The Seymour Label (and the Heartbeat Labels)

© Robert L. Campbell and Robert Pruter


Latest update: April 28, 2020


Lurlean Hunter,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

Revision note: We have added what to our knowledge is a complete listing of releases on Seymour Schwartz's second label, Heartbeat. Seymour Schwartz ran Heartbeat for a while in 1956 and for a longer period in 1958. The label's main run was from October or November 1959 through September 1963 (at the end of that month, Cash Box quit mentioning it). We have now also documented the successors to Heartbeat: Sunny (1963-1964) and GMA (1964-1965). It turns out that, during the transition, the same band recorded for Heartbeat (as the Playboys), Sunny (as the Lovers), and GMA (as the All-Niters). Confusing. While producing rock and roll sessions for GMA, Seymour placed one Heartbeat Trumpet single on Halifax (1964), a label run by Anthony Galgano and Reuben Lawrence, who had been been Heartbeat's distributors. After some years completely out of the record business (in June 1965 he licensed 24 of his own sides to Soma, a company based in Minneapolis that was looking for more jukebox fodder), Seymour went in with Bud Pressner on a second Sunny (1970-1972). In a final act, he revived Heartbeat as a singles label (1973). We have updated the page to include Seymour Schwartz's compositions that appeared on Rondo 628 in April or May 1951, and on Bally 1003 by The Gayden Sisters (March 1956).


The Seymour record label was terribly short-lived even for a small independent. Four releases were done between August and December 1950: Seymour CR26671/2, Seymour CR26673/4, Seymour 97/98, and Seymour 99. One side of a fifth release, on Seymour 1, was recorded in June or July of 1951 and the single was probably released in July of that year. A sixth 78 on Seymour 95 was planned in 1950 but did not materialize. That was all.

The record company was an outgrowth of Seymour's Record Mart (439 South Wabash), a shop specializing in jazz and blues records. It was located in the famed Auditorium Building in Chicago's Loop. The shop was owned by Seymour Schwartz, who as a jazz cornet and trumpet player and a composer of songs was something of a musician himself. The later editions of the Jazz Record Mart, owned by Bob Koester, trace their origin to Seymour's shop.


Seymour 2667 jacket
The original jacket for the Jimmy James Jas Band releases. From the collection of Robert L. Campbell.

Seymour Schwartz was born in Chicago on January 11, 1917, the son of Jack and Lena Schwartz. (Previous biographies have cited 1920 or 1923 as his year of birth; we are indebted to the late Eric LeBlanc for finding the earlier date. Meanwhile, Seymour's grandson David Miller has given 1916 as his year of birth.) His mother, an accomplished pianist who had been trained as an opera singer, died while he was still a baby. When he was 10, his father died, and Seymour entered the Chicago Home for Jewish Orphans on the South Side. He lived at the home until he was 18, attending Hyde Park High School. The orphanage had a 50-piece band. Seymour wanted to learn the piano or the violin, but an extra cornet was available, and that's what he was assigned. Drawn to jazz, he soon became active in the orphanage's dance band. At 14, he was asked to take the place of a shofar player at a Reform Jewish synagogue on Rosh Hashanah; he simulated the sound of the ancient instrument on his cornet. He eventually became the first cornetist in the University of Chicago concert band, but had to put musical plans on hold while he attended college classes at night and worked as a shipping clerk during the day.

His first venture into the music business consisted of buying up used records from jukebox operators. The 78s were held in a warehouse in Chicago, where Seymour would cull out the "collector's items—the Armstrongs and the Goodmans," then sell off the "commercial" 78s to dime stores. In 1947 he was able to start Seymour's Record Mart in a location under the El tracks by Roosevelt University. On opening day ("the same day Roosevelt College opened") the store's stock included no fewer than 50,000 of these collector's items. Two years later a Seymour's Record Mart advert boasted of "An Entire 2nd Floor of Out-of-Print Records." Later on, Schwartz opened an art studio next door, with the aim of creating a miniature Greenwich Village; paintings were displayed in the Record Mart, where they sold quite well.


A 1949 advert for Seymour's Record Mart
From the Chicago Defender, September 10, 1949

Here is Bob Koester's recollection of Seymour's Record Mart, in an interview for the Jazz Institute of Chicago:

Seymour's had filled a void left when the Session Record Shop closed in the mid-40's [Fall 1946, to be exact]. They had live jazz sessions in the upstairs loft with traditional and bop alternating. Joe Segal [later famed for his Jazz Showcase productions] emceed the bop gigs with John Young, Kenny Mann, Lurlean Hunter, etc., and the traditional jazz dates featured George Zack's wonderful piano and various horns and rhythm but also included appearances by Jimmy and Mama Yancey, Big Bill Broonzy, and others. (As a traddie, I take pride in the early attention paid to blues by us "moldy figs.")

Schwartz had a knack for getting along with different factions in the jazz world. Traditional jazz advocates like George Hoefer, Jr., and Paul Eduard Miller were connected with the store at one time or another, but so was Joe Segal, a young bop maven who was friendly with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie; Segal worked for Schwartz for two years. Schwartz recalled Muggsy Spanier participating in the trad sessions when he was in town, while Cy Touff was a regular at the bop sessions. He also recalled Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong dropping in (but not performing) at the store when they were in Chicago; Armstrong encouraged him to stay in music. (Another frequent visitor was Henry Fonda; when he was appearing on stage in Chicago, he would often drop by the store to listen to 10 or 15 minutes of recorded music.) The live sessions ran on Saturday nights for about two years.

It was the loft that became the downfall of these Saturday night sessions. Koester told Robert Pruter that Schwartz put an end to the gigs after one evening when some inebriated fans of the hot jazz became so enthusiastic that a couple ended up toppling into the shop below, their falls cushioned by crumbling stacks of Fats Wallers, Charlie Parkers, and Memphis Slims. Schwartz's own recollection was that he began to notice how the floor of the loft was bouncing up and down during the concerts, and he feared for its structural integrity. At the time Schwartz was friendly with Edwin M. Webb, who ran Modern Recording Studio; he would use Webb's studio again when he started Heartbeat. When interviewed in 2003, Schwartz regretted not asking Webb to make live recordings of some of the loft concerts.


Jimmy James Jas Band,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

In 1950, as the concerts were drawing to an end, Seymour Schwartz decided to start a record company that would put some of the trad and bop sounds he had presented live in his store on wax. Another purpose for starting a company was to get some of his own songs recorded. He had composed "The Holy Bible," which was recorded by Mahalia Jackson, but was seeking wider exposure for his pop and jazz songs.

It was not difficult to find artists to record for the label. The Jimmy James Jas Band consisted of several regular participants in the trad sessions; Schwartz recalled that the band was a favorite of DJ Eddie Hubbard. Two members of the group, Jimmy James and Jug Berger, had previously recorded for Rondo (May 1950) as members of Danny Alvin's Kings of Dixieland. Pianist Johnny Young, whose work he admired, has been involved in the bop sessions. Tenor saxophonist Kenny Mann, another regular in the "modern" jam sessions, was on local TV for a few months in a band sponsored by Al Benson (under Sax Mallard as leader). The show ran from late April through July 1950, and vocalist Lurlean Hunter, whom Seymour called on to showcase three of his compositions, was a frequent guest.

The new enterprise was called Seymour and it made its debut in August (its first mention in the press was in the September 8th issue of Down Beat). On October 21, 1950, Billboard announced the launching of the label (p. 20). The Jimmy James sides, already out by then, did not rate a mention, but John Young, Kenny Mann, and Lurlean Hunter (first name misspelled, as was common) were said to have releases imminent ("on non-breakable plastic, will go for 79 cents").

For studio sessions, the Seymour concern used Ed Webb's Modern Recording Studio at 55 West Wacker Drive (the matrix numbers are in the familiar MRS system of four digits for the work order, followed by a dash and a one-digit suffix). Schwartz noted that Ed Webb was the son of an organist who worked for the NBC radio network. Modern was a "small studio, but he got great sound." The Jimmy James Jas Band items and "Go-Go-Sox" were actually recorded in the store, though Modern handled the mastering on the former.

The first two releases were meant to go together, though they were never officially officially sold as an album.


Jimmy James Jas Band,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

Seym1. Jazz at Seymours' [sic]: Jimmy James Jas Band

Jimmy James (tb); Jimmy Ille (cnt); Jug Berger (cl); George Zack (p, voc); Freddie Flynn (d).

Live at Seymour's Record Mart, Chicago, August 1950

CR-2667-1 Black and Blue (Razaf-Waller) [GZ voc]
Seymour CR-2667-1
CR-2667-2 Sit Down and Write Myself a Letter (Ahlert-Young)
Seymour CR-2667-2
CR-2667-3 Royal Garden Blues Part 1 (Williams)
Seymour CR-2667-3
CR-2667-4 Royal Garden Blues Part 2 (Williams)
Seymour CR-2667-4

The session is listed in Tom Lord's Jazz Discography, Volume 10. The matrix numbers indicate that the records were mastered at Modern Recording Studio; the 2667 is a session or work order number and the suffixes -1 through -4 indicate individual items within the work order. The labels refer to "Jazz at Seymours'" [sic]. Meanwhile, the original sleeves proclaimed: "JASS at SEYMOUR'S" and carried an acknowledgment to Dixieland impresario John Schenk. Lord supplies an imprecise date of "c. 1951." These two singles carrried no catalog numbers.


Jimmy James Jas Band,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

The release of the first two Seymours was announced by George Hoefer, Jr., in his long-running column "The Hot Box" (Down Beat, September 8, 1950, p. 11). Under the title "New Dixie Discs Achieve Authentic Concert Mood," Hoefer reports on these two 78s, which derived from "moldy fig" concerts held in the loft of Seymour's store.

The sides feature several jazz musicians little known outside of Chicago. In the Windy City, they are favorites of long standing, play most of John Schenk's jazz fests. Seymour calls them the Jimmy James Jas Band, and rightly, because trombonist James is the star and floating power on Royal Garden Blues and Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, and ably backs up George Zack's version of Black and Blue. George's Armstrong-like singing is unintelligible until he praises Schenk's gin as he pulls a broken key off the board. The Zack spirit and the James trombone coupled with crowd noises give the records an authentic feeling.


Jimmy James Jas Band,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

Hoefer gives the same personnel that is displayed on the labels. Seymour Schwartz did not recall this particular live session, but one listen to "Royal Garden Blues" confirms Hoefer's eyewitness account. Though vibrant, the sound is not up to studio specs, and both band chatter and crowd noise can be plentifully heard. We know the least about the titular leader. There are two other Jimmy James sessions from the 1940s listed in Lord, but these were not done in Chicago and were probably not the work of the same musician. The other members of the band were all working steadily in Chicago-area clubs that featured Dixieland. Some of the performances run longer than typical 10-inch 78 sides; the extreme case is "Sit Right Down," which times in at 4:00 and is cut at a noticeably lower level than the other three.

Although Hoefer describes George Zack's singing as unintelligible, Zack can in fact be heard singing the lyrics to "Black and Blue" largely as they were heard on Louis Armstrong's recording. Zack, however, always changed "My only sin / Is in my skin" to "My only sin / Is in my gin," hence the reference to Schenk's product. As for pulling off a broken key, we'll have to take Hoefer's word for it, but a loud snap can be heard at that point on the record.


After this session, at least three of the musicians remained active on the Dixieland scene. Jug Berger continued to perform in the Chicago area into the 1960s. Jimmy Ille led bands of varying sizes—sometimes a quartet with his cornet and three rhythm, sometimes a sextet with full New Orleans front line—from 1951 well into the 1960s. In the 1960s, he spent a good deal of his time in Southern California. George Zack returned to New York City in the early 1950s, though he would make a couple of return visits to Chicago. Meanwhile, the official leader, Jimmy James, is hard to trace, after the session as well as before—and not just because another Jimmy James, a Country singer, bandleader, and comedian who recorded for Dot, is the one who keeps showing up in early 1950s entertainment ads.


Johnny Young Trio,
This Chance release bears traces of its Seymourian origins. From the collection of Robert L. Campbell.

Seym2. Johnny Young Trio% | Kenny Mann, Sax*

Kenny Mann (ts*); John Young (p); unidentified (eg %); LeRoy Jackson (b); Red Lionberg (d*).

Modern Recording Studio, Chicago, September 1950

MR-2755-1
[A-13651]
You Go to My Head (Coots-Gillespie)
Seymour 95-A [unissued], Chance 1144
SE 2755-2 M. R. S.
E0-OB-12811-1 (on some copies)
These Foolish Things (Strachey-Link)*
Seymour 98-B
Seymour 97-B [sic] (on some copies)
MR-2755-3 unidentified title
unissued
MR-2755-4
[A-13653]
Memories of You (Blake-Razaf)
Seymour 95-B [unissued], Chance 1144

One item from this session was released around October 1950. Thanks to Art Zimmerman for information on this version, where "These Foolish Things" was Seymour 97 [sic]-B ; the other side was 98-A. A copy in Alfred Ticoalu's collection identifies "These Foolish Things" as Seymour 98-B on the label as well as in the trail-off vinyl; in addition to the MRS number it also carries an E0 series matrix number from RCA Victor, indicating a 1950 pressing by that company.

Seymour 97/98 (or just 98) got a review in Billboard, November 11, 1950 (p. 80). Although the music was described favorably, the reviewers rated both sides with a string of 55s, on account of the label having no distribution.

Two more sides were first issued in 78 and 45 rpm on Chance 1144, in September 1953. The Chance releases carry three sets of matrix numbers. The MR numbers were the original matrix numbers from Modern Recording Studio. The A numbers were attached by Discovery when it bought the remains of Seymour in December 1950; these appeared on the label of the Chance release as well as in the plastic. To complicate matters further, an extra "3" intruded into the the label versions of the A numbers, so they came out 136351 and 136353. Finally, the S95-A and S95B in the plastic indicate a planned release on Seymour 95; so far as we know, this never actually happened.

A comparison with John Young's mature playing in a trio setting (for instance, on his second LP, Themes and Things, Argo 692, which was recorded on June 6 and 7, 1961) reveals that Young was heavily into Erroll Garner in 1950. However, his playing on the Lurlean Hunter sessions (Seym4 and 5 below) shows more bop influence than the trio sides. His harmonic conception developed more bite over time, and there is more variety of texture in his 1961 playing.


John Merritt Young was born March 16, 1922 in Little Rock, Arkansas. His family moved to Chicago when he was 5 years old. He first learned piano at home, emulating his older brother by playing blues numbers such as "Stagger Lee" and "How Long Blues." He began taking lessons at age 9. By the time he entered DuSable High in January 1935, he had been playing five years. Young told Travis Dempsey that his early jazz influence was Earl Hines, whom he used to listen to on broadcasts from the Grand Terrace. He also listened closely to Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, and Chu Berry (Roy and Chu were in Fletcher Henderson's 1936 band, which worked at the Grand Terrace). He began playing gigs at age 12.

DuSable proved to be a valuable training ground for Young, who played under band teacher Captain Walter Dyett and harmony instructor and music department head Mildred Bryant Jones. His classmates included Dorothy Donegan and Redd Foxx, and with them he performed in the annual student show, Hi-Jinks.

After finishing at DuSable in May or June of 1939, Young took his first steady job at a resort near Grand Rapids, Michigan. He entered Chicago's flourishing music scene, playing in the house band at Joe's DeLuxe Club. His big break came when he was recruited into Andy Kirk's big band, working with Kirk from September 1942 into 1945 and again in 1946-47. Young contributed several arrangements to the band book during his stay. For a 1945 Down Beat profile by Sharon A. Pease, Young, who was now beginning to lean in the bop direction, stated that his favorite musicians were Art Tatum, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. Returning to Chicago, he performed with the Dick Davis combo during 1947-50. In 1950, Young formed his own combo, teaming up with Eldridge "Bruz" Freeman on drums and Leroy Jackson on bass, which led up to the Seymour session.


John Young at the Band Box in 1946
John Young in the Andy Kirk band at the Band Box, 1946. From left to right: Ben Thigpen (drums); Harry Lawson (trumpet); Johnny Walker (trumpet); and Aaron Bell (bass). From the collection of Charles Walton.

From 1951 to 1955, Young was a part of the Eddie Chamblee ensemble (recording with the tenor player for Premium, Coral, and United), before forming another group of his own in 1955. From that point on, Young's trio became one of the most prominent combos working the South Side, playing mostly at the high toned locales, such as the Kitty Kat Club (611 East 63rd, along with singer Lorez Alexandria), Pershing Lounge (755 East 64th), Sutherland Lounge (46th and Drexel), and Laura's 819 Lounge (819 West 59th).

John Young's first LP was with the Chess company's Argo subsidiary, in 1957, under the title John Young Trio, followed on the same label by Themes and Things (1961) and A Touch of Pepper (1963). He also recorded Serenata (1959) for Delmark and Think Young (1987) for Major Label.

During the 1970s, Young worked frequently with Von Freeman, recording with the tenor saxophonist in 1972 (Atlantic), 1975 (Nessa), and 1977 (Daybreak). He also made a CD with Freeman and Yusef Lateef for Lateef's YAL label in 1992. John Young died in 2008.


John Young and Joe Segal
John Young with Joe Segal at the Jazz Showcase, 1990s. From the collection of Charles Walton.

Kenny Mann was born in Chicago on October 8, 1927, to Ada and Zelvern Mann. His name at birth was Crews Mann (he had a brother named Gaylord), but he seems to have gone by Kenny for most of his life. He began working, as so many Chicago musicians did, before he was out of his teens. On July 15, 1945, Down Beat's "Chicago Band Briefs" noted that "The Riptide in Calumet City is jumping with Ted Phillips' new band (seven brass, five saxes, and rhythm), spotting Kenny Mann on tenor, Bill Inman, lead trumpet, Mike Sistero, jazz trumpet and Joe Sperry on drums..." (p. 4).

Around a year later, Kenny Mann came to the attention of bandleader Lionel Hampton. Johnny Griffin, who had joined Hamp's big band at age 17 in late June 1945, made the following comments about his experience to interviewer Jim Standifer:

Well, I always had the greatest respect for Lionel Hampton. The man is so — I mean he played [sic] talent show-line musician personality [Griffin probably said something like this: I mean, he displayed such talent and such a lively musical personality] and it hasn't changed. It's always been the same since I've come to know the man and he's a great man. He's done much for young musicians because he's had most of the modern young Black musicians anyway, and White musicians, too, come to think of it because Kenny Mann played in his band. He was a saxophonist from this area that played with me in Ham[p]'s band after [Arnett Cobb] left. But Hampton is a great man as he still is and it's phenomenal the amount of power and energy that this man exudes and his vibrant personality that he expresses to people that everyone can feel. (Jim Standifer, interview with John Griffin, October 30, 1982; http://www.umich.edu/~afroammu/standifer/griffin2.html); transcription errors are prolific, and Arnett Cobb's name comes out as "Arnet Carlson")

Thanks to the late Otto Flückiger's unmatched trove of Hampton-related documents, we know that Kenny Mann joined Hamp on December 27, 1946, traveling from Chicago to take Johnny Griffin's place (the source is Milt Buckner's scrapbook). Mann can be seen standing next to Arnett Cobb in a photo taken during a gig at the Aquarium in New York City (where the Hampton band played through January 9, 1947). He was still in the Hampton ork when they performed in a midnight concert at Carnegie Hall, which took place on March 15, 1947 (personnel mentioned in an article in the Pittsburgh Courier, for March 22, which also ran a picture of a tenor battle between Mann and Cobb). Johnny Griffin rejoined Hamp's band for a while in April 1947, replacing Arnett Cobb. Mann and Griffin were duly billed as a tenor-battle combination in the Chicago Defender of April 26, 1947. Promoting Hamp's upcoming show at the Opera House was a series of photos with the headline "'King of Vibes' and His Royal Court Here Sunday." Among the personnel listed in the band were Johnny Griffin and Kenny Mann. Emphasizing the hometown angle, one of the captions said: "Johnny Griffin, young DuSable high school alumnus, will match his sensatinal saxophone against that of Kenny Mann, former Hirsch high school and Roosevelt College student." We don't know exactly when Mann left the band, but he and Griffin were both gone by June 1947, when Hamp recorded with horns again for the first time since September 1946 and featured his new tenor team of Morris Lane and John Sparrow. According to Flückiger, Mann appeared on several radio broadcasts during his tenure with Hamp, but we do not know whether any of these have been preserved.

In the fall of 1947, Mann got what looked like a significant break. According to research by Art Zimmerman, he played in a local group that opened a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert, either on October 15 or November 10, 1947—and was invited by trumpeter Howard McGhee to make a session he was cutting for Vitacoustic. Mann was in some fairly heavy company, since the other musicians were all touring with JATP: Billy Eckstine (sticking to valve trombone on this occasion), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and J. C. Heard (drums). Chicago-based bebop vocalist Marcelle Daniels sang on "Flip Lip" and "The Last Word." Unfortunately the tracks did nothing to promote Mann's career at the time. Vitacoustic filed for bankruptcy in February 1948 before any of McGhee's sides could be released, and the masters were impounded by Egmont Sonderling of United Broadcasting Studios, who was still owed their recording and mastering costs. Two McGhee sides from another session saw release in 1949 on Sonderling's Old Swing-Master label, but the rest, including all four numbers with Kenny Mann, remained unissued until 1956, when Savoy bought the masters and put them on an LP.

By the time of his appearance at the JATP concert Mann's identification with bebop was complete. On August 25, 1948, the "Chicago Band Briefs" column, now written by Pat Harris, carried a short "miscellaneous" item:

Tony Papa, a drummer from Elkhart [Indiana], has a bop band that may be pretty good. He has ex-Hamptonite Kenny Mann on tenor, onetime Calloway arranger Mose Allen on trumpet, Chester McIntyre on piano, and Gary Miller on bass. They were recently at the Club Flamingo in Silvis (near Moline), Ill., where they were followed by Red Norvo... (Down Beat, p. 5).

Jay Burkhardt's big band, Down Beat, July 1, 1949
The Jay Burkhardt band performs at Nob Hill. In the upper photo, Burkhart conducts; saxophonists seen from behind are (from left) Hal Hoyer, Kenny Mann, Jack Gaylo, Walker Baylor, and Joe Daley. Trumpet section from left: Gail Brockman, Hobart Dotson, Marv Simon (soloing), and Hotsy Katz. Trombones: Cy Touff, Ralph Meltzer, Irv Mack, and Jerry Bartkus. From Down Beat, July 1, 1949, p. 4.

Probably toward the end of 1948 Mann became a member of Chicago's one and only bebop big band, a massive ensemble of up to 21 musicians conducted by Jay Burkhardt. In June 1949, the Burkhardt band consisted of Gail Brockman, Hobart Dotson, Marv Simon, and Hotsy Katz, trumpets; Cy Touff (on a valve instrument), Ralph Meltzer, Irv Mack, and Jerry Bartkus, trombones; Joe Daley and Walker Baylor, alto saxes; Jack Gaylo and Kenny Mann, tenor saxes; Hal Hoyer, baritone sax; Gene Friedman, piano; Hal Russell, vibes; Dave Poskonka, bass; Red Lionberg, drums; and Johnny Avgeronis, bongos. The band singer was no less than Joe Williams ("Burkhart's Boys Beating Solo Drum for Bop," Down Beat, July 1, 1949, p. 4). At the time the band was holding down a regular gig Monday nights at the Nob Hill (53rd and Lake Park). Seymour Schwartz recalled Burkhart as a visitor to his store.

Despite favorable attention from Down Beat writers in 1948 and 1949, the Burkhardt band never got a break commercially. The July 1, 1949 story noted that a booking at the Royal Roost in New York City had failed to materialize when the Roost went out of business. The band got no chance to record; it never came to the attention of a major label, and the mere thought of paying for a recording sesssion with 21 musicians at Union scale would have given most independent label owners a heart attack.

We figure that Mann was still gigging with Burkhardt in 1950, as Red Lionberg was Burkhart's drummer. Mann would get a few more recording opportunities after his Seymour dates. He recorded in a quintet and a big band led by arranger Bill Russo on August 15, 1951; the session was released on a 10-inch LP on Dizzy Gillespie's Dee Gee label (Dee Gee MG 1001, later reissued on Savoy MG 12045). Mann solos on "Aesthete ..." (which also includes a half chorus by his old bandmate Gail Brockman on trumpet) as well as "Cathy" and "S'posin'". From 1951 through 1955, Mann was a regular in the dance bands led by trumpeter Ralph Marterie. Mann appeared on Mercury MG-20066, Dance Band in Town; Mercury MG-20128; Salute to the Aragon Ballroom; Wing MGW 12117, Dance Date; Wing MGW 25102, Marterie Moods (basically a reissue of MG-20066); Wing MG 25121, Junior Prom; Wing MGW 12155, Trumpeter's Lullaby; and Wing MGW 12179, Dance Album— this list is definitely not exhaustive. According to Thomas "Tiaz" Palmer (email of May 5, 2009), Kenny Mann left Chicago and moved to California in 1959 or 1960.

Seymour Schwartz recalled that Kenny Mann later "took up law." According to Palmer, Mann continued to work as a musician in California, but at some point in the late 1960s he put music aside for a while to go to law school. He subsequently passed the bar exam and practiced law out of an office in his home. Meanwhile, he returned to music on a part-time basis. In 1977-1978, Mann put together a group called The Counsellors, with Britt Woodman on trombone, Joel Scott on piano, Tom Palmer on bass, and Bruz Freeman, drums (Freeman and Mann had worked together years before on the Seym3 session, listed below). "We did make a recording of a number of tunes at a radio station in Long Beach as 'The Counsellors,'" Palmer recalls. Chuck Niles did the recording. "We performed Be-Bop tunes, and a few Kenny Mann originals. The production quality was not very good, but the performance was good, groupwise." The band was unable to land further gigs, however, and soon broke up. Reel-to-reel tapes or promotional pressings of this material may still be extant. According to Palmer, Mann did some further recording; to be researched.

Kenny Mann died on December 28, 2008, at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. According to his obituary in the Pasadena Star-News, he had also played at various times in bands led by Buddy Rich, Shorty Rogers, Buddy Bregman, Richard Surnock, and Richard Evans, along with what we infer was a latter-day edition of the Tommy Dorsey band. "Kenny continued playing music and practicing law up to the very end, he never retired." He was survived by his wife, Joan Stephen Mann, his daughter, Diane Heggen, his son, Darien Mann, two brothers (Gaylord N. Mann and Bruce Ogden Mann, both also lawyers in California), and four grandchildren.

We're assuming LeRoy Jackson is the bassist on this Seymour session because we know he made the Lurlean Hunter session a few days later. The guitarist's role is so restricted in the trio that there are no positive marks of style for us to go by.


Lurlean Hunter,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

Seym3. Lurleane [sic] Hunter, Vocal | John Young and His Orchestra / Lurlean Hunter-Vocal | Kenny Mann-Sax^ / Kenny Mann, Sax %

Lurlean Hunter (voc except -2); John Young (p, dir); Kenny Mann (ts -2; ss and ts -3); prob. George Freeman (eg -1); LeRoy Jackson (b); Eldridge "Bruz" Freeman (d).

Modern Recording Studio, Chicago, September 1950

SE2766- [A13699] My Home Town Chicago (Schwartz) -1
Seymour 99-A, Discovery 533, Heartbeat HB77 [CD]
SE2766-2 M. R. S.
E0-OB-12810-1 (on some copies)
Deep Purple (De Rose) -2%
Seymour 98-A
SE2766-3 I Hadn't Anyone 'till You (R. Noble) -2
Seymour 99-B
SS 1A#135 Palm Chant (Schwartz) -3^
Seymour 1-B

We took most of the personnel off the labels of the original Seymour releases. Seymour 98-A is an instrumental; Kenny Mann gets star billing on the label, which also identifies Young, Jackson, and Freeman. Thanks to Art Zimmerman for information on this 78, whose flip on his copy is Seymour 97-B (!), also an instrumental featuring Kenny Mann. Alfred Ticoalu owns a Seymour 98 with a correctly numbered 98-B on the flip. His copy also carries extra matrix numbers in the trail-off vinyl from RCA Victor; the E0 code indicates that Victor pressed the record in 1950. The release was reviewed in Billboard on November 11, 1950 (p. 80).

Kenny Mann is heard only on Side B of Seymour 99; meanwhile, an uncredited guitarist appears on Side A. Both style and context (his brother Bruz was at the drums) point to George Freeman. Meanwhile, the personnel listing on the label is corroborated by a contemporary photo of Lurlean Hunter with Johnny Young, LeRoy Jackson, and Bruz Freeman (reproduced in Dempsey Travis, An Autobiography of Black Jazz, p. 507).


Lurlean Hunter,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

"My Home Town Chicago" was a Seymour Schwartz composition, copyrighted in 1948 (the copyright date comes from Steve Zalusky's interview with Schwartz on October 19, 2005). Originally, it was called "The South Side of Chicago," but the title and place references were generalized in a bid for wider audience appeal.

Seymour 1-B, "Palm Chant," is another Schwartz composition. It is credited on the label just to Lurlean Hunter and Kenny Mann, but uses the same rhythm section as the other items from this session (no guitarist). Kenny Mann plays soprano sax behind the vocal (to evoke those palm trees swaying in those tropical breezes) but switches to tenor for his solo. "Palm Chant" was released in July 1951. It was coupled with "Go-Go-Sox," which was recorded in the store (see Seym5 below), and shares with it a matrix number outside the MRS series. But it sounds like a studio recording—and Schwartz confirmed that it was done at Modern. Our surmise is that Discovery Records passed on "Palm Chant," and Schwartz released it later on when he needed a flip side for "Go-Go-Sox." On the copies of Seymour 1 that we have seen, the matrix numbers in the vinyl have the A and B sides reversed, compared to the labels.

We don't know what SE2766-1 was. Our best guess is that it was the original matrix number of "Palm Chant." The matrix number outside the series was applied to "Palm Chant" in 1951, when the record was released.

The coupling to "My Home Town, Chicago" on Discovery 533 is "I Get a Warm Feeling," which turns out to have come from a later session (Seym4, below). Discovery 533 was released in December 1950 and reviewed in Billboard on January 13, 1951 (p. 36). Both of these sides were reissued in 1994 on Heartbeat HB77CD, a collection titled My Hometown, Chicago!. The remaining tracks on the CD are from the Heartbeat label (see below) and feature Seymour himself or Dick "Two Ton" Baker.


Lurlean Hunter with the John Young Trio
Lurlean Hunter with John Young at the piano and Bruz Freeman at the drums. From the Charles Walton collection, Chicago Public Library.

Lurlean Hunter was not a neophyte when she recorded for Seymour. She was born Lurleane Hunter in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on December 1, 1919 (our thanks to the late Eric LeBlanc for nailing down the year). Her published birth year of 1928, repeated in the notes to her albums, is the kind of obvious fabrication so frequently encountered in show biz. Following the well-beaten path of black migration to the North, her family moved to Chicago when she was two months old.


Earl Hines with Lurlean Hunter, December 2, 1939
Earl Hines greets contestants at a Sunday night audition, on the stage at the Grand Terrace. From left: Hines, Bernice Swayze, Savannah Strong, and Lurlean Hunter. Chicago Defender, December 2, 1939.

In her senior year at Englewood High, Hunter was already performing club dates, notably with Johnny Long's Swing Band in South Bend, Indiana, where she got her first Chicago Defender notice in 1938. Upon her graduation, in February of 1939, Hunter pursued her singing ambition with uncommon zeal, but not with the immediate success she had hoped. At the end of November 1939, Earl Hines ran a series of auditions for a new female vocalist for his band. These took place at the Grand Terrace on Sunday nights. On December 2, 1939, the Defender ran a captioned photo ("Earl Hines Begins Contest to Pick Vocalist") with the first three contestants: Bernice Swazer, Savannah Strong, and "Lurlene" Hunter. Lurlean didn't win.

She secured a gig with the Les Hite band at the Parkway Ballroom in January of 1941, on which occasion the Defender's promotional efforts went a bit overboard: "With the band will be the sensational vocalist, Lurlene [sic] Hunter who wowed Chicagoans as an amateur a few seasons ago. Since that time Miss Hunter has won national acclaim through her singing over radio and from the stage." The Les Hite job looked like a promising start, but, alas, it did not lead to anything for her.

In the summer of 1944, she auditioned before Red Saunders, who was sufficiently impressed to add her immediately to the DeLisa revue, where she became a regular for the next four years (she kept right on with Jesse Miller's band after Red's departure in June 1945). She never got the star billing, however. Such performers as Marion "Blues Woman" Abernathy and Little Miss Cornshucks would take the spotlight, perhaps leaving Hunter envious but also inspired to reach their level of success. On the other hand, the Club DeLisa job would make her into a Chicago institution. In late 1945, she interrupted her DeLisa work for a job at another large black and tan, the Stairway to the Stars (422 1/2 East 47th) with the Floyd Campbell Orchestra. There she shed the "e" from her first name.

She returned to the DeLisa for Fletcher Henderson's 15-month engagement (February 1946 through May 1947) and was still on hand for Red Saunders' homecoming in May 1947. In early 1948, Hunter had achieved enough fame to leave the Club DeLisa behind her. She became the feature performer at the Ritz Lounge, where the Chicago Defender said that "Hunter is booked into the nightery at tremendous cost, being a steal from two loop spots that were in the bidding for her services." Later in the year she would perform with the Larry Steele Show at the upscale Beige Room in the Pershing Hotel. According to an article about her in Down Beat (June 29, 1951), she also worked in Detroit during this period.

The Chicago Defender's Beige Room item referred to some recordings she had done, but this looks to have been a mistaken report; we have no evidence that Hunter recorded before 1950.

Lurlean Hunter in 1951; from Down Beat Instead, Hunter's first records were Seymour 97/98, 99, and 1—although only Seyour 99 features her on both sides. "I Hadn't Anyone 'till You" is a bebop interpretation of the song, rendered with great rhythmic poise; Kenny Mann assists with a solo in the Lestorian mode. "My Home Town Chicago" is a well-crafted tribute to the South Side music scene, again finding the singer in great voice.

Along with its more widely distributed successor on Discovery 533, the Seymour release helped her gain a modest acclaim outside the black community. "My Home Town Chicago" made Hunter a regular on the North Side club circuit. The record helped her pick up a gig at Rossi's Apex Club (429 North Clark), in December 1950, where she was accompanied by the John Young Trio including Bruz Freeman on drums and Leroy Jackson on bass.

The original matrix numbers (for all of the items except "Palm Chant") are again from Modern Recording Studio (Seymour, as a repeat customer, now rated an SE prefix), just 11 sessions after the Johnny Young Trio.

MRS allotted a four digit work order number to each session, followed by a suffix for each individual side. Of course, sessions most often included 4 sides. In other words, 2755-1 through 2755-4 would typically have been followed by 2756-1, leaving empty spaces at 2755-5, 2755-6, and so on.) The A series numbers were attached by Discovery after it bought the sides in early December 1950.


The record company didn't last long. Schwartz recalled that getting 78s distributed was "difficult"; his strategy was to press up 1000 copies of each release and sell them through his store. In any event, the Lurlean Hunter sides quickly attracted an offer from a label with better distribution. It turns out, in fact, that he made one session with Hunter that never appeared on Seymour at all.


Lurlean Hunter,
From the collection of Armin Büttner

Seym4. Lurlean Hunter with John Young Orch.

Lurlean Hunter (voc); John Young (p, dir); LeRoy Jackson (b); Eldridge "Bruz" Freeman (d).

Modern Recording Studio, Chicago, October 1950

SE29541 M.R.S.
A13698
I Get a Warm Feeling (Schwartz)
Discovery 533, Heartbeat HB77 [CD]

Until we saw a copy of Discovery 533, we thought that "I Got a Warm Feeling" was a previously unreleased item from the SE2766 session (see Seym4, above). It turns out to have been recorded later.

Discovery 533 was reviewed in Billboard on January 13, 1951 (p. 36). It got a lukewarm response from the reviewers. The label gives the matrix number as A-13698 but in the vinyl the Modern Recording Studio matrix number with work order 2954 can also be seen. So apparently there was a final Lurlean Hunter session in October 1950. If anything else was cut at this session, we haven't been able to trace it.

Seymour Schwartz wrote "I Get a Warm Feeling" (for which he gets sole credit on the Discovery release). But he ended up giving Sammy Cahn co-composer credit, in return for a minimal contribution to the song.

LeRoy Jackson, a very active bassist in Chicago when these sides were made, also worked as a barber. According to Tom Palmer, he died in 1989 or 1990.

Bruz Freeman later moved to Southern California, where he and Kenny Mann would work together in the late 1970s, and then to Hawaii. He died in 2006.


On December 2, 1950, Billboard ("Rhythm & Blues Notes," p. 26) made an announcement concerning a Los Angeles-based label: "Discovery Records added to its r. and b. department with the inking of Chicago thrush Lurlean Hunter. Diskery bought a couple of masters from the Seymour Record firm of Chicago, which feature the thrush, and this led to the inking." As Billboard had already announced, Discovery released "My Home Town Chicago" with a new coupling, "I Get a Warm Feeling" (listed in Billboard on December 30, p. 18). The West Coast company attached new matrix numbers in an A-13600 series to these items. It appears that Discovery also acquired the Johnny Young Trio material at this time, though the company did not release any of it.

The Discovery release got a fairly positive review in Down Beat. At the time, reviews in the "What's on Wax" section were handled by a tag team of Jack Tracy, Pat Harris, and George Hoefer. The trio gave "I Get a Warm Feeling" an average rating of 6, while "My Home Town, Chicago" dropped to a 5. Tracy's take: "Still young, still learning, but on her way, Lurleane [sic] shows some of the warmth and understanding she possesses in large quantities on Warm Feeling. Johnny Young's Garner-ish trio supports. And she also gets across well on the reverse, despite a fearsome introduction and a handclapping-type background." Harris: "One of the most promising singers in many months, these first sides on Discovery do little more than excite curiosity. A little of Lurleane's phrasing stems from Sarah Vaughan's style, but not enough to tag her as a copy" (January 26, 1951, pp. 14-15).


Lurlean Hunter,
Discovery reissues "My Home Town, Chicago." From the collection of Armin Büttner

In 1953, Art Sheridan purchased two Johnny Young Trio sides for issue on his Chance label; they appeared on Chance 1144 in September of that year. Since the Chance labels carry the A-series matrix numbers (while the A-series numbers, the original MRS numbers and the intended Seymour release numbers can be seen in the vinyl) we believe that Sheridan bought them from Discovery, which went out of business in 1952.

A limited-edition Bobby Anderson 78, which was recorded for Connie Toole's Theron operation, shows MRS matrix numbers close in the series to the Seymours (29641 and 29642)—and A series numbers as well (A-13691 and 13692). We have not encountered any evidence of a business connection between Toole and Schwartz, or any indication that Toole's masters were meant to be included in the Discovery deal; maybe Connie Toole and Seymour Schwartz were just customers of the same studio around the same time. In any case Toole was short of funds and the formal launch of his label was delayed until March 1952.


Although the Discovery deal marked the end of studio recording for the Seymour label, there was one session left to go. In April 1951, Schwartz wrote a song commemorating General Douglas Macarthur, who had just been relieved of his command in Korea. It was recorded at Modern for the Rondo label; we presume Rondo 628 was rushed out in time for General Macarthur Day in Chicago. But in the summer of 1951, increased fan interest in the Chicago White Sox gave Seymour Schwartz an opportunity to adapt "My Home Town Chicago" for use as a fight song for the team. And though had been no jam sessions in the loft of the store for some time, it was pressed into service once again to record this one song.


Paul Mall,
From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

Seym5. Paul Mall and The Bleacher Boys

Paul Mall (announcer, cheerleader, voc); Seymour Schwartz (cnt); Buddy Charles (p); unidentified (broom on pail perc); unidentified cheering section.

Live at Seymour's Record Mart, Chicago, June or July 1951

SS 1B#135 Go-Go-Sox (Schwartz)
Seymour 1-A

On this curious record, we hear sonics suggesting that it was recorded in the fabled loft of Seymour's Record Mart. Different performers are spread out widely and the piano, a venerable upright, is not as close to the mike as would be ideal. Seymour Schwartz confirmed this surmise: "Go-Go-Sox" was "done in the store, with a Mickey Mouse microphone." According to Schwartz, Paul Mall was "the MC at one of the stripper joints down the street—a nice guy." He identified Buddy Charles, who worked regularly at the big hotels in Chicago and also participated in jam sessions in the loft, as the two-fisted pianist on the date. And he confirmed that the Swing chorus on muted cornet is his own work: "It was slipping off my lips as I played. It was a really hot day—we were all in our shirtsleeves." We thought that "Go-Go-Sox" might have been recorded in 1950, but according to a notebook that Seymour Schwartz compiled in 1959, it was actually done in 1951. When interviewed by Steve Zalusky, he recollected that the month was May or June.


606 Club ad from March 27, 1954
The 606 Club, one of the stripper joints down the street from Seymour's Record Mart, featured Paul Mall as MC. From a weekly Chicago nightlife guide, March 27, 1954. Courtesy of Dan Ferone.

"Go-Go-Sox" is a Chicago White Sox cheer led by Paul Mall, who begins the record with a simulated radio announcement ("Here's the pitch!"). Mall then sings "My Home Town Chicago," with different words, of course (the frequent references to the "the South Side of Chicago" remind us that the tune originally carried that title). Percussion is provided by someone pounding on an upturned pail or wastebasket with a broom. The main instrumental contributions are by Buddy Charles and Seymour himself; the conclusion to Seymour's solo could be heard as a shofar simulation.

According to Steve Zalusky, "Go-Go-Sox" was a slogan that originated during the White Sox' 1951 season. It was associated with Jim Busby, an outfielder who was playing his first full season that year (although he initially played for the Sox in August 1950). The words "Go Go Sox" do not actually appear in the lyrics to the song, and every cheer but the very first is "Go Sox!" instead of "Go Go Sox." However, the 1951 date is included in Schwartz's written records. Schwartz told Steve Zalusky (in his interview of October 19, 2005) that he copyrighted "Go-Go-Sox" on July 25, 1951. A release date around that time is pretty well assured.

This was not the sort of track that Discovery, or another such record company, would be willing to buy. But, hey, if Buck Hill could put "Hail to the Redskins" on a record... In his October 2003 interview, Schwartz said that "Go-Go-Sox" got airplay locally. In 2003, when the Chicago Cubs got into the National League Championship Series, Schwartz wrote a number in their honor titled "The Cubs Are Swinging."

"Go-Go-Sox" is currently featured on a White Sox fan website. A Real Audio file can be heard at http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/SoxSounds.htm; it appears second on the list of fight songs, under the title "Go Sox." And Steve Zalusky's feature article in the Arlington, Illinois Daily Herald (October 21, 2005) can be seen at http://www.dailyherald.com/special/whitesox/whitesoxstory.asp?id=108858.


Buddy Charles was born Charles Joseph Gries in Chicago in 1927. His, mother Ruth McConnell, played piano, an activity in which he soon took interest, and he began lessons in 6th grade. After graduating from Mt. Carmel High School, serving in the army during World War II, and majoring in philosophy and psychology at Loyola University, Buddy Charles began playing professionally around 1947. In 1950, Buddy's mother remarried, which made Muggsy Spanier his stepfather.

The same year as his appearance on "Go-Go-Sox," Charles recorded three times for Mercury, always strictly as a vocalist. He sang "All in the Game" on Mercury 5716, with accompaniment by Ralph Marterie's society band; the other side was a Marterie band instrumental. He appeared as a vocalist in Muggsy's band on August 29, 1951, singing "Moonglow" and "Sunday" on Mercury 5717. On Mercury 5766, Charles sang "Au Revoir" and "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" with a band led by Horace Henderson. Mercury 5793, probably made in 1952, consisted of "I've Got That Feeling" b/w "Purple Reverie," accompaniment on that one is still to be researched.

Charles is not on either of two World Transcription dates with Muggsy's band (March 13 and November 5, 1952; at least not according to a selection issued on a Jazzology LP). One further Mercury date, from May 28, 1952, still needs checking. Muggsy Spanier moved to California in 1953, and Charles' contract with Mercury was not continued.

Charles' further recording opportunities were in fact rather sparse, but he was working so much he probably didn't care. In 1957 he had a single out on the Formal label (Cash Box, May 18, 1957, p. 14); most releases on Formal are hard to find so we will appreciate any further leads. Charles cut a piano-duo LP, Zonky!, for Audio Fidelity in 1958 with Ace Harris. In 1963, he cropped up as Uncle Buddy doing a children's record for a small Chicago label; it was released as an EP. In 1970, he rejoined Seymour Schwartz—for a single on Seymour's post-Heartbeat Sunny label (see below). The release number on the Sunny 45 was S-512 and the titles were "My Golden Horn" and "As Time Goes By." Buddy Charles made a trio LP for his own AFI label around 1977. The AFI, Boogie, Bawds, and Buddy, was done at Universal Recording with a small audience, obviously having a very good time, seated in the studio. Charles recorded an LP on June 24, 1984 for Erwin Helfer's Red Beans label (RB006), which was also picked up by Steeplechase (SCB 9006). Titled Jive's Alive, this was his last commercial recording so far as we know. (Charles Gries is not to be confused with a different musician named Buddy Charles, who led a big-band CD that was recorded in Los Angeles in 1993.)

At various times, Charles played the Blue Note, the Riptide, the Casino, Curly's Show Lounge, the Dubonnet, and Jazz Ltd. His friend Scott Urban told Myrna Petlicki that Charles had between 15,000 and 20,000 songs in his repertoire. In 1972, Charles started an 18-year residency at the Acorn on Oak Street, which led to comparisons with Bobby Short. But as Howard Reich noted in 1990, "Charles has been compared to Fats Waller on various occasions, and the comparison still holds. The sheer rambunctiousness of Charles' musicmaking—with his oft-yowling vocals, romping stride piano and ever-arching eyebrows—evokes Waller to the core." (Unlike Fats Waller, Charles never smoked, drank sparingly, was married to the same woman for 54 years, and was such a devout Catholic that he went to mass every day of the week, taught Sunday school, and strung rosaries in his spare time.) From 1990 through 1999, Charles held down an engagement at the Coq d'Or in the Drake Hotel. Officially retired after the Drake engagement ended, he was still playing each Wednesday night at a restaurant in Niles, Illinois until a few weeks before his death. He died of leukemia on December 18, 2008, at his home in Morton Grove, Illinois, leaving his wife Pat and four children.

Sources on Buddy Charles: Howard Reich, "Buddy Charles Weaves His Magic before a New House," Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1990 (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-09-26/news/9003200779_1_charles-art-ballads-fats-waller ); Howard Reich, "Buddy Charles' Festive Finale Is Anything but Retiring," Chicago Tribune, October 11, 1992 (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-10-11/features/9910110084_1_songs-buddy-charles-historic-event); Rick Kogan, "Buddy Charles, 1927-2008: Jazz, pop musician brigthened Chicago nightclubs," Chicago Tribune, December 21, 2008 (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-12-21/news/0812200003_1_piano-mr-charles-playing); Myrna Petlicki, "Buddy Charles' Memory Lives on in Benefit," Chicago Sun-Times, July 11, 2012 (http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weekend/13705689-421/buddy-charles-memory-lives-on-in-benefit.html).


Lurlean Hunter Gains National Recognition

After the short-lived Seymour adventure, Seymour Schwartz and his record company's main attraction, Lurlean Hunter, ended up on divergent paths. After several more years of paying her dues, Hunter finally achieved nationwide recognition, while Schwartz established a new record company that enjoyed commercial success through sales to jukebox operators.

During the holiday season, Lurlean Hunter worked a couple of weeks at the Silhouette Club with Herbie Fields' combo ("everyone flipped," as Jack Tracy put it his Down Beat article of June 29, "but no one else hired" after the Fields gig ended on January 7.) Later that month, she and Fields were scheduled to record a new session for Discovery (see Pat Harris, "Chicago Band Briefs," Down Beat, January 26, 1951, p. 6). Discovery was already in financial trouble, the session was canceled, and she had to pick up work at a small club on the South Side.

In April 1951, however, she got to make two singles for a super-obscure label, ironically called Major (Major 144-145 and 146-147). Danny Parker, who had been the male vocalist with Charlie Spivak's big band, asked Hunter to make a demo of a song he had written. He was so impressed that he agreed to bankroll her session with Major and promoted the new releases assiduously. The accompaniment on the Major sides was by the Denny Farnon Orchestra, with a vocal group, The Meadowlarks, on "Imagination" and "There Goes My Heart." The titles—pop standards—were "Imagination" b/w "Moonlight in Vermont" and "If I Should Lose You" b/w "There Goes My Heart."

The two Majors have been dated 1950 in previous discographies. But Billboard mentioned them as new releases on June 2, 1951 (p. 30), and reviewed 146-147 on the same date (p. 31). Both Majors also got reviews in Cash Box, whose writers were confused about the release numbers and called two different singles "104." "Imagination" (Major 144-145) was reviewed in Cash Box on June 2, 1951 (p. 8) and "If I Should Lose You" (Major 146-147) followed suit on June 9 (p. 18). Somebody at each trade paper believed in them. But it became apparent that Major wasn't going anywhere and no actual major label was going to acquire the sides. They were picked up and reissued in August by a new label run by Joel Cooper, Erv Victor, and Bob Broz. Their JEB operation opened on August 6, 1951 and probably never also got any distribution outside of Chicago). JEB 3005 and 3006, the Major reissues, were included in a display ad in Cash Box on August 18, 1951 (p. 14), and not mentioned in the company's later ads. Consequently, JEB 3005 ("If I Should Lose You" b/w "Moonlight in Vermont") andJEB 3006 ("Imagination" b/w "There Goes My Heart") might be rarer than the original Majors.

Danny Parker eventually changed his name to Johnny Holiday. Under his Holiday persona, he recorded a pop single for United in February or March 1953, with Denny Farnon again directing the orchestra. When his United single didn't sell, Holiday moved to the West Coast, where he did some further recording. On January 1, 1955, Cash Box noted that Holiday had made an LP, Johnny Holiday Sings, for Pacific Jazz (p. 12).

We expect the songs on the Majors were typical of Hunter's repertoire at the Club DeLisa. But with Fletcher Henderson or Red Saunders behind her at the club there would have a lot more swing in her presentation than with Farnon's string-heavy studio band. Cash Box, which had been lukewarm about her Discovery, loved these sides. Today listeners might have reservations about the backing, but Down Beat reviewer Jack Tracy preferred her Major sides to the Discovery 78. Giving "Imagination" and "If I Should Lose You" each an 8 on a 10-point scale, he exclaimed:

The Chicago girl we've been raving about for months finally gets a chance on records to show what she's capable of doing.
Impressive jobs all, Imagination and Lose You are great sides by a girl who can't miss—she has too much on the ball. Gets a wonderful sound, reaches everything she tries for (note her lows), and needs only to pay closer attention to the lyrics of tunes and make the words come alive to become a great single attraction. (June 15, 1951, p. 14)

Tracy continued his own efforts on Hunter's behalf in the June 29th issue of Down Beat ("Found! Great New Girl Singer," p. 7). Lurlean Hunter had been signed by Associated Booking Corporation, had appeared on Dave Garroway's NBC radio show, and had been booked at Birdland in New York City, where she opened on June 21. She followed that with an appearance in July at the Blue Note in Chicago, opposite George Shearing. Although these engagements raised her profile, they did not lead to further appearances outside of Chicago, or to another recording contract.

Instead, in August 1951, Lurlean Hunter settled down into gig at a restaurant called the Streamliner that had just adopted an entertainment policy that featured what its management considered rising jazz artists (rising meant, most importantly, that they would be less expensive). Pat Harris of Down Beat gave her a lengthy writeup in the November 2, 1951 issue ("Music Superb, Atmosphere Ideal" at Chi's Streamliner, p. 5). "The Streamliner, which is a big corner spot just at the start of Chicago's notorious Skid Row and across from the Northwestern railroad station, is the only place of its kind in town....It's a place for listening to music, and what's there is the best." The featured performers were Hunter and white jazz singer Lucille Reed (for more about Lucy Reed, see our Chance page), accompanied by pianist Ernie Harper (a one-time member of the Five Blazes; he had replaced the pianist who was hired in August) and organist Les Strand.

The way the sets go (continuous entertainment as they say) is that Ernie plays and sings a while by himself, then calls Lurlean up for about four tunes; Ernie and organist Strand play a number or two together; Harper leaves, and Strand has the platform to himself for a while, before calling upon Lucille for her complement of songs. After that, Harper and Strand again, briefly, and it starts all over again. Sometimes all four jam together....
Lurlean glows with life and enthusiasm while she sings such things as Cherry, Shanghai, Moonlight in Vermont, Try a Little Tenderness, Honey Hush, and other beautiful tunes you haven't heard for quite a while. The byplay between Hunter and Harper is wonderful. They dig each other the most and the musical product is what you'd expect from such a mating.

Lurlean Hunter left the Streamliner in December 1953; her replacement was Buddy DeFranco's quartet (see "Strictly Ad Lib," Down Beat, December 16, 1953, p. 3). Hunter had no trouble finding work at other Chicago-area clubs, most notably at the Black Orchid and the Cloister Inn. The latter was a Near North Side joint that patterned itself fairly closely after the Streamliner. For instance, on February 23, 1955, she was back at the Cloister, with Sylvia Sims, Claude Jones, and Ace Harris (Cash Box, February 26, 1955, p. 29, described it as "her old stomping grounds"). In May (Cash Box, May 7, 1955, p. 7) she was still at the Cloister, now with the Dick Marx/Johnny Frigo duo and another jazz pianist named Johnny Mast. In June the Cloister was featuring Jerri Winters, then Sylvia Sims, along with … Lurlean Hunter (Cash Box, June 11, 1955, p. 16). Meanwhile, Down Beat's writers continued to promote her, for instance in the June 29, 1955 issue, which focused on music in Chicago. At the party for Sylvia Sims put on by The Cloister, on June 28, Lurlean Hunter, Dick Marx, and Johnny Frigo performed (Cash Box, July 9, 1955, p. 15). At the end July, Jo Ann Miller replaced Sims at The Cloister, but Lurlean Huner was still there (Cash Box, July 30, 1955, p. 7; the Cash Box scribes had some trouble spelling "Lurlean" but consistently promoted the singer's appearances in Chicago). She was still at the Cloister, with Dick Marx, Johnny Frigo, and Jo Ann Miller, when the club celebrated its second anniversary (Cash Box, August 27, 1955, pp. 15, 32).


Lurlean Hunter with Claude Jones, 1955
Lurlean Hunter and Claude Jones at the Cloister Inn. From Down Beat, June 29, 1955, p. 25

At the end of September, Cash Box was mentioning other singers at the Cloister. Lurlean Hunter had finally gotten her big break. RCA Victor signed her, 16 years after her graduation from high school. For RCA she made three LPs—Lonesome Gal (1955). The Cloister threw a party for "Lurlean Hunter of RCA-Victor" on January 13, 1956 (Cash Box, January 28, 1956, p. 14). Her second and third LPs, Night Life (1956), and Stepping Out (1958), were also done in New York City. Lonesome Gal, under the production aegis of Quincy Jones, was released on the RCA imprint; the next two LPs were released on RCA's subsidiary Vik (the successor to Label X).

When Hunter regularly played in South and North Side nightclubs, performing with some of the very best jazz musicians, she received raves from the jazz critics. But when it came to her recorded work they were largely unkind. Her records were put down for being "pop," not jazz. The very things that some critics loved her for—a beautiful voice, clear diction, unerring intonation, and staying close to the melody—were the same qualities that many others faulted.

The RCA records, however, provided Hunter the national fame to which she had always aspired. She appeared on national television (notably the Dave Garroway Today Show and the Steve Allen Show), and began playing the major jazz clubs all across the country. The Chicago Defender expressed the view that her fame came only by leaving Chicago. She "was singing in and around Chicago's night club row and not getting very much national attention." Then, continued the Defender, she went to New York to record and "the parade for her was on."

For instance, from July 3 through 7, 1957, after several months in New York, Hunter was booked into the Blue Note in Chicago. The publicity was careful to note that it was her first appearance there. She was accompanied by a trio led by piano man Billy Strayhorn, who rarely worked in public as a leader, featuring Ghanaian drummer Guy Warren ("Lurlean Hunter, Billy Strayhorn Blue Note's Next," Chicago Defender, June 24, 1957, p. 19).

In 1960, she made one LP for Atlantic, Blue and Sentimental. This was recorded at two sessions in New York with a all-star jazz lineup: Harry Edison (trumpet); Bud Freeman (tenor sax); Rudy Rutherford (clarinet); Jimmy Jones (piano); Jim Hall (guitar); George Duvivier or Trigger Alpert (bass); and Don Lamond (drums). The arrangements were by no less than Jimmy Giuffre. Although Blue and Sentimental made a strong case for her as a jazz performer, it would be her last LP.

In Chicago, Lurlean Hunter performed on television and radio often, gaining a regular role on radio station WBBM's program The Music Wagon in 1963. At WBBM she worked with Sam Porfirio and Lenny Druss, who later later recorded for Seymour's Heartbeat. She became WBBM's staff vocalist, and a well known voice in commercial jingles during these years. By the end of 1963, the WBBM job got her a contract with Smash.

Her last recordings were done for Smash in 1964, and were most decidely pop material. From 1966 through 1971, Hunter operated a fashionable South Side jazz club. In a Tribune article rounding up South Side night spots, Angela Parker wrote:

Lurlean's, 319 E. 75h St. also provides the 30-and-up jazz lovers with a steady diet. The atmosphere is cool and calm; perhaps the serene quality of its back room jazz stage accentuates the sets. Most jazz freaks connect Lurlean's with its namesake Lurlean Hunter, as well as Johnny Hartman and Clarence Wheeler and the Enforcers. ("The Soul Scene—South and West," August 13, 1971, p. B9)

Just a few months later she closed the club and left the music scene for good. On January 9, 1972, Will Leonard, a long-time Tribune entertainment writer, included the following in his column:

Lurlean Hunter, whom we charted thru a series of singing engagements in 37 rooms around this town, writes that she's a happily married housewife and mother on a rural route out of South Haven, Mich., and all thru warbling for money. ("On the Town," p. P8).

Lurlean Tischler (as she was then known) spent the rest of her life in South Haven (or nearby Covert, depending on which source you consult). She died in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on March 11, 1983, just 63 years old. (Our thanks again to the late Eric LeBlanc for his research efforts here.) Apparently those Chicago-based writers still active had forgotten her in the interim. There was no obituary in the Tribune.

For our coverage of Lurlean Hunter we consulted: Walter C. Allen, Hendersonia: The Music of Fletcher Henderson and His Musicians, Highland Park, NJ: Walter C. Allen, 1973; Barbara Gardner, "The Quiet, Happy Life of Lurlean Hunter," Down Beat 31/2 (16 January 1964): 18-19, 39; Tom Lord, The Jazz Discography, Volume 10 (Redwood NY: Cadence Jazz Books, 1994) H974; "Lurleane Hunter," Ebony VII/12 (November 1951): 97, 99. Purple & White (Chicago: Englewood High School, February, 1939): 23; Hilda See, "Chicago Stars Quit Home; Find Gold, Fame on Journey," Chicago Defender, March 19, 1956; and various other stories and items from the Chicago Defender, 1938 to 1963, and the Chicago Tribune, 1970 to 1972.


The Heartbeat Label

In the spring of 1956 Seymour Schwartz started his second record company, an outfit called "Heartbeat" ("Music with 'Heart' and a 'Beat,'" some of the labels proclaimed). Heartbeat the publisher seems to have preceded Heartbeat the label, maybe by just a little. When the Bally company in Chicago, which made pinball machines and, later, slot machines, started its own record label (late 1955), one of Schwartz's songs, "How Can You Not Believe," showed up on a pop release by the Gayden Sisters (Bally 1003, reviewed in Cash Box on April 7, 1956, p. 6). At least the reviewer credited the song to "Seymour" with "Heartbeat" Music.

Initially the Heartbeat label was a vehicle for getting his compositions recorded. It didn't take off until Schwartz adopted a very different set of goals: getting his 45-rpm singles into jukeboxes in Illinois and Wisconsin. At first, the records were sold out of Seymour's Record Mart, but soon Schwartz developed a commercial strategy of sending samples to one-stops, and pretty soon Heartbeats were getting picked up by jukebox operators.

The first Heartbeat (H3/H4) consisted of two of Seymour's songs done by a pop-soul singer named Billie Hawkins. (As the subsequent history of the label confirms, Seymour was not a big fan of consecutive release numbering. A note that Seymour to a friend who ran a radio station in Cincinnati identifies H3/H4 as the first record on his new label; our thanks to Rob Finch for bringing this to light.) This will be of more than passing interest to readers of this page, because the accompaniment is by "Sun-Ra and His Orchestra." Rehearsed in April and recorded at RCA Studios in April or May 1956, H3/H4 is probably the fourth studio recording of Sun Ra's legendary Arkestra (we used to think it was the very first, but Sunny was using Balkan Studio before he got started with RCA Victor). H3/H4 was released on 78 as well as 45; Heartbeat dropped 78s after that. When the Billie Hawkins single didn't sell, Seymour put out a second single (Heartbeat H-9; the first to bear that number) with "Last Call for Love" and another Seymour composition "We've Got a Job to Do," sung by Country performer Bob Atcher and accompanied by "Tom Seymour" and his band. See Appendix A for the 1956 Heartbeats.

The label's 1956 releases didn't go anywhere and soon dropped out of circulation. Early in 1958, Schwartz tried again. Now the idea was to feature his own playing on standards, with accompaniment by organist Harold Turner. Timings were kept close to 2 minutes because that's what jukebox operators liked. Recording as "Seymour" with "His "Heartbeat' Trumpet," he cut a coupling of "Peg o' My Heart" and "Tea for Two" (H-7) that sold pretty well locally and got onto jukeboxes across the country. He recalled that it hit #30 on the chart maintained by a jukebox operators' magazine.

We learn from Cash Box that Jerry Allan, formerly a publicist for MGM and for Norman Forgue's Stepheny label, was involved with Seymour Schwartz in the "new" company (March 22, 1958, p. 14); H-7 had been recorded and was about to be released. In fact, Seymour and Allan donned the expected garb to promote "Peg," which they released on St. Patrick's day (Cash Box, April 5, 1958, p. 44).


Seymour records for his own label in 1958. From the collection of Robert L. Campbell

By January 1959, Seymour had a second record out with the black on gold label and the trumpet-organ lineup: Heartbeat H11 (Cash Box, January 31, 1959, p. 31). Around this time Jerry Allan left the company to start his own outfit; shortly thereafter he could be seen making announcements of artists signed to Allan Records (see Cash Box, February 14, 1959, p. 26). See Appendix B for the 1958-1959 Heartbeats.


Schwartz described the style on "Peg" as "down the middle of the road." His timbre and execution on the trumpet and the range of sounds he produces can't be faulted, but he and Turner are definitely not playing jazz. One reviewer compared Seymour to Henry Busse, the non-jazz trumpet soloist in Paul Whiteman's orchestra (and later leader of "sweet" bands). Other Heartbeat singles by Schwartz with organ and drums for accompaniment are similar in style; those employing piano tend to be jazzier. The initial motivation for recording with trumpet and organ was economic, but "Peg" and Schwartz's subsequent renditions of standards sold well enough to inspire a major label to imitate the formula. In 1960 and 1961, cornetist Bobby Hackett recorded two LPs of standards for Columbia on which he was accompanied on the pipe organ; on first hearing one of these Hackett items, Schwartz thought it was one of his own. It turns out that Columbia also thought it could learn from Heartbeat's marketing strategy.

Not ready after two releases and the departure of Jerry Allan to invest in LPs, even to proliferate 45s, Seymour assembled 15 short tracks from the series of sessions that produced "Peg o' My Heart" and dealt them to the Chess brothers' Argo label. The transaction took place in March 1959; Argo applied its own matrix numbers to the Heartbeat tracks not long afterward. Cheaply produced, Argo LP-617 (unusually, it had 7 tracks per side) was released around June 1959, titled Time on My Hands and credited to "Seymour and his Heartbeat Trumpet." To our knowledge, the 1958 material was all recorded in mono, so the LP was mono-only. In May 1959, Argo took a single from the LP (Argo 5334, "Harbor Lights" b/w "My Blue Heaven"). In the early 1960s, Heartbeat would briefly get into the LP business on its own account.


That same month, fortified with a loan from famed jazz collector (and small label proprietor) John Steiner, Bob Koester moved up from St. Louis and purchased Seymour's Record Mart. The sale was announced in Billboard ("Jazz Dealer Sells Shop") for March 23, 1959 (p. 4). Koester acquired the entire record stock but none of the masters that Schwartz had recorded. Schwartz funneled the proceeds of the sale into his new record label. He had the Argo deal to tide him over, so he did no new recording till October or November of 1959, but would make up for the slack in 1960. Koester later moved the shop, renaming it the Jazz Record Mart.

The Heartbeat label recorded heavily from 1960 through 1963, getting back around eventually to featuring some Seymour Schwartz compositions. We presume that by late 1959 or early 1960 Seymour was recording in stereo, though his label released just one stereo 45. Through the early part of 1961, Heartbeat offered just 16 releases in its catalogue (the two from 1956 were long forgotten by then). But the next 2 1/2 years saw an explosion in the company's output. Heartbeat finished its run with upwards of 60 singles (not so easy to count, with multiple series, occasional duplications from one series to another, and an experiment with 33 1/3 rpm singles). See Appendices C through M for each year in its production. Yearly listings for Heartbeat are easier to follow than listings by release number in H1 series; Seymour treated the latter somwhat capriciously. Beginning in 1961 Schwartz introduced new number series (such as H7000 for 33 1/3 rpm singles in 1961, H700 for packages of 45s sold in 1961 and 1962, HBL700 for LPs) and some of these had really short runs.

In 1960, Seymour Schwartz no longer owned a record store, so he ran Heartbeat out of an office at 14 East Jackson in the Loop. Moving after a few months to 410 South Michigan, he stayed there through 1963. There was a further move to 230 North Michigan in 1964, after he wrapped Heartbeat up and moved on to Sunny (already going, briefly, out of 410 South Michigan) and to G M A.

Besides Schwartz and organists Harold Turner (who often accompanied Schwartz) and Shay Torrent (who recorded as a soloist), the Heartbeat label's mainstay was Dick "Two Ton" Baker, a 350 pound singer who had his own radio and TV shows in Chicago.

Two Ton Baker was born Richard Evans Baker, in Chicago on May 2, 1916. He started playing or, as he liked to say, "punching" the piano at age 2 1/2, but never learned to read music very well. He also "punched" organ, sang in a baritone voice, and got his nickname while doing radio work. Baker made his first 78 for Decca in 1945, with the Hoosier Hot Shots, and enjoyed a long run at Mercury from 1946 through 1951. He recorded for Decca's subsidiary Coral in 1952, but had not had a record deal for some time when Seymour began working with him. Known for his performances of novelty numbers and children's songs, Baker made a "Laughing Record" for Heartbeat. (A close friend of Duke Ellington, Two Ton Baker would later do A&R for a couple of the Duke's Reprise sessions in the early 1960s. He also made a jazz quartet record for Heartbeat, with "Satin Doll" on one side.)

Meanwhile, an effort Schwartz thought highly of was the sessions that produced "Misirlou" and "Hava Nagila" by singer Georgia Drake, with accompaniment by studio musicians from CBS. Drake sang "Misirlou" and, at a later session, "Never on Sunday" in Greek. The leader on her sides was Sam Porfirio, which tells us that this was the house band at WBBM radio, then a CBS affiliate. Porfirio, who played the accordion, was the band director; Lennie Druss, who played nearly as many wind instruments as Eddie Wiggins (we know of Druss recording on flute, oboe, clarinet, and alto saxophone) had joined the station band in 1961. Porfirio and Druss cut instrumental sides at Georgia Drake's sessions and some of these also saw release on Heartbeat.

In 1963, as Heartbeat was winding down, Seymour launched a new label called Sunny, named after his daughter; it lasted less than a year. In 1964, one of Seymour's own records appeared on Halifax, a label run by Heartbeat's former distributor. Around May of the same year, Seymour became a partner in a new label called GMA, with a rock and roll orientation, which remained active into 1965. GMA appears to have been a joint venture with Stu Black; a common production credit was to "Seymour and Stu."

We were once told, and formerly stated here, that Seymour opened a Playboy label, but we have found no traces. This could be a distorted recollection of a group called the Playboys that recorded for Heartbeat—in 1963 for its last release. (There was a Playboy label in Chicago, in the 1970s, but it was owned by, or run with the permission of, Hugh Hefner—and it featured vocal sides by Barbi Benton.)

In 1965, Seymour made a decisive move, licensing 24 of his Heartbeat sides to Soma, a company based in Minneapolis that was looking for more jukebox fare. Besides 12 singles for the ops, Soma put the tracks on two LPs of the sort that would later be sold in late-night cable TV commercials.

A second Sunny label, with an address at 4839 South Broadway in Gary, Indiana, opened shop around June 1970. Seymour's business partner, as one might infer from the Gary address, was indie label veteran Bud Pressner. We can identify a fair amount of Heartbeat material that was reissued on Sunny. Other Seymour sides for Sunny, and Two Ton Baker sides, appear to have been newly recorded; these don't carry numbers from any studio, which makes them hard to date. There were also Bud Pressner singles and other items produced by Pressner, at a studio he maintained in Gary. The second Sunny seems to have been over in 1972. Seymour Schwartz's final singles label was a brief revival of Heartbeat, the HB series, in 1973. This was run out of Glenview, Illinois.

A sampling of Seymour's own work for the Heartbeat label, along with several tracks by Two Ton Baker, can be heard on Heartbeat HB77CD, My Hometown Chicago!, which Seymour released in 1994.


From Cornet to Shofar

After the original Heartbeat, GMA, and Sunny wound up, Schwartz became a sales representative for a company that made guitars and drums. Traveling from town to town in the Midwest, he brought his cornet along, putting a mute in it so he could practice in his hotel room. In the late 1970s, after his sons Gerry and Steven became Orthodox Jews and spent time studying in Israel, he decided that he wanted to play a real shofar. Trying out many different varieties of the ancient instrument, he eventually obtained one made from a ram's horn by a family in Haifa, Israel. He subsequently played it in a wide variety of settings. In 1988, when an article about him was published in the Chicago Tribune, he was blowing the shofar at Beth Hillel synagogue in Wilmette, Illinois; this entailed peformances every weekday during the month before the High Holidays, in preparation for his role during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rabbi Geoffrey Botnick said of his playing, "He invests a unique sense of soul into each note."

In 1993 and 1994 Seymour Schwartz put out 2 reissue CDs on a final revival of the Heartbeat label; the second also includes includes 2 of Lurlean Hunter's sides for Seymour. Schwartz remained in the Chicago area until 1998. After the death of his first wife, he moved to Monsey, New York, to be near his son and his son's family. He remarried in 2001. When interviewed for RSRF in 2005, he was still playing his cornet every day, and blowing the shofar for Rosh Hashanah.

In 2005, the postseason success of the Chicago White Sox, who ended up winning the World Series for the first time since Seymour was an infant, brought some media attention to his 1951 fight song. Seymour Schwartz died in New York City on October 3, 2008. He was buried in Chicago, alongside his first wife Frieda and his son Steven.


Appendix A. The First Heartbeats (1956)

The first incarnation of the Heartbeat label was run out of Seymour's Record Mart at 439 South Wabash. Seymour tried 78-rpm releases on just one occasion, for Heartbeat H-3/H-4. Releases from subsequent years were all 7-inch 45-rpm singles unless otherwise noted. The first Heartbeats used the same label design, but different color schemes for H-3/H-4 and H-9. Seymour did not encourage anyone to remember them; the 1958 Heartbeat was announced as a new launch and the release numbers were eventually reused.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
G7OB-5168 H-3 [78 rpm] Billie Hawkins | Sun-Ra and His Orchestra I'm Coming Home April or May 1956 1956
G7OW-5168 H-3 [45 rpm] Billie Hawkins | Sun-Ra and His Orchestra I'm Coming Home April or May 1956 1956
G7OB-5169 H-4 [78 rpm] Billie Hawkins | Sun-Ra and His Orchestra Last Call for Love April or May 1956 1956
G7OW-5169 H-4 [45 rpm] Billie Hawkins | Sun-Ra and His Orchestra Last Call for Love April or May 1956 1956
G9OW-7071 H-9 [45 rpm] Bob Atcher - Vocal | Tom Seymour's Heartbeats Last Call for Love 1956 1956
G9OW-7072 H-9 [45 rpm] Bob Atcher - Vocal | Tom Seymour's Heartbeats We've Got a Job to Do 1956 1956

Appendix B. The Second Heartbeat (1958-1959), with an Argo interlude

The second Heartbeat officially opened on March 17, 1958, with the release of "Peg o' My Heart." No one called it the second Heartbeat, because no one wanted to remember the first one ("New Heartbeat Label," Cash Box, April 12, 1958, p. 24) Releases were now strictly on 7-inch 45-rpm. Seymour couldn't afford to press and merchandise multiple releases, so in 1958 there were just two on the label, which had now adopted its best-known label design, in black on gold. On May 19, 1958, Seymour and his Chicago distributor ran an ad (p. 40) in Billboard for H7: "Distributors Wanted." Seymour already had Tony Galgano and Reuben Lawrence, who ran Record Distributors in Chicago (Cash Box, April 12, 1958, p. 16). Heartbeat 45H-7 has two label variants. On all pressings of the original 45, the address of Seymour's Record Mart (439 South Wabash) was given. On the earliest pressings, the motto was "Music with a 'Heart' and a 'Beat'." Later pressing show "Music with a 'Heartbeat," the only motto to be found on copies of H11.

Galgano and Lawrence dropped Heartbeat for a while, presumably on account of the Argo deal in 1959, but picked it up again in 1961. Other territories eventually got covered, though in 1963 Seymour became dissatisfied with the way his records were being distributed and for a few months tried a merger with Martin and Snyder out of Dearborn, Michigan.

Everything listed here (except Seymour's Christmas single) could have been recorded at a string of sessions in February 1958. Or the sessions could have extended beyond the release of Heartbeat 45-H7.


Most tracks actually saw their first release on an Argo LP, after Seymour made a deal with Leonard and Phil Chess; there was also an Argo single off the LP. Jerry Allan had left Heartbeat; he was now running Allan Records (Cash Box, February 14, 1959, p. 26). Seymour closed the deal with Argo the week befor he sold his store (Billboard, March 23, 1959, p. 4). The Chess brothers licensed both sides off the two existing Heartbeat singles, plus 11 additional tracks. One side from H-11, "Some of These Days," was given a matrix number on Argo (9327) but not reissued. Knowing that Seymour was keeping playing times down to what jukebox operators wanted, Argo put 14 tracks on the LP; for readability these are listed separately, in the order in which they appeared on the LP. Matrix numbers are those that Argo applied, in March or April 1959, on getting the tapes. For reasons not known to us, the Chess brothers reused the release number on the LP: Argo LP-617 had once been a 1957 release by David Paul. An up-to-date release number for June or July 1959 would have been LP-641 or LP-642. Billboard reviewed the new Argo LP-617 on July 20, 1959 (p. 23).

Some copies of the Argo single were pressed by RCA Victor and carry an extra matrix number in the vinyl, in the K series for 1959. These originated with Argo, not with Heartbeat.

Seymour Schwartz got the tapes back from Chess when the license expired. He reissued nearly all of the 1958 sides on Heartbeat or other labels he operated. An issue that recurrently plagues Heartbeat discography is that Seymour could easily have recut any tune that he felt needed re-recording. He could also have kept alternate takes, when there were any to begin with. We doubt he and his accompanists ran up big bills in the studio, or took a lot of studio time to lay down a familiar number. On the other hand, if Seymour was satisfied with the original rendition, and he didn't need it in stereo (he was recording in stereo in 1960; we don't think he was recording in stereo in 1958), why would he have bothered to do it again? We'll assume that Seymour recorded each Heartbeat Trunpet piece for release just once, but without a slew of A-B comparisons we can't be sure of this.

In December 1959, Seymour reactivated Heartbeat for a Christmas record: a medley of three carols on each side of a 45. We know when it was, because Billboard reviewed it on December 14, 1959 (p. 38); the reviewer liked the record but chided Seymour for putting it out "late" if he meant to catch maximum holiday sales. The type font and style were similar to those Heartbeat used at the beginning of 1960, but no street address was shown on the label. Seymour did credit Ed Webb's studio, which we figure he'd used throughout the previous year. For once, the matrix numbers were not in an RCA Victor custom pressing series. The record was labeled 711 and H-16. We're not sure which was supposed to be the release number. Which probably didn't matter because the single didn't in the catalogue. In the fullness of time Heartbeat would release an H-711 (see packs of 5 45s, below) and another H-16 (see the main release series for 1962).


Matrix Heartbeat or Argo # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
J9OW-2873 45H-7 Seymour (His "Heartbeat" Trumpet) | Harold Turner (At the Organ) Peg o' My Heart February 1958 March 17, 1958
J9OW-0788 45H-7 Seymour (His "Heartbeat" Trumpet) | Harold Turner (At the Organ) Tea for Two February 1958 March 17, 1958
JO8W-1270 H-11 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) | Harold Turner-Organ | Sammy Dean-Drums Some of These Days 1958 December 1958
JO8W-1271 H-11 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) | Harold Turner-Organ I'll See You in My Dreams 1958 December 1958
9325 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Side A 1958 June 1959
9311 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet I'll See You in My Dreams 1958 1959
9312 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Tea for Two Feb-58 1959
9313 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen 1958 1959
9314 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Sleepy Time Gal 1958 1959
9315
Argo LP-617
Argo 5334
Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet My Blue Heaven 1958 1959
9316 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet It Had to Be You 1958 1959
9317 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Pennies from Heaven 1958 1959
9326 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Side B 1958 June 1959
9319 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Peg o' My Heart Feb-58 1959
9318 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Moon Glow [sic] 1958 1959
9320 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Anniversary Song 1958 1959
9321
Argo LP-617
Argo 5334
Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Harbor Lights 1958 1959
9322 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet I Love You Truly 1958 1959
9323 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet It Must Be True 1958 1959
9324 Argo LP-617 Seymour & His Heartbeat Trumpet Time on My Hands 1958 1959
S-459 711
H-16
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Christmas Moods—Part 1 c. October 1959 November 1959
S-460 711
H-16
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Christmas Moods—Part 2 c. October 1959 November 1959

Appendix C. Heartbeat 1960

Seymour reopened Heartbeat in December 1959, ready for a full year's run. H7 and H11 remained in the catalogue, as we figure they did as long as the original company was in business. Because Seymour was again having his releases mastered and pressed by RCA Victor, we know what he was recording and issuing on Heartbeat each year (L stood for 1960). We don't know whether he used RCA Victor studios in Chicago. He could have, but the only positive identification we've noted (from a 1961 LP) is of Ed Webb's Recording Service, which Seymour had been using off and on for years. Needless to say, we don't know how many sessions took place or exactly when they took place.

Schwartz assigned a block of twelve numbers, from H-28 to H-39, to the company's 1960 output. At first, the office was at 14 East Jackson; the address appears on H-28 and H-29. H-28 is unusual for a Heartbeat Trumpet release in naming a producer (one Bucky Harris). It appears Seymour soon took over that role himself. Cash Box mentioned H-28 on February 20, 1960 (p. 22). It was the first sign of activity out of the company since the Christmas single.

Heartbeat H-29, no outside producer credited, was reviewed in Billboard on April 25, 1960 (p. 157, Moderate Sales Potential). It stayed in the catalogue long enough to get new labels. Both varieties identify Heartbeat as "The Home of Good Music" and give the Jackson Street address, but on later pressings update fonts and layout to what we can see on the labels for H-30 and subsequent releases.

Heartbeat H-30 and thereafter show 410 South Michigan, where the company would remain until it closed. The signing of Shay Torrent (organ) and Remo Biondi (guitar), who were responsible for Heartbeat H-30, was announced in Billboard for June 13, 1960 (p. 28). Cash Box actually got the drop on Billboard, reviewing H-30 on June 4, 1960 (p. 12).

Heartbeat H-31, the next Seymour, received a review in the June 13 issue of Billboard (p. 48) and in the June 18 issue of Cash Box (p. 12).

We are still looking for reviews of the next Torrent, H-32. We know where it was recorded because the labels say "Ed Webb-Director." (So do the labels to H-33).

Heartbeat was still doing fitful business, halfway through 1960. An ad for Record Distributors, the successor to Galgano Distributors, did not mention Heartbeat as one of the labels they carried (Cash Box, July 30, 1960, p. 79). We haven't found mentions in the trade press of H-33 (the first for the label by "Two Ton" Baker, and his first new commercial release in several years) or of H-34 (another Seymour).

But on October 22, 1960, Cash Box gave H-36 ("Margie" b/w "Always" by the Heartbeat Trumpet) a favorable review (p. 59). The next week Seymour announced that he was selling almost exclusively to jukebox operators (Cash Box, October 29, 1960, p. 59) and worked in a reference to H-35 as well as H-36. H-35 was credited to the "Magic Organ," which raises suspicions about Shay Torrent's involvement. The device was not used for other sides that Torrent had cut (or would cut) for Heartbeat. Meanwhile, H-36 was getting picked up for jukeboxes, and Seymour even sprung for two ads for it (Cash Box, November 12, p. 26; November 19, p. 28).

H-36 was moving briskly enough that Heartbeat followed up right away with another Seymour record, H-37. Or rather, with H-37 and HS-37, because the HS was issued in stereo. We figure all of the company's recording was now being done in stereo, but the market wasn't big enough in 1960 to warrant other such releases. (Eventually, Seymour would publicly swear off 45s in stereo.). Cash Box reviwed H-37 on December 24, 1960 (p. 14).

H-38 was held till the new year. It was credited to the Roy Graham Trio, and reviewed in both Billboard (February 13, 1961, p. 34, as a polka record with Moderate Sales Potential) and in Cash Box (February 18, p. 8). But we still don't know what Roy Graham played, and the sides were reissued, over a decade later, as by Shay Torrent. Besides the disks on which Graham was credited as the leader, he was cited as an accompanist on a few (in the H-700 series, see below) by Harold Turner—another organist. Every review we've seen on Roy Graham Heartbeats describes them as organ music… well, Billboard merely opined that "Blue Skirt Waltz" was perfect for "roller skating rinks." Cash Box consistently called the group "organ-led." Best guess: Shay Torrent was under contract to another label in 1961, "The Magic Organ" wasn't working sales-wise, and another subterfuge had to be employed.


L8OW-1309 H-28 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet | Harold Turner At the Organ Two Sleepy People 1960 February 1960
L8OW-1310 H-28 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet | Harold Turner At the Organ Japanese Sandman 1960 February 1960
L7OW-3789 H-29 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) After You've Gone 1960 April 1960
L7OW-3790 H-29 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) I Don't Know Why (I Love you like I Do) 1960 April 1960
L8OW-5762 H-30 Shay Torrent At the Hammond Organ | Remo Biondi Ensemble It Happened in Monterey 1960 May 1960
L8OW-5761 H-30 Shay Torrent At the Hammond Organ | Remo Biondi Ensemble Twelfth Street Rag 1960 May 1960
L7OW-3791 H-31 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) I Can't Give You Anything but Love 1960 May 1960
L8OW-6184 H-31 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) | Harold Turner — Organ Alexander's Ragtime Band 1960 May 1960
L8OW-8151 H-32 Shay Torrent — (Organ) | Remo Biondi — (Guitar) Elmer's Tune 1960 1960
L8OW-8150 H-32 Shay Torrent — (Organ) | Remo Biondi — (Mandoguitar) You Can't Be True, Dear 1960 1960
L8OW-8287 H-33 "Two Ton" Baker You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby 1960 1960
L8OW-8288 H-33 "Two Ton" Baker I'm A Lonely Little Petunia 1960 1960
LO8W-0242 H-34 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet Danny Boy 1960 1960
LO8W-0243 H-34 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet I Want a Girl (just like the girl that married dear old dad) 1960 1960
LO8W-0810 H-35 The Magic Organ The Dippsy Doodle 1960 October 1960
LO8W-0811 H-35 The Magic Organ Ja-Da 1960 October 1960
LO8W-2801 H-36 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Always 1960 October 1960
LO8W-2802 H-36 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Margie 1960 October 1960
LO7W-4522 H-37 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet Happy Birthday 1960 December 1960
LO7W-4523 H-37 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet That Old Gang of Mine 1960 December 1960
LO7A-4534 HS-37 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet Happy Birthday 1960 December 1960
LO7A-4535 HS-37 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet That Old Gang of Mine 1960 December 1960
LO8W-5512 H-38 Roy Graham Trio Blue Skirt Waltz 1960 January 1961
LO8W-5513 H-38 Roy Graham Trio Beer Barrel Polka 1960 January 1961

Appendix D. The Main Heartbeat Series 1961

In 1961, Schwartz devoted two blocks of release numbers to new 45s: H-39 through 48 (apparently skipping H-43) and H-1 through H-4. Then he used HBR-18. He went up to H-48 before dropping all the way down to H-1, so our list does likewise. There were 13 new singles in the main series.

Heartbeat H-39, still another feature for Seymour, got a review in Cash Box on Feburary 25, 1961 (p. 8). The review identified both sides as tracks on a future LP, and, sure enough, they did appear later on HBL-707 (see below).

H-41 was Two Ton Baker's second contribution to the label. We've yet to find any press mentions. A sleeve that Heartbeat used for its 45s, probably in the late spring of 1961, stopped its enumeration at H-41; it also cited Seymour, the Roy Graham Combo, and Two Ton Baker as the company's main artists.

On July 1, 1961 (Cash Box, p. 53), Galgano and Lawrence's Record Distributors put Heartbeat on the list of labels it carried. Heartbeat would remain with Record Distributors for at least two years.

We haven't found any reviews for H-40 by the Roy Graham Trio. Their next "organ-led" record, Hearbeat H-44, was reviewed in Cash Box on August 5, 1961 (p. 104). "Mexicali Rose" proved hard to spell; there are variant labels with "Mexacali" and "Mexicala."

The Graham trio's H-48 was reviewed on December 9, 1961 (Cash Box, p. 8). "Organ-led," again. Billboard gave it a nod for Moderate Sales Potential on December 4 (p. 28). Seymour was sufficiently enocouraged to take out a display ad for H-48 in Cash Box (also on December 9, p. 28). Roy Graham would end up with five singles on Hearbeat.

Seymour's H-45, a purposely jazzier record with a different organist, was reviewed in Billboard on August 7 ("Moderate Sales Potential, Jazz," p. 31) and in Cash Box on August 19, 1961 (p. 12),

Seymour's HBR-2, another trip "down the middle of the road," was deemed worthy of an advertisement ("Juke Box Gold") in Billboard on November 13, 1962 (p. 56). If Heartbeat was low on inventory with HBR-2, it could always substitute H-701 (see below; no numbers shown in the ad). HBR-2 was reviewed in Cash Boxon November 25, 1961 (p. 8). By then, it was already on some jukeboxes as Heartbeat H-701. Though it never charted, HBR-2 would show up week after week on the trade magazine's list of records favored by juke box operators, well into 1962. It was often listed right above or below the 5-pack that contained H-701.

Reusing H-3 and H-4 wrote over the first Heartbeat single from 1956, which Schwartz had probably not kept in stock for years. H-3, the first Georgia Drake single, was said to be an imminent release in Billboard for November 27, 1961 (p. 20). She sang "Misirlou" in the original Greek, with "Paradise" on the flip. On December 30, 1961, Heartbeat ran an ad in Cash Box for H-3, along with (apparently) HBR-2 and (probably) H-48 (cagily, no release numbers were included, but "Misirlou" was mentioned by title). Then Seymour talked H-3 up to Cash Box two weeks in a row (January 6, 1962, p. 18; January 13, p. 16). He claimed she could sing in eight languages. A slight exaggeration—she was known for singing in six languages.

Georgia Drake was born Georgia D. Tsarpalas in Chicago, on March 21, 1937. She was the daughter of Demetrios Tsarpalas and Athanasia Psiharis, both immigrants from Greece; by the time she was born her father owned a wholesale bakery and three restaurants, among other businesses. Her mother was an accomplished singer of kleftika who never sought a professional career. Georgia majored in Speech at DePaul University and studied voice at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. In 1957, she appeared on talent shows on WGN-TV, then quickly landed a half-hour variety show on ABC-TV (it first broadcast on Channel 7 on October 6, 1957). The Georgia Drake Show ran till May 1958. ABC next put her on Polka-Go-Round, a Chicago-based show with a theme you can figure out, which ran from June 1958 to September 1959. For a while after that, she did TV commercials and appeared on quiz shows. When Seymour signed her, she was appearing regularly in clubs and hotels in Chicago. (We are indebted for these details to Steve Frangos, "Georgia Drake's Voice," The National Herald, July 17-23, 2010, pp. 1, 5.)

We have found no mentions of H-4, the last Roy Graham single. Our best guess is that it came out in January 1962, but any efforts to publicize it were dropped when H-5 and H-6 (see the 1962 listing) started sellling.

Something similar could have happened to Seymour's HBR-18. It paired one side already out on H-704 with one already out on H-705. As the 5-pack kept on selling, why spend money to push HBR-18?

Besides the regular 45s, Schwartz was expanding into packages of 5 45s (the first came out in October), into 33 1/3 rpm singles (five them in a pack, just once), and into Heartbeat LPs (there would be two). The different formats will be covered below. The company address remained at 410 South Michigan throughout the year.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
M8OW-2561 H-39 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet My Melancholy Baby 1961 February 1961
M8OW-2562 H-39 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet When My Baby Smiles at Me 1961 February 1961
M8OW-2704 H-40 Roy Graham Combo Angry 1961 1961
M8OW-2705 H-40 Roy Graham Combo Amapola 1961 1961
M8OW-5168 H-41 Two Ton Baker I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles 1961 1961
M8OW-5169 H-41 Two Ton Baker Five Foot Two 1961 1961
M7OW-6511 H-42 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena 1961 1961
M7OW-6512 H-42 Seymour | His Heartbeat Trumpet My Wonderful One 1961 1961
M8OW-9121 H-44 Roy Graham Combo Mexicali Rose 1961 July 1961
M8OW-9122 H-44 Roy Graham Combo The Happy Cornfields 1961 July 1961
MO8W-0715 H-45 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) | Helen Mayfair - Organ Swinging Favorites Part 1 1961 July 1961
MO8W-0716 H-45 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) | Helen Mayfair - Organ Swinging Favorites Part 2 1961 July 1961
MO8W-1214 H-46 Harold Turner (At the Organ) The Breeze and I 1961 1961
MO8W-1215 H-46 Harold Turner (At the Organ) Over the Rainbow 1961 1961
MO8W-2160 H-47 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Autumn Leaves 1961 1961
MO8W-2161 H-47 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Pennies from Heaven 1958 1961
MO8W-2162 H-48 Roy Graham Combo Stormy Weather 1961 November 1961
MO8W-2163 H-48 Roy Graham Combo Boogie Woogie 1961 November 1961
MO8W-2425 H-1 The Dons | Arranged and Conducted by Don Ralke Marchita 1961 1961
MO8W-2424 H-1 The Dons | Arranged and Conducted by Don Ralke Dream Girl 1961 1961
MO8W-2415 HBR-2 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) When Day Is Done 1961 November 1961
MO8W-2416 HBR-2 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) If I Had You 1961 November 1961
MO8W-3918 H-3 Georgia Drake | Sam Porfirio Orchestra Misirlou 1961 December 1961
MO8W-4068 H-3 Georgia Drake | Sam Porfirio Orchestra Paradise 1961 December 1961
MO8W-4930 H-4 Roy Graham Combo Heart of My Heart 1961 prob. January 1962
MO8W-4931 H-4 Roy Graham Combo Ramona 1961 prob. January 1962
MO8W-2421 HBR-18 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Coquette 1961 prob. January 1962
MO8W-2422 HBR-18 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Isle of Capri 1961 prob. January 1962

Appendix E. Packages of Heartbeat 45s for 1961

In 1961, Seymour Schwartz got into packages of 5 45s each. These were aimed at the jukebox trade—LPs would have made more sense for home use. Around the same time, jukebox servicers could get 5-packs of Mitch Miller on Columbia (which was also marketing aggressively to operators). The singles were individually numbered (in a new H-700 series), but originally sold in flimsy paper wraps that carried their own titles and numbers. Over the years, the individual 45s have circulated separately, maybe after some stopped being sold with wraps, and nearly all of the wraps have been discarded. Each side in a package bore RCA Victor matrix numbers in a consecutive series of ten, with the matrix numbers not always in the same order as the issue numbers on the individual 45s.

Most likely the first package, of Seymour Heartbeat Trumpet 45s, H-701 through H-705, was numbered 8000, package title unknown at present. Meanwhile, Seymour was keeping up his lease at 410 South Michigan. Cash Box never reviewed the package, but on October 21, 1961 (p. 18) it first showed a Heartbeat "Operators' Special" as "Active with Ops." H-702 through H-705 were subsequently brushed off by Billboard (December 4, 1961, p. 30), as Limited Commercial Potential, Popular. But Cash Box, clarifying that Seymour's "Operators' Special" was a 5-pack, kept listing it as doing well with jukebox operators, continuing for several weeks into 1962. See, for example, the "Active with Ops" list from Cash Box on December 30, 1961 (p. 20), which lists HBR-2 and the Operators' Special as a 5-pack.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
MO8W-2415 H-701 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) When Day Is Done 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2416 H-701 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) If I Had You 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2417 H-702 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Someone to Watch over Me 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2418 H-702 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Over the Rainbow 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2419 H-703 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Somebody Loves Me 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2420 H-703 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) These Foolish Things 1961 October 1961

H-704 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) It Had to Be You 1958 October 1961
MO8W-2422 H-704 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Isle of Capri 1961 October 1961
MO8W-2421 H-705 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Coquette 1961 October 1961

H-705 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) My Buddy 1961 October 1961

Appendix F. 33 1/3 rpm Heartbeat singles from 1961

The most exotic items Schwartz produced for sale were 7-inch 33 1/3 rpm singles, in an H-7000 series. There were five of these, all from 1961, and the experiment was not repeated. We suspect Seymour was flattered by an article about Columbia's new Playtime series, which was aimed at jukebox ops, and consisted of both mono 45s and stereo 33 1/3 rpm singles. According to Ren Grevatt ("Columbia Playtime 45 a Hit with Operators," Billboard, August 7, 1961, pp. 1, 32), Columbia opened the series on July 17, 1961; some other companies were pushing out singles for jukebox play, but "The Columbia approach, in fact, was generated through an awareness of the success of Heartbeat" (p. 32). Trumpet and organ records weren't the only idea that Columbia was borrowing. By October 1961, Seymour would have 5-packs of 45s out to compete with Columbia's; although we have not seen any notice of their release, his experiment with 7-inch 33s probably took place around the same time.

The matrix numbers on the 33 1/3 rpm singles are not all consecutive. However, H-7001 through 7005, usually seen separately today, were originally sold in a package of 5, which reproduced the jukebox labels right on the sleeve. It was given the number HBS-7010, which left room for future packages.

In the end, Seymour declined to exercise the option. Though there were 33 1/3 rpm jukeboxes in 1961, and some companies were pushing them, they were not sufficiently numerous to warrant further releases of this type. His packs of 45s would sell much better. Seymour Schwartz eventually tried 7-inch 33 1/3 rpm EPs (typically with 3 tracks per side). At least, he said in 1963 that he was trying them; we remain unsure how many were actually released.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
M7OI-6419 H-7001 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) All Alone 1961 1961
M7OI-6420 H-7001 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Manhattan 1961 1961
M7OI-6349 H-7002 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) It's Been a Long, Long Time 1961 1961
M7OI-6421 H-7002 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Fascination 1961 1961
M7OI-6422 H-7003 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) My Wonderful One 1961 1961
M7OI-6348 H-7003 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Coquette 1961 1961
M7OI-6424 H-7004 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Our Love Is Here to Stay 1961 1961
M7OI-6423 H-7004 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Marie Elena 1961 1961
M7OI-6425 H-7005 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) My Buddy 1961 1961
M7OI-6426 H-7005 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) The Heartbeat March 1961 1961

Appendix G. Two Heartbeat LPs from 1961-1962

The first 12-inch LP on Heartbeat was HBL-707 or (in stereo) HBLPS-707, The Heartbeat Trumpet Volume I. It was all Seymour all the way, 6 tracks per side. The matrix numbers for the sides indicate mastering and pressing in 1961; they are in an RCA Victor series, but Ed Webb is credited on the jacket as the recording engineer. Heartbeat H-42 identifies "My Wonderful One" on the label as being from the album. Obviously several other sides could have been so designated, and Cash Box identified both sides of H-39 as from a forthcoming album. So far as we can determine, everything on the LP was recorded in 1960 or 1961, and nearly all of it was released on some kind of single before the LP came out. After what look like multiple slips to the schedule, the LP was reviewed in Billboard, which relegated it to Limited Sales Potential, on February 24, 1962 (p. 35)

Volume 1 also saw release in Canada, on REO RLP-639. REO was a subsidiary of Quality Records, which licensed a lot of material from US indies. At least Side 1 of the REO shows the same tracks in the same order as the Heartbeat original. We don't know whether this was a reissue, or the (roughly) contemporaneous product of a deal made while Heartbeat was still in business.

A second 12-inch LP, creatively named The Heartbeat Trumpet Volume Two, was numbered HBLP-8. Harold Turner is also credited on the front cover. The album was mastered and pressed in 1962 by RCA Victor Custom Pressings. When it was released, we are still trying to learn. We also don't know whether there was a stereo version; it's possible Seymour had sworn off stereo by then.

Volume Two included just two tracks that we know were recorded in 1962. It was compiled before Seymour cut his version of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," released in September of that year. Otherwise, "I Left My Heart" would have had to be on it.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year

HBLPS-707 Seymour The Heartbeat Trumpet Volume I
February 1962
M8OP-2564 Side One





Seymour Some of These Days 1958?


Seymour Melancholy Baby 1961


Seymour Somebody Loves Me 1961


Seymour Marie Elena 1961


Seymour Japanese Sandman 1960


Seymour My Buddy 1961
M8OP-2565 Side Two





Seymour When My Baby Smiles at Me 1961


Seymour Danny Boy 1960


Seymour I Want a Girl (Just like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad) 1960


Seymour My Wonderful One 1961


Seymour Does Your Heart Beat for Me



Seymour Always 1960







HBLP-8 Seymour The Heartbeat Trumpet Volume Two

N8OP-0901 Side One





Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) When Day Is Done 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) If I Had You 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Someone to Watch over Me 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Over the Rainbow 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Somebody Loves Me 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) These Foolish Things 1961
N8OP-0902 Side Two





Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Coquette 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Isle of Capri 1961


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) It Had to Be You 1958


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Margie 1960


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) September Song 1962


Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Tenderly 1962


Appendix H. The Heartbeat Polka Series (1962)

In 1962, Schwartz toyed with the idea of an HPR-1000 polka series on Heartbeat. He had one full-time polka artist, Art Walunas, who drew the only release in the intended series. Cash Box reviewed the "initial polka single" on May 5, 1962 (p. 14). Billboard put it under Moderate Sales Potential, Polka, and inadvertently reviewed it twice (May 5, 1962, p. 38; May 19, p. 34).

Afterward, Seymour thought better of the idea. Walunas got three more 45s in 1962, all in the main Heartbeat series. Cash Box appended a quick mention of H-16 to its record reviews on August 15, 1962 (p. 4); Billboard give it a full-dress review on August 18 (p. 43).

We haven't found any reviews of H-21 or H-26 (even though H-26 would attain some degree of fame later on). Walunas was allotted a final regular-series Heartbeat 45 in 1963: H-53 was a low-circulation item. It's worth noting that Walunas was not from the area, and his future releases would be on labels from a different area, notably Dearborn and MSK.

According to http://www.polkas.nl/artwalunas~home.html, Art Walunas was born in Detroit on November 14, 1931. He grew up in rural northwestern Michigan and was based in or near Detroit for most of his career. Walunas played piano-key and button accordion. His style is usually classified as Cleveland-Slovenian, but he was from Michigan, of Lithuanian extraction, and eclectic in his repertoire. He had a "Lithuanian Wedding Polka" in his book, he played schottisches and obereks, and the original words to his best-known record, "No Beer in Heaven," were in German.

"No Beer in Heaven" was Walunas' fourth single on Heartbeat, probably his sixth overall. His recording debut had been for a tiny label out of Toledo, Ohio, called Musicale, which mainly did polkas. There's been no research to speak of on Musicale, but on March 24, 1962 (p. 40), Billboard gave a quick nod, under the heading Moderate Sales Potential, to "Polka Sweetheart" by Art Walunas (released on Musicale 125). It turns out that Musicale had been in business since 1956, had put out an Art Walunas single in 1960 (Musicale 123), and produced no known releases past 125 (see http://www.45rpmrecords.com/OH/Musicale.php).

With Musicale completely gone, or just on the way out, Walunas tried Chester "Chet" Kajeski, the president of a one-stop in Dearborn, Michigan. This was risky, as Kajeski didn't have a record company. Heartbeat H-26 is hard to find now, and Dearborn D-515 is easier, but the Dearborn didn't hit the shelves till February or March 1965. (Dearborn had started using Columbia Custom Pressing, so the ZTSC numbers tell the tale, just as RCA Victor Custom Pressing numbers have been so helpful with Heartbat.) Heartbeat licensed everything it issued on Walunas in 1962 and 1963 from Martin and Snyder Distributors (Chet Kajeski, president). Then for a brief time Seymour Schwartz elevated M&S to "nationwide distributor" status (see the H-5000s, below). As part of the deal, in 1963 Heartbeat got more recordings that Kajeski had produced himself (the new sides were by The Sunsetters).

Frank Martin, Gerry Snyder, and Chester Kajeski started the their own record company, Dearborn, only after their deal with Heartbeat had fallen through and Hearbeat had closed. The first Dearborns came out in 1964, strictly polka at first; the first Walunas single was D-506 (not a Columbia Custom Pressing, so a bit harder to date). We suspect Dearborn was a project for the second half of 1964, because an article in Billboard ("Open House at Martin & Snyder," June 27, 1964, p. 65) was all about M&S's Seeburg jukeboxes, Bally game machines, and Irving Kaye pool tables; not a word about a record label. M, S, and K had all the tapes, so Dearborn often chose different sides for release, or paired them differently from Heartbeat. Walunas eventually got two EPs on Dearborn, which operated till 1970, and three LPs; he recorded further singles for MSK (we all know what that stood for—it was the immediate successor to Dearborn), and for his own AW label. One of his singles was also reissued on Heartbeat in 1973, in altered form: there was definitely some funny business with the credits (see below for the second Heartbeat label). Art Walunas died in 2017.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
N8OW-4516 HPR-1002 Art Walunas and His Orch. Cloverleaf Polka 1962 April 1962
N8OW-4517 HPR-1002 Art Walunas and His Orch. You Call Everybody Darlin' 1962 April 1962

Appendix I. The Main Heartbeat Series 1962

1962 was the year of maximum output for Heartbeat. Almost certainly, of overproduction; operator and home user demand for Seymour's own sides, or for those by his other artists, was not growing. 45-rpm singles in the main series were allotted numbers H-5 and H-6, but not H-7, which was still being sold. They got H-8 through H-10, H-9 by organist "Little Johnnie" overwriting the Bob Atcher from 1956. H-11 was being kept in the catalogue, so new releases resumed at H-12 and ran through H-17. H-16, Seymour's Christmas record from 1959, got overwritten in the process—by a polka record—but the numbering on the Christmas record had always been ambiguous. H-19 through H-27 were used, and room was needed for one more by Two Ton Baker, so it went to H-49. We count 21 singles in the main series.

For the first eight months of the year, no new Heartbeat Trumpet singles were made for the label's main series. Seymour Schwartz probably felt he had done enough in 1961, laying down enough tracks to complete a first LP, enough to nearly fill his second LP, not to mention enough for his first 5-pack of 45s for "ops," and his 5-pack of 33s for "ops." So he cut down on his own studio time. Six of the tracks on the second Seymour 5-pack appear to be new for the year (and two of them were tapped for the second LP). Seymour singles in the main series resumed at H-20 in September.

Seymour started off the year by signing former bandleader Paul Gallis and pianist "Wee Willie" (aka Bill Krenz, who had been a regular on the Breakfast Club radio show). Billboard announced both signings on January 20, 1962 (p. 10) and Cash Box followed suit on January 27 (p. 13).

Gallis had been recorded in January and H-5 got a Cash Box review on February 3, 1962 (p. 10); Billboard followed on February 10 (p. 39). H-5 scored regional sales in Chicago and Saint Louis; it showed up on Billboard's list of Local Singles Breakouts for March 3 (p. 1). On March 10, it scored another local breakout, in Milwaukee (Billboard, p. 1). The March 3 issue of Billboard flagged H-5's store sales in Chicago ("5 Break Chi Silence," p. 6); Gallis's turn from record promoter to recording artist ("Time to Swing: Promo Man Joins DJ's Waxing as Pop Artists," p. 26); and H-5's sales in Milwaukee and Duluth ("Twin Cities Put Disks in Orbit," p. 6). On March 10, Billboard celebrated H-5's performance in Milwaukee ("Beer City Comes Up with Seven Big Ones This Week," p. 4). Cash Box reported (March 17, p. 22) that Record Distributors in Chicago was moving a lot of copies.

Schwartz thought "Boogie Twist" merited a few display ads. He ran one in Billboard on March 3, 1962 (p. 20), another on March 10 (p. 24), and a smaller one on March 17 (p. 10). A new ad in Billboard, (March 24, 1962, p. 47) claimed the single was selling in all kinds of places, including Canada. This had to be the heaviest ad campaign that Seymour ever ran. Ironically, Paul Gallis couldn't go on the road to promote his own record; he was in a Chicago hospital for surgery when sales started moving. His brother Jim made a trip to the East Coast in his place. Seymour got some publicity out of it when he placed a photo in Cash Box of Gallis autographing a copy of the single for nurses at St. Anne's hospital (March 10, 1962, p. 26).

Paul Gallis (born in Chicago in 1924) was a known quantity in the music business. He got his start as a teenage gofer at the Chicago Theater. After 18 years playing in bands (he was a drummer), Gallis had become a record promoter. In the latter capacity he is mentioned on our Red Saunders page; Gallis and Porky Panico briefly ran Phonograph Records, which recorded JoAn Henderson. By all accounts, Gallis was tireless and well-liked; few of his competitors were both. His trademark yellow sticker can be seen on more than one Heartbeat 45. For a hot minute, Seymour even made Gallis the "music director" for Heartbeat. "Boogie Twist" is still remembered in Chicago, even though Gallis never made another record as a leader. Paul Gallis died in Chicago on February 16, 2012, at the age of 88 (see http://www.beverlyrecords.com/celebrity.htm and http://davemartin.blogspot.com/2012/02/paul-gallis-1924-2012-paulie-gallis-was.html.

H-6 by Wee Willie was reviewed in Cash Box for March 17 (p. 12) and in Billboard for March 24 (p. 47). Willie's H-10, which we can place on the same session (unusually, because the matrix numbers are adjacent), was reviewed on May 26, 1962 (p. 14). On June 2, Billboard cited H-10 as one of the few records pulling dimes that week on Chicago boxes ("Business Has Sags in Some Chi Spots," p. 56).

Seymour also gave Georgia Drake's recordings a further push. On March 10, 1962, he republicized her signing to the label with a photo in Cash Box (p. 44). Did it generate more sales for H-3? Her next single, Heartbeat H-8, was reviewed in Cash Box on May 19, 1962 (p. 18) and got a mention in Billboard on May 26 (p. 32).

Seymour was so pleased with their work that he put out some instrumental sides by the Sam Porfirio group that backed Drake in the studio: H-12 was credited to Sam Porfirio (Cash Box reviewed it, August 11, 1962, p. 148; Billboard relegated it to Limited Sales Potential, Popular, on August 18, p. 43). H-13 went to Lenny Druss.

Sam Porfirio was a member of WGN's Starnoters in the early 1950s. In 1957, a Chicago TV show called Shock Theatre acquired a cult following. Scratchy prints of monster movies were introduced by a comedian who pretended to be a beatnik with manifold morbid obsessions. Eventually the show became so popular that a 30-minute "Shock Tail Party" was added after the movie. Sam Porfirio and Lenny Druss were regular members of Shock Tail Party band. Druss did a ton of studio work in Chicago. His flute solo on "Swinging Shepherd Blues," with a Johnny Pate group, is his best-known outing. In 1961, Druss was hired at WBBM, where Porfirio had become the music director (fomer Seymour artist Lurlean Hunter also worked for WBBM in 1963, while Porfirio and Druss were in the house band). Sam Porfirio died in October or November of 1963, and Lenny Druss replaced him as music director (Nick Biro, "Talent Topics: Chicago," Billboard, December 28, 1963, p. 8). Unfortunately, at some point during the next year WBBM dropped all the musicians off its staff and became a news-talk station.

H-15 was by Benny Strong—his only release on the label. It got the Limited Sales Potential, Popular treatment from Billboard (August 18, p. 43).

H-17 was Harold Turner's second solo outing in the main Heartbeat series. Seymour tried hard to promote Turner's records, even devoting a 5-pack to him. Billboard also put H-17 in Limited Sales Potential, Popular (August 18, 1963, p. 43). Turner did better than an organist known to us simply as "Little Johnnie." Johnnie's two releases, H-14 and H-19, attracted no notice whatsoever from the trade papers.

Cash Box listed H-12, H-15, H-16 by Art Walunas, and H-17 as "Aimed at Ops" on August 11, 1962 (p. 64). A Heartbeat ad ran immediately below the notice.

H-20, which marked Seymour's return to the regular release series, made more than the usual splash. Seymour was in just the right place at just the right time. Though in no hurry (the song was breaking into the charts at the end of April), he recorded the first instrumental cover of a hit record, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Needing a flip with some kind of thematic connection, he went with "Manhattan," which was from 1961 but had been released only on 33 1/3 rpm single. Cash Box reviewed H-20 on September 29, 1962 (p. 16); Billboard signified Moderate Sales Potential on the same date (p. 32). Cash Box was still publishing tune charts in 1962, so each week that Tony Bennett's Columbia release rang up massive sales, Seymour's version, whose totals probably amounted to rounding error on Bennett's, rode along. It also showed up in Billboard's tune charts, but these did not run weekly. First, H-20 shared the spot in the Cash Box charts with Bennett's hit record and Frank Sinatra's vocal cover; over the weeks other instrumentals climbed aboard.

But while H-20 sat up in the Top 100 song charts, it took attention off the company's other releases. The next Seymour, H-22, was unpromoted and slipped by unnoticed. H-23, by Two Ton Baker, with Seymour guesting on one side, got pushed to the end of the Billboard reviews on account of "Limited Sales Potential" (December 8, 1962, p. 33). Cash Box had brusquely noted on November 24 that H-23 was "aimed at ops" (p. 20). H-24 by Sam Porfirio (recorded by at least two members of the old Shock Tail Party Band, it must have been intended for Halloween 1962; "Haunted House" was one of the titles) and H-25, Georgia Drake's final release for Heartbeat, have been largely forgotten. H-24 was simply left out of previous Heartbeat discographies; it didn't come to our attention until January 2020. H-26 by Art Walunas is now deemed a polka classic but before catching on in (of course) Wisconsin it gathered dust for an entire year (see below).

H-27 and H-49 were held for release till the new year. Two Ton Baker's H-49 was announced in Cash Box on January 19, 1963 (p. 30). Seymour's "You Made Me Love You" b/w "Stripper's Sugar Blues" (H-27) apparently used Two Ton Baker as his accompanist (we'd like to verify this). H-27 was said to be "getting good operator action" at a Chicago one-stop in Billboard for February 2, 1963 ("Chi Op Offers," p. 66). Cash Box said it was "Active with Ops" on February 16, 1963 (p. 36) and reviewed it on February 23 (p. 16). Someone else also thought H-27 would get good operator action. Dot Records (for several years, part of ABC-Paramount) picked it up. Cash Box noted the acquisition on April 6, 1963, p. 28, but the announcement seems to have been held back for the start of Dot's advertising campaign. For a little while (see Billboard, April 13, 1963, p. 27; another ad ran on April 20) the much larger company was advertising a new Seymour single. Of course, the Dot labels didn't call him the Heartbeat Trumpet. Seymour may have hoped for more, but it was a one-release deal.

Seymour also put out two packages of 45s (see below). The package reserved for Harold Turner consisted mostly of new releases (Turner only got two singles under his own name in the main Hearbeat series) Seymour's second package was a mix of old and new sides. For a hot minute there was even an HPR-1000 series for polka records (one came out and the minute was over; see above).


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
N8OW-0472 H-5 Paul Gallis And His Orchestra Boogie Twist January 1962 January 1962
N8OW-0473 H-5 Paul Gallis And His Orchestra Sweet Sue Cha-Cha Twist January 1962 January 1962
N9OW-0626 H-6 Wee Willie (The Happy Piano) Irish Twist January 1962 February 1962
N9OW-0627 H-6 Wee Willie (The Happy Piano) Chinatown Twist January 1962 February 1962
N7OW-4002 H-8 Georgia Drake Hava Nagila (Come, Let's Be Happy) February 1962 April 1962
N7OW-4091 H-8 Georgia Drake Never on Sunday February 1962 April 1962
N7OW-4744 H-9 "Little Johnnie" Five Foot Two 1962 1962
N7OW-4750 H-9 "Little Johnnie" Johnnie's Swingin' Organ 1962 1962
N9OW-0628 H-10 Wee Willie | The Happy Piano Down Yonder January 1962 May 1962
N9OW-0629 H-10 Wee Willie | The Happy Piano Dardanella January 1962 May 1962
N7OW-4095 H-12 Sam Porfirio Quartet I Love Paris 1962 July 1962
N7OW-4096 H-12 Sam Porfirio Quartet My Funny Valentine 1962 July 1962
N7OW-4004 H-13 Lenny Druss (The Smooth Clarinet) Avalon 1962 1962
N7OW-4094 H-13 Lenny Druss (The Smooth Clarinet) Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 1962 1962
N7OW-4751 H-14 "Little Johnnie" Donkey Serenade 1962 1962
N7OW-7016 H-14 "Little Johnnie" Chopsticks 1962 1962
N8OW-9201 H-15 Benny Strong (And His Orchestra) | Vocal by Benny and His Buddies You're Gonna Be Sorry 1962 July 1962
N8OW-9202 H-15 Benny Strong (And His Orchestra) | Vocal by Benny and His Buddies That Certain Party 1962 July 1962
N8OW-4514 H-16 Art Walunas (And His Orchestra) Dutch Boy Polka 1962 July 1962
N8OW-7319 H-16 Art Walunas (And His Orchestra) Seven Beers with the Wrong Woman 1962 July 1962
N8OW-9632 H-17 Harold Turner (Beautiful Organ) Sunrise Serenade 1962 July 1962
N8OW-9633 H-17 Harold Turner (Beautiful Organ) Twilight Time 1962 July 1962
N8OW-4794 H-19 Little Johnnie | Tribute to Ken Griffin Let Me Call You Sweetheart 1962 1962
N8OW-9851 H-19 Little Johnnie | Tribute to Ken Griffin You Always Hurt the One You Love 1962 1962
NO8W-1530 H-20 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) (I Left My Heart) In San Francisco 1962 September 1962
NO8W-1531 H-20 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Manhattan 1961 September 1962
NO8W-1528 H-21 Art Walunas (And His Orchestra) Silver Moon Waltz 1962 1962
NO8W-1608 H-21 Art Walunas (And His Orchestra) Beer Garden Music 1962 1962
NO8W-1517 H-22 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Body and Soul 1962 1962
NO8W-1532 H-22 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Goodnight, Sweetheart 1962 1962
NO8W-1910 H-23 Two Ton Baker Featuring Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Hot Lips 1962 November 1962
NO8W-1911 H-23 Two Ton Baker My Blue Heaven 1962 November 1962
NO8W-1937 H-24 Sam Porfirio (And His Orchestra) Walkin' Flute 1962 1962

H-24 Sam Porfirio (And His Orchestra) Haunted House 1962 1962
N7OW-4003 H-25 Georgia Drake | Sam Porfirio and His Orchestra Chui - Chui 1962 1962
NO8W-4226 H-25 Georgia Drake | Sam Porfirio and His Orchestra Even on Sunday 1962 1962

H-26 Art Walunas (His Orchestra) The Milwaukee Polka 1962 November 1962
NO8W-4718 H-26 Art Walunas (His Orchestra) No Beer in Heaven 1962 November 1962
NO7W-7425
MB-7W-7425*
H-27
Dot 45-16458*
"Seymour" (His Heartbeat Trumpet)
Seymour*
"Stripper's" Sugar Blues
Strippers Sugar Blues*
1962 January 1963
March 1963*
NO7W-7426
MB-7W-7426*
H-27
Dot 45-16458*
"Seymour" (His Heartbeat Trumpet)
Seymour*
You Made Me Love You
You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)*
1962 January 1963
March 1963*
NO7W-7424 H-49 Two Ton Baker Barking Dog 1962 January 1963
NO7W-7427 H-49 Two Ton Baker The Music Goes Round and Round 1962 January 1963

Appendix J. Heartbeat H700 Series 45-rpm packages (1962)

Two further packages of 45s were made available in 1962. We know for sure that the second Heartbeat Trumpet package (H-711 through 715) originated this way, because the light green paper wrapper to Package 8002, bearing the title Dream Along and credits to Seymour and Harold Turner, can be seen at 45cat.com. Presumably the Harold Turner package was numbered 8001. Seymour must have gotten masters back from the Chess brothers because Heartbeat H-714 looks like a straight-up reissue of Argo 5334, and H-715 pulls two more tracks off the old Argo LP. The other Heartbeat Trumpet sides were most likely new, and were not released in the label's main series. Of the Harold Turners, just H-706 was out (at roughly the same time) in the main series, as H-17. The other sides never showed up in the main Heartbeat label series. We are curious what instrument Roy Graham played (guitar?) because he was variously credited as a duet partner and a leader on Heartbeat—and his sides as a leader were re-credited to Shay Torrent later.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
N8OW-0869 H-706 Harold Turner (Beautiful Organ) Sunrise Serenade 1962 1962
N8OW-0870 H-706 Harold Turner (Beautiful Organ) Twilight Time 1962 1962
N8OW-0871 H-707 Harold Turner (Beautiful Organ) Indian Love Story 1962 1962
N7OW-0872 H-707 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Let the Rest of the World Go By 1962 1962
N8OW-0867 H-708 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Lazy River 1962 1962
N8OW-0868 H-708 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Dancero 1962 1962
N8OW-0865 H-709 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Sentimental Journey 1962 1962
N8OW-0866 H-709 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Caravan 1962 1962
N7OW-0874 H-710 Harold Turner and Roy Graham Stepping out with My Baby 1962 1962
N7OW-0873 H-710 Harold Turner and Seymour Wabash Blues 1962 1962
N8OW-4626 H-711 Seymour September Song 1962 1962
N8OW-4625 H-711 Seymour Tenderly 1962 1962
N8OW-4627 H-712 Seymour Blueberry Hill 1962 1962
N8OW-4628 H-712 Seymour Stardust 1962 1962
N8OW-4629 H-713 Seymour With a Song in My Heart 1962 1962
N8OW-4630 H-713 Seymour My Wild Irish Rose | When Irish Eyes Are Smiling 1962 1962
N8OW-4632 H-714 Seymour Harbor Lights 1958 1962
N8OW-4631 H-714 Seymour My Blue Heaven 1958 1962
N8OW-4633 H-715 Seymour Anniversary Song 1958 1962
N8OW-4634 H-715 Seymour I Love You Truly 1958 1962

Appendix K. The Main Heartbeat Series 1963

For 1963, Seymour Schwartz had new directions in mind. He billed himself differently ("The Golden Horn," "His Singing Horn"), recorded groups with un-Heartbeat-like names (the Mark V and the Playboys), and experimented with two more short series, the H-8000s and the H-5000s. The main series now ran from H-50 to H-60, maybe minus H-52. Some items are elusive on the collector's market, because pressing runs were getting shorter. We still don't know, for instance, who Ernie was (Heartbeat H-54), or what made his guitar so nutty.

As the year began, Seymour explained his marketing philosophy to a Billboard writer ("Heartbeat, Op Phonos Chime in Same Time," January 26, 1963, p. 59). 95% of his sales were to one-stops, and his company was putting out nothing but mono 45s. The experiments in stereo 45s (1960), 33 1/3 rpm singles (1961), and stereo LPa (also 1961) were definitively discontinued.

A record attributed to "Happy Clive" (H-50) was reviewed in Cash Box, April 13, 1963 (p. 10). "Laff-a-Long" was the Hearbeat laugh record. Composer credit went to Baker and Schwartz. Under his own name, Two Ton Baker would get a jazz record (H-51) and a children's record (H-56).

The next Seymour record (H-55), was announced as "Aimed at Ops" on June 1 (p. 32), then reviewed in Cash Box on June 8, 1963 (p. 12). It featured a vocal by Evelyn Renner on one side.

A Two Ton Baker children's record (H-56, on which his band was called "The Lucky Ducks") was also mentioned in Cash Box on June 1, 1956, as "Aimed at Ops" (p. 32). "Kenohora" is one of maybe 100 spelling variations on "Kein Ayin Hara," Yiddish for "No evil eye."

In June, Seymour cut a deal with Frank Martin and Gerry Snyder's One Stop in Dearborn, Michigan. They had previously supplied him with five 45s by Art Walunas; now they were providing material by The Sunsetters (see the H-5000s). All of a sudden, he made them Hearbeat's national distributors ("Martin-Snyder Named Distrib for Heartbeat," Billboard, July 6, 1963, p. 49; "Heartbeat Makes Nat'l Distrib Deal," Cash Box, July 6, 1963, p. 41). M&S even placed an ad in which it identified itself as Heartbeat, with the M&S address in Dearborn, Michigan (Cash Box, July 6, 1963, p. 38; don't ask for Seymour, ask for Chet). A bit later, there was the ad of ill omen: M&S identifying itself and then proclaiming it was the "National Distributor for Heartbreak Records" (Billboard, August 3, 1963, p. 88). What Record Distributors in Chicago thought about the move is not in anything we've read. It couldn't have come as any better news to Merit Distributors in Detroit, which had taken on Heartbeat in September of the previous year (Billboard, September 29, 1962, p. 56).

January statements notwithstanding, Seymour would make a stab, later in the year, at releasing 7-inch 33 1/3 rpm EPs. Both sides of H-55, a Seymour release, announced that they were taken from "Heartbeat Album No. 9." Cash Box did once mention an "EP" that was "Aimed at Ops": "The Golden Oldies" by Seymour (June 1, 1963, p. 32; same list as H-55 and H-56). H-59, Seymour's very his last on the original Heartbeat, mentions no albums.

No. 9 was probably a "Little LP," a 7-inch 33 1/3 rpm EP (not to be confused with the 33 1/3 rpm singles Seymour tried in 1961). It was meant to carry three tracks per side. Seymour Schwartz announed at the MOA Convention in September 1963 that he would be putting out one by himself and one by the Sunsetters (see below). It was late enough in the game that we're entitled to wonder whether the plans were carried out. Anyone seen one of these?

Meanwhile, Seymour's publicity stunts were getting a little bit out there. He sent copies of Evelyn Renner's H-57 (which was meant to contribute to education in civics) to a bunch of government officials, and to the United Nations ("New Heartbeat Deck Promotes Patriotism," Cash Box, June 22, 1963, p. 36). He reported a favorable response from Robert F. Kennedy, then the Attorney General of the United States (Cash Box, July 6, 1963, p. 20).

H-58, by a group called the Mark V, was dedicated to President John F. Kennedy ("The Man") and his First Lady ("Jacqueline") and copies were shipped to the White House. Cash Box mentioned it on August 17, 1963 (p. 16). Seymour told Cash Box that "Jacqueline" was getting airplay in Canada, where the Mark V were touring (August 24, 1963, p. 35). Intially, Martin and Snyder thought maybe the Mark V record was Heartbeat H-5008 (see the Heartbeat Distributors ad in Cash Box on August 10, 1963, p. 204). Heartbeat H-58 got a Cash Box review (the last one for any release on the label) on September 7, 1963 (p. 10).

Seymour wrote a song for a certain trade association: "We're mighty proud of MOA / We hope collections grow each day / We love those folks who play, play, play." With three weeks to go before the next annual convention, the song was commemorated in Billboard ("All Together Now: 'We're the Guys & Gals of MOA," August 17, 1963, p. 52). At the banquet an MOA ditty (we assume it was Seymour's) was performed by the J's with Jamie (a group from the Chicago suburbs that recorded for Columbia; "All Hands Applaud Chicago Dinner," Billboard, September 21, 1963, p. 76). The Mark V's performance included some "hilarious antics" (according to Cash Box, September 21, 1963, p. 45).

For some reason, Seymour didn't sign the Mark V to a longer deal. In consequence, no sooner had the group performed at the MOA banquet than it announced a forthcoming release on Carmen. Carmen was the brainchild of a songwriter named Harry "Bud" Fisher, with the inevitable address (for such an enterprise) of 54 West Randolph. Carmen 1, with Fisher's "Baby Patsy" as the plug side, was being advertised to operators on September 21, 1963 (Cash Box, p. 20). Another ad followed on the the 28th (Cash Box, p. 39).

Through Heartbeat H-60, the company remained at 410 South Michigan. Before he left that location, Seymour had started a successor label, Sunny (S-1 is the same as H-58, and carries the same company address). But the 410 location seems to apply only to Sunny S-1 and maybe S-2 (the latter shows no address on the label).

Although Seymour didn't promote their record, we now know who was responsible for the last Heartbeat. It, too, had a Michigan connection. H-60 was the work of the Playboys, one of many names employed by a quartet from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (see . At various times, the group's members included "Jimmy B" Brogan, Lloyd Hugo, Jay Mihelich, Greg Kobe, and Don Hermanson. Under one or more of their many names, they were the house band in the Copper Drift Lounge at the Hotel Scott in Hancock, Michigan (a small town on the Keweenaw Peninsula). The Playboys, we have now learned, were the same as The Lovers (responsible for one of the two Sunny S-1s) and the All-Niters (responsible for GMA 1, as well as some later releases on another label). See the UP Grooves! entry on the band, "The Vigilantes, otherwise know as…" (March 2, 2008).

We also know that Greg Kobe was in the band on this occasion, because of the feature credit on "Harlem Nocturne." Seymour misspelled his last name. No one plays "Harlem Nocturne" without an alto saxophone, so it must have been one of Kobe's instruments.

As Heartbeat faded, there was a final sales miracle. It involved Art Walunas and Heartbeat H-26 ("No Beer in Heaven"), one of the unpromoted disks from the last quarter of 1962. On November 9, 1963, Billboard reported ("Milwaukee Juke Boxes at 'Steady-Not-Great' Pace," p. 53) that demand had spiked for the record. Stu Glassman, who ran a Milwaukee one-stop called Downtown Radio Doctors, told the story:

One polka item on Heart Beat [sic] Records, "No Beer in Heaven" b-w "The Milwaukee Polka," by Art Walunas, has been spurring a lot of mail orders from Northern Wisconsin operators. The number was idle for a year and suddenly came to life. "It proves that good polkas never die," Glassman says.

Maybe they don't, but in 1963 demand for polka records was still strong in Northern Wisconsin. And when one of the titles was "The Milwaukee Polka," there should have been some in Milwaukee too. Did Chet Kajeski, who had recorded the sides, realize that a Walunas 45 was languishing and try to give it a boost? Without that late surge in demand from operators in Green Bay and Sheboygan and Wausau, "No Beer in Heaven" would not have become Walunas's signature tune.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year

H-50 Happy Clive Oh! You Beautiful Doll 1963 March 1963
P3KM-4902 H-50 Happy Clive Laff-A-Long 1963 March 1963
P3KM-4927 H-51 Dick Baker Quartet Sunny Deb 1963 1963
P3KM-4928 H-51 Dick Baker Quartet Satin Doll 1963 1963

H-53 Art Walunas Toolie Oolie Doolie


H-53 Art Walunas Swiss Mountain Polka

P3KM-4934 H-54 Ernie's "Nutty" Guitar Don't Fence Me In 1963 1963
P3KM-4935 H-54 Ernie's "Nutty" Guitar You Are My Sunshine
1963
P3KM-6811 H-55 Seymour (The Man with the Golden Horn) South 1963 May 1963
P3KM-6815 H-55 Seymour (The Man with the Golden Horn) and Evelyn Renner (The Golden Voice) My Sons 1963 May 1963
P3KM-6813 H-56 Dick Baker and His Lucky Ducks Luck Be with You (Kenohora-Knock on Wood) 1963 May 1963
P3KM-6814 H-56 Dick Baker and His Lucky Ducks The Ducky Dance (Waddle, Waddle, Waddle) 1963 May 1963
P3KM-8475 HBR-57 Evelyn Renner This Is America 1963 June 1963
P3KM-8476 HBR-57 Evelyn Renner United Nations 1963 June 1963
PK3M-3170 H-58 The Mark V | Seymour's Heartbeat Trumpet Jacqueline 1963 August 1963
PK3M-3171 H-58 The Mark V | Seymour's Heartbeat Trumpet The Man 1963 August 1963
P3KM-8237 H-59 Seymour | His Singing Horn Makin' Whoopee 1963 1963
PK4M-5288 H-59 Seymour | His Singing Horn My Happiness 1963 1963
P4KM-5094 H-60 The Playboys Featuring Greg Cove Harlem Nocturne 1963 1963
P4KM-5096 H-60 The Playboys Blue Moon 1963 1963

Appendix L. The Heartbeat H-8000 Series (1963)

The H-8000 series had one 45 in it, a sentimental tribute to the state of Michigan (with an instrumental for a B side) by one Harry Clark. The Harry Clark single carried arranger credits on both sides to James Gerity, Jr. We'll see that name again. We'll also see one of the titles again.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
P4KM-8452 H-8000-1 Harry Clark Home Again to Michigan 1963 1963
P4KM-8453 H-8000-2 Harry Clark I Wanna Go Back to Michigan 1963 1963

Appendix M. The Heartbeat H-5000 Series (1963)

The H-5000 series looks like part of a bigger initiative; in the end two singles were released.

H-5000, by the Sunsetters, was marketed as music for dancing. The Sunsetters were a trio from Michigan, roughly in the mold of the Three Suns and the Max Gordon Trio. M&S Distributors, in Dearborn, Michigan, identifying themselves as Heartbeat Records ("Ask for Chet"), were already advertising it in Billboard on June 6, 1963 (p. 36). H-5000 was reviewed in Cash Box on June 29, 1963 (p. 36). On July 27, Seymour declared it was selling well in Michigan (Cash Box, p. 16).

Seymour Schwartz had bigger plans for the Sunsetters—a "Little LP," 7 inches in diameter, 3 tracks per side, playing at 33 1/3 rpm. It was mentioned in Cash Box (September 14, 1963) as having been released ("Seeburg Announces New 'Artist of the Week' and 'Little LP' Releases," p. 55); has anyone seen a copy? Further tracks may have been intended for separate release in the H-5000s, but we don't have evidence of such a thing happening. After the M&S deal broke down and Heartbeat closed, the Sunsetters got multiple 45s, some 33 1/3 rpm singles, some EPs, and a 12-inch LP, all on Deaborn (a label opened by the principals at M&S).

H-5007, which carried credits to an outside producer, got a bit of extra promotion. Some copies carried an insert about Nina Gaylo and the bands she had sung with. "Sinner and Saint" (published by Sunny Music) was identified as the "plug side." M&S, calling itself Heartbeat Distributors, advertised the record in Cash Box on August 10, 1963 (p. 204).

It turns out that Ms. Gaylo had been signed in 1961 to a firm that aimed to produce masters for sale to various record companies; one of the principals was Frank Lavere, composer of such songs as "Pretend." Richard Lavere garnered half the composer credit on "Sinner and Saint." (The company was announced in "New Chi Firm Makes Leases, Sells Masters To Record Companies," Billboard, June 19, 1961, p. 8). We don't know whether Heartbeat bought a two-year-old master or something was done closer to the date of release (the P series matrix number is from 1963). "Sinner and Saint" has the string bass up front, like Peggy Lee's "Fever," and more than a touch of Eartha Kitt in the delivery. It isn't "down the middle of the road"—and the studio band is big enough to make us wonder whether Heartbeat had paid for it.

H-5007 didn't appear in the initial publicity for the Heartbeat-M&S alliance. Cash Box mentioned it on August 17, 1963 (p. 16). And Nina Gaylo was identified as a Heartbeat act when she performed at the banquet for the MOA convention ("All Hands Applaud Chicago MOA Dinner," Billboard, September 21, 1963, p. 76). She got her photo, with Seymour and Chet Kajeski at the Heartbeat booth, into the Cash Box coverage as well (September 21, 1963, p. 34). Seymour had found another spot on the banquet bill for the Mark V; other acts included Henny Youngman, Joe Williams (then with RCA Victor), Tony Bennett (from Columbia, and there to receive an award), Al Martino (Capitol), and Li'l Wally. It was easy to get company acts on the bill when just four record companies reserved a booth at the MOA that year: Capitol, Columbia, Jay-Jay, and Heartbeat (Cash Box, August 31, 1963, p. 55).

Nina Gaylo was born Rose M. Hines, in Chicago on September 7, 1927. Her married name was Rose M. Layton. She doesn't seem to have recorded much as a soloist. Rose M. Layton died, aged 91, at a hospice in Attleboro, Massachusetts, on April 18, 2019; see https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thesunchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=rose-m-layton&pid=192786868&fhid=4933.

The M&S ad for the Heartbeat 500s (Cash Box, August 10, 1963, p. 204) mistakenly numbered the Mark V single as H-5008 (it was released as H-58). Was 5008 once the plan?

After the MOA coverage ran out, Cash Box gave no further attention to Seymour Schwartz or to Heartbeat for the rest of the calendar year. We are still searching for something in print about Seymour's H-59, or about H-60 by the Playboys. Record Distributors' holiday ad inCash Box (December 28, 1963, p. 58) listed Heartbeat, one last time, among the labels it carried, but we wonder how many Heartbeats Galgano and Lawrence had in stock.


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
P4KM-8409 H-5000 The Sunsetters Moonlight Cocktails 1963 June 1963
P4KM-8410 H-5000 The Sunsetters Summertime in Venice 1963 June 1963
P4KM-3154 H-5007 Nina Gaylo Sinner and Saint 1963 August 1963
P4KM-3155 H-5007 Nina Gaylo The Music Goes 'Round and Round 1963 August 1963

Appendix N. The Chicago Sunny Label (1963-1964)

As Heartbeat was winding down, Seymour opened a Sunny label, named after his daughter. (He'd been operating a Sunny publishing company since at least 1956.)

Sunny was first mentioned by Cash Box (September 14, 1963, p. 27) as Heartbeat's "recently formed subsid label." Its first releases were said to "Jacqueline" b/w "The Man" by the Mark V (which we know as S-1), and two items by The Three Twins. Has anybody ever seen "Hootenanny Geisha Girl" or "Peg o' My Heart" by the Twins?

There were two series on the original Sunny label. The first S-1, from Sunny the subsid, was out of the 410 South Michigan address. S-1 is by the Mark V. In fact, it's the same record as Heartbeat H-58.

A second S-1, by The Lovers, looks as though it might be from a different company—but it lets everyone know on the label that Record Distributors in Chicago was handling it. DJ copies exist with a Sunny logo rather like the one Seymour used elsewhere (and with no street address). Production copies have a different logo, in script, sharing with the DJ copies a label design we haven't seen on anything else that Seymour did, except Sunny S-2. Production copies were pressed on multi-colored vinyl, which makes the record unique among Seymour products. But the Record Distributors had until rather recently been handling Heartbeat. And in October 1964, Messrs. Galgano and Lawrence of Record Distributors would be putting one Heartbeat Trumpet single out on their own Halifax label. However, they did not handle GMA.

Besides, The Lovers were also known as the Playboys (see Heartbeat H-60 above) and as The All-Niters (see GMA 1 below). Like Heartbeat H-60, the second Sunny S-1 has instrumentals on both sides.

S-2 by Seymour himself (probably a reissue) shows no address on the label; it looks like a 410 South product but shares part of its graphic design with the second S-1.

S-70 through S-72 were numbered to look post-Heartbeat; i.e., after H-60. The address on these was 230 North Michigan Avenue, same as GMA; it's possible they were being distributed by USA Records (see below). From the Sound Studio matrix numbers, it appears that Stu Black and Sound Studio were at least involved in mastering and pressing them. In fact, the matrix numbers on S-70 through S-72 put them shortly before the first GMA release.

Finally, a mighty peculiar Sunny LP, distributed to a few radio stations in Michigan, also looks like a product of 230 North Michigan Avenue. It shows a Sound Studio affiliation, like nearly all of GMA's output (see below), and like the Sunny 45s in the S-70s. The LP labels jointly credit Sunny Records and Gerity Broadcasting. Seymour accompanied Joe Wagstaff—could this be Joe Wagstaff the former film actor?—on a set of standards and pop tunes. The broadcasting company, one of several enterprises run by James Gerity Jr., owned WNEM-TV (Bay City and Saginaw, Michigan) from 1961 to 1969. Gerity also owned radio stations WABJ and WNEM-FM. WNEM's call letters changed to WGER-FM after he sold the TV station. WNEM/WGER had a "beautiful music" policy. Gerity died in 1973.

Sunny, like GMA, was still listed in the Cash Box annual directory of August 14, 1965 (both at 230 North Michigan; p. 50 for Sunny and p. 12 for GMA). By that time each was gathering cobwebs, and Sunny had been doing it longer. The use of the 230 address indicates some degree of overlap with GMA but we don't know how much Sunny released in 1964.

None of the post-Heartbeat labels were as prolific, and their release numbers are easier to follow, so we will henceforward group items from more than a single year.


Matrix Sunny # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
PK3M-3170 S-1 The Mark V Jacqueline 1963 September 1963
PK3M-3171 S-1 The Mark V The Man 1963 September 1963

S-1A The Lovers Blue Tango


S-1B The Lovers Temptation


S-2A The New Seymour (His Speaking Heartbeat Horn) Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen 1958

S-2B The New Seymour (His Speaking Heartbeat Horn) Moonglow 1958






2362-01A S-70 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Pretend
1964
2362-01B S-70 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) You Always Hurt the One You Love
1964
2362-02A S-71 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Poor Butterfly
1964
2362-02B S-71 Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Coquette 1961 1964
2363-01A S-72 Art Gibson Checking Out
1964
2363-01B S-72 Art Gibson I Lost the Love of a Lifetime
1964







S-7 Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet

prob. 1963
SS-1724-01A Side 1-A





Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet The Sweetest Song



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Wish You Love



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Get a Kick out of You



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet The Days of Wine and Roses



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Your Love

SS-1724-01B Side 2-B





Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Medley



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Could Have Danced All Night



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Left My Heart in San Francisco



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet It's All for You



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Know the Feeling



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet She's the Only One



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I'm Going Home to Michigan



Joe Wagstaff and Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet It's All for You



Appendix O. The GMA Label (1964-1965)

The GMA label recorded mostly rock and roll. We wish we'd asked Seymour where the name came from—it could be no one is left who knows. We doubt that Seymour Schwartz was its sole proprietor. Many GMA labels give part production credit to "Stu," meaning Stu Black. He's the obvious candiate for Seymour's partner. Stu Black has been involved with studios in Chicago for some years. In 1959, he and Bill Hall opened Hall Recording Compnay, a small studio in the Loop (Cash Box, June 27, 1959, p. 29). When Sound Studio opened we still have to determine. GMA used a new house publisher, most commonly Fritzie—no sign of Heartbeat or Sunny except on GMA 3, which was probably not originally meant for release on the label (see below) GMA was affiliated with Sound Studio in Chicago for pretty much its entire run, as can be seen from many of the matrix numbers.

GMA is not covered in McGrath's R&B Indies. True, not much of its output was rhythm and blues, in any sense. Neither was much of Heartbeat's (and Heartbeat is covered; so is Sunny).

The first GMA, by The All-Niters, was reviewed in Cash Box on June 20, 1964 (p. 18). A delayed announcement of the new company in Billboard

("Schwartz Forms GMA Records," August 1, 1964, p. 12) mentions the All-Niters single and the Kasuals single as the first two releases. Neither group's name is spelled as it appeared on the labels.

Significantly, USA Records, Chicago-based and run by Jim Golden, was identified as the "national distributor." No more Galgano and Lawrence in Chicago, and no more Martin & Snyder in Dearborn. "Schwartz said his Heartbeat label had been inactive for several months but he may reactivate the label at some later date." He did, but not until 1973.

The All-Niters (one lineup was Greg Kobe, Jay Mihelich, Lloyd Hugo, and Don Hermanson; others came in and out of the band) were a rock group from Ontonagon, on the shore of Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. Or maybe the group just formed there; the individual members are said to have been from various places in the Upper Peninsula (again, see http://upgrooves.blogspot.com/2008/03/vigilantes-otherwise-known-as.html). As the Vigilantes, they released a single on Cuca (out of Sauk City, Wisconsin) in August 1961; a second single was announced but didn't materialize. Also as the Vigilantes, they released one single on the HerMi label ("A Superior Prod.") in 1962. (There were no other singles on HerMi.) As the Pastels, they got one single on Limelight, a Mercury subsidiary, in 1963, and as the Flagmen, they cut another—we would have to call the Limelight affiliation their brush with the big time. As the Playboys, they got a single on Heartbeat, and as The Lovers, they got one on Sunny.

As the All-Niters, they recorded GMA 1. It's worth noting that the Heartbeat and the Sunny were both instrumental records, whereas the GMA had vocals on both sides. And the GMA is overtly a rock and roll record. The All-Niters subsequently got 2 singles and an LP on the Erie label, out of Toledo, Ohio. The two singles (Erie released just three) were from 1965; the LP, Live at the Barn (which was in Sandusky, Ohio) is from 1966. The front cover of the LP shows a member of the band holding a tenor saxophone, and a performance of "Harlem Nocturne" was included.

On August 1, 1964, Cash Box also ran a brief notice (p. 25) on GMA, which was identified as Seymour Schwartz's label. It, too, noted the connection with USA Records; it, too, misspelled "All-Niters." GMA 1 was said to be selling in Detroit and showing promise in some East Coast markets. Seymour further announced he had signed Jimmy Ford, who had been on tour with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars.

This wasn't too different from the Billboard announcement. Jimmy Ford had led a jazz/R&B quartet in Chicago for some time. When they got the gig backing up acts on the 1964 Dick Clark tour, they effectively became a rock band. On that tour, then when they recorded for GMA, they were known as the Kasuals. Besides Ford (who played trumpet), the band then consisted of Mike Sistak (electric guitar), Wayne Erwin (electric bass), and Dwight Kalb (drums). We're not confident that we'll be able to provide the band personnel for most other GMAs.

Seymour must have been delighted to find a rock band whose leader played trumpet. There weren't many of those around.

Later that year, Brenda Lee's lawyer told Ford's group that her band was called the Casuals, so they became the Executives. After two editions of the Executives, Jimmy Ford became a founding member of The MOB, which formed early in 1966. (Some other members of the Executives moved on to a group called the Chicago Transit Authority—later, just Chicago. We're indebted to The MOB Story for anything we know about Jimmy Ford and the Kasuals. GMA 4 is so obscure that the site doesn't refer to it.)

We have not been able to find a GMA single reviewed in Billboard. Cash Box apparently quit after GMA 1.

Probably before the Kasuals single, there was GMA 3 by Mona Davis. No SS matrix numbers on the labels. "You Talked in Your Sleep" was credited to Seymour and published by Heartbeat. "That's My Life," co-credited to Mona Davis, was published by Sunny. These features make it look more like a Sunny than a GMA; was GMA 3 once meant to be Sunny S-3? The one other known single by Mona Davis has "That's My Life, Baby" on one side (very possibly the same song as on the GMA). It appeared on Maestro, a tiny Chicago label, at an unknown date.

About Bill Berry, no one seems to know a thing. However, the production credits on GMA 7 were to "Arlie and Arlie and Seymour," and the first two were Arlie Neaville and Arlie Miller, rockabilly artists who often worked together. (See http://oldwax.blogspot.com/2011/09/, specfically the September 15, 2011 entry).

Arlie Neaville, who was born in Champaign, Illinois, probably in the early 1940s, was originally a rockabilly artist. He began recording in 1961. His first single was on a label called Ping—which had no connection with the earlier Ping in Chicago. He did the first version of "Alone on a Star" (see the Walker Sisters date, below) for Fraternity in 1962. In 1964, besides producing (and, we assume, playing on) a couple of GMAs, he recorded a single for Limelight. Later that year, Arlie Neaville and Arlie Miller, who played in his band, set up a home studio in Danville, Illinois. Beginning in 1965, Neaville released a series of records on his own Milky Way label under the name Dean Carter. In 1967 and 1968 Carter was working on the West Coast. On returning to the Midwest he reverted to his real name. In the early 1970s, he became a gospel musician, and his later recordings were of religious music.

Bobby Roberts and the Ravons were a group orginally from DeKalb, Illinois, where they formed in 1963. According to Rate Your Music, the group consisted of Bob Stedman (electric bass, lead vocal), Steve Skinder (electric guitar), Steve Christon (electric guitar), Bill Jamison (organ), and Alan Berk at the drums. All four of their releases were on GMA (10, 13, 14, and one of the 15s). The group broke up in 1966. (See also https://www.rocky-52.net/chanteursr/roberts_bobby_2.htm) Tracks from the Ravons' GMA singles are included in such collections as Garage Punk Unknowns Vol. 1 and Quagmire, Vol. 2: Sixties Punk in the USA!. We doubt that Seymour Schwartz added these LPs to his archives.

We can date the release of GMA 10, the Ravons' first, to October 1964. Not because of any publicity on the GMA… Cameo Records out of Philadelphia picked it up, then Cash Box reviewed the Cameo release (October 31, 1964, p. 12). Cameo 339, which reversed the side designations, retained the GMA production credits to "Seymour and Stu." As had happened with the Dot pickup from Heartbeat, Cameo did not license anything else from GMA.

The next MOA convention took place in Chicago that same month. Jay-Jay was there again. GMA didn't book a booth.

The last few GMAs (11 through 15, reusing the final release number for some reason) may have stretched into the early months of 1965. Or they may not have. More documentation would be nice.

Don Hinton was a rockabilly performer whose only previous release had been cut in Memphis for Phillips International (it came out in May 1960; see http://rcs-discography.com/rcs/artist.php?key=hint1000).

The SS numbers suggest that Hinton on GMA 11 promptly followed the Ravons on GMA 10. We do not claim great skill at decrypting Sound Studio matrix numbers, but we will note that a single by The Jokers (Destination 514, recorded at Sound Studio, released October 1965), carries matrix numbers M-5408-01A and M-5408-01B (see Chris Bishop, "The Jokers," Garage Hangover, posted May 12, 2016. Destination was a side project of Jim Golden of USA Records. The matrix counter seems to have jumped by over 2000 places, between October 1964 and October 1965. If that's right, then it's likely all remaining GMAs were out by the end of 1964.

The Chessmen (GMA 12) were responsible for two surf music instrumentals. Did Seymour ever produce surf music again? This may be the same group that put out a single on Phalanx, out of Portage, Michigan, in 1966.

About The Walker Sisters we also know nothing. We don't even know why their GMA 15 ended up competing with the Ravons' GMA 15. We can say that the Walker Sisters' session was produced by Seymour and Stu and one of the tunes was published by Fritzie. We can say that the recording was done at Sound Studio, even though, uniquely among GMAs, the record carries an R series number from RCA Victor Custom Pressings. We can also report that both songs were by "Arlie and Arlie" (to be exact, by Miller-Neaville and Neaville-Miller). And we can say that one of the songs had first been recorded by Arlie Neaville in 1962 (and was still attached to Fraternity Records' house publisher). If the Walker Sisters 45 was not just mastered and pressed in 1964, but released in 1964, the same probably goes for all previous GMAs.

GMA (probably inactive by that time) and Sunny (surely inactive) were listed in the Cash Box annual directory for August 14, 1965 (pp. 12, 50). Both were said to be housed at 230 North Michigan. We doubt Seymour Schwartz remained with any record company after his Soma deal (announced in June 1965; see below). For that matter, we don't how far into 1965 GMA was a going concern. No GMA releases have been reported from the second half of 1965, nor any from 1966.

For completeness we've listed two GMA 45s from 1967. Seymour was on the road selling instruments. The two singles from 1967 carry no release numbers—SS matrix numbers only. One of the groups, The Five Emprees, came from Benton Harbor, Michigan; their session was produced and recorded by Stu Black (see https://www.michiganrockandrolllegends.com/mrrl-hall-of-fame/220-five-emprees). The Emprees'd had a hit in 1965, for a small label in Michigan, but got nowhere with this try. The Sixth Generation single, which is by another group from Michigan, and was also recorded by Stu Black, plays the same track on both sides.


Matrix GMA # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
SS-2488-01A 1-A The All-Niters You Talk Too Much 1964 May 1964
SS-2488-01B 1-B The All-Niters Summertime Blues 1964 May 1964













3-A Mona Davis You Talked in Your Sleep


3-B Mona Davis That's My Life


4-A The Kasuals Just Call My Name 1964 July 1964

4-B The Kasuals Listen to the Rain 1964 July 1964

5-A Jimmie Lee The Gunman


5-B Jimmie Lee Notes in School


6-A Emeralds Just Love Me


6-B Emeralds Always Be True

SS-2976-01A 7-A Bill Berry Heavenly Angel

SS-2976-01B 7-B Bill Berry I Feel Thunder





































SS-3035-01A 10-A
Cameo 339-B
Bobby Roberts and Ravons I'm in Love Again 1964 October 1964
SS-3035-01B 10-B
Cameo 339-A
Bobby Roberts and Ravons How Can I Make Her Mine 1964 October 1964
SS-3051-01A 11-A Don Hinton Blue Suede Shoes 1964 1964
SS-3051-01B 11-B Don Hinton The Way You Are Tonight 1964 1964
3309-1 12 The Chessmen Glory Be!
1965
3309-2 12 The Chessmen Touchdown!
1965

13 The Ravons Sweet Little Girl


13 The Ravons I Want You to Be


14 The Ravons I'll Never Leave You


14 The Ravons Little Flirt

3348-01 15 Bobby Roberts and The Ravons Jenny, Jenny
1965
3348-02 15 Bobby Roberts and The Ravons Red Hot
1965
RK5M-6711 15A The Walker Sisters I'll Love You Just the Same 1964 1964
RK5M-6712 15B The Walker Sisters Alone on a Star 1964 1964












SS-9859-01A
The Five Emprees Shake
1967
SS-9859-01B
The Five Emprees I'm in Love
1967
SS-10925-01
Sixth Generation This Is the Time
May 1967
SS-10925-01
Sixth Generation This Is the Time
May 1967

Appendix P. A Brief Visit to Halifax (1964)

Seymour made a fleeting appearance on a label called Halifax. It appears the label was named after one Hal Faktor. We can tell from the RCA Victor Custom Pressing numbers on its singles that Halifax was in business up to some date in 1964. We'd thought it started in 1963, but a Record Distributors ad from July 30, 1960 (Cash Box, p. 79) already mentions Halifax among the labels distributed. An ad from August 5, 1961 (Cash Box, p. 26), after Record Distributors picked Heartbeat up again, lists Halifax and Heartbeat. However, the 45 rpm labels that we have seen for Halifax HX 101 and 102 show P prefixes (1963) from RCA Victor. Meanwhile Halifax HX 105 and 106show R prefixes (1964) from RCA Victor. Some work still needs doing here. There were most likely 6 45-rpm releases on the label (it also did some "Little LPs"). One 45 was by Seymour; it looked like a Heartbeat product getting a post-Heartbeat release. The street address on the labels was 4135 Armitage, same as Record Distributors.

In 1964, Seymour could put his own tracks out on Sunny, until he closed it. He couldn't put them out on GMA (see previous entry). It was a rock and roll label; any credits to Seymour on GMA 45s are for producing or co-producing. It appears his Halifax was released somewhere in the middle of his tenure with GMA. Besides, he might have felt he owed Galgano and Lawrence something after shoving them aside for Martin and Snyder.

We are showing just the Seymour release here, since there is nothing definite to connect him or Heartbeat with anything else on Halifax. "My Funny Valentine" was designated as Side 1 and "Sleepytime" [sic] as Side 2. Neither was released earlier on Heartbeat (or on Argo), and the timings are noticeably longer than the 2 minutes flat that Heartbeat hewed to, so we've put 1964 as the year they were recorded.

There is a further possible connection between Heartbeat and Halifax. Halifax had a house organist named Jerry Mendelson (at least he is named on HX 101 and 105; 102 gives no artist's name on either side). Heartbeat previously had someone who played "The Happy Organ." Of course this might have been a different performer—maybe someone can enlighten us.

Amazingly, Halifax 106 was advertised in Cash Box (October 17, 1964, p. 70). Even more amazingly, it was reviewed in Cash Box (October 24, p. 18). Somebody thought the record could do for Halifax what H7 or H-36 or HBR-2 or H-27 had once done for Heartbeat. Unfortunately, somebody was wrong; to our knowledge, 106 was the last single on Halifax.


Matrix Halifax # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year
RK4M-2853 HX-106
883H-2853
Seymour's Heartbeat Trumpet My Funny Valentine 1964 October 1964
RK4M-2854 HX-106
883H-2853
Seymour's Heartbeat Trumpet When It's Sleepytime Down South (The Louis Armstrong Theme) 1964 October 1964

Appendix Q. The Soma License (1965)


Soma was a regional independent with home offices in Minneapolis. We used to puzzle over the company name, but now we know who ran it… Soma had been in business for about a decade. Jazz fans might have heard of the label because it picked up Dixieland sides by Doc Evans from another Minneapolis-based company, and it released a little more jazz on its own. Most of Soma's product, however, was polka, pop, or (as the market grew) rock and roll.

In 1965, Soma decided to go after the jukebox market, and bought up material from other labels for this purpose. Amos Heilicher, president of Soma, told Billboard (Nick Biro, "Heilicher's Soma Label to Make Juke Box Disks," June 5, 1965, p. 43) that his company was going into stereo 45s and "Little LPs" for the juke box trade. He had bought the Somerset label with jukebox material in mind, and for similar purposes had obtained 24 Heartbeat Trumpet sides from Seymour Schwartz (Billboard said he'd bought the entire catalogue, but there is no evidence of this, and the article did correctly say that 12 singles were planned). Heilicher was pushing to get all of this recently acquired material out by the fall.

Soma duly opened a "Heartbeat series" for the 24 Heartbeat Trumpet sides. Soma wanted stereo material and it seems likely all had been recorded in stereo, in 1960 or later. These would be neatly parceled into 2 12-inch LPs with 12 tracks each, 12 45-rpm singles, and four 33 1/3-rpm EPs of 6 tracks apiece. We still need to find out how many "Little LPs" Seymour managed to release on Heartbeat…but we know that Soma gave him some. The Soma releases helped to keep Seymour Schwartz's music in circulation, in a territory where there was a little buyer interest. How well they sold is hard to know.

Billboard reported the two Seymour LPs on Soma as received on October 2, 1965 (p. 43), and reviewed them both on October 16, 1965 (p. 50, Moderate Sales Potential).


Matrix Soma # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year

9100 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet When Day Is Done
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet If I Had You
1965

9101 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Someone to Watch over Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Over the Rainbow
1965
S-5216A 9102 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965
5-5216B
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet These Foolish Things
1965
5-5217A 9103 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet September Song
1965
5-5217B
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Tenderly
1965

9104 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet It Had to Be You
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Margie
1965
5-5219A 9105 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet After You're [sic] Gone
1965
5-5219B
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Always
1965
5-5220A 9106 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965
5-5220B
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Danny Boy
1965

9107 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Want a Girl (Just like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad)
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Wonderful One
1965

9108 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Japanese Sandman
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Buddy 1961 1965

9109 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Alexander's Ragtime Band
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena 1961 1965

9110 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Some of These Days 1958 1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Melancholy Baby
1965
5-5225A 9111 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Coquette
1965
5-5225B
Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Isle of Capri
1965







S7-100 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet September Song and Other Golden Trumpet Hits
1965

Side A Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet When Day Is Done
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet If I Had You
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Over the Rainbow
1965

Side B Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Someone to Watch over Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet These Foolish Things
1965

S7-101 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet

1965





1965





1965





1965





1965





1965





1965

S7-102 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet

1965

Side A Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Some of These Days
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Melancholy Baby
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Alexander's Ragtime Band
1965

Side B Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Japanese Sandman
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Buddy
1965

S7-103 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena [sic] and Other Golden Trumpet Hits
1965
S-5350A Side A Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Want a Girl (Just like the Girl who Married Dear Old Dad)
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Wonderful One
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965
S-5350B Side B Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Danny Boy
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet After You're [sic] Gone
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Always
1965







SMG1243 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet September Song and Other Golden Trumpet Hits
October 1965

Side 1 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet When Day Is Done
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet If I Had You
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Someone to Watch over Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Over the Rainbow
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet These Foolish Things
1965

Side 2 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Coquette
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Isle of Capri
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet It Had to Be You
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Margie
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet September Song
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Tenderly
1965







SMG1244 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena and Other Golden Trumpet Hits
October 1965
55-5346A Side 1 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Some of These Days
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Melancholy Baby
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Alexander's Ragtime Band
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Marie Elena
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Japanese Sandman
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Buddy
1965
55-5346B Side 2 Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet I Want a Girl (Just like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad)
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet My Wonderful One
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Somebody Loves Me
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Danny Boy
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet After You're [sic] Gone
1965


Seymour and His Heartbeat Trumpet Always
1965

Appendix R. Sunny in Gary, Indiana (1970-1972)


Seymour Schwartz had been away for five years before he tried the record business again. The address on all latter-day Sunny 45s is 4839 South Broadway, in Gary, Indiana. Just knowing that led us to infer a connection with bandleader and sometime record company proprietor Bud Pressner. In fact, there were two Bud Pressner releases on Sunny, and at least one more 45 with Pressner getting the production credit. Besides, Cash Box (December 4, 1971, p. 22) identified Pressner as the company's vice-president and recording engineer. Much of the material on this Sunny label was reissued, but at least a couple of post-Heartbeat recordings by Seymour were included, along with one by Buddy Charles. The TM prefix to some matrix numbers belonged to Ter-Mar, the last Chess Records studio (after 2120 South Michigan Avenue). The TMs seem to indicate mastering and pressing rather than recording, as many of the Sunny releases were reissues and after a while the company had its own studio in Gary.

Sunny got only sporadic attention from the trades. It probably opened in June 1970; the article in Cash Box ("Sunny Label into Top 40," December 4, 1971, p. 22) said Schwartz and Pressner had opened the company "about a year and a half ago," with an initial focus on commercials and (as Heartbeat once had) on sales to juke box operators. More recently, Pressner had opened the studio. An earlier article in Billboard ("Jukebox Push for Sunny Co. Oldie Medleys," January 16, 1971, pp. 46, 49) faithfully communicated the op-oriented strategy, further noting that the studio had been built at a cost of $150,000. Two Ton Baker was cited as a major contributor. The new releases mentioned in the piece were Baker's Eddy Howard and Ted Lewis medleys (Sunny S516) and Seymour's reissue of his old Heartbeat/Dot pairing, "Strippers' Sugar Blues" b/w "You Made Me Love You" (S517). The company had put out half of its total single releases in around 6 months.

The Billboard article let readers know that Schwartz and Pressner "want to get into country product too." S-519 by Larry Dale, S-520 by Seymour, and S-522 by Bud Pressner would all contain "country product."

The added publicity in Cash Box, nearly a year later, was on account of a recent merger with Canterbury Productions and Farag Music, which was intended to lead to ventures in Top 40, rock, and R&B. The new release at the time of the December 1971 Cash Box article was Sunny S-525, by a group called O'Henry. There couldn't have been many such ventures: the last Sunny single would be S-531.

Schwartz thought highly enough of Georgia Drake to reissue her 1961 and 1962 recordings of "Misirlou" and "Hava Nagila" on this second go-round. By this time, Drake was a world traveler, with a regular gig each year at the Hilton in Athens, and appearances on Greek television. In 1971, Drake got a whole LP—in Greece, on a label called Panivar (PA 5006). It was titled Chryso Mou Asteri. Her stage name proved awkward for modern Greek orthography: it transliterated as Tzortzia Ntreik. Her real name would have been easier. The LP featured renditions of "Misirlou," "Never on Sunday," "Paradise," and "Hava Nagila," all of which she'd done for Heartbeat. Panivar also issued two singles off the album. Her Heartbeats and the Panivars appear to have been the sum total of her commercial recordings.

The biggest item on the new Sunny, however, was a retrospective LP, A Sentimental Journey with Two Ton Baker, released as Sunny 5001. We are indebted to Dick Baker's website, twotonbaker.com, for parsing the track list on each side of the LP. There were so many medleys that it's hard to know where one ended and the next began..

It's Al Jolson Time and It's George M. Cohan Time, on Sunny 513 by Two Ton Baker, were obviously also medleys (not reissued on the LP). We don't know what the tunes were.


Matrix Sunny # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year

501 Shay Torrent Blue Skirt Waltz
1970

501 Shay Torrent Beer Barrel Polka
1970

SR-502-A Shay Torrent | His Happy Organ Angry
1970

SR-502-B Shay Torrent | His Happy Organ Heart of My Heart
1970













504 Two Ton Baker Las Vegas
1970

504 Two Ton Baker When My Sugar Walks down the Street
1970
TM 4165 SR-505-A Shay Torrent (And His Happy Organ) 12th Street Rag 1960 1970
TM 4166 SR-505-B Shay Torrent (And His Happy Organ) It Happened in Monterrey 1960 1970
TM 4167 SR-506-A Shay Torrent (And His Happy Organ) Amapola
1970
TM 4164 SR-506-B Shay Torrent (And His Happy Organ) Ramona
1970

SR-507-A Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) It Had to Be You
1970

SR-507-B Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) My Blue Heaven
1970
TM-4358 508 Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) Goodnite Sweetheart
1970
TM-4359 508 Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) I'll See You in My Dreams
1970
TM-4352 509 Jim McCann at the Organ Sing Along Songs Part I | Ballin' the Jack |
Whispering | When You're Smiling

1970
TM-4355 509 Jim McCann at the Organ Sing Along Songs Part II | Darktown Strutter's Ball |
You Are My Sunshine | I Can't Give You Anything but Love

1970

510 Jim McCann at the Organ

1970

510 Jim McCann at the Organ

1970
TM 4534 S-511 Georgia Drake Hava Nagila 1962 1970
TM 4535 S-511 Georgia Drake Misirlou 1961 1970
TM 4536 S-512 Buddy Charles With Seymour's Heartbeat Trumpet My Golden Horn
1970
TM 4537 S-512 Buddy Charles As Time Goes By
1970

513 Two Ton Baker It's Al Jolson Time
1970

513 Two Ton Baker It's George M. Cohan Time
1970

514 Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) Stormy Weather
1970

514 Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) Misty
1970

S515—A "Two Ton" Baker (The Music Maker) Sentimental Journey
1970

S515—B "Two Ton" Baker (The Music Maker)" Right On!
1970

S516A "Two Ton" Baker It's Eddy Howard Time: If I Knew Then | Careless
December 1970

S516B "Two Ton" Baker" It's Ted Lewis Time: Me and My Shadow | When My Baby Smiles at Me
December 1970

S517A "Seymour" (The Heartbeat Trumpet) "Strippers" Sugar Blues 1962 December 1970

S517B "Seymour" (The Heartbeat Trumpet) You Made Me Love You 1962 December 1970

S-518-A "Two Ton" Baker The Party's Over
March 1971

S-518-B "Two Ton" Baker Silver Dollar | You're Nobody 'till Somebody Loves You
March 1971

S-519-A Larry Dale Walkin [sic] the Floor over You


S-519-B Larry Dale Detour


S-520-A "Seymour" (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Blueberry Hill 1962

S-520-B "Seymour" (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Hey Good Lookin'


S521 Buddy Pressner Chee-Chee
1971

S521 Buddy Pressner The Impossible Dream
1971

S522 A Buddy Pressner and His Orchestra Yakety Sax
1971

S522 B Buddy Pressner and His Orchestra | Stevie Rann (Vocalist) I Will Wait for You
1971

S-523A "Two Ton" Baker "The Music Maker" China Town
1971

S-523B "Two Ton" Baker "The Music Maker" Down Yonder
1971

524 Seymour I Ain't Got Nobody


524 Seymour Margie 1960

S-525-A (S) O'Henry Somebody Up There Likes You
December 1971

S-525-B (S) O'Henry She Sang to Me
December 1971

S-526-A Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) It's Impossible


S-526-B Seymour (His Heartbeat Trumpet) Al Di La














S528-A Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) And "Two Ton" Baker (The Music Maker) South 1963

S528-B Seymour (The Heartbeat Trumpet) And "Two Ton" Baker (The Music Maker) Makin' Whoopee 1963













S-530-A Jim Lohman's Harmonikings "The Royalty of Sound" Canadian Sunset


S-530-B Jim Lohman's Harmonikings "The Royalty of Sound" Ebb Tide


S-531-A "Seymour" (The Heartbeat Trumpet) with Chimes and Organ 1. Jingle Bells 2. O, Come All Ye Faithful 3. Deck the Halls October or November 1959

S-531-B "Seymour" (The Heartbeat Trumpet) with Chimes and Organ 1. O Tannenbaum 2. The First Noel 3. Silent Night October or November 1959







5001
A Sentimental Journey with Two Ton Baker
1972

S-5001-A





Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Sentimental Journey









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Love Medley:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) I Can't Give You Anything but Love



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) My Blue Heaven



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Sweet Georgia Brown



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) It's Only a Shanty in Old Shanty Town



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Alexander's Rag Time Band



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) I'm a Lonely Little Petunia



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Too Fat Polka



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) If I Could Be with You



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Lazy River









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Medley:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Red Roses for a Blue Lady



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) One Dozen Roses



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Anytime


S-5001-B





Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Medley:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) For Me and My Gal



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Carolina in the Morning



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Oh You Beautful Doll









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Medley:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Pretty Baby



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) I Don't Know Why



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Honey



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) You Made Me Love You









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Medley:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Silver Dollar



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Eddy Howard Time:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) If I Knew Then



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Careless









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Ted Lewis Time:



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Me and My Shadow



Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Wnen My Baby Smiles at Me









Two Ton Baker (The Music Maker) Satin Doll


Appendix S. The Heartbeat HB Series (1973)


The last Heartbeat series follows the closure of Sunny, though the labels might have been printed at the same company. The name of a mysterious group, the Watergate Guzzlers, gives us a rough idea of when the new Heartbeat was in operation. Well, maybe the Guzzlers weren't that mysterious: "Herr Colonel Bogie" was composed by "Baker" and "Schwartz." To be precise, Billboard announced the relaunch of Heartbeat on January 13, 1973 (p. 38). The company was said to be based in Glenview, Illinois (no address was given on the labels; did Seymour run it out of his house?). As with Sunny, much of the material was reissued.

According to the Billboard article ("Heartbeat Revived to Plug Boxes"), Seymour was aiming the company's output directly at jukeboxes, and using one-stops and distributors to get his singles onto "MOR outlets." The article mentioned the first batch of releases: HB-1, credited to Shay Torrent (the article just calls it an "organ instrumental," and the original release was under Roy Graham's name, not Torrent's); HB-2, misrendered H-Z on the labels, by Seymour; and HB-3, credited to Two Ton Baker (Art Walunas wasn't named on it, though maybe he should have been). The Sunny label was already forgotten: the article said Seymour's recent releases had been on "Sony."


Matrix Heartbeat # Artist Title Recording Year Release Year

H-1A Shay Torrent (At the Golden Organ) Rock-A-Boogie
January 1973

H-1B Shay Torrent (At the Golden Organ) Lover's Waltz
January 1973

H-Z-A Seymour La Vie en Rose
January 1973

H-Z-B Seymour Darktown Strutter's Ball
January 1973

HB-3A "Two Ton" Baker [sic] The Original! No Beer in Heaven
January 1973

HB-3B "Two Ton"" Baker [sic] Lawrence Welk Polka
January 1973

HB-4A Seymour The Original! Peg o' My Heart February 1958

HB-4B Seymour My Wild Irish Rose - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling 1958

HB-5A "Two Ton" Baker - Piano | Seymour - Trumpet Big Daddy Piano


HB-5B "Two Ton" Baker Featuring Ray Barlow on Banjo" Pingpong Banjo


HB-6-A Seymour -Trumpet and Harold Turner -Organ- Always 1960

HB-6-B Seymour -Trumpet and Harold Turner -Organ- I Love You Truly 1958













HB-8-1 The Golden Banjos with Jay Elkins And the Duel Goes On!


HB-8-2 The Golden Banjos with Jay Elkins Grandfather's Clock


HB-9-1 Seymour Trumpet | "Two Ton" Baker Organ My Wonderful Mother


HB-9-2 "Two Ton" Baker" Mother of Mine


HB-10-1 The Watergate Guzzlers Herr Colonel Bogie


HB-10-2 The Watergate Guzzlers Lillie Marlene














HB-12-1 "Two Ton" Baker "The Music Maker" Scotch and Soda


HB-12-2 "Two Ton" Baker "The Music Maker" St. James Infimary


H-13-1 Stardust Seymour- Trumpet and Harold Turner- Organ 1962

H-13-2 My Blue Heaven Seymour- Trumpet and Harold Turner- Organ 1958

HB-14-1 Seymour-Trumpet | Harold Turner-Organ Autumn Leaves 1961

HB-14-2 Seymour-Trumpet | Harold Turner-Organ September Song 1962

On May 4, 1975, Dick Baker collapsed at his home in a Chicago suburb, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital. He was 59 years old. Two Ton Baker had played a key role in the Heartbeat label starting in 1960; his new records and reissues had been crucial to both the latter-day Sunny and the latter-day Heartbeat. Seymour Schwartz wouldn't try another record company without him.


After a long career singing in North and South America, and in Greece, Georgia Drake died in Chicago on October 19, 2007 (her obituary ran in the Chicago Tribune on October 22). Her Heartbeats (with one reissue on Sunny) were her only American records.


Acknowledgments

Our sources on Seymour Schwartz and his record labels: Bob Koester, "Delmark: 45 years of Jazz and Blues," Jazz Institute of Chicago; Interview with Koester by Robert Pruter; Michael Hirsley, "Music Stirs a Jewish Soul," Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1988 (Chicagoland section, p. 10); Interviews with Seymour Schwartz by Robert Campbell (October 16, 2003 and October 25, 2005); Interviews with Seymour Schwartz by Steve Zalusky (October 17 and 19, 2005; we are also indebted to Zalusky for information about the origins of the "Go Go Sox" slogan); Steve Zalusky, "Lost White Sox jazz anthem a treasure," Arlington, Illinois Daily Herald, October 21, 2005; email communication from David Miller, October 10, 2008. We are indebted to Jay Mihelich of Records and More (Muskegon, Michigan; he was a member of a group that recorded for GMA) for further information about the Heartbeat label; to Rob Finch (emails of February 3 and 4, 2012) for a copy of a note that Seymour packaged with a few copies of his first Heartbeat release in 1956; and to Dick Baker (not related to Two Ton) for information on various Heartbeat and Sunny recordings featuring the singer. Dick Baker's Two Ton Baker website (twotonbaker.com) is the source on the performer. Steve Pennot provided the June 29, 1955 issue of Down Beat and Dan Ferone contributed scans of 2 rare Seymour 78s, as well as scans of the covers of Lurlean Hunter's first LP for RCA Victor, and scans of some Heartbeat labels. Thomas "Tiaz" Palmer (email communications, April 11 and May 5, 2009) provided us with some details about Kenny Mann's later career; Kenny Mann's obituary appeared in the Pasadena Star-News on January 1, 2009. Michel Ruppli, The Chess Labels: A Discography, Volume 1 (Greenwood Press, 1983) provided the matrix numbers that Argo assigned in 1959 to Heartbeat Trumpet tracks that Seymour had recorded in 1958.


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