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"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Before It Was Soul: The Greatest R&B Records You Never Heard (1942-1957)

Welcome to my new series


In nearly nine years of blogging, this is the
first time I am devoting considerable time
and attention to one of my favorite periods
and favorite styles of music, the Rhythm
and Blues and black doo-wop recordings
of the 40s and 50s. I was in my twenties
when I first got interested in this type of
 music, much of it produced years before
I was born, and I had a decent collection
of vinyl albums covering the genre. I am
excited to share with you in this series
some of my favorite recordings from
"the dawn of doo-wop."

In an article I read recently I was surprised
to learn how often the name of Billboard's
black music chart has changed over the
years to reflect changes in the industry
and record buying and listening habits.
Take a moment to click here for that
Wiki page, then scroll down to the
History chapter and view the chart.

The scope of this series is limited to
records that appeared on the three
earliest black charts:

(October 1942 – February 1945)

(February 1945 – June 1949)

(June 1949 – October 1958)

In this modern age we are used to listening
to state-of-the-art digital sound. A hot trend
lately is the house/club remix which adds
a heavy bass beat and other enhancements
to old recordings to "bring them up to date."
In this series I will do the opposite. I want
you to hear the authentic sound of the period,
the span of years from the early 40s to late
50s. Whenever possible, I will post videos
from uploaders who have taken the music
directly from the original vinyl 45s or 78s.
Vinyl records have a warmer, richer, more
organic sound than that which can be found
on compact discs and other digital sources.
Vinyl "breathes." You can hear the difference
and most collectors and vintage music lovers
demand it. As you listen to the recordings in
this series, some made 70+ years ago, you
will at times be aware of distortion and other
flaws. Try to disregard them. When I present
rap or heavy metal I urge you to listen with
"a different set of ears." That is what I am
asking you to do in this series. Let this
old music reach you. Listen to it
with your heart and soul.

Every post in this series will contain 6 songs
starting with an earlier recording from the 40s
and moving forward in time through the other
five recordings. Above every posted artist you
will see the name of the Billboard black chart
in use at the time of the record's release.

Unless otherwise indicated, the chart positions
listed are taken from Billboard's black record
charts, not the Pop chart. The vast majority
of the recordings in this series appeared
only on the black chart.

(October 1942 – February 1945)



Louis Jordan was by far the #1 R&B artist of
the 1940s, the later years of the Swing era.
Jordan, a singer, songwriter, sax player and
bandleader, was very popular with both black
and white audiences. Nicknamed "King of the
Jukebox" Jordan, along with his R&B jazz band
Tympany Five, logged a record 113 weeks at
the #1 spot on Billboard's R&B charts which
were established in 1942 in part to reflect and
document the enormous polularity of Jordan
and his innovative, often humorous style.
Let's kick off the series with Jordan's first
charting single, "I'm Gonna Leave You
On the Outskirts of Town," a hit from
the WWII years... the fall of 1942.

"I'm Gonna Leave You
On the Outskirts of Town"
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
(Nov. 1942, highest chart pos. #3)

(February 1945 – June 1949)


'Bama born, Chitown raised jazz-blues great
Dinah Washington is the 10th highest ranked
R&B recording artist of the 40s and 4th ranked
of the 50s. I could listen to Dinah's lovely voice
all day every day. One of the diva's greatest
recordings is a late 40s cover of "It's Too
Soon To Know," originally waxed by the
vocal group the Orioles and later turned
into a top 5 hit by crooner Pat Boone.

"It's Too Soon To Know"
Dinah Washington (Dec. 1948,
highest chart pos. #2)

(June 1949 – October 1958)


From Baltimore, home of the pro baseball team
and the above mentioned Orioles singing group,
came another excellent R&B act, the Cardinals.
Specializing in doo-wop ballads, the Cardinals
waxed some of the best slow dance numbers
of the early to mid 50s. Listen now to the
Cardinals' top 10 hit single from the
fall of 1951, "Shouldn't I Know?"

"Shouldn't I Know?"
The Cardinals (Oct. 1951,
highest chart pos. #7)

Flip the platter and you have the redbirds'
bluesy plea "Please Don't Leave Me."

"Please Don't Leave Me"
The Cardinals (Oct. 1951,
B side of "Shouldn't I Know")

(June 1949 – October 1958)


The Cardinals were promoted by Atlantic
Records, but they never achieved the level
of success enjoyed by their label mates,
the Clovers, one of the hottest selling
acts of the 50s. Seems record buyers
got a kick out of the Washington D.C.
group's lighthearted style. Many of
the Clovers' songs dealt with adult
subjects like partying, drinking
and chasing women. From the
Christmas season of 1952,
here's a great example -
"Hey Miss Fannie."

"Hey Miss Fannie" - The Clovers
(Dec. 1952, highest chart pos. #2)

(June 1949 – October 1958)


In sharp contrast to the rascally Clovers,
here is a mellow Manhattan group called
the Harptones. Led by Winnie Winfield,
the Harptones remained a ballad group
throughout their career, never bothering
to experiment with jump records or the
new rock 'n' roll style that other groups
were embracing. Prized by collectors,
the Harptones' single "My Memories
Of You," released in early 1954 on
the Bruce label, failed to chart,
but is today considered to be
a 50s vocal group classic.

"My Memories of You" - The Harptones
(early 1954, uncharted)

I hope you enjoyed listening

to these R&B doo-wop relics.

Stay tuned for volume 2 of


coming your way soon.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Kathryn AndersonApril 6, 2017 at 3:24 AM

    Wow— this is quite a change from your last post! lol The only artist I had heard of is Dinah Washington— but they are all great. I enjoyed traveling back in time 60-70 years and listening to music made by black singers and groups in the middle of the 20th century. It is simply amazing to note the differences between the songs in this post and the intimidating rap you presented last week!

    If I am not mistaken you and your friend Ron did a series similar to this one a few years ago. Am I correct?

    I enjoyed all six songs— the fast ones as well as the slow ones— especially Dinah Washington’s ballad— Shouldn’t I Know by the Cardinals— and Memories of You— the last one by the Harp Tones. Miss Fanny is also fun song. I am looking forward to the other volumes of your new series!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for leading off the discussion as I unveil yet another new series... this one featuring sounds from "the dawn of doo-wop."

      I’m happy to find out that you enjoyed this first set of recordings, even though most of them were released before you were born. I’m delighted to know that your ears match mine on Dinah Washington. You will be hearing more from Dinah later in the series.

      You have a good memory, dearie. A few years back, Dell Rat Ron and I presented a 10-part series called Dueling Doo-Wops. However, most of the music in that series was more recent than the music in this series. As I recall, the records included in that series were released from the mid 50s until the end of 1963 when the Beatles era began. That series also included white groups. This series concentrates on black artists that landed records on the black charts from 1942 to 1957 and brings you recordings that were never posted on SDMM before.

      Yessum, in 1959, a year that is slightly beyond the scope of this series, Dinah Washington had a big hit with the song “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes.” In this case, we could say “What a diff’rence a week makes,” because the old R&B, doo-wop and jazz recordings in this post are about as different from modern gangsta rap as you can get.

      I’m glad you had fun, Kathryn, and thank you once again for sharing your thoughts about the music in this post and my new series!

  2. I'm glad I stopped by. I'll be listening all morning as I visit everyone. Good music never goes bad.

    1. Hi, Ann, and welcome back to SDMM!

      I remember you and I first connecting close to a year ago. It is nice to see you again!

      I'm happy to know that you like the R&B/doo-wop sounds in this post. It's the oldest music I have ever presented.

      Thanks again for coming, Ann. I hope to see you back here again soon!

  3. Tom,

    I appreciate you hopping over for today's Art Sketching Through the Alphabet with the letter "E" (elephant, eagle, elk) and for leaving the live cam link for the eagle's nest in PA. I tried watching but all I got was a still picture. I reckon they are swamped with Internet traffic. I'll try again later.

    All of today's mewsic is really nice. I really enjoy this style. Sirius radio used to have 40s station that we liked listening to but I think it's no longer aired. I didn't get to listen to it much but DH did and it was one of his favorites. I love this vintage sound and it's a nice break from my routine mewsic taste.

    I really like the opening sax, soft brushing sound of the drums, strum of a cello (I assume that's what I'm hearing) and a bit of ivory in "I'm Going to Leave You". Dinah Washington has such an old, romantic flavor with her vocals and instrumental arrangement. It's interesting the change in mewsic with only a couple years separating your late 40s and early 50s recordings. When I think of the 50s, my mind conjures The Cardinals and Harptones style of mewsic most often but I know jump mewsic was hip and "Hey Miss Fannie" probably got the kids to their socked feet. I think I actually remember this song title but I don't think I ever heard it before now.

    This is a great first part in your series and I can't wait for your next installment, Before It Was Soul. Thanks for sharing the fun through mewsic history and song. Have a great day, my friend!

    1. Howdy, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for visiting and for leaving such a long and thoughtful comment on your busy A-Z day. I appreciate it!

      Yessum, that eagle cam tends to freeze up. I'm sure it is viewed by many thousands of people each day so you just need to keep trying. It's rather addictive. When I watched the parent bird feeding the young yesterday I found it hard to break away.

      I'm pleased to know that you enjoyed this lineup of vintage artists and recordings. It's nice to cleanse the palate occasionally, give ourselves a break from the bass thumping modern sounds and listen to recordings from a period in history when orchestras and jazz combos backed singers and jazz and swing arrangements were popular. You're right. You can hear the difference as you progress through the years from the early 40s to the mid 50s. That's why every post in this series will start with the earliest recording, something from the 40s, and the remaining songs will be posted in chronological order taking you forward in time through the 50s. There were black vocal groups in the 40s such as the Mills Brothers, the Ink Spots, the Delta Rhythm Boys, the Four Tunes and the Ravens, but much of their 40s output had a white pop sound. It wasn't until groups like the Orioles, Dominoes, Robins and Drifters came along that you began to hear the true rhythm and blues sound - sweet, soulful ballads and up tempo "jump" songs - styles that popular black vocal groups continued to perform throughout the 50s.

      You might be thinking of another R&B "Fannie" song - "Fannie Mae" by Buster Brown:

      I am pleased to entertain you with these vintage tunes, Cathy. Thanks again for making time for me during your hectic day. I hope your hearing has improved and that DH is feeling better, too. I'll see you tomorrow, dear friend!

    2. Tom,

      Thanks for visiting today's edition of A2Z. I hadn't really thought about earlier sound of black artists as white pop but that's an excellent way to describe it, not that it's bad and I actually enjoy it. However, the introduction of many of the 50s artists you mentioned definitely shined with their sometimes mellow and other times sock-hop tunes. Somewhere along the line in recent history black artist switched to rap style mewsic and I feel like they are doing a terrible disservice to society and themselves. Some of these mewsicians have good vocals but you just don't know because of this genre. I think you're right the song "Fannie Mae" is probably what I'm thinking of since it released in the late 50s. Chances are very good I heard that in my early years of youth in the 60s.

      DH is doing well. His next appointment is Monday. My ear still feels plugged but with limited mobility in it, then this may take time. DH seems to think I'm hearing better now, though. The ointment prescribed is clearing the folliculitis inside the nostrils like magic. This is the best stuff ever! I've tried OTC stuff like Neosporin and Lysine gel which helped a little but never completely taking care of the problem. So, I'm very excited about this much anyhow. Thanks for your concerns, dear friend and have a good day!

      Let your “fingers do the walking” just follow Curious as a Cathy for the latest in Art Sketching Through the Alphabet featuring the letter “F” for fence, frog, fox, & funny face!

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for stopping by again today, dear friend!

      Yessum, when these 1940s and 50s recordings were made, gangsta rap was still, as I like to put it "light years away." Truth be told I wasn't fond of early black groups and solo singers that tried to sound white in order to achieve crossover success. I avoided those acts and didn't buy their records. Another example of the trend came in the early to mid 60s when the Supremes and other Motown girl groups were sent to charm school to learn how to dress and conduct themselves so that they would be more acceptable to white audiences. The more the Supremes changed their look and sound in that direction, the less I liked them. "I take mine black," as I often say.

      If we continue to follow the timeline that begins in this post in 1942 all the way to the present, in a nutshell, doo-wop was followed by soul. Then came funk followed by hip hop and rap. At first, rap music was comparatively innocent. Rap songs recorded by groups like the Sugarhill Gang contained plenty of male boasting, but their tone was lighthearted and the emphasis was on good times and partying. Eventually there evolved the extreme form of rap that we have today - dark, dangerous and confrontational gangsta rap - which contains explicit language, liberal use of the "N" word and violent themes.

      I know how aggravating it is to have an ear plugged shut, especially when listening to mewsic, and I hope that you will soon get relief, Cathy. Thanks for letting me know what's going on with you and DH.

      Take care of yourself, dear friend Cathy, and I will swing by CAAC sometime tomorrow for your G post.

    4. Tom,

      I did not know that black female artists were sent to charm school so they'd be more acceptable to their white audience. I guess I'm not totally surprised because people were different in those days. It should've never been like that but we know racism has been with us since the beginning of time. Someone always thinks they're better than another creating a social divide. The beautiful thing is God doesn't see us as white or black or brown or red or yellow, except for those who are green with envy and we know how often that leads the heart to committing some unspeakable act. I guess not knowing the things you shared allowed me to enjoy the mewsic of the earlier black recording for what it was just good sounding mewsic but the soulfulness felt in later recordings by black mewsicians definitely has a warmer, genuine sense which I really love. Earlier rap was light-heartened and I did enjoy some of it. The only artist to come to mind is Will Smith. But before rap was rap, I never really cared a great deal for songs with mostly talking or even a little talking. It seemed to mess up the flow of the song. Mewsic is such a personal thing. The various styles appeal to different folks for one reason or another and for that I'm glad there is a huge diversity in styles. Thanks for educating me today and thanks for visiting Curious as a Cathy for today’s alpha prompt, “G”, Art Sketching Through the Alphabet with little GIRLS. Have a good weekend, my friend!

    5. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for another visit, dear friend!

      I like the way you expressed yourself here, especially the musings about God being "color blind" and those who are "green with envy" pulling society down. I agree. Remember the Temptations' hit "Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down"?

      Yessum, I would like to continue my thoughts on early rap, starting in the late 70s with the Sugarhill Gang and their hit singles "Rapper's Delight," "8th Wonder" and "Apache." The tone of those early rap songs was lighthearted. The rappers served as emcees at an imaginary party and encouraged people to dance and have fun. FF 25 years from that point and groups like the Sugarhill Gang had become strictly old school. An extreme form of rap was being produced, songs with brutal, violent lyrics and videos with graphic images focusing on gang life. I don't know how it could get any more extreme than some of the hardcore rap videos I have seen (several that are a lot more alarming than the ones in my previous post), but I'm sure they will find ways to keep pushing the envelope.

      Thank you again for returning to share your thoughts, dear friend Cathy. Enjoy your "day off" and I'll see you over at your place bright (dark) and early Monday morning! :)

    6. Tom,

      I'll look forward to reading and listening to the early rap style mewsic. I don't know much about it other than it's not anything like rap is today, so I'm eager for to have a lesson in early rap 101 on the SDMM. In regard to God being color blind, I got to thinking, we all should think this way, is we...mankind are made in God's image and we are a people of many colors. This should tell mankind that color doesn't matter because if it did matter then God would've created us to be only one color, instead of many. Sadly, we're flawed human beings and fail to see this simple truth. TTFN and have a good week, dear friend and thank you for visiting this morning A2Z post yesterday!

    7. Hi, Cathy!

      I doubt that I will be posting much more rap on SDMM because there is so much mewsic in other categories that I want to present, but I do have an early rap song by the Sugarhill Gang coming up in my 50 part Shady Train series which is based on Soul Train, so stay tuned for that.

      I very much appreciate your reciprocal visits and comments. You are a complete blogger and a fine friend, Cathy. I wish you and DH a safe and happy day and week!

    8. Tom,

      What ever you share, I'm interested in listening to and learning about. You have such a cool way of sharing mewsic - fun, educational, and entertaining! Thank you for visiting this morning's edition of Art Sketching Through the Alphabet. Have a good day, my friend!

    9. Hi, Cathy!

      I think your A To Z drawings theme is a terrific concept and it is working out very well for you. You should consider sketching through the alphabet again next year. I love to look at your artwork!

      Thanks again for dropping in, dear friend Cathy!

  4. What a great day for me to come out of the shadows of my Unplugged for Now state: to be introduced to your new series Before It Was Soul! I love this idea Shady!
    Such great music back then and you are showcasing some doozies. Right out of the gate, Louis Jordan grabbed me and held on tight! Love his sound. It's transformative. It takes me to another time and place. This was definitely my favorite of your selections today. Although I also really enjoyed The Cardinals songs, both of them.
    And The Clover's "Hey Miss Fannie" is super fun. Great dance music!

    Thanks for sharing the history of the chart titles. Very interesting to see how they changed through the years.

    I just know Before It Was Soul is going to be a banner series! So glad I picked today to make the rounds...

    I'm still enjoying my break and it's nice to be unplugged for a while. But I do miss everybody so I'll be back soon...

    Hope all is well in your world.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      I am delighted to see you again, dear friend, and pleased to know that you have been enjoying your hiatus. I hope that you, your mother and your dog kiddos are all doing well these days. Thanks a lot for stopping by!

      I'm excited to learn that some of these old tunes grabbed you by the heart and soul. I'm glad you found it fun and entertaining to be transported back in time and experience the styles of music that were popular during the WWII era and the years of the post-war Baby Boom.

      I already have all 11 existing posts of this series laid out, and I'm pretty sure that your favorite artist, Louis Jordan, will be doing a number in every one of them. In fact, all of the artists and groups in today's post will be returning at some point.

      I remember you telling me how much you liked Soul Train. You indeed picked a great time to return to blogging, Michele, because my very next post is the second episode of my Shady Train series hosted by Soul Train's Don Cornelius. There is also a very important birthday celebration coming up this month and I hope you can be here for it.

      Thank you again for swinging over to say hello, dear friend Michele. Take care and I hope to see you again soon!

  5. What a day to stop over for a visit. You must have sensed I was making my way across the blogsphere for a visit because you stopped in to visit me as well. Ironically, I had ment to stop in yesterday but time got away from me, so here I am now.

    And what a time! I loved the music supplied here. Old tyme R&B is awesome, especially when on the original vinyl. Something about the popping of the records that has a certain charm. These tunes were awesome, and I can certainly tell how they were inspirations of music to come.

    Sorry I've been away for so long, just taking my time to rest and relax a bit. But, as always, blogging is forever and always a calling for me. No guarantees when I'll be back 100%, but you can be sure I'll let you know when that time arrives.

    Have a great day and looking forward to Part 2.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Thank you so much for dropping in, good buddy! Gosh, most of my visitors so far today are people that I haven't seen in months. It's great to have you back over to Shady's clubhouse and to know that these vintage R&B recordings resonated with you. I wouldn't be surprised if the love of your life, Diana Krall, was inspired and influenced by the music of Louis Jordan and Dinah Washington.

      I'm glad you appreciate the joys of listening to music played on vinyl. Accept no substitutes! :) I was surprised how great 78s can sound when played on a high end system. There really aren't very many detectable snaps, crackles and pops in this entire series, at least not enough to significantly detract from the listening enjoyment.

      Thanks again for poking your head in, good buddy Jeffrey. Take care of yourself and I hope to see you again soon!

  6. Yes, Diana Krall has been greatly influenced by some of these early recordings. One of her personal favourites is Fats Waller.
    (Sometimes I think I know more about Diana Krall than I should legally be allowed to). LOL ;)

    1. I hear ya, Jeffrey! I tend to get obsessed with female celebs, too. My den is a shrine to Granny Clampett.

      Thanks again for coming over, good buddy. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

  7. Great songs!!! Love me soul and blues. I loved Miss Fannie- thats my favorite i think but i also enjoyed the first one by Louis.
    Such great talent and voices. Have a great day Shady!

    1. Hi, Holliwood N. Vine!

      How are you today, dear friend? Thanks for coming over!

      I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed the soulful, bluesy sounds presented here. I am getting a real education myself because, during my vinyl collecting years in the 70s, I didn't venture back as far as Louis Jordan and the WWII era. He is a dynamic, colorful, funny showman and I have plenty more of his music coming up. I'm glad you also enjoyed the up tempo "Fannie" song by the Clovers.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend Holli!

  8. I love Louis Jordan, but my favourite tracks by him are Saturday Night Fish Fry, Caldonia and Five Guys Named Moe.

    And of course who can resist the Clover's "Hey Miss Fannie".

    1. Hi, Joey!

      Thanks for looking in today, my friend!

      I'm please to have you here, Joey, as I launch this new series flashing back as far as 70+ years to the sounds of the WWII years and Louis Jordan. Good news: I have all three of those L.J. singles you named coming up in this series, so stay tuned!

      I'm delighted to know that you also enjoyed the jump tempo "Fannie" side of that Clovers platter.

      Thanks again for tuning in, Joey, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. And, deep down, we always knew it was soul! Hi "Soulful" Shady!!! What a great intro to your new series! I agree that vinyl offers a unique experience that is really not present in today's CD's, etc. I'm glad we have progressed in the listening experience, but, I so appreciate the actual records of days gone by! That crackly, raw sound makes me believe that the artists got it on the first try!

    I love Dinah Washington! Looks like she recorded "Too Soon To Know" right around the time I was born! To me she was favorite song of hers is "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes". I have some sheet music to that one, and pick it out on my keyboard once in a while! "Unforgettable" is also one of her greats!

    I have heard of The Clovers. I liked "Hey Miss Fannie". You can almost see them dancing as they perform the song. Love the piano and sax in this one.

    I didn't know any of the other artists, but enjoyed The Cardinals "Please Don't Leave Me". This song really brought individuality to their voices and a bit of humor, as you said. And, Louis Jordan had a real smooth voice, sounding good on "I'm Gonna Leave You". I had not paid attention in the past to the charts' names, WOW! The Harlem Hit Parade is a pretty cool name, but, I'm guessing the other one wasn't around too long.

    Great job, Shady! I think this is a #1 Hit Post! I lightly browsed a few of your comments, and do agree with Ann..."Good music never goes bad!" Well said!

    So, the Dell quote of the day is, "As we banked to make our final approach I detected the percussive beat of uptempo music emanating from the barn." Now, doesn't that get the old adrenaline roaring, with chills all over! And, your eyes may have been darting from side to side, while you struggled to remain cool. You didn't want to come across as a Dell rookie! Did it work?

    Anyway, I blundered on. Love your song choices, have a wonderful afternoon, Shady! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      How are you, dear friend? Wow, what an excellent comment from you again today. Thank you!

      Yessum, most of today's CD's offer a comparatively clean sound, but it is a "flat response" and seems sterile and lifeless compared to the sound you get from playing vinyl records on good equipment. Vinyl offers a richer, more dynamic sound.

      Good point! Many times, artists were rushed in and out of the studio because time is money. They needed to have their act together and nail the song in one or two takes. Ironically, this approach to record making often yielded a fresher, more spontaneous and enjoyable recording.

      Ever hear the story behind the recording session for the Dinah Washington - Brook Benton duet single "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)"? The two R&B giants didn't mesh well, perhaps because neither was crazy about sharing the limelight. When Brook jumped his cue and goofed up the song, Dinah became so upset that she stormed out of the studio after the take and refused to sing the song again. The mistake was left on the single and it became a hit in spite of, or perhaps because of it.

      I'm pleased to know that you enjoyed these songs, dearie. This post gave you a mix of swing, jazz, a couple of tender doo-wop ballads, a bluesy mid tempo song by the Cards ("Please Don't Leave Me") and the irreverent up tempo "Fannie" ditty by the Clovers. I hope to offer variety in every installment of the series.

      Gosh, you quoted old Shady again. You got it right, Suzanne. I experienced an adrenaline rush as we rounded the final bend and approached the entrance to the Dell. I could hear the dance music blasting and I came down with a bad case of butterflies in my belly, but didn't want the other guys to know I had the jitters. :)

      As a friend, you are #1 with a bullet, dear Suzanne. Thank you very much for your visit and comment!

  10. Interesting the different charts and what they were called. I wonder when our current distinctions started being used?
    Louis Jordon makes me want to take a trip to New Orleans.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for popping in, good buddy!

      I think I have the answer to your question. Click this link. It shows all the different name changes of the black record chart thru the years right up to the present:

      I'm glad you dug the sounds of Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.

      Thanks again, Alex, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. Glad everyone is enjoying the music as much as me.

    1. Hey, hello again, Kathryn!

      This is the second time you have returned to listen to the tuneage in a post. Thank you for taking an interest in the various types of music that I am presenting.

      Thanks again, and have a nice day and weekend Kathryn!

  12. Hey Shady, This is the Bomb! The Clovers & Cardinals Two of my very first taste
    of the Transition from Doo-wop to Soul!
    I believe both of these groups were from Baltimore. The Door Is Open by the Cardinals, is my favorite, and The Clovers. Just listen to Pennies From Heaven by the Clovers. In The early 60s
    The Skyliners did exactly the way the Clovers did it. All the ghood stuff! Thanks Shady!

    1. Hi, Davy!

      Thanks a lot for coming back for this post, my old friend. I knew you'd like these oldies and that you would be able to contribute to the discussion thread. I figured these early recordings gave you your first taste of a style of music that inspired and influenced you to form the Del-Chords and the Mag Men.

      Both Wikipedia and my Joel Whitburn book Top R&B Singles 1942-1999 state that the Clovers were from D.C. while the Cards and Orioles were both from Baltimore. I just finished listening to the Clovers do "Pennies From Heaven." They float it out there so smoothly, don't they? I love it! Your "Pennies" suggestion reminded me of one of my favorites by our friend Jackie Wilson with the Dominoes, "Three Coins in the Fountain":

      I'm so glad I triggered some fond memories for you for the second week in a row, Dave. Thanks again for dropping into the Shady Dell, my friend. I hope to see you again soon!

  13. Hi Shady!
    You’re right about how vinyl breathes (and pops). I don’t mind the sound of electronic instruments, but they can’t hold a candle to human breath through a wind instrument, fingers on ivory keys or the twist of a wrist on percussion. It’s just not the same.

    “Gonna leave you…” was terrific – gotta love a guy who will purchase a Frigidaire, put up with somebody’s seven kids and kindly state that his wife “hangs around”. Talk about putting life to music, huh?

    Pretty song by Dinah Washington, somehow her voice reminds me of Rosie Perez ;-)

    I bet the Clovers had the dancers up and swinging – or jitterbugging!

    I vaguely remember the name of the Harptones and don’t recall the melancholy song at all, but I can see (hear) why they’re now considered classic.

    Thanks for the stroll, dear Shady!

    1. Hi, diedre!

      Thank you very much for joining me on this stroll down memory lane. Maybe that's not an accurate phrase because I don't have any actual memories connected with these tunes. I only know them through this series and through collecting some of them on vinyl some 20 years after they were released and riding the chart.

      Isn't it refreshing to listen to music made the old fashioned way with "all natural ingredients" - traditional band instruments - instead of canned synth/electronics?

      Fridigaire is an example of a brand name so popular and in such widespread use that it became synonymous with a product the company manufactured, in this case the electric self-contained refrigerator. Another example is Kleenex, the name my family and many others assigned to any and all brands of facial tissue. Ajax was the word we used when referring to any kind of scouring powder.

      You were not in my circle of friends at the time but, five years ago in my Dueling Doo-Wops series, I presented the Harptones singing one of their other 1954 Bruce label singles "Since I Fell For You":

      Thank you ever so much for breaking away from your A To Z hop to join me here today, diedre. It appears that you had some fun and that makes me happy. I'll be seeing you over at your place tomorrow, dear friend!

  14. Hi Shady, I guess you know that I really enjoyed this post. I show my age when I say I listen to this music daily and knew all the songs except Louis Jordan. I will now find and listen to some other of his music. I also liked that Mr. Bupp had some comments. I will most likely be listening to him at the upcoming Class of 60 Something concert. I am sure all of the Delchords were influenced by this early music. Looking forward to the follow up posts in this series as I really enjoy the history of the old groups. I especially like to follow one or two performers as they go from one group to another. It is really great that with today's technology all the music from these old groups is available. Some of the old groups had some great songs that never got played and are now being discovered again.

    1. Hi, Jerre!

      Thanks a lot for coming by, good buddy! gave us a scare earlier today because it went offline, shut down for a couple of hours due to server problems. I was hoping this post would still be here when service was restored! :)

      Yes, I figured you might like this set of songs, including the one by Louis Jordan which was released and on the chart before you were born. I have one Louis Jordan recording embedded in each of the 11 posts of this series, so all you need to do is sit back and wait until the ten other posts run in the months and years to come. In the meantime, there will be plenty of heavy metal, dance-pop and gangsta rap for you to enjoy. :) Yes, I was thrilled to have Dave Bupp comment on two consecutive posts. That's a first. I'm sure you will enjoy hearing Buppy sing and listening to the other groups and bands at the Class of 60-Something dance.

      I was flabbergasted as I made my way around YouTube doing research for this series and found such a tremendous abundance of these old old recordings, many of them sounding great right off the original vinyl 45s and 78s. I felt like a kid in a candy store. For this series, I selected the top chart hits of the period by the main artists of the period, and I carefully waded through all available Y/T uploads until I found videos that offered the highest quality and most authentic sound. Stay tuned for 60 more songs!

      Thanks again for being here, Jerre. Take care of yourself and let me hear from you again soon!

  15. Fell in and out and back in with a few times ... but my very favourite radio station, especially with the Natch'l Blues program with Holger Peterson ... it's on every Saturday 1500hrs to 1700hrs ... sending you a link, friend Shady ... I know it's a crappy link and all but ... very precious to my heart ... smiles ... cuz that's what got me started on the blues ... ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      How R-U, dear kitty friend? Thanks a lot for coming by!

      Thank you also for the link to that John Lee Hooker song. Knowing how soulful you are, it doesn't surprise me one bit that you are a "Lady Sings the Blues" kind of person. Along with the R&B/doo-wop style of music presented in this series, I also collected on vinyl the early sounds of city and country blues greats including Hooker. I was very proud of my collection but foolishly parted with most of it around 1990 when I sold my platters to a used record dealer for a tiny fraction of their worth to raise some money. I wish I had them all back!

      I hope you enjoyed the old tunes in this post, dear friend cat. Thanks again for coming over and have a great weekend!

  16. Hi, Shady!

    I used to love listening to Doo-Wop when I was a little girl. Dad used to play it a lot and back then, it was considered an "oldie," and a radio station would play it (now 80's are considered "oldies").

    I've heard of Dinah Washington. I've never heard the others, but I loved their sound and style. Thank you for sharing!

    Have a great Friday, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      It's exciting to see you, dear friend. Thanks for swinging by!

      Gosh, your dad's tastes in music are as varied as mine, it seems. He listens to rap and he also goes way back to the pre-soul doo-wop oldies of the 50s. That's great cuz it's all good in my book!

      You're right. During the rock 'n' roll revival of the late 60s to early 70s, songs from the 50s were considered oldies. Now it's 80s and 90s material. I am hoping series like this one will remind readers that there is plenty of great music from the mid 20th century waiting to be discovered on YouTube and elsewhere.

      Dinah Shore got all the glory among white folks, but Dinah Washington sang with soul and I liked her more. I'm glad your ears match mine on Dinah and the other artists presented here.

      Have a super weekend, dear friend JM!

  17. Oh the memories, great memories, great music thank you so much for all the memories

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      Thanks for popping in, dear Aussie friend!

      Yessum, Music & Memories are the bread and butter of SDMM and I'm glad you had fun feasting your ears on these old old oldies.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend Jo-Anne, and enjoy your weekend down under!

  18. I'm loving this post...more up my alley to the last post:) I was able to listen to all of these and enjoyed every one of them. Dinah Washington had such a great voice. I had not heard of the others but the harmonies are so beautiful and I think much better than what one hears today...well, often anyway. The last one did catch my ears because of their harmony and flowing style. I enjoyed this post and wishing you a wonderful Sunday.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming over for this week's post, dear friend. I appreciate your support!

      Although these old tunes were produced light years before you were born, I'm happy to know that they pleased your ears and touched your heart and soul.

      Yessum, doo-wop became popular around the start of the 50s and vocal group harmony remained a hot sound for the rest of the decade and through the early 60s. There are 10 more volumes of this series and 60 more recordings, bringing you some of the most beautiful harmonizing ever put on record, so stay tuned.

      Thank you again for your faithful friendship and support, BB. I'll be over for your H post tomorrow morning! (Can't wait for Q! :)

  19. Oh my! What a treat to hear Diana again. I listened to the entire song because it was so beautiful: her voice, the lyrics, the backup singers. How did we go from this to the 70's when nothing was intelligible and the musical talent consisted of smashing guitars on a stage?

    1. Hi, Cheryl!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend!

      I'm pleased to know you enjoyed listening to this early career recording by Dinah Washington. Dinah will be back in future installments of this series, so please stick around.

      I hear ya! When I was a teenager, I belonged to a garage band. We got the bright idea that it would be cool and impress audiences to destroy our instruments on stage BEFORE the performance. Long story short: our band flopped. :)

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend C-Lee!

  20. I wanted to stop by and let you know I haven't forgotten about you, Shady! With last week's severe weather and the craziness with the governor plus a toddler birthday this weekend, I've been super busy. And it's too late for me to listen to music without my headphones ,which are at work.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great week!

    1. Hi, Ashton!

      It's nice of you to stop by, dear old friend. How's your little girl?

      Yessum, this is the time of year that I worry about severe weather striking the southeast. I have also been following the governor scandal. Busy news week indeed! In light of that I am grateful that you made time for a visit and hope you will return and listen to this vintage tuneage when things settle down.

      Happy birthday to your dear little daughter! Have a great week, Ashton!

  21. I really like Doo-Wop! My dad always listened to it, when I was growing up. I like the way the voices harmonize. I actually prefer listening to Doo-Wop to some of the stuff that's on the radio today. And the lyrics weren't all about sex and drugs, which I find refreshing. Thanks for sharing these songs. I enjoyed listening to them.

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming over for the launch of my new series flashing way back to the dawn of doo-wop. (Based on your comment, I'm sure you would have loved loved loved the toe-tappers in my previous post :)

      I'm happy to know your dad turned you on to old school doo-wop harmony. Yessum, it's a far cry from today's wild, sexy, sometimes mean spirited fare.

      I'm delighted to learn that you had fun here today, dear friend Sherry. A brand new post is coming tomorrow and I hope you will join me again. Until then, take care!

  22. That's a really great genre.
    May you have a meaningful Holy Week!

    1. Thank you very much, Lux!

      I appreciate your visit and comment, dear friend!

  23. I loved listening to all these songs Shady, Doo Wop has always been a favourite of mine.

    Sorry if I haven't been over to comment as much, I don't have as much time to read blogs as I used to so I'm not always able to leave comments. I am still reading your posts though!

    1. Hi, dear Sarah!

      I just found your comment and I am so glad I did. It made my day!

      Did you realize that you are currently my only English friend (I also have one in Ireland) and that you are one of my oldest blog friends? I am grateful to know that you still read my posts after all these years and listen to the music I present.

      Yessum, this post was a dramatic change of pace, jumping back in time 70 years to the dawn of doo-wop after I spent close to two years covering modern pop.

      Thanks again for joining me, dear friend Sarah, and have a great weekend!

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