentworth Avenue, appeared before the Board requesting permission to work with Union members and pay his $100.00 fine in weekly installments.
Anderson was given a severe reprimand by the Board for his lax attitude.
On motion, the Board ruled that Dorel Anderson shall be given permission to work and pay his $100.00 fine weekly on the following conditions:
  1. Anderson shall not be permitted to draw or make tabs.
  2. His salary shall be collected by the business agent and brought into the Local.
  3. If he insists on doing things detrimental to himself, he can be dismissed and the entire balance of his fine becomes due and payable immediately.
  4. He shall not have the benefit of any notice, which means the first time he is late or fails to appear on an engagement, he shall be dismissed immediately. (Board meeting minutes of Local 208, November 18, 1954, p. 1)

Dorell Anderson can be heard to advantage on a 1965 Charlie Parker memorial concert that was recorded by Mercury's Limelight subsidiary. Not long after that, he was murdered; according to Alvin Fielder, his body was found in the Chicago River.


After Parkway—The Principals

The departure of the Leaner brothers led Monroe Passis to reconsider his commitment to putting out records on his own label. Not only did he lose two managers, he lost a bunch of his business to United and other distributors, such as American and Frumkin Sales. ("No-compete" clauses weren't in use in the music business of the early 1950s.) By the Bennie Green session of April 10, 1950, Passis had already sold or leased two sides from the Memphis Minnie session to Regal, and was about to do the same with the Roosevelt Sykes session from March; it's even possible that he got Fred Mendelsohn to invest in the company after the Leaners left. Monroe Passis was still identified as the president of Parkway when he attended the NAMM show at the Palmer House in July. In September Fred Mendelsohn released two Little Walter sides from the first Parkway session (one of them previously unissued) on Regal 3296.

The December 1950 telephone book shows no listing for Chord Distributors. That's because in September (the same month that Mendelsohn released two more of his masters) Passis shut Chord down and started a new company, unimaginatively called Record Distributors, Inc. It was a joint project of four companies: Atlantic, National, Regal, and Jubilee. Regal's direct participation speaks for itself. On September 30, Cash Box (p. 7) announced that "Chord" had landed the four labels; in the October 7 issue (p. 19) there was an ad for Record Distributors. The new company was given 3 months to prove that it could make money. It passed the test. On January 1, Record Distributors, Inc., was not just going to the satisfaction of the four principal labels. Passis got the green light to acquire another distributor (Sam Margolis's General Distributing Company; "From Chicago: Personal Notes,"Billboard, January 20, 1951, p. 14) and to add Tempo and Seeco to the lines he was carrying ("Rhythm and Blues Notes," Billboard, January 20, 1951, p. 24).

Passis had gotten a significant injection of capital and was handling four record lines that at the time all seemed to be enjoying commercial success. Except that a venture with four record companies depended jointly on the health of each one severally. National wasn't getting enough revenue back from its distributors and its costs (for instance, for pressings) were rising. In June 1951, Al Green sold National to his son, Irving, who ran Mercury. We don't know the date, as the sale received no public announcement whatsoever—National simply evaporated out of the trade papers after its last ad in Cash Box (June 9, 1951, p. 15). Whatever the transaction consisted of, it was not a straight sale to Mercury. Nearly all of National's masters would end up with Savoy. But Savoy's acquisition was not announced until 1957—and there was no mention of the source Herman Lubinsky was buying from.

With National down, Regal was the next to fall. The company had overinvested in country music with its RFD subsidiary. It had tried to revive Merit as a budget label that lasted 4 weeks. It was looking to sell back the piece it had acquired of the Roost label. And its executives were convinced that distributors were ripping them off on their kidisk packages, which sold in volume but kept losing money. (We wonder a little about the volume, considering how Tots 'n' Teens didn't get reviewed in the trades.) The last straw was being hit with Federal taxes on both the Tots 'n' Teens records and their packaging, which led the Brauns to file an unsuccesful court case. Recording was over by May 1951. The company's release stream slowed to a trickle, probably drying up in September. Regal officially shut down in November, leaving Passis with Jubilee, Atlantic, plus Tempo, Seeco, maybe another small label or two—and making a barely audible noise about reviving Parkway. Hence, in Billboard for November 3, 1951, "Monroe Passis, the r.&b. distribber, is reactivating his Parkway label" (p. 52).

Meanwhile, we don't know exactly what was happening with Jubilee, but the company was operating in the black. Its owner, Jerry Blaine, was in the distribution business for himself—he owned Cosnat out of New York City. It might have crossed Blaine's mind that Cosnat, which pre-dated Jubilee, had a name that honored two dead record companies—Cosmo and National— and he could rearrange his label's distribution network whenever he liked, with minimal fanfare. If Blaine didn't make his jump when Regal closed, he certainly didn't wait after James Martin took Atlantic. Cash Box's directory of distributors for June 1952 shows Martin handling Jubilee. Blaine later opted for a joint custody arrangement: in the directories that Cash Box published in July 1953 and 1954, Sheridan Distributing, the successor to American, was handling Jubilee's pop; Aristocrat, as the Chess brothers still called that branch of their operation, had the R&B.

The ghost of Record Distributors, Inc., gave off faint wails in the trades, but only because of a small New York-based record company called Clipper that had been in business in 1950 and 1951, and didn't bother to notify anyone at Billboard or Cash Box when it ordered all hands onto the lifeboats. The phantom distributor was still haunting its Marie Celeste in Cash Box's 1952, 1953, 1954 directories.

Most likely any remaining unsold Parkway 78s were destroyed when Passis closed Record Distributors, Inc.

Passis moved into running trade shows. In this new sphere he went as Ray Passis (in his music business days, the trades had always referred to him as Monroe). From the mid-1950s through the 1970s, operating Transworld Exhibits, he was one of the industry leaders, running the annual discount store trade show, and handling the huge housewares show on Navy Pier. Ray Passis died on January 29, 2004, in Rancho Mirage, California.


During the 1950s, Ernie and George Leaner prospered with United Distributors. From 1962 to 1968, George operated the Oneder-ful/M-Pac!/Mar-V-lus label complex, recording such hard soul acts as McKinley Mitchell, Harold Burrage, Otis Clay, the Five Dutones, the Sharpees, Johnny Sayles, and Dorothy Prince, as well as a huge dance record star, Alvin Cash. Blues artists recording for the company included Lonnie Brooks, Big Daddy Rogers, and Andrew Tibbs. Following the closing of Oneder-ful, Ernie Leaner teamed with his son Tony to form Toddlin’ Town, which experienced moderate success recording such proto-funk acts as Bull and the Matadors and Thomas East before closing in 1971.

As the majors reclaimed a greater share of the record business, the Leaner brothers were forced to shut down United Distributors in 1974, turning the operation into a one-stop. They also opened up a chain of retail stores. By the end of the decade, both George and Ernie were largely out of the music business. George died September 18, 1983, in Chicago; and Ernie died April 17, 1990, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Fred Mendelsohn had had several connections with Monroe Passis: Chord Distributors distributed Mendelsohn's short-lived Merit label before he started Regal; Chord got Regal the day the company started and kept it after the Leaners left; Regal was one of the four record companies that partnered with Passis in his new venture, Record Distributors, Inc., which replaced Chord in September 1950. Meanwhile Mendelsohn had picked up the Memphis Minnie sides from January 1950, the Roosevelt Sykes tracks from March, the Eddie Boyds from July 1950, and a slew of Roosevelt Sykes/Essie Sykes/St. Louis Jimmy/Sunnyland Slim items, all from April 1951 or thereabouts. Most important of all, he had acquired the Leroy Foster sides from January 1950. When and how Mendelsohn paid for all these tracks we don't know, but he had relied on Passis to record most or all of them.

Slicing all the way through Mendelsohn's tangle of business relationships with Passis was his and the Brauns' decision to close Regal, in November 1951. Before leaving to run DeLuxe as a King subsidiary, they cut a deal with Danny Kessler, the A&R man for Columbia's OKeh subsidiary: OKeh got Larry Darnell, Paul Gayten, and Titus Turner ("OKeh Signs Regal Artists," Cash Box, November 17, 1951, p. 20). Darnell and Gayten had been Regal's top sellers; they were also former DeLuxe artists. Billy Vera, in his notes to a 1991 reissue of Paul Gayten's Regal sides (Regal Records in New Orleans, Specialty SPCD-2169), noted that Regal owed Columbia money for custom pressings (some Regal 78s look like products of Columbia's plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut), and that Annie Laurie and Broadway Bill Cook's contracts were also transferred. In fact, Kessler was recording Titus Turner for OKeh on October 16, 1951; Paul Gayten on October 31, 1951 (Regal was still officially in business); Larry Darnell with a different band on November 8, 1951; and Annie Laurie with still a different band on November 21. Debts to Columbia aside, the Braun brothers obviously didn't want these artists to end up under Sid Nathan's control.

As we have seen, Passis was not able to restart Parkway afterward. In fact, losing Regal crippled his distribution business, which ended in March 1952.

When Regal closed, all that was left for Mendelsohn was the Tots 'n' Teens "kidisks" (we don't actually know whether they lasted another minute—all we know is that Sid Nathan didn't want them). Such work as needed doing for Tots 'n' Teens and the revived DeLuxe label (now a regular subsidiary of King) kept Mendelsohn occupied for around a year. (From which we infer that a one-year contract with DeLuxe was part of the set of deals.) Vera says that Mendelsohn also brought Big Maybelle to OKeh, and produced her first session there. If that was the case, he wouldn't have wanted Nathan to know anything about it. She had been a King artist (see our Tom Archia page for a couple of the sessions she made there).

Around a year after Regal closed, Mendelsohn started Herald Records, a New York-based company. The company is just about always said to have opened in 1953, but Billboard was referring to its first release in November 1952. This was in a music publisher's advertisement, because Herald couldn't afford to take out any of its own: saxophonist Orville "Fats" Noel, on Herald 401, was one of 22 artists who had cut "You Belong to Me" (Billboard, November 22, 1952, p. 48). The Noel session was made at Beltone Studios in New York, on August 26, 1952. All four sides were issued, on Herald 401 and 402, with an October release date most likely for both. Three tracks from Noel's session were reissued out on a P-Vine Special LP in 1981, and the entire thing was reunited on Delmark DL-438, Honkers & Bar Walkers Volume 1, in 1988 (DD-438, with 6 added tracks, was a CD released in 1992).

Meanwhile, on the strength of his first Checker release in August 1952, Little Walter had become a huge star in the R&B world. After taking on pressing plant executives Al Silver and Jack Braverman as partners in February 1953—this, wrongly, has been the date usually cited for the beginning of Herald—Mendelsohn put four of the Parkway sides on Herald under the name Little Walter. To be fair to latter-day readers, the first article about Herald in the trades was a two-paragraph item in Cash Box ("Form 'Herald Records,' New R&B Label," February 21, 1953, p. 16) that made it appear that the company was brand new. "First releases," it said, "will include Little Walter pressings," indicating that with his own meager capital Mendelsohn hadn't gotten beyond Herald 401 and 402.

Two of these were the Baby Face Leroy Trio’s "Boll Weevil" (H-512) and "Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Pt. 2" (H-514), the latter renamed "Rollin’ Blues." Virtually all surviving copies of Herald 403 and 404 are 78s, but according to Barry Soltz, both of the Heralds that bore Little Walter's name also came out on 45s (and he has provided a photo of 404). Eddie Boyd had hit for JOB in 1952 and was hitting for Chess in 1953, so Mendelsohn put two tracks from the July 1950 session (one previously unissued, the other merely retitled) on Herald 406. Finally, in May 1953 Herald tried four previously unissued St. Louis Jimmy sides, from the last of the Regal/Parkway sesions. There might have been a market for Herald 403, 404, 406, 407, and 408, but between February and May 1953 Mendelsohn and his partners couldn't afford to put anything behind their records, and sales on all were disappointing. The second St. Louis Jimmy, on Herald 408, was reviewed in Billboard on May 9 (p. 40) and in Cash Box on May 16.

Herald started making money on the strength of the Embers' release of "Paradise Hill" (Herald 410), which Jack Angel helped to write and Al Silver had brought to the label. Only with the release of 410 did any of Mendelsohn's records (Herald 408 and 411, which came out around the same time), get coverage in Billboard or Cash Box. As Silver was the one who had demonstrably profitable notions about artists and repertoire, he and two other partners bought Mendelsohn out of the company before the end of June. The last Heralds that Mendelsohn had recorded were 411 by bluesman Blind Billy Tate, cut in New Orleans in 1953, and 412 by a gospel group, probably also cut during the past few months. Herald would score more hits in 1953—Herald 416, "Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams, was a monster. The company became a financially solid independent, staying alive until 1964; for most of the label's existence, doowop was its mainstay. In 1954, 1955, and 1956, there would be more Herald blues releases, by Lightnin' Hopkins, but these were recorded in March and April 1954. They came from an independent producer in Houston (possibly Henry Stone), and Mendelsohn had nothing to do with them.

For 5 years, Fred Mendelsohn had resisted becoming an employee of Savoy, but in the end the gravitational forces were too strong. Could he have found Herman Lubinsky easier to work for than Sid Nathan? In December 1953 Mendelsohn took a new job reporting to Lubinsky—initially for Regent, the label he had once owned. Though the announcements noted that he would be handling classical, white pop, and children's records, excluding responsibilities for Savoy's R&B and gospel lines, Mendelsohn quickly got his foot in the door. A month after he was hired, Cash Box acknowledged Mendelsohn's ups and downs: "Savoy prexy, Herman Lubinsky, in town [Chicago] this week with his A&R man Freddie Mendelson [sic]. If anyone knows the juke box biz—that's Freddie. Came up the hard way from juke box service man..." (January 23, 1954, p. 19).

In 1955 Mendelsohn produced "Don't Be Angry" by Nappy Brown, along with records by Varetta Dillard. As Savoy turned more and more toward gospel, he was heavily involved.

At some point, he decided maybe Sid Nathan was easier to work for. Toward the end of 1956, Mendelsohn returned, for a bit more than a year, to Nathan's operation ("DeLuxe Signs Three New Acts," Billboard, November 3, 1956, p. 18): he became head of A&R for DeLuxe, where Annie Laurie, former DeLuxe and former Regal artist, scored a hit. Some months later, Mendelsohn signed tenor saxophonist King Curtis to DeLuxe (Cash Box, July 13, 1957, p. 40). In 1958, Mendelsohn shot out of the Nathan orbit for the second and final time. Now he was the general manager of a new outfit, Arrow Records, in which he had purchased a share ("Mendelsohn Exits DeLuxe for Arrow," Billboard, January 27, 1958, p. 34; "Mendelsohn Named General Manager of Arrow Records," Cash Box, February 1, 1958, p. 52). Arrow soon evolved a subsidiary called Bow, which picked up a single by Detroit R&B artist T. J. Fowler (Billboard, November 17, 1958, p. 12). Arrow fell back to earth. Mendelsohn's next move was to United Telefilm, started by former MGM Records executive Morty Craft and largely owned by a Canadian firm ("Craft Helms New Diskery, United Telefilm Records," Billboard, March 16, 1959, p. 18). United Telefilm's record labels were Tel and Warwick. Meanwhile, Colpix Records was releasing a single that had been made for Arrow (Cash Box, March 28, 1959, p. 40).

Tel and Warwick did prove more durable than Bow and Arrow. In 1959, Larry Darnell got a single on Warwick—presumably Mendelsohn had something to do with that. On June 28, 1960 (Billboard, July 4, 1960, p. 21), Mendelsohn produced a session by the Fireside Gospel singers for United Telefilm. Mendelsohn made his exit as the year ended. He took over as president of Duane, a small label in New York (Billboard, December 26, 1960, p. 21), which he was said to be reorganizing ("Mendelson [sic] Named Duane Prexy," Cash Box, January 7, 1961, p. 33). And then… Mendelsohn decided that Herman Lubinsky was the safer bet after all ("Fred Mendelson [sic] Rejoining Savoy," Billboard, September 11, 1961, p. 12). On his third go-round, the first artist he signed was Faye Adams, who had started making money for Herald right after he got bought out. Mendelsohn produced sessions for Savoy through the 1960s. In the end he became the company's president. Mendelsohn outlived Herman Lubinsky, who died in 1974. He stayed with the imprint after Arista purchased the company from Lubinsky's estate. Fred Mendelsohn died on April 28, 2000.


The records live on. The original Parkways are extremely rare today, and have become highly sought-after collectors' items: "Rollin’ and Tumblin’" in 2005 was being offered at a starting bid of $2,000. The same auction was offering the Little Walter on Regal for a minimum bid of $1,000. The other Parkway-derived Regals aren't too cheap in our time; neither are the Heralds. Those who are not enamored of paper and plastic at such prices fondly appreciate the great music from the legendary Parkway sessions; they are fortunate that Fred Mendelsohn acquired and preserved most of the masters, licensed some to Biograph, and many years later sold everything he still had to Delmark. (According to Bob Koester, the transaction was conducted at the old Savoy warehouse, where Mendelsohn was still keeping his Regal and Herald masters.) It is because of Fred Mendelsohn that the masters survived from the Baby Face Leroy, Jimmy Rogers, Memphis Minnie, Sunnyland Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, and St. Louis Jimmy sessions. He does not seem to have picked up the Robert Jenkins and Bennie Green masters from Parkway; we can only hope they weren't thrown away.


Appendix A. Non-Parkway-Non-Regal Sessions

After we learned about Passis' (and Regal's) participation in Record Distributors, Inc., we incorporated several sessions from 1951 into our main listing (we'd previously believed Passis was out of the music business in September 1950, when Chord Distributors closed). Consequently our main story now stretches across the old "Parkway penumbra" and adds sessions by Eddie Boyd, Roosevelt Sykes, and Essie Sykes that we had not previously considered. Still, there are a couple of other blues sessions that we know were plausibly cut in Chicago, ended up in the possession of Fred Mendelsohn, and were eventually dealt to Biograph or Delmark. We will review these quickly here. In our opinion, they were done before the opening of Merit Records in June 1949; i.e., before Fred Mendelsohn had a business relationship with Monroe Passis. (Of course, blues items recorded in Atlanta and sold to Regal, recorded in Detroit and leased to Regal, or cut at the home location in New Jersey are not relevant here. Neither are the new blues items that Mendelsohn recorded for Herald during his 7 or 8 months there.)

Four piano solos by Eurreal "Little Brother" Montgomery were supposedly recorded in Chicago on April 19, 1949. They were first released on Biograph BLP 12010 (three tracks reissued on Biograph BCD 124). These have apparently never had matrix numbers attached to them, but if they were made on April 19, 1949, Fred Mendelsohn was still working at Regent. A distinct possiblity, if the date is accurate, is that they were recorded in Chicago by Mayo Williams, whose Ebony/Harlem/Chicago/Southern company was winding down, then dealt to Mendelsohn later. Williams had a brief collaboration with Monroe Passis in 1950, and Little Brother Montgomery would be an Ebony artist during the company's second incarnation, which started in 1952.

Two sides from a session by harmonica player Pee Wee Hughes, done in New Orleans in 1949, are on Biograph BLP 12009 and BCD 124. It's possible Fred Mendelsohn recorded them, but the other two sides from the same session were released on DeLuxe before the Brauns left. Right before they left, on DeLuxe 3228; the Hughes single showed up on the Billboard list of new releases on August 20, 1949 (p. 30) and was reviewed in Cash Box on August 27 (p. 14). The sides were definitely pre-Regal and probably not done for Merit: the DeLuxe release carried matrix numbers (D) 1012 and 1013. Our hypothesis is that the Braun brothers brought them to Regal, didn't use them while the label was in business, and didn't return them to King/DeLuxe after Regal closed.


Appendix B. Merit Records 300 Series (1949)

We will be adding tables of all known Merit, Regal, Tots 'n' Teens (when Regal owned it), and R. F. D. releases, with a few notes about provenance. (In addition to its involvement with Parkway, Regal made a short-lived deal with Sensation out of Detroit and a longer-term arrangement with Roost out of New York City).


Matrix Release Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date

Merit 300 Bailey Brothers Crackerjack Polka
Jun-49

Merit 300 Bailey Brothers Maybe
Jun-49
M1000 Merit 301 A Bailey Brothers Ain't She Sweet
Jun-49
M1002 Merit 301 B Bailey Brothers Shiek [sic] of Araby
Jun-49













Appendix C. Regal Records 1196 Series (1949-1950)

Matrix Regal Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date
985 1196 George Wallington Band | Bop Vocal - Buddy Stewart Knockout! 9-May-49
988 1196 George Wallington Trio Racing 9-May-49












R 1059 1198 Jerry Sellers and the Serenaders Starlight Serenade Aug-49 Oct-49
R 1060 1198 Jerry Sellers and the Serenaders Goodnight Waltz Aug-49 Oct-49
R 1082 1199 Bailey Bros. Bailey's Boogie
Oct-49
R 1081 1199 Bailey Bros. Stumbling
Oct-49




























































R 1360 1205 Ted Martin and his Orchestra Don't Say You Care Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1361 1205 Ted Martin and his Orchestra You Ought to Hang Your Heart in Shame Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1346 1206 Big Ben Trio with Lou Hogan Orch. Dancing My Fanny Around

R 1348 1206 Big Ben Trio with Lou Hogan Orch. Allagazoo, Allagazam


Appendix D. Regal Records 3229 Series (1949-1951)

Matrix Regal Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date
M978-1CA 3229 Edna Gallman Cooke Handwriting on the Wall Apr-49 Sep-49
M979-1CA 3229 Edna Gallman Cooke I Promised the Lord Apr-49 Sep-49
AM 1030 3230 Paul Gayten and his Orchestra Dr. Daddy O Aug-49
D 904 3230 Paul Gayten and his Orchestra You Don't Know Jan-49
AM 1025-5 3231 James (Blazer Boy) Locks with the Four Drifters Blazer Boy Blues Aug-49 Sep-49
AM 1029-2 3231 James (Blazer Boy) Locks with the Four Drifters Mistreated Blues Aug-49 Sep-49
AM-1056 3232 Dennis McMillon Poor Little Angel Girl Aug-49 Sep-49
AM-1058 3232 Dennis McMillon Goin' Back Home Aug-49 Sep-49
AM-1015 3233 Erline Harris | Johnson Brothers Combo Jump and Shout Jul-49 Sep-49
AM-1016 3233 Erline Harris | Johnson Brothers Combo I Never Missed My Baby Jul-49 Sep-49
R 1069 3234 Paul Gayten and His Band Confused 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1074 3234 Paul Gayten and His Band Fishtail 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1064-3 3235 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Orchestra My Rough and Ready Man 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1077-1 3235 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Orchestra Cuttin Out 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1083 3236 Larry Darnell I'll Get Along Somehow (Part One) 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1084 3236 Larry Darnell I'll Get Along Somehow (Part Two) 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1096 3237 The Magichords Cherry Tree Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1095 3237 The Magichords The Game of Broken Hearts Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1097 3238 The Magichords Darling Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1094 3238 The Magichords I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1026 3239 James (Blazer Boy) Locks New Orleans Woman Blues Aug-49 Dec-49
R 1028 3239 James (Blazer Boy) Locks Baby Lovin' Blues Aug-49 Dec-49
R 1078 3240 Larry Darnell Lost My Baby 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1085 3240 Larry Darnell For You My Love 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1103-2 3241 Teddy Brannon and His Orchestra | Vocal by Duckie Thompson Everybody Get Together Oct-49 Dec-49
R 1105 3241 Teddy Brannon and His Orchestra Felix the Cat Oct-49 Dec-49
R 1106-3 3242 Wild Bill Moore and His Band Dynaflo 26-Oct-49
R 1107-1 3242 Wild Bill Moore and His Band Mean Old World 26-Oct-49
R 1110 3243 Betty Mays and Her Swingtet Mays' Haze 4-Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1111 3243 Betty Mays and Her Swingtet Slow Rock 4-Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1020 3244 The Keys of Heaven Movin' In Jul-49
R 1022 3244 The Keys of Heaven Something within Me Jul-49
R 1073 3245 Paul Gayten and His Band Cook's Tour 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1068 3245 Paul Gayten and His Band You Shouldn't 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1063 3246 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Baby What's New 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1071 3246 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Blue and Disgusted 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1118 3247 Bill Cook A Letter to Santa Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1117 3247 Bill Cook Christmas in Heaven Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1121 3248 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads Please Don't Leave Me Now 29-Nov-49 Feb-50
R 1120 3248 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads She Don't Want Me No More 29-Nov-49 Feb-50
R 1125 3249 Ernie Fields and His Orchestra | Vocal Teddy Cole T. Town Blues 29-Nov-49 Mar-50
R 1123 3249 Ernie Fields and His Orchestra Baritone Shuffle 29-Nov-49 Mar-50
R 1139 3250 Chubby Newsome with Howard Biggs and His Orchestra Hard Lovin' Mama 19-Dec-49 Mar-50
R 1140-1 3250 Chubby Newsome with Howard Biggs and His Orchestra I'm Still in Love with You 19-Dec-49 Mar-50
R 1141 3251 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads Rag Mop 2-Jan-50 Jan-50
R 1142 3251 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads You Got Me Cryin' 2-Jan-50 Jan-50
R 1158 3252 Alberta Hunter Midnight Blues Jan-50 May-50
R 1160 3252 Alberta Hunter I Got a Mind to Ramble Jan-50 May-50
R 1183-1 3253 Melody Echoes Jesus Hits like an Atomic Bomb Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1184-1 3253 Melody Echoes What Are They Doing in Heaven Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1186 3254 Melody Echoes Savior Don't Pass Me By Jan-50
R 1185 3254 Melody Echoes I Will to Know Jan-50
R 1196 3255 Paul Gayten Bellboy Boogie Feb-50
R 1195-2 3255 Paul Gayten | Vocal Broadway Bill Broadway's on Fire Feb-50
R 1144 3256 Doc Sausage and his Mad Lads Sausage Rock 2-Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1143 3256 Doc Sausage and his Mad Lads I've Been a Bad Boy 2-Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1055 3257 Dennis McMillon I Woke up One Morning Aug-49
R 1057 3257 Dennis McMillon Paper Wooden Daddy Aug-49
R 1203 3258 Annie Laurie - Paul Gayten and His Orchestra I'll Never Be Free Feb-50 May-50
R 1070 3258 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra You Oughta Know 3-Sep-49 May-50
R 1217
[Parkway]
3259 Memphis Minnie Kidman Blues Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1216
[Parkway]
3259 Memphis Minnie Why Did I Make You Cry Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1156 3260 Larry Darnell and Orchestra Pack Your Rags and Go Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1155 3260 Larry Darnell and Orchestra God Bless the Child Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1221 3261 The Harmony Kings There Must Be a Heaven Feb-50 May-50
R 1219 3261 The Harmony Kings The Same Jesus Feb-50 May-50
R 1186 3262 Larry Darnell I Love You So Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1206 3262 Larry Darnell Why Do I Love You Feb-50 Apr-50
R 1222 3263 Minnie Henderson with The Harmony Kings God Answers Prayers Feb-50 May-50
R 1223 3263 Minnie Henderson with The Harmony Kings Halleluyah Train Feb-50 May-50
R 1232 3264 Jimmy (Blazer Boy) Locks They Say Mar-50
R 1233 3264 Jimmy (Blazer Boy) Locks Adorable One Mar-50
R 1211 3265 Floyd Taylor and His Band Bar B Q Feb-50
R 1212-2 3265 Floyd Taylor and His Band Loch Lomond Feb-50
R 1102 3266 Teddy Brannon Orchestra | Vocal Dickie Thompson Don Newcomb Really Throws That Ball Oct-49
R 1104-1 3266 Teddy Brannon Orchestra | Vocal Dickie Thompson Mixin' with Dixon Oct-49
R 1249 3267 Vanita Smythe [with King Porter] Lonesome for You Apr-50 May-50
R 1250 3267 Vanita Smythe [with King Porter] I Want My Baby Back Apr-50 May-50
R 1137-4 3268 Chubby Newsome Throw This Poor Dog a Bone 19-Dec-49 Jul-50
R 1138-1 3268 Chubby Newsome You Better Find a Job 19-Dec-49 Jul-50
R 1229
[Parkway]
3269 Roosevelt (Honeydripper) Sykes Blues n' Boogie 14-Mar-50 Jul-50
R 1225
[Parkway]
3269 Roosevelt (Honeydripper) Sykes Rock It 14-Mar-50 Jul-50
R 1290 3270 Sammy Cotton with Paul Gayten Orchestra Cool Playin' Mama May-50 Jun-50
R 1287 3270 Sammy Cotton with Paul Gayten Orchestra Heartful of Pain May-50 Jun-50
R 1262
[source in Atlanta]
3271 Little David [Wylie] Shackles 'Round My Body Aug-49
R 1263
[source in Atlanta]
3271 Little David [Wylie] You're Gonna Weep and Moan Aug-49
R 1285
[source in Atlanta]
3272 Blind Willie [McTell] It's My Desire Aug-49
R 1286
[source in Atlanta]
3272 Blind Willie [McTell] Hide Me in Thy Bosom Aug-49
R 1204A 3273 Annie Laurie - Paul Gayten with the Paul Gayten Orchestra I Ain't Gonna Let You In Feb-50 Jun-50
R 1205 3273 Annie Laurie I Need Your Love Feb-50 Jun-50
R 1300 3274 Larry Darnell I Love My Baby May-50 Jun-50
R 1302 3274 Larry Darnell My Kind of Baby May-50 Jun-50

3275 Paul Gayten My Last Goodbye Feb-50

3275 Paul Gayten The Camel Walk Feb-50

3276 Alberta Hunter The Man I Love Jan-50

3276 Alberta Hunter Reckless Blues Jan-50
R 1272
[source in Atlanta]
3277 Pig 'n Whistle Band [Blind Willie McTell] Talkin' to You Mama Aug-49
R 1270
[source in Atlanta]
3277 Pig 'n Whistle Band [Blind Willie McTell] Love Changin' Blues Aug-49
R 1154 3278 Larry Darnell My Baby Don't Love Me Jan-50
R 1301 3278 Larry Darnell Sundown May-50
R 1218 3279 The Harmony Kings Leanin' on Jesus Feb-50
R 1220 3279 The Harmony Kings The Lord Is My Shepherd Feb-50
R 1283
[source in Atlanta]
3280 Blind Willie [McTell] River Jordan Aug-49
R 1284
[source in Atlanta]
3280 Blind Willie [McTell] How about You Aug-49
R 1329 3281 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra | Vocal Accompaniment Coleman Bros. Goodnight Irene Jul-50 Aug-50
R 1330 3281 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Ooh La La Jul-50 Aug-50
R 1333 3282 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Gold Ain't Everything Jul-50
R 1334 3282 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Suzette Jul-50
R 1119 3283 Doc Sausage Poor Man's Blues 29-Nov-49
R 1122 3283 Doc Sausage I'm a Poor Man 29-Nov-49
R 1322 3284 Sammy Cotton and Paul Gayten Orchestra It's Been So Hard Jun-50
R 1324-4 3284 Sammy Cotton and Paul Gayten Orchestra You've Been Mistreatin' Me, Baby Jun-50
R 1114 3285 Billy Taylor and His Quintette The Dirt Bug

R 1116 3285 Billy Taylor and His Quintette Take the A Train

R 1224
[Parkway]
3286 Roosevelt Sykes Drivin' Wheel 14-Mar-50 Nov-50
R 1226
[Parkway]
3286 Roosevelt Sykes West Helena Blues 14-Mar-50 Nov-50
R 1342 3287 Little Mr. Midnight Got a Brand New Baby Jul-50
R 1343 3287 Little Mr. Midnight Four O'Clock Blues Jul-50
R 1248 3288 Vanita Smythe Until I Fell for You Apr-50
R 1251 3288 Vanita Smythe You Got Me Crying Again Apr-50
[Sensation B 8031] 3289 Kitty Stevenson It Ain't Right Apr-50 Oct-50

[Sensation B 8032] 3289 Kitty Stevenson It Couldn't Be True Apr-50 Oct-50
















































[Sensation B 8045] 3294 Todd Rhodes Brenda May-50
[Sensation B 8047] 3294 Emitt Slay Beulah May-50
[Sensation B 7039] 3295 John Lee Hooker Miss Eloise, Miss Eloise

REGAL 1355
[Senation B 8037]
3295 John Lee Hooker Boogie Chillun 2 28-Apr-50
R 1356
[Parkway]
3296 Little Walter Trio Muskadine Blues Jan-50
R 1357
[Parkway]
3296 Little Walter Trio Bad Actin' Woman Jan-50
R 1369 3297 The Colemans I Don't Mind Being All Alone Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1368 3297 The Colemans You Know I Love You Baby Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1381 3298 Larry Darnell Christmas Blues Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1369 3298 (I) Larry Darnell It's Going to Be a Blue Christmas Aug-50 Oct-50
R 1381 3298 Larry Darnell Christmas Blues Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1380-3 3298 (II) Larry Darnell Oh, Babe! Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1363 3300 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Now That You're Gone Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1362 3300 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Just One More Chance Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1377 3301 The Jubilators [Selah Jubilee Singers] Mother Called My Name 5-Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1378 3301 The Jubilators [Selah Jubilee Singers] Seek and Ye Shall Find 5-Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1393 3302 Paul Gayten and His Band I'm So Crazy for Love Oct-50 Jan-51
R 1392 3302 Paul Gayten and His Band If You've Got the Money… I've Got the Time Oct-50 Jan-51
R 1394 3303 Milt Larkin and his X-Rays Tennessee Waltz Oct-50 Nov-50
R 1395 3303 Milt Larkin and his X-Rays | Featuring Billy Ford, Trumpet Best Friend Blues Oct-50 Nov-50
REGAL 1400
[Sensation B 8048]
3304 John Lee Hooker and his guitar Notoriety Woman May-50
REGAL 1401
[Sensation B 8049]
3304 John Lee Hooker and his guitar Never Satisfied May-50
R 1326
[Parkway]
3305 Eddie Boyd Why Don't You Be Wise, Baby 13-Jul-50 Dec-50
R 1327
[Parkway]
3305 Eddie Boyd I Gotta Find My Baby 13-Jul-50 Dec-50
R 1227
[Parkway]
3306 Roosevelt Sykes Mail Box Blues 14-Mar-50 Jan-51
R 1228
[Parkway]
3306 Roosevelt Sykes Winter Time Blues 14-Mar-50 Jan-51
R 1402 3307 Banks Brothers Nothing Between Dec-50 Feb-51
R 1405 3307 Banks Brothers Every Day Dec-50 Feb-51
R 1385 3308 The Colemans I Ain't Got Nobody Oct-50
R 1387 3308 The Colemans If You Should Need Me Oct-50
R 1409 3309 Savannah Churchill with The Striders Once There Lived a Fool 24-Dec-50 Jan-51
R 1410 3309 Savannah Churchill with The Striders When You Came Back to Me 24-Dec-50 Jan-51
R 1299 3310 Larry Darnell "Don't Go, Don't Go" May-50 Jan-51
R 1382 3310 Larry Darnell That Old Feeling Oct-50 Jan-51
R 1417 3311 Cab Calloway Shotgun Boogie Jan-51
R 1419 3311 Cab Calloway One for My Baby Jan-51
R 1426 3312 Paul Gayten & His Orchestra | Vocal by Paul Gayten Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Jan-51 Feb-51
R 1427 3312 Paul Gayten & His Orchestra | Vocal by Paul Gayten | Whistling by Bill Each Time Jan-51 Feb-51
R 1411 3313 Savannah Churchill and The Striders Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1408 3313 Savannah Churchill and The Striders And So I Cry 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1230 3314 Jimmy Locks Bad Luck Blues Mar-50 Mar-51
R 1231 3314 Jimmy Locks Someday Darlin' Mar-50 Mar-51
R 1412-4 3315 Larry Darnell Why Did You Say Goodbye 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1413-1 3315 Larry Darnell Nobody Knows-Nobody Cares 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1379 3316 Jubilators I've Got Heaven on My Mind 5-Oct-50 May-51
R 1376 3316 Jubilators Get on the Road to Glory 5-Oct-50 May-51

3317 Milton Larkin and Howard Biggs Orchestra Blue Moon


3317 Milton Larkin and Howard Biggs Orchestra Somebody Tell Me I'm Wrong

R 1442 3318 Bill Johnson Mad Money Blues Feb-51
R 1440 3318 Bill Johnson I'd Give the World to Know How I Stand with You Feb-51
R 1434 3319 Chubby Newsome Where's the Money Honey 23-Feb-51 May-51
R 1435 3319 Chubby Newsome Little Fat Woman with the Cocoanut Head 23-Feb-51 May-51












R 1418 3321 Cab Calloway Frosty Morning Jan-51 Apr-51
R 1416 3321 Cab Calloway Que Pasa Chica Jan-51 Apr-51
R 1462-F 3322 Titus Turner Stop Trying to Make a Fool of Me Mar-51 May-51
R 1463-F 3322 Titus Turner Let's Forget about the Whole Thing Mar-51 May-51
R 1460-1 3323 Fred Jackson Orchestra Sentimental Blues
May-51
R 1461-2 3323 Fred Jackson Orchestra Buck Fever
May-51
R 1501
[Parkway]
3324 Roosevelt Sykes Green Onion Top 10-Apr-51 Jun-51
R 1502
[Parkway]
3324 Roosevelt Sykes Wonderin' Blues 10-Apr-51 Jun-51
R 1524 3326 Billy Ford and Joan Shaw Pretty Eyed Baby
Jun-51
R 1525 3326 Billy Ford and Joan Shaw Marcheta
Jun-51
R 1514
[Parkway]
3327 Sunnyland Slim When I Was Young 19-Apr-51 Aug-51
R 1513
[Parkway]
3327 Sunnyland Slim Orphan Boy Blues 19-Apr-51 Aug-51
R 1414-3 3328 Larry Darnell - Mary Lou Greene Do You Love Me, Baby 24-Dec-50 Aug-51
R 1415-2 3328 Larry Darnell Sad and Lonesome 24-Dec-50 Aug-51
R 1444 3329 Paul Gayten Baby I'm Alone Feb-51 Aug-51
R 1445 3329 Paul Gayten Little Girl, Little Girl Feb-51 Aug-51
R 1504
[Parkway]
3330 Essie Sykes Easy Walkin' Papa Apr-51
R 1505
[Parkway]
3330 Essie Sykes Please Don't Say Goodbye Apr-51

Appendix E. Regal/R. F. D. 5068 Series (1949-1951)

Matrix Regal / R. F. D. Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date
R 1098 Regal 5068 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers What a Way to Say You Love Me

R 1101 Regal 5068 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers The Game of Broken Hearts

R 1169 Regal 5069 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers A Heart of Stone Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1170 Regal 5069 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers For You My Love Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1100 Regal 5070 Melvin Price You Tore Your Pants

R 1099 Regal 5070 Melvin Price Ships with Purple Bands

R 1421 R. F. D. 5071 Eddie Mc Mullen Flap Jack Heart

R 1422 R. F. D. 5071 Eddie Mc Mullen Tell It to the Jury

R 1420 R. F. D. 5072 Sally Clark Last Night My Heart Crossed the Ocean
Mar-51
R 1423 R. F. D. 5072 Sally Clark It Happens Ev'ry Day
Mar-51
R 1359 R. F. D. 5073 Ted Martin and his Orchestra I'm Making Believe I Don't Care Aug-50
R 1358 R. F. D. 5073 Ted Martin and his Orchestra | Vocal by Ted Martin I've Got That Lonesome Feelin' Aug-50












R 1428 R. F. D. 5075 Clark & McMullen Mocking Bird Hill
Mar-51
R 1429 R. F. D. 5075 Clark & McMullen Behind the Chapel Wall
Mar-51













R. F. D. 5077 Bob Chester Orchestra | Vocal Alan Foster Singing a Happy Song
May-51

R. F. D. 5077 Bob Chester Orchestra | Vocal Alan Foster Take Back Your Heart
May-51
R 1466-1 F R. F. D. 5078 Earl Davis Eight Nine Ten
Jun-51
R 1468 F R. F. D. 5078 Grandpappy Earl Davis Grandpappy's Hot Rod Blues
Jun-51












R 1496 R. F. D. 5080 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty I Hate Myself

R 1497 R. F. D. 5080 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty Don't Stay Too Long

R 1494 R. F. D. 5081 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)

R 1495 R. F. D. 5081 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty Howling at the Moon


Appendix E. (Regal) Roost 400 and 600 Series (1950-1951)

Matrix Roost Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date
R 1255 Roost 400 Erroll Garner The Quaker 12-Apr-50
R 1256 Roost 400 Erroll Garner Minor with the Trio 12-Apr-50






R 1244 Roost 603 Little Jimmy Scott Why Do You Cry 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1241 Roost 603 Little Jimmy Scott I'll Close My Eyes 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1254 Roost 604 Erroll Garner Trio Relaxing at Sugar Ray's 12-Apr-50 Jun-50
[Roost 1016-A2] Roost 604 Erroll Garner Trio Deep Purple 8-Sep-49 Jun-50
R 1241 [?] Roost 605 Little Jimmy Scott After I'm Gone 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1247 Roost 605 Little Jimmy Scott Dearest Darling 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
[Roost 1012-A] Roost 606 Erroll Garner Trio What Is This Thing Called Love 8-Sep-49
R 1257 Roost 606 Erroll Garner Trio No Moon 12-Apr-50
R 1296 Roost 607 Al Jackson Jelly Roll May-50 Jun-50
R 1297 Roost 607 Al Jackson Let's Drink Some Whiskey May-50 Jun-50
R 1295 Roost 608 Al Jackson It Ain't Gonna Be like That May-50 Aug-50
R 1298 Roost 608 Al Jackson Look Cruel Mama May-50 Aug-50
[Roost 1009-A2] Roost 609 Erroll Garner Trio Scatterbrain 8-Sep-49
R 1252 Roost 609 Erroll Garner Trio Bonny Boy 12-Apr-50
R 1339
[Roost 1011-A4]
Roost 610 Erroll Garner Again 8-Sep-49 Jun-50
R 1258 Roost 610 Erroll Garner Cologne 12-Apr-50 Jun-50
R 1345 Roost 612 Little Jimmy Scott with Paul Gayten and his Orchestra Anytime, Any Day, Anywhere Jul-50 Oct-50
R 1245 Roost 612 Little Jimmy Scott Rain in My Eyes 20-Mar-50 Oct-50
R 1242 Roost 613 Little Jimmy Scott It's the Talk of the Town 20-Mar-50 Dec-50
R 1389 Roost 613 Little Jimmy Scott The Loneliest House on the Street Oct-50 Dec-50
R 1253 Roost 614 Erroll Garner Trio Tippin' Out with Erroll 12-Apr-50
R 1259 Roost 614 Erroll Garner Trio Lazy River 12-Apr-50
R 1388 Roost 615 Little Jimmy Scott I'll Be Seeing You Oct-50 Feb-51
R 1390 Roost 615 Little Jimmy Scott I Won't Cry Anymore Oct-50 Feb-51
R 1469 Roost 616 Little Jimmy Scott Story of Love Mar-51 Jun-51
R 1470 Roost 616 Little Jimmy Scott Changeable You Mar-51 Jun-51
R 1391 Roost 617 Little Jimmy Scott When Your Lover Has Gone Oct-50 Aug-51
R 1472 Roost 617 Little Jimmy Scott Give a Broken Heart a Break Mar-51 Aug-51

Appendix F. Regal and Tots 'n' Teens 109 Series (1949-1951)

Matrix Release Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date Album Number and Title
101A Tots 'n' Teens 101 A Judy Williams and Jack Russell With the Honey Dreamers | Orch. Conducted by Hugh E. Perette Round the Mulberry Bush


101B Tots 'n' Teens 101 B Judy Williams and Jack Russell With the Honey Dreamers | Orch. Conducted by Hugh E. Perette Here We Go Looby Loo
















AM 1044 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 109 Murray Phillips Pony Boy


AM 1052 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 109 Murray Phillips I've Been Working on the Railroad


AM 1048 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 110 Murray Phillips Down in the Valley


AM 1050 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 110 Murray Phillips Skip to My Lou


AM 1049-47 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 111 Murray Phillips Clap, Clap, Bow / Paw Paw Patch


AM 1053 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 111 Murray Phillips The Gay Musician


AM 1054-45 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 112 Murray Phillips Little Boy Blue / Old King Cole


AM 1046-51 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 112 Murray Phillips Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Simple Simon































Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 115 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker "Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Part 1"
Mar-50

Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 115 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker "Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Part 2"



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 116 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker Jack and the Beanstalk



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 116 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker The Magic Hen



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 117 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker Little Red Riding Hood


1033 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 117 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker A Dillar a Dollar



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 118 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker Hi Diddle Diddle



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 118 A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker Cinderella



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 119 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady The Night before Christmas, Part 1



Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 119 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady The Night before Christmas, Part 2
















R 1087 Regal* / Tots 'n' Teens 121 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Dicken's [sic] Christmas Carol, Part 1


R 1088 Regal* / Tots 'n' Teens 121 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Dicken's [sic] Christmas Carol, Part 2


R 1089 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 122 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady Sllent Night


R 1090 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 122 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady Jingle Bells


R 1091 Regal* / Tots 'n' Teens 123 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* "O Come, All Ye Faithful"


R 1092-93 Regal* / Tots 'n' Teens 123 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Deck the Halls | I Saw Three Ships


R 1162 Tots 'n' Teens 124 Ireene Wicker Mistress Mary, Lavender Blue, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star



Tots 'n' Teens 124 Ireene Wicker Three Blind Mice, Ride a Cock Horse, Ding Dong Bell, I Have a Little Pussy



Tots 'n' Teens 125 Ireene Wicker Old King Cole, Tommy Tucker, Lazy Mary



Tots 'n' Teens 125 Ireene Wicker The Owl and the Pussycat, To Market to Market to Buy a Fat Pig, Hi Diddle Diddle


R 1167 Tots 'n' Teens 126 Ireene Wicker Jack and Jill, Pea's [sic] Porridge Hot, Crooked Man



Tots 'n' Teens 126 Ireene Wicker Little Cock Sparrow, Robin and the Wren, Whose Dog Art Thou



Tots 'n' Teens 127 Ireene Wicker Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, Seesaw Marjory Daw, Little Jack Horner, If All the World Was Paper


R 1148 Tots 'n' Teens 127 Ireene Wicker Where Has My Little Dog Gone, There Were Three Crows, Johnny Had a Little Dog



Tots 'n' Teens 128 Ireene Wicker Lullaby (Brahms) (Mozart)



Tots 'n' Teens 128 Ireene Wicker Sleep, Oh My Darling, Sleep



Tots 'n' Teens 129 Ireene Wicker Sweet and Low



Tots 'n' Teens 129 Ireene Wicker All through the Night



Tots 'n' Teens 130 Ireene Wicker Rockabye Baby, Sleep My Little One



Tots 'n' Teens 130 Ireene Wicker Mighty lak a Rose



Tots 'n' Teens 131 Ireene Wicker Curly Headed Baby



Tots 'n' Teens 131 Ireene Wicker Kentucky Babe



Tots 'n' Teens 132 Ireene Wicker Mary Had a Little Lamb, Pop Goes the Weasel, There Was a Little Woman



Tots 'n' Teens 132 Ireene Wicker Pussy Cat, A Secret, I Had a Little Horse



Tots 'n' Teens 133 Ireene Wicker Coo Coo Coo Coo, This Little Pig Went to Market, Little Robin Red Breast



Tots 'n' Teens 133 Ireene Wicker Little Boy Blue, Little Miss Muffit, Little Bo Peep, Jack Be Nimble



Tots 'n' Teens 134 Ireene Wicker Humpty Dumpty, Sing a Song of Six Pence, Polly Put the Kettle On



Tots 'n' Teens 134 Ireene Wicker Hickory Dickory Dock, Ba Ba Black Sheep, Three Little Kittens



Tots 'n' Teens 135 Ireene Wicker I Had a Little Hen, Goosey Goosey Gander, I Love Little Pussy



Tots 'n' Teens 135 Ireene Wicker ABCD, 30 Days Hath September, One Two, Button My Shoe


R 1188 Tots 'n' Teens 136 Boyd Heath Blue Tail Fly


R 1189 Tots 'n' Teens 136 Boyd Heath Old Folks at Home


R 1187 Tots 'n' Teens 137 Boyd Heath Little Brown Jug


R 1190 Tots 'n' Teens 137 Boyd Heath A Froggy Would A Wooin' Go


R 1194 Tots 'n' Teens 138 Boyd Heath Oh! Suzanna


R 1193 Tots 'n' Teens 138 Boyd Heath Turkey in the Straw


R 1191 Tots 'n' Teens 139 Boyd Heath Comin' Round the Mountain


R 1192 Tots 'n' Teens 139 Boyd Heath Polly Wolly Doodle


R 1310 Tots 'n' Teens 140 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Red River Valley


R 1305 Tots 'n' Teens 140 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Sweet Betsy from Pike


R 1306 Tots 'n' Teens 141 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn The Gal I Left Behind Me


R 1309 Tots 'n' Teens 141 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Home on the Range


R 1307 Tots 'n' Teens 142 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago


R 1308 Tots 'n' Teens 142 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Big Rock Candy Mountain


R 1303 Tots 'n' Teens 143 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Old Chisholm Trail


R 1304 Tots 'n' Teens 143 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Whoopee Ti Yi Yo



Appendix G. Merit 300 Series (1951)


Matrix Release Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date












R 1520 Merit 303 Biff Johnson On Top of Old Smokey
May-51
R 1523 Merit 303 Biff Johnson Kentucky Waltz
May-51












R 1480 Merit 305 Max Pollikoff, Violin | Swinging Strings | Orch. Conducted by Howard Biggs The Syncopated Clock
May-51
R 1479 Merit 305 Max Pollikoff, Violin | Swinging Strings | Orch. Conducted by Howard Biggs The Hot Canary
May-51













Merit 307 Bobby Hart | Howard Biggs Orch. Jezebel
May-51

Merit 307 Bobby Hart | Howard Biggs Orch. The Loveliest Night of the Year
May-51

Appendix H. Merit/Regal 978 Matrix Series (1949-1951)

Matrix Release Number Artist Title Recording Date Release Date
D 904 Regal 3230 Paul Gayten and his Orchestra You Don't Know Jan-49 Sep-49






M978-1CA Regal 3229 Edna Gallman Cooke Handwriting on the Wall Apr-49 Sep-49
M979-1CA Regal 3229 Edna Gallman Cooke I Promised the Lord Apr-49 Sep-49






985 Regal 1196 George Wallington Band | Bop Vocal - Buddy Stewart Knockout! 9-May-49












988 Regal 1196 George Wallington Trio Racing 9-May-49






M1000 Merit 301 A Bailey Brothers Ain't She Sweet
Jun-49






M1002 Merit 301 B Bailey Brothers Shiek [sic] of Araby
Jun-49










































1010




























AM-1015 Regal 3233 Erline Harris | Johnson Brothers Combo Jump and Shout Jul-49 Sep-49
AM-1016 Regal 3233 Erline Harris | Johnson Brothers Combo I Never Missed My Baby Jul-49 Sep-49


















R 1020 Regal 3244 The Keys of Heaven Movin' In Jul-49






R 1022 Regal 3244 The Keys of Heaven Something within Me Jul-49












AM 1025-5 Regal 3231 James (Blazer Boy) Locks with the Four Drifters Blazer Boy Blues Aug-49 Sep-49
R 1026 Regal 3239 James (Blazer Boy) Locks New Orleans Woman Blues Aug-49 Dec-49






R 1028 Regal 3239 James (Blazer Boy) Locks Baby Lovin' Blues Aug-49 Dec-49
AM 1029-2 Regal 3231 James (Blazer Boy) Locks with the Four Drifters Mistreated Blues Aug-49 Sep-49
AM 1030 Regal 3230 Paul Gayten and his Orchestra Dr. Daddy O Aug-49 Sep-49












1033 Regal 117
Tots 'n' Teens 117
A Song Story By The Singing Lady | Ireene Wicker A Dillar a Dollar
Mar-50




































1040






















AM 1044 Regal 109
Tots 'n' Teens 109
Murray Phillips Pony Boy

AM 1045 Regal 112 (a2)
Tots 'n' Teens 112 (a2)
Murray Phillips Old King Cole

AM 1046 Regal 112 (b1)
Tots 'n' Teens 112 (b1)
Murray Phillips Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

AM 1047 Regal 111 (a2)
Tots 'n' Teens 111 (a2)
Murray Phillips Paw Paw Patch

AM 1048 Regal 110
Tots 'n' Teens 110
Murray Phillips Down in the Valley

AM 1049 Regal 111 (a1)
Tots 'n' Teens 111 (a1)
Murray Phillips Clap, Clap, Bow

AM 1050 Regal 110
Tots 'n' Teens 110
Murray Phillips Skip to My Lou

AM 1051 Regal 112 (b2)
Tots 'n' Teens 112 (b2)
Murray Phillips Simple Simon

AM 1052 Regal 109
Tots 'n' Teens 109
Murray Phillips I've Been Working on the Railroad

AM 1053 Regal 113
Tots 'n' Teens 111
Murray Phillips The Gay Musician

AM 1054 Regal 112 (a1)
Tots 'n' Teens 112 (a1)
Murray Phillips Little Boy Blue

R 1055 Regal 3257 Dennis McMillon I Woke up One Morning Aug-49
AM-1056 Regal 3232 Dennis McMillon Poor Little Angel Girl Aug-49 Sep-49
R 1057 Regal 3257 Dennis McMillon Paper Wooden Daddy Aug-49
AM-1058 Regal 3232 Dennis McMillon Goin' Back Home Aug-49 Sep-49
R 1059 Regal 1198 Jerry Sellers and the Serenaders Starlight Serenade Aug-49 Oct-49
R 1060 Regal 1198 Jerry Sellers and the Serenaders Goodnight Waltz Aug-49 Oct-49












R 1063 Regal 3246 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Baby What's New 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1064-3 Regal 3235 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Orchestra My Rough and Ready Man 3-Sep-49 Sep-49


















R 1068 Regal 3245 Paul Gayten and His Band You Shouldn't 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1069 Regal 3234 Paul Gayten and His Band Confused 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1070 Regal 3258 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra You Oughta Know 3-Sep-49 May-50
R 1071 Regal 3246 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Blue and Disgusted 3-Sep-49 Jan-50






R 1073 Regal 3245 Paul Gayten and His Band Cook's Tour 3-Sep-49 Jan-50
R 1074 Regal 3234 Paul Gayten and His Band Fishtail 3-Sep-49 Sep-49












R 1077-1 Regal 3235 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Orchestra Cuttin Out 3-Sep-49 Sep-49
R 1078 Regal 3240 Larry Darnell Lost My Baby 3-Sep-49 Oct-49






1080




R 1081 Regal 1199 Bailey Bros. Stumbling
Oct-49
R 1082 Regal 1199 Bailey Bros. Bailey's Boogie
Oct-49
R 1083 Regal 3236 Larry Darnell I'll Get Along Somehow (Part One) 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1084 Regal 3236 Larry Darnell I'll Get Along Somehow (Part Two) 3-Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1085 Regal 3240 Larry Darnell For You My Love 3-Sep-49 Oct-49






R 1087 Regal 121*
Tots 'n' Teens 121
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Dicken's [sic] Christmas Carol, Part 1

R 1088 Regal 121*
Tots 'n' Teens 121
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Dicken's [sic] Christmas Carol, Part 2

R 1089 Regal 122
Tots 'n' Teens 122
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady Sllent Night

R 1090 Regal / Tots 'n' Teens 122 Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady Jingle Bells

R 1091 Regal 123*
Tots 'n' Teens 123
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* "O Come, All Ye Faithful"

R 1092 Regal* 123 (b1)
Tots 'n' Teens 123 (b1)
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* Deck the Halls

R 1093 Regal 123 (b2)*
Tots 'n' Teens 123 (b2)
Ireene Wicker The Singing Lady | Music by Allan Grant* I Saw Three Ships

R 1094 Regal 3238 The Magichords I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1095 Regal 3237 The Magichords The Game of Broken Hearts Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1096 Regal 3237 The Magichords Cherry Tree Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1097 Regal 3238 The Magichords Darling Sep-49 Oct-49
R 1098 Regal 5068 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers What a Way to Say You Love Me

R 1099 Regal 5070 Melvin Price Ships with Purple Bands

R 1100 Regal 5070 Melvin Price You Tore Your Pants

R 1101 Regal 5068 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers The Game of Broken Hearts

R 1102 Regal 3266 Teddy Brannon Orchestra | Vocal Dickie Thompson Don Newcomb Really Throws That Ball Oct-49
R 1103-2 Regal 3241 Teddy Brannon and His Orchestra | Vocal by Duckie Thompson Everybody Get Together Oct-49 Dec-49
R 1104-1 Regal 3266 Teddy Brannon Orchestra | Vocal Dickie Thompson Mixin' with Dixon Oct-49
R 1105 Regal 3241 Teddy Brannon and His Orchestra Felix the Cat Oct-49 Dec-49
R 1106-3 Regal 3242 Wild Bill Moore and His Band Dynaflo 26-Oct-49
R 1107-1 Regal 3242 Wild Bill Moore and His Band Mean Old World 26-Oct-49
R 1108-1 (P-Vine Special PLP-9042) Wild Bill Moore and His Band Wild Bill's Bounce 26-Oct-49






R 1110 Regal 3243 Betty Mays and Her Swingtet Mays' Haze 4-Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1111 Regal 3243 Betty Mays and Her Swingtet Slow Rock 4-Nov-49 Dec-49












R 1114 Regal 3285 Billy Taylor and His Quintette The Dirt Bug







R 1116 Regal 3285 Billy Taylor and His Quintette Take the A Train

R 1117 Regal 3247 Bill Cook Christmas in Heaven Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1118 Regal 3247 Bill Cook A Letter to Santa Nov-49 Dec-49
R 1119 Regal 3283 Doc Sausage Poor Man's Blues 29-Nov-49
R 1120 Regal 3248 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads She Don't Want Me No More 29-Nov-49 Feb-50
R 1121 Regal 3248 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads Please Don't Leave Me Now 29-Nov-49 Feb-50
R 1122 Regal 3283 Doc Sausage I'm a Poor Man 29-Nov-49
R 1123 Regal 3249 Ernie Fields and His Orchestra Baritone Shuffle 29-Nov-49 Mar-50
R 1124 (P-Vine Special PLP-9041) Ernie Fields and His Orchestra BB 29-Nov-49
R 1125 Regal 3249 Ernie Fields and His Orchestra | Vocal Teddy Cole T. Town Blues 29-Nov-49 Mar-50
R 1125 [alt.] (P-Vine Special PLP-9041) Ernie Fields and His Orchestra T. Town Blues 29-Nov-49
R 1126 (P-Vine Special PLP-9041) Ernie Fields and His Orchestra Big Lou 29-Nov-49
R 1127 (P-Vine Special PLP-9041) Ernie Fields and His Orchestra Ride Mr. Trombone 29-Nov-49
R 1128 (P-Vine Special PLP-9041) Ernie Fields and His Orchestra Baby 29-Nov-49






1130








































R 1137-4 Regal 3268 Chubby Newsome Throw This Poor Dog a Bone 19-Dec-49 Jul-50
R 1138-1 Regal 3268 Chubby Newsome You Better Find a Job 19-Dec-49 Jul-50
R 1139 Regal 3250 Chubby Newsome with Howard Biggs and His Orchestra Hard Lovin' Mama 19-Dec-49 Mar-50
R 1140-1 Regal 3250 Chubby Newsome with Howard Biggs and His Orchestra I'm Still in Love with You 19-Dec-49 Mar-50












R 1141 Regal 3251 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads Rag Mop 2-Jan-50 Jan-50
R 1142 Regal 3251 Doc Sausage and His Mad Lads You Got Me Cryin' 2-Jan-50 Jan-50
R 1143 Regal 3256 Doc Sausage and his Mad Lads I've Been a Bad Boy 2-Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1144 Regal 3256 Doc Sausage and his Mad Lads Sausage Rock 2-Jan-50 Apr-50


















R 1148 Tots 'n' Teens 127 Ireene Wicker Where Has My Little Dog Gone, There Were Three Crows, Johnny Had a Little Dog







1150






















R 1154 Regal 3278 Larry Darnell My Baby Don't Love Me Jan-50
R 1155 Regal 3260 Larry Darnell and Orchestra God Bless the Child Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1156 Regal 3260 Larry Darnell and Orchestra Pack Your Rags and Go Jan-50 Apr-50






R 1158 Regal 3252 Alberta Hunter Midnight Blues Jan-50 May-50






R 1160 Regal 3252 Alberta Hunter I Got a Mind to Ramble Jan-50 May-50






R 1162 Tots 'n' Teens 124 Ireene Wicker Mistress Mary, Lavender Blue, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

























R 1167 Tots 'n' Teens 126 Ireene Wicker Jack and Jill, Pea's [sic] Porridge Hot, Crooked Man







R 1169 Regal 5069 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers A Heart of Stone Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1170 Regal 5069 Melvin Price and The Santa Fe Rangers For You My Love Jan-50 Mar-50






















































1180
















R 1183-1 Regal 3253 Melody Echoes Jesus Hits like an Atomic Bomb Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1184-1 Regal 3253 Melody Echoes What Are They Doing in Heaven Jan-50 Mar-50
R 1185 Regal 3254 Melody Echoes I Will to Know Jan-50
R 1186 Regal 3254 Melody Echoes Savior Don't Pass Me By Jan-50
R 1186 Regal 3262 Larry Darnell I Love You So Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1187 Tots 'n' Teens 137 Boyd Heath Little Brown Jug

R 1188 Tots 'n' Teens 136 Boyd Heath Blue Tail Fly

R 1189 Tots 'n' Teens 136 Boyd Heath Old Folks at Home

R 1190 Tots 'n' Teens 137 Boyd Heath A Froggy Would A Wooin' Go

R 1191 Tots 'n' Teens 139 Boyd Heath Comin' Round the Mountain

R 1192 Tots 'n' Teens 139 Boyd Heath Polly Wolly Doodle

R 1193 Tots 'n' Teens 138 Boyd Heath Turkey in the Straw

R 1194 Tots 'n' Teens 138 Boyd Heath Oh! Suzanna

R 1195-2 Regal 3255 Paul Gayten | Vocal Broadway Bill Broadway's on Fire Feb-50
R 1196 Regal 3255 Paul Gayten Bellboy Boogie Feb-50


















1200
















R 1203 Regal 3258 Annie Laurie - Paul Gayten and His Orchestra I'll Never Be Free Feb-50 May-50
R 1204A Regal 3273 Annie Laurie - Paul Gayten with the Paul Gayten Orchestra I Ain't Gonna Let You In Feb-50 Jun-50
R 1205 Regal 3273 Annie Laurie I Need Your Love Feb-50 Jun-50
R 1206 Regal 3262 Larry Darnell Why Do I Love You Feb-50 Apr-50


















R 1210-4 (P-Vine Special PLP-9042) Floyd Taylor and His Band Baritone Boogie

R 1211 Regal 3265 Floyd Taylor and His Band Bar B Q Feb-50
R 1212-2 Regal 3265 Floyd Taylor and His Band Loch Lomond Feb-50






R 1214-1
[Parkway]
(Biograph LP 12035) Memphis Minnie Down Home Girl Jan-50
R 1215-1
[Parkway]
(Biograph LP 12035) Memphis Minnie Night Watchman Blues Jan-50
R 1215-2
[Parkway]
(Biograph LP 12035) Memphis Minnie Night Watchman Blues Jan-50
R 1216-1
[Parkway]
Regal 3259 Memphis Minnie Why Did I Make You Cry Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1217-1 Regal 3259 Memphis Minnie Kidman Blues Jan-50 Apr-50
R 1712-2
[Parkway]
(Savoy MG 16000) Memphis Minnie Kidman Blues Jan-50
"R 1218-2"
[Parkway]
(Biograph LP 12035) Jimmy Rogers Ludella Jan-50
R 1218 Regal 3279 The Harmony Kings Leanin' on Jesus Feb-50
R 1219 Regal 3261 The Harmony Kings The Same Jesus Feb-50 May-50
R 1220 Regal 3279 The Harmony Kings The Lord Is My Shepherd Feb-50
R 1221 Regal 3261 The Harmony Kings There Must Be a Heaven Feb-50 May-50
R 1222 Regal 3263 Minnie Henderson with The Harmony Kings God Answers Prayers Feb-50 May-50
R 1223 Regal 3263 Minnie Henderson with The Harmony Kings Halleluyah Train Feb-50 May-50
R 1224
[Parkway]
Regal 3286 Roosevelt Sykes Drivin' Wheel 14-Mar-50 Nov-50
R 1225-1
[Parkway]
(Delmark DD 773 [CD]) Roosevelt Sykes Rock It 14-Mar-50
R 1225-2
[Parkway]
Regal 3269 Roosevelt (Honeydripper) Sykes Rock It 14-Mar-50 Jul-50
R 1226
[Parkway]
Regal 3286 Roosevelt Sykes West Helena Blues 14-Mar-50 Nov-50
R 1227
[Parkway]
Regal 3306 Roosevelt Sykes Mail Box Blues 14-Mar-50 Jan-51
R 1228
[Parkway]
Regal 3306 Roosevelt Sykes Winter Time Blues 14-Mar-50 Jan-51
R 1229
[Parkway]
Regal 3269 Roosevelt (Honeydripper) Sykes Blues n' Boogie 14-Mar-50 Jul-50
R 1230 Regal 3314 Jimmy Locks Bad Luck Blues Mar-50 Mar-51
R 1231 Regal 3314 Jimmy Locks Someday Darlin' Mar-50 Mar-51
R 1232 Regal 3264 Jimmy (Blazer Boy) Locks They Say Mar-50
R 1233 Regal 3264 Jimmy (Blazer Boy) Locks Adorable One Mar-50




































1240




R 1241 Roost 603 Little Jimmy Scott I'll Close My Eyes 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1242 Roost 613 Little Jimmy Scott It's the Talk of the Town 20-Mar-50 Dec-50






R 1244 Roost 603 Little Jimmy Scott Why Do You Cry 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1245 Roost 612 Little Jimmy Scott Rain in My Eyes 20-Mar-50 Oct-50






R 1247 Roost 605 Little Jimmy Scott Dearest Darling 20-Mar-50 Jun-50
R 1248 Regal 3288 Vanita Smythe [with King Porter] Until I Fell for You Apr-50
R 1249 Regal 3267 Vanita Smythe Lonesome for You Apr-50 May-50
R 1250 Regal 3267 Vanita Smythe I Want My Baby Back Apr-50 May-50
R 1251 Regal 3288 Vanita Smythe You Got Me Crying Again Apr-50
R 1252 Roost 609 Erroll Garner Trio Bonny Boy 12-Apr-50
R 1253 Roost 614 Erroll Garner Trio Tippin' Out with Erroll 12-Apr-50
R 1254 Roost 604 Erroll Garner Trio Relaxing at Sugar Ray's 12-Apr-50 Jun-50
R 1255 Roost 400 Erroll Garner The Quaker 12-Apr-50
R 1256 Roost 400 Erroll Garner Minor with the Trio 12-Apr-50
R 1257 Roost 606 Erroll Garner Trio No Moon 12-Apr-50
R 1258 Roost 610 Erroll Garner Cologne 12-Apr-50 Jun-50
R 1259 Roost 614 Erroll Garner Trio Lazy River 12-Apr-50
R 1260
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12009) Little David [Wylie] Baby You Don't Mean Me No Good Aug-49
R 1261
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12009) Little David [Wylie] Baby, You're Gonna Change My Mind Aug-49
R 1262
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3271 Little David [Wylie] Shackles 'Round My Body Aug-49
R 1263
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3271 Little David [Wylie] You're Gonna Weep and Moan Aug-49












R 1266
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Don't Forget It Aug-49
R 1267
[Atlanta source]
(Savoy MG 16000) Blind Willie McTell A to Z Blues Aug-49
R 1268
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Good Little Thing Aug-49
R 1269
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell You Can't (Get) Stuff No More Aug-49
R 1270-1
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3277 Pig 'n Whistle Band [Blind Willie McTell] Love Changin' Blues Aug-49
R 1271-1
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12035) Blind Willie McTell Savannah Mama Aug-49
R 1272-1
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3277 Pig 'n Whistle Band [Blind Willie McTell] Talkin' to You Mama Aug-49
R 1273-1
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12035) Blind Willie McTell East St. Louis Aug-49
R 1274-1
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12035) Blind Willie McTell Wee Midnight Hours Aug-49












R 1277-1
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12035) Blind Willie McTell Pal of Mine Aug-49
R 1278
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Pal of Mine Aug-49
R 1279
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Honey It Must Be Love Aug-49
R 1280-1
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Sending Up My Timber Aug-49
R 1280-2
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Sending Up My Timber Aug-49
R 1281
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Lord Have Mercy If You Please Aug-49
R 1282
[Atlanta source]
(Biograph BLP 12008) Blind Willie McTell Trying to Get Home Aug-49
R 1283
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3280 Blind Willie [McTell] River Jordan Aug-49
R 1284
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3280 Blind Willie [McTell] How about You Aug-49
R 1285
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3272 Blind Willie [McTell] It's My Desire Aug-49
R 1285 alt.
[Atlanta source]
(Delmark DE 755 [CD]) Blind Willie [McTell] It's My Desire Aug-49
R 1286
[Atlanta source]
Regal 3272 Blind Willie [McTell] Hide Me in Thy Bosom Aug-49
R 1287 Regal 3270 Sammy Cotton with Paul Gayten Orchestra Heartful of Pain May-50 Jun-50












R 1290 Regal 3270 Sammy Cotton with Paul Gayten Orchestra Cool Playin' Mama May-50 Jun-50
























R 1295 Roost 608 Al Jackson It Ain't Gonna Be like That May-50 Aug-50
R 1296 Roost 607 Al Jackson Jelly Roll May-50 Jun-50
R 1297 Roost 607 Al Jackson Let's Drink Some Whiskey May-50 Jun-50
R 1298 Roost 608 Al Jackson Look Cruel Mama May-50 Aug-50
R 1299 Regal 3310 Larry Darnell Don't Go, Don't Go May-50 Jan-51
R 1300 Regal 3274 Larry Darnell I Love My Baby May-50 Jun-50
R 1301 Regal 3278 Larry Darnell Sundown May-50
R 1302 Regal 3274 Larry Darnell My Kind of Baby May-50 Jun-50
R 1303 Tots 'n' Teens 143 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Old Chisholm Trail

R 1304 Tots 'n' Teens 143 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Whoopee Ti Yi Yo

R 1305 Tots 'n' Teens 140 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Sweet Betsy from Pike

R 1306 Tots 'n' Teens 141 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn The Gal I Left Behind Me

R 1307 Tots 'n' Teens 142 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago

R 1308 Tots 'n' Teens 142 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Big Rock Candy Mountain

R 1309 Tots 'n' Teens 141 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Home on the Range

R 1310 Tots 'n' Teens 140 Boyd Heath | Directed by Danny Mendelsohn Red River Valley

















































R 1319
[Jazz Ltd.]
Regal LP 11 (Side A) Muggsy Spanier and Sidney Bechet


R 1320
[Jazz Ltd.]
Regal LP 11 (Side B) Doc Evans and Sidney Bechet








R 1322 Regal 3284 Sammy Cotton and Paul Gayten Orchestra It's Been So Hard Jun-50






R 1324-2 Regal 3284 Sammy Cotton and Paul Gayten Orchestra You've Been Mistreatin' Me, Baby Jun-50
R 1325-3 (P-Vine Special PLP 9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra Yellow Dog Jun-50
R 1326
[Parkway]
Regal 3305 Eddie Boyd Why Don't You Be Wise, Baby 13-Jul-50 Dec-50
R 1327
[Parkway]
Regal 3305 Eddie Boyd I Gotta Find My Baby 13-Jul-50 Dec-50






R 1329 Regal 3281 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra | Vocal Accompaniment Coleman Bros. Goodnight Irene Jul-50 Aug-50
R 1330 Regal 3281 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Ooh La La Jul-50 Aug-50












R 1333 Regal 3282 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Gold Ain't Everything Jul-50
R 1334 Regal 3282 Paul Gayten and His Orchestra Suzette Jul-50






R 1336
[Parkway H 511]
(Herald 403) Little Walter Trio [Little Walter] Just Keep Lovin' Her Jan-50












R 1339
[Roost 1011-A4]
Roost 610 Erroll Garner Again 8-Sep-49
1340









R 1342 Regal 3287 Little Mr. Midnight Got a Brand New Baby Jul-50
R 1343 Regal 3287 Little Mr. Midnight Four O'Clock Blues Jul-50






R 1345 Roost 612 Little Jimmy Scott with Paul Gayten and his Orchestra Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere Jul-50 Oct-50
R 1346 Regal 1206 Big Ben Trio with Lou Hogan Orch. Dancing My Fanny Around







R 1348 Regal 1206 Big Ben Trio with Lou Hogan Orch. Allagazoo, Allagazam







1350




























REGAL 1355
[Sensation B 8037]
Regal 3295 John Lee Hooker Boogie Chillun 2 28-Apr-50
R 1356
[Parkway H-516 tk. 2]
Regal 3296 Little Walter Trio Muskadine Blues Jan-50
R 1357 [tk. 1]
[Parkway]
Regal 3296 Little Walter Trio Bad Actin' Woman Jan-50
R 1358 R. F. D. 5073 Ted Martin and his Orchestra I've Got That Lonesome Feelin' | Vocal by Ted Martin Aug-50
R 1359 R. F. D. 5073 Ted Martin and his Orchestra I'm Making Believe I Don't Care Aug-50
R 1360 Regal 1205 Ted Martin and his Orchestra Don't Say You Care Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1361 Regal 1205 Ted Martin and his Orchestra You Ought to Hang Your Heart in Shame Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1362 Regal 3300 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Just One More Chance Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1363 Regal 3300 Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten Band Now That You're Gone Aug-50 Nov-50


















R 1369[?] Regal 3298 (1) Larry Darnell It's Going to Be a Blue Christmas Aug-50 Oct-50
R 1368 Regal 3297 The Colemans You Know I Love You Baby Aug-50 Nov-50
R 1369 Regal 3297 The Colemans I Don't Mind Being All Alone Aug-50 Nov-50
1370


































R 1376 Regal 3316 Jubilators [Selah Jubilee Singers] Get on the Road to Glory 5-Oct-50 May-51
R 1377 Regal 3301 The Jubilators [Selah Jubilee Singers] Mother Called My Name 5-Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1378 Regal 3301 The Jubilators Seek and Ye Shall Find 5-Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1379 Regal 3316 Jubilators I've Got Heaven on My Mind 5-Oct-50 May-51
R 1380-3 Regal 3298 (2) Larry Darnell Oh, Babe! Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1381 Regal 3298 Larry Darnell Christmas Blues Oct-50 Oct-50
R 1382 Regal 3310 Larry Darnell That Old Feeling Oct-50 Jan-51












R 1385 Regal 3308 The Colemans I Ain't Got Nobody Oct-50






R 1387 Regal 3308 The Colemans If You Should Need Me Oct-50
R 1388 Roost 615 Little Jimmy Scott I'll Be Seeing You Oct-50 Feb-51
R 1389 Roost 613 Little Jimmy Scott The Loneliest House on the Street Oct-50 Dec-50
R 1390 Roost 615 Little Jimmy Scott I Won't Cry Anymore Oct-50 Feb-51
R 1391 Roost 617 Little Jimmy Scott When Your Lover Has Gone Oct-50 Aug-51
R 1392 Regal 3302 Paul Gayten and His Band If You've Got the Money… I've Got the Time Oct-50 Jan-51
R 1393 Regal 3302 Paul Gayten and His Band I'm So Crazy for Love Oct-50 Jan-51
R 1394 Regal 3303 Milt Larkin and his X-Rays Tennessee Waltz Oct-50 Nov-50
R 1395 Regal 3303 Milt Larkin and his X-Rays | Featuring Billy Ford, Trumpet Best Friend Blues Oct-50 Nov-50
























REGAL 1400
[Sensation B 8048]
Regal 3304 John Lee Hooker and his guitar Notoriety Woman May-50
REGAL 1401
[Sensation B 8049]
Regal 3304 John Lee Hooker and his guitar Never Satisfied May-50
R 1402 Regal 3307 Banks Brothers Nothing Between Dec-50 Feb-51












R 1405 Regal 3307 Banks Brothers Every Day Dec-50 Feb-51












R 1408 Regal 3313 Savannah Churchill and The Striders And So I Cry 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1409 Regal 3309 Savannah Churchill with The Striders Once There Lived a Fool 24-Dec-50 Jan-51
R 1410 Regal 3309 Savannah Churchill with The Striders When You Came Back to Me 24-Dec-50 Jan-51
R 1411 Regal 3313 Savannah Churchill and The Striders Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1412-4 Regal 3315 Larry Darnell Why Did You Say Goodbye 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1413-4 Regal 3315 Larry Darnell Nobody Knows-Nobody Cares 24-Dec-50 Mar-51
R 1414-3 Regal 3328 Larry Darnell - Mary Lou Greene Do You Love Me, Baby 24-Dec-50 Aug-51
R 1415-2 Regal 3328 Larry Darnell Sad and Lonesome 24-Dec-50 Aug-51






R 1416 Regal 3321 Cab Calloway Que Pasa Chica Jan-51 Apr-51
R 1417 Regal 3311 Cab Calloway Shotgun Boogie Jan-51
R 1418 Regal 3321 Cab Calloway Frosty Morning Jan-51 Apr-51
R 1419 Regal 3311 Cab Calloway One for My Baby Jan-51
R 1420 R. F. D. 5072 Sally Clark Last Night My Heart Crossed the Ocean
Mar-51
R 1421 R. F. D. 5071 Eddie Mc Mullen Flap Jack Heart

R 1422 R. F. D. 5071 Eddie Mc Mullen Tell It to the Jury

R 1423 R. F. D. 5072 Sally Clark It Happens Ev'ry Day
Mar-51












R 1426 Regal 3312 Paul Gayten & His Orchestra | Vocal by Paul Gayten Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Jan-51 Feb-51
R 1427 Regal 3312 Paul Gayten & His Orchestra | Vocal by Paul Gayten | Whistling by Bill Each Time Jan-51 Feb-51
R 1428 R. F. D. 5075 Clark & McMullen Mocking Bird Hill
Mar-51
R 1429 R. F. D. 5075 Clark & McMullen Behind the Chapel Wall
Mar-51
1430






















R 1434 Regal 3319 Chubby Newsome Where's the Money Honey 23-Feb-51 May-51
R 1435 Regal 3319 Chubby Newsome Little Fat Woman with the Cocoanut Head 23-Feb-51 May-51
























R 1440 Regal 3318 Bill Johnson I'd Give the World to Know How I Stand with You Feb-51






R 1442 Regal 3318 Bill Johnson Mad Money Blues Feb-51






R 1444 Regal 3329 Paul Gayten Baby I'm Alone Feb-51 Aug-51
R 1445 Regal 3329 Paul Gayten Little Girl, Little Girl Feb-51 Aug-51
























1450


























































R 1460-1 Regal 3323 Fred Jackson Orchestra Sentimental Blues
May-51
R 1461-2 Regal 3323 Fred Jackson Orchestra Buck Fever
May-51
R 1462-F Regal 3322 Titus Turner Stop Trying to Make a Fool of Me Mar-51 May-51
R 1463-F Regal 3322 Titus Turner Let's Forget about the Whole Thing Mar-51 May-51












R 1466-1 F R. F. D. 5078 Earl Davis Eight Nine Ten
Jun-51






R 1468 F R. F. D. 5078 Grandpappy Earl Davis Grandpappy's Hot Rod Blues
Jun-51
R 1469 Roost 616 Little Jimmy Scott Story of Love Mar-51 Jun-51
R 1470 Roost 616 Little Jimmy Scott Changeable You Mar-51 Jun-51






R 1472 Roost 617 Little Jimmy Scott Give a Broken Heart a Break Mar-51 Aug-51




































R 1479 Merit 305 Max Pollikoff, Violin | Swinging Strings | Orch. Conducted by Howard Biggs The Hot Canary
May-51
R 1480 Merit 305 Max Pollikoff, Violin | Swinging Strings | Orch. Conducted by Howard Biggs The Syncopated Clock
May-51






















































1490






















R 1494 R. F. D. 5081 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)

R 1495 R. F. D. 5081 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty Howling at the Moon

R 1496 R. F. D. 5080 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty I Hate Myself

R 1497 R. F. D. 5080 Melvin Price and the Santa Fe Rangers | Vocal by Bob Fluharty Don't Stay Too Long













1500




R 1501
[Parkway]
Regal 3324 Roosevelt Sykes Green Onion Top 10-Apr-51 Jun-51
R 1502
[Parkway]
Regal 3324 Roosevelt Sykes Wonderin' Blues 10-Apr-51 Jun-51






R 1504
[Parkway]
Regal 3330 Essie Sykes Easy Walkin' Papa Apr-51
R 1505
[Parkway]
Regal 3330 Essie Sykes Please Don't Say Goodbye Apr-51
























1510










R 1512
[Parkway]
(P-Vine Special PLP-9038) Sunnyland Slim I Done You Wrong 19-Apr-51
R 1513
[Parkway]
Regal 3327 Sunnyland Slim Orphan Boy Blues 19-Apr-51 Aug-51
R 1514
[Parkway]
Regal 3327 Sunnyland Slim When I Was Young 19-Apr-51 Aug-51
R 1514 alt.
[Parkway]
(Biograph LP 12010) Sunnyland Slim When I Was Young 19-Apr-51
R 1514 B
[Parkway]
(P-Vine Special PLP-9038) Sunnyland Slim (Low Down) Sunnyland Train 19-Apr-51






























R 1520 Merit 303 Biff Johnson On Top of Old Smokey
May-51












R 1523 Merit 303 Biff Johnson Kentucky Waltz
May-51
R 1524 Regal 3326 Billy Ford and Joan Shaw Pretty Eyed Baby
Jun-51
R 1525 Regal 3326 Billy Ford and Joan Shaw Marcheta
Jun-51
























1530














































D 1538
[Parkway]
(Herald 407) St. Louis Jimmy Hard Luck Boogie (Hard Work Boogie) 19-Apr-51
D 1539
[Parkway]
(Herald 407) St. Louis Jimmy Good Book Blues (Tryin' to Change My Ways*) 19-Apr-51
D 1540
[Parkway]
(Herald 408) St. Louis Jimmy Your Evil Ways 19-Apr-51
D 1541
[Parkway]
(Herald 408) St. Louis Jimmy Whisky Drinkin' Woman (I Sit Up All Night*) 19-Apr-51

[Parkway]
(Biograph BLP 12010) St. Louis Jimmy State Street Blues 19-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera Hip Shakin' Mama 15-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera He May Be Your Man 15-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera Perdido 15-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera The Big Date 15-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera Belle Vista Jam 15-Apr-51

(P-Vine Special PLP-9043) Paul Gayten Orchestra featuring Chubby Newsome and Sam Butera Don't Cry Little Girl 15-Apr-51

Sources

We relied heavily on researchers who preceded us in writing about releases on Parkway; for the intertwined fates of Chord Distributors, Record Distributors, Inc., Regal, and the earliest edition of Herald, we were largely on our own. The best and most astute history of the first Parkway session appeared in Tony Glover, Scott Dirks, and Ward Gaines, Blues With a Feeling: The Little Walter Story (New York: Routledge, 2002). For quotations from and information about Monroe Passis we made heavy use of Jim O’Neal [liner notes essay] The Blues World of Little Walter, Delmark DD-648, 1993, plus email correspondence with Monroe’s daughter and Eric LeBlanc that he shared with us. For biographical information on Bennie Green, we consulted the entry on him by Mark Gardner in Barry Kernfeld (Ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd edn., London: Macmillan, 2002, Volume 2, p. 85) and his section in Tom Lord's Jazz Discography, Volume 8 (Redwood, NY: Cadence Jazz Books, 1994).

We found further good background on the first Parkway session from Muddy Waters’ viewpoint in Robert Gordon’s Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2002): 99-100. Also indispensable was Mike Rowe, Chicago Breakdown (London: Eddison Press, 1973): 74-76.

Primary sources include "Leaners Leave M&S for Chord," Billboard, 13 August 1949; Edward Myers, "About the Records," Chicago Defender, 11 March 1950; "Music—As Written," Billboard, 11 March 1950, p. 22; "Music—As Written," Billboard, 15 April 1950, p. 28; and "Record Distributor Waxes Benny Green," Down Beat 5 May 1950, p. 4.

For discographical information on the blues items we turned to Mike Leadbitter and Neil Slaven, Blues Records 1943-1970, Volume One, A to K (London: Record Information Services, 1987); Mike Leadbitter, Leslie Fancourt, and Paul Pelletier, Blues Records 1943-1970, Volume Two, L to Z (London: Record Information Services, 1994), and Fancourt and McGrath. Helping us to determine what was on the labels we relied on Bob McGrath’s The R&B Indies Volume One (West Vancouver, Canada: Eyeball Productions, 2000), and The R&B Indies Volume Two (West Vancouver, Canada: Eyeball Productions, 2000). For the Biograph LPs, the LP compilation on Negro Rhythm 107, and the Wolf Memphis Minnie CD, we relied on Stefan Wirz's comprehensive treatment at http://www.wirz.de/music/american.htm.

We owe to Wayne Goins the observation that the Chicago blues recordings that appeared on Regal were, as a rule, not actually recorded for that label (only the Eddie Boyd session was identified in the trade press as a session for Regal in Chicago). Goins has convincingly argued that two blocks of material (one by Sunnyland Slim and another by Memphis Minnie) were of Parkway origin. Steve Franz pointed out the April 1950 release of Regal 3259 by Memphis Minnie, which is what prompted us to consider heavier involvement by Fred Mendelsohn in the Parkway operation itself. We'll amplify these observations now. As far as we know, Regal did very little recording on its own away from Linden, New Jersey (company HQ) and New York City. It bought its Blind Willie McTells (and some other material) from a source in Atlanta; it got its Chicago material from Monroe Passis. It got a batch of material recorded in Detroit from Bernie Besman and Sensation. The only off-site recording for Regal that we can verify is a single session in Detroit (April 1950) with King Porter and Vanita Smythe. The live recordings of Paul Gayten from New Orleans (April 1951) ended up in Fred Mendelsohn's possession but that doesn't mean that he had anything to do with recording them.


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