From the Land of Band Box Records

The Label Ladies

January 22, 2020

The Women Behind the Independent Record Labels – 1950’s & 1960’s

Back in the early formative years of rock and roll, r&b and soul music, thousands of local and independent record labels would spring up all over the land.

We will probably never really come to know the stories behind those early labels, so obscure, lost to time.  The recording industry was a tough business to crack.  The never ending search for talent and for songs, the costs of production and the do-or-die requirement to secure distribution channels nationally.

Needless to say it was a man’s world for the most part.  The number of female record label owners from the 1950’s and going into the 1960’s is a short list.

Estelle Axton

Down in Memphis, Tennessee, a sister-brother team would join up in attempt to save brother Jim Stewart’s fledgling Satellite Records out of Brunswick, Tennessee.  So Jim and sister Estelle would move their tiny operation about 20 miles southwest to the hopefully more promising confines of Memphis.

Estelle would move up to front Satellite Records, which would also double as a record store (the store was located in what had been a movie theater).  Estelle would then obtain recordings that were requested by folks from the surrounding black community (Jim and Estelle wisely situated their operator in a black Memphis neighborhood) and then she would keep on the lookout for talent.

Satellite Record Store - Memphis

Satellite – Long Since Gone

And talent she did find!  It was from this neighborhood that future hit song writer David Porter would emerge as would the talent Booker T Washington, both who frequented the Satellite Record Store

Estelle and Neighbors

Satellite would morph into “Stax” taking the first two letters of Jim and Estelles last names “STewart” and “AXton” and the rest is history.  Estelle would create the “Volt” subsidiary label in an effort to encourage radio DJ’s to be listen to records from a different label.  The company continued on until 1975.

Estelle Axton Record Labels 

Satellite April, 1958

Stax – September, 1961

Volt – November, 1961

Visit my Stax-Volt Story Page

Vivian Carter

Vee-Jay Records was born in 1953 in Gary, Indiana and then located in Chicago by a husband and wife team, Jimmy Bracken and Vivian Carter – a black couple – uncommon in the record label business – unlike the owners of Chess/Checker, Modern/RPM and King/Federal – all white founded and owned.  The label located in close proximity to Chess Records in what was known more or less as ‘Record Row’ in downtown Chicago, first residing near the original Chess location in Chicago’s South Side at 4747 South Cottage Grove (Chess was located at 4750) making the two label next door neighbors.

Vivian Carter Record Labels

Vee Jay – July, 1953

Falcon – September, 1957

(The Falcon name was dropped in 1958 to be replaced by Abner due to the existence of another “Falcon”)

Abner – June, 1958

Visit my Vee Jay Story Page

Zellma Sanders

Zellma (or “Zell”) was also a pioneer in a second category of record making:  Right from the first she was bound and determined to find, develop, record and promote girl groups!  Much like female record label owners, girl groups in 1955 were not found in abundance breaking onto the national record charts, especially the pop charts.

Zellma Sanders Record Labels

J&S – June, 1956

Scatt – 1958

Argyle – 1959

Zell – 1962

Zells/Zell’s – 1962

Sprout – 1964

Visit my Zelma Sanders Story Page

Florence Greenberg

Out in New Jersey it would be a housewife in pursuit of what could almost be described as a hobby – something to do with newly available found time with children tucked away in school.

Her entry point came via Florence’s daughter, Mary Jane, who would introduce four classmates from Passaic High School who had entered a talent contest at the school performing as “The Poquellos”.

Greenberg’s labels would feature a diverse range of artists and beyond Scepter and Wand would include Mouse and the Traps, Alvin Cash, The Shangr-Las, Goldie and the Gingerbreads, Scott English, Jean Knight, Barbara Lynn. T-Bone Walker, Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson, Junior Parker, The Esquires, and many more!

Visit My Florence Greenberg Story Page

Florence Greenberg Record Labels

Tiara – July, 1955

Scepter – December, 1958

Wand – 1959

Realm – 1959

Marlu – March, 1961

Rockin’ – 1961

Captain – February, 1962

Spokane – August, 1963

Jet Stream – 1964

Toddlin’ Town – September, 1965

Bambo – 1965

Garrison – December, 1966

Lanie – December, 1966

Bunky – July, 1967

Cap City – May, 1968

Sonday – July, 1970

Madtad – February, 1971

Mosaic, 1972

Roadshow – 1972

Johnnie Mae Matthews

Johnnie Mae Matthews began her career first as a singer as a member of the Five Dapps in Detroit, Michigan.  She collaborated in the early years with keyboard player Joe Hunter, who would go onto become one of Motown Records’ famous “Funk Brothers”.

Johnnie started up her own record company called Northern Recording funding it with $85 borrowed from her husband.  She used the label to promote her own singing.  During that time Johnnie worked with and helped Berry Gordy, Jr., to get his start and helped him obtain the distribution services of Chess Records promoting a song called “Bad Girl” by an upcoming group called the Miracles.

The Five Dapps

By 1960 Johnnie was singing solo for her label and released a record backed by a group of musicians called the “Groovers”.  The members, Joe Hunter along with Eddie Willis, James Jamerson, Eli Fontaine and Uriel Jones would go on to form the nucleus of the Funk Brothers working for Gordy, Jr.

Johnnie would form several subsidiary labels and she helped launch the career of Barbara Lewis as well as recording a Detroit group The Distants, who would become familiar to the world as The Temptations.  Johnnie had continuous offers from Berry Gordy, Jr., to join his stable of singers at Motown but she declined.

After retiring her labels, in the mid 1970’s she would begin supporting a Detroit funk group called Black Nasty which included two of her own children.  Black Nasty would evolve into the “ADC Band” which encouraged Johnnie to revive her Northern Recording Company.  The group would obtain distribution from Cotillion Records and go on to enjoy a handful of R&B hits in the late 1970’s.

The ADC Band

Johnnie Matthews passed away on January 6th, 2002 at the age of 79.

Johnnie Mae Matthews Record Labels & Associations

Brax – 1958

(An early Dapps recording with Johnnie on lead)

Northern – 1959

Northern – March, 1960

(The future Temptations)

Audrey – 1960

Reel – 1961

(Johnnie worked in collaboration often with singer/song writer Timmy Shaw)

Glodis – 1961

Jam – 1966

Big D – 1967

Big Hit – 1969

JoAnne Jackson Bratton

JoAnne Bratton co-owned Golden World Records based out of Detroit, Michigan.  Her partner was Ed Wingate who had been approached by Berry Gordy, Jr., of Motown to possibly team up.  JoAnne advised Wingate against the partnership due to the dual strong personalities of the two men.

Wingate and Bratton were facing a dilemma.  They were not composers as was Berry but they decided to plod ahead and so it 1962 they established Golden World and released their first single in January of that year by Sue Perrin, Golden World 101 “I Wonder” b/w “Put A Ring On My Finger” – They were up and running, but like so many small independents, they needed a hit.

Image result for ed wingate

Ed Wingate – Died in 2006

In very short order Bratton and Wingate established the Ric Tic label and they brought on an old timer – Leonard Reed to add composing power and music industry knowledge to their operation.  Reed had worked with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong!  Reed was joined by another early notable figure, Sammy Lowe who had worked with Sam Cooke, The Platters and Nina Simone to name a few.

“Ric Tic” was a fond nickname for JoAnne’s son Derek Truman Bratton who died in an accident in 1962 at the very young age of 12.  Although JoAnne never confirmed it, her new label was almost obviously meant as a memorial to her son.

Golden World plodded along for two years from early 1962 until February 1964 without chart success and then along came an group of youngsters from Detroit who called themselves the Reflections.  Their Golden World debut would race into the national Top 10 peaking at number 6.  JoAnne and Ed had their hit!

The Reflections would have the distinction of being the only Golden World act to release a long play!  The Reflections would place a final song on the Hot 100 – “Poor Man’s Son” number 55 in 1966.

April, 1965 The Reflections

Two of their songs ‘bubbled under’ the Hot 100 “(I’m Just) A Henpecked Guy (number 124) and “Shabby Little Hut” (number 121).  The Reflection recordings would be the only Golden World releases to chart.  Edwin Starr placed three Ric Tic songs on the Hot 100 and the R&B Charts.

Reflections April 25th, 1964

Reflections January 16th, 1965

Reflections May 30th, 1965

May, 1965 The Reflections

It would take six more months for JoAnne and company to revisit the charts.  It would come in the summer of 1965 with 23-year-old Edwin Starr (Charles Edwin Hatcher).  “Agent Double O Soul” would reach number 21 on the Hot 100 and go to number 8 R&B.  The flip side “Back Street” would also double chart.  Starr would follow with a couple of minor hits for Ric Tic but would have to wait for nearly 2 years before successfully resurfacing on Motown’s Gordy label.

Starr passed away in 2003 at age 61 – the victim of a heart attack.

Agent Edwin Starr

July 1965

Another Golden World group, The Holidays had one hit on the R&B charts “I’ll Love You Forever” which reached number 7 and number 63 Hot 100.  The Holidays were the trio made up of Edwin Starr, J.J. Barnes and Steve Mancha.  Barnes (James Jay Barnes) would also place a song on the R&B Charts in early 1966, before Motown took over Ric-Tic – “Real Humdinger”  which reached number 18 R&B and number 80 Hot 100.  Steve Mancha was born Clyde Darnell Wilson and would later be a member of 100 Proof Aged In Soul a group on the Hot Wax label which was started up in 1969 in Detroit by Motown’s famed Holland-Dozier-Holland composing team.  They had become disgruntled with Motown and would move on with this label as well as Invictus and Music Merchant.

The Holidays

In the summer of 1965, Golden World took a shot at replicating Motown’s success with Little Stevie Wonder – A 12-year-old Carl Carton would release his debut single for the label (Carl was already a ‘veteran’ with two releases under his belt on the Lando record label.  He was also known as “Little Carl Carlton” and would later enjoy huge success with his 1974 number 6 smash “Everlasting Love.

Little Carl Carlton

In a rather strange marriage, a Chicano group out of San Antonio, Texas would come aboard in an attempt to revive their earlier success (“Talk to Me”) from 1963.  They had enjoyed a lot of local success in their home state with the release of over 30 singles and several LP’s.  The group recorded a couple of tracks but Wingate decided not to release them – based on some sort of superstition he held near.

No Luck at Golden World

Many of the Golden World artists and composers would eventually find their way in the Motown Machine.  Many of the Motown session men often moonlighted with Golden World and precautions had to be taken to keep this information away from Berry Gordy, Jr.  In 1965 the Reflections would return to the well recording a nearly identical copy of “Just Like Romeo and Juliet” – this one titled “Like Columbus Did” which only managed a number 96 showing.  Later in their career on ABC Records they would dip into the well one final time with “Just Like Adam and Eve” in the spring of 1966.

You have to give JoAnne and Wingate a lot of credit for giving it the old college try – They commuted for several years to lay down tracks in New York City; they took a shot at having an upscale studio built in Detroit – they restarted their labels after periods of dormancy – but in the end it would be Berry Gordy, Jr., opening up his checkbook in the summer of 1966 to purchase Golden World and it’s assets for around a million bucks.

Ric Tic kept going with Wingate under Motown’s direction for about a year and a-half.

September, 1965

October, 1965

December, 1965

February, 1966

April, 1966

May, 1966

JoAnne Jackson Bratton/Ed Wingate Associated Record Labels

Golden World – January, 1962

Ric Tic – July, 1962

J &W – 1964

Win Gate – July, 1965

Volcano – November, 1965

Maltese – November, 1965

Stephanye – February, 1966

Karen – March, 1966

(This record was cut at Golden Records’ studio – a practice which was fairly common on the part of JoAnne and Ed)

Raynoma (“Ray”) Singleton

Raynoma Singleton was born in March of 1937 in Detroit, Michigan – birth name Raynoma Mayberry.  Much like JoAnne Bratton, her path would criss-cross with that of Motown Records and Berry Gordy Jr.  Much like Johnnie Mae Matthews, Raynoma was a record label owner but first was a soul singer.

Early in her life she auditioned for Motown along with her sister Alice – the year being 1958. Gordy took her up on her suggestion that she could contribute to his fledgling operation in other ways and her first assignment was to put together a singing group who would come to be known at the Rayber Voices – combining Ray and Berry’s names.

Image result for the rayber voices

The Ray Bers

The Ray Bers would serve as a backing group for several of Berry’s early recordings.  The Ray Ber Voices included some interesting talent including Robert Batemen who composed “Please Mr. Postman as well as co-writing “Twistin’ Postman” and “Playboy” all by the Marvelettes.  Another Ray-Ber was Sonny Sanders, a one-time member of the “Satintones” – a very early Motown group.  A third member was the legendary Motown writer Brian Holland.

Image result for brian holland

Eddie Holland, Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier

Ray would be instrumental in encouraging Berry to form his own record label along with Smokey Robinson.  She would marry Berry but his infidelities would end the union soon.  However, she and Berry worked out a tentative working agreement – with Ray moving operations to New York.  She experienced fiscal difficulties and in a not very wise move decided to bootleg 5,000 copies of the Mary Wells Motown hit, “My Guy”.

Not Ray’s Guy

You would think that Berry would have crushed Ray when he learned of what she did.  He was reportedly furious but continued to help support her by lending her and her new husband, Eddie Singleton money to start up a record label.  That label would be called Shrine. It would release nearly 20 singles from 1964 into 1966 and then close it’s doors in the city of Washington D.C.  Ray would come back to join Motown in 1968.

In spite of all of this – Ray continued to work with Motown and Berry.

Ray Singleton’s Associated Record Labels

HOB – May, 1959

Chant – 1959

Shrine – December, 1964

Ray Singleton passed way in November of 2016 at age 79.  Ray contributed to a biography in 1990 titled “Berry, Me and Motown: The Untold Story”.

Image result for Berry, me, and Motown: the untold story

Vicky Morosan (Colorado’s Own)


Now my favorite female record industry pathfinder – Ms. Vicky Morosan out of Colorado.  Vicky, unlike most of the other female pioneers, was a one-woman force – a ‘Jill of all trades’.

This from the Denver Post and family members:

“Her name is Aurelia Victoria, but she did go by Vicky.  The family did emigrate to the United States from Transylvania, Romania.  However, their Romanian name is Pasca, which means bread in Romanian.  The name was inadvertently changed to Paskie by Ellis Island officials as her parents entered the United States.  The incorrect spelling remained much to the ire of my Grandmother.  My Grandmother, however, refused to ever use the name Paskie. It was a very sore subject with her.  We knew not to ever bring up the subject.  She would sometimes revisit the topic and I can still hear her today say in her thick Romanian accent that the Romanians are descendants of the Romans and not Slavic, as the name Paskie would imply.”

According to Valerie Vicky was making a journey by train across the U.S. from West Virginia destination Arizona with her daughter who had a health condition.  When the mom and daughter stopped in Denver and stepped off the train for a train stop break Vicky looked out at the Rocky Mountains and decided then and there to remain in Colorado which she did up until the time of her death.

Vicky worked tirelessly on behalf of her handful of record labels, primarily Band Box.  She worked the studio, did the publicity, made contacts, managed, traveled the U.S. to promote her musicians, worked deals in the South and out east to land recording deals.

Vicky released 100’s of recordings from 1959 into the early 1970’s – with vanity records included – probably more than 500!  For all of her tireless efforts, only a few of her recordings would make the national charts – a couple by country singer Van Trevor and one by Penny Starr who would later perform as Penny DeHaven – another country singer.

Read the Vicky Morosan Story Page Here

Vicky Morosan Record Labels

Band Box – 1959

Keyboard – 1962

Valerie – 1962

Band Box Custom – 1963

Spicy – 1968

Band Box Vanity – 1968

(This is an uncle of my wife’s – The family had no idea that Doctor Ginsburg had recorded this long play)

Rustix – 1969

Toll Gate – 1969

Band Box Custom – 1970

Knock Yourself Out!

January 15, 2020

Ernie Maresca

I never took much time to look into the origins or accomplishments of song writer – sometimes singer – Ernie Maresca.

I just sort of wrote him off as a guy who didn’t seem to sing particularly well – a guy who wrote and sang “Shout, Shout, Knock Yourself Out” – a song that always seemed to cram quite a few lyrics into tight spaces – a voice that I would have pegged coming from perhaps an older ‘Brill Building’ insider kind of guy – someone maybe in their late 30’s or maybe even 40….. But no, Ernie was solid rock and roll – moving about within the New York Doo-Wop scene with ease…

Ernie was born Ernest Peter Maresca on August 21st, 1938 in the Bronx, New York and like so many of those youngsters who grew up in the New York Burrows, found his way into a typical street corner ‘doo-wop’ group called the “Montereys”, who formed in 1957 and would change their name to the “Desires”.

In 1958 the Desires entered a New York recording studio and laid down a couple of tracks – one of them being one penned by group member Fred Fassert, one “Barbara-Ann”.  They were contracted to Seville records but songs from their session wouldn’t see the light of day – with Seville electing not to release them.

Things went from not promising to dire, and so the group disbanded.  Maresca had already elected to leave by then to pursue song writing.  And Ernie did, in fact, frequent the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway, often cutting demos in the Allegro studio which was situated in the basement.

In a chain of events typical of the times in the New York music scene, the brother of Don Jacobucci, Eddie who was a member of a group called the “Consorts”, had managed to get a crack at recording but had no material for his group.  And so the Consorts took a shot at “Barbara-Ann”.

A Cousins Record label executive liked what he heard but elected to obtain the original 1958 cut and release it instead.  This caused members of the original “Desires” to scramble and get back together to promote the song.

It was released in the spring of 1961 on Cousins and quickly began getting solid east coast air play.  Cousins leased the record to Roulette who had distribution power – and that did the trick.  The song, released on the Roulette subsidiary label Gee, skyrocketed into the nation’s Top 20 peaking at number 13.

Prior to releasing the song the group’s name was changed to the Regents.  The group came up with the name based on their time in a New York recording studio – “Regent Sound” and the fact that group member Guy Villari smoked “Regent Cigarettes”.

Maresca – as Composer

With a hit under their belt, the Regents turned to their pal and former member, Ernie Maresca, a guy who was constantly writing songs and shopping them.  With Tony they would get their second charting single from Ernie’s pen, “Runaround”.

Maresca – Every Bit the New Yorker!

Backing up a bit, Maresca’s first influences as a young teenager were Joni James, the Mills Brothers and the Hilltoppers – unlikely doo-wop influences, but then Alan Freed would begin broadcasting and that changed things for Maresca.  His musical journey began in earnest when he was 17 years old – He cut a demonstration record titled “No One Knows” and placed it on a jukebox in a pool hall where he and his friends would hang out.

Maresca’s 1962 LP

It was there that he would meet Dion Dimucchi who lived in the same neighborhood.  Dion took Ernie to meet a representative of Laurie Records.  They like the song but had Ernie change some of the lyrics.  Laurie decided to release it as a “B” side to a Belmont record – the intended “A” side being “I Can’t Go On (Rosalie)”.  This was happening in the summer of 1958 after Ernie had departed the Desires/Regents.

In an interview Ernie recalled how difficult it was to get the attention of the record labels.  Nearly everyone would turn him away when he walked in with his homemade demos, everyone that is except Laurie Records where Ernie enjoyed the comradeship of Dion.

Trade Ad – March 24th, 1962

Ernie’s entire career revolved around his association with the Bronx/Brooklyn fraternity of Italian (for the most part) doo-wop groups.  Ernie became very entrenched with Laurie Records – composing, finding talent, singing and eventually headed up the Laurie publicity department and label executive.  Then in the early 1900’s he negotiated the sale Laurie to Capitol Records.  He stayed connected to the industry working into the early 1990’s.

Ernie Maresca passed away at age 76 in July of 2015 in his Florida home.

Ernie Maresca Disography and Related Artists

Dion and the Belmonts – Laurie 3015 – No One Knows – (Maresca co-composer) Charted Number 19 Hot 100 – Number 12 R&B – August, 1958

(This song bettered the Belmonts initial hit “I Wonder Why” which peaked at number 22)

Ernie Maresca – Seville 107 – Lonesome Blues/I Don’t Know Why – August, 1960

(Ernie’s first release on Seville)

Dion and the Belmonts – Laurie 3035 – A Lover’s Prayer – Charted Number 73 Hot 100 – August, 1959

The Regents – Cousins 1002 – Barbara-Ann/I’m So Lonely – March, 1961

The Regents – Gee 1065 – Barbara-Ann/I’m So Lonely – Charted Number 13 Hot 100 – Number 7 R&B – April, 1961

The Regents – Gee 1071 Runaround/Laura My Darling – Charted Number 28 Hot 100 – Number 30 R&B – June, 1961

Dion – Laurie 3110 – Runaround Sue – Charted Number 1 Hot 100 – Number 4 R&B – August, 1961

(This would be Dion’s only number 1 recording)

Dion – Laurie 3115 – The Wanderer – Charted Number 2 Hot 100 – November, 1961

Nino and the Ebb Tides – Mr. Peacock 102 – Happy Guy – November, 1961

(the Ebb Tides were from the Bronx, New York)

The Regents – Gee 1075 – Lonesome Boy/Oh Baby – December, 1961

Ernie Maresca – Seville Special 33 1/2 Compact Disc – Promotional Release Only – 1962

Ernie Maresca – Seville 117 – Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)/Crying Like A Baby Over You – Charted Number 6 Hot 100 – Number 25 R&B – January, 1962

Dion – Laurie 3123 – Lovers Who Wander – Charted Number 3 Hot 100 – Number 16 R&B – April, 1962

The Desires – Seville 118 – Story of Love/I Ask You – May, 1962

(These tracks were recorded in the 1950’s before the Regents hit it big)

Ernie Maresca – Seville 119 – Mary Jane/Down On the Beach – June, 1962

(Mary Jane charted locally number 30 on WKBR Manchester, New Hampshire – Number 40 on WMEX Boston, Massachusetts – Number 41 on WORC Worcester, Massachusetts – the flip side charted as high as number 19 on WGH Newport News, Virginia)

Mary Jane – Number 41 WORC – July, 1962

Down on the Beach – Number 19 WGH July 22nd, 1962

The Belmonts – Sabina 505 – Come On Little Angel – Charted Number 28 Hot 100 – June, 1962

Pete Barin – Sabina 504 – So Wrong – June, 1962

Pete Barin – (real name Baron) sang often with the Belmonts – He was tragically shot to death while in a New York music store an innocent victim of a robbery gone bad – He was a member of “Dion and the Wanderers” after Dion departed the Belmonts

Ernie Maresca – Seville 122 – Something To Shout About/How Many Times? – September, 1962

(An attempt to re-start the shouting – The song did very well on the eastern local charts – charting on more than a dozen station surveys)

Mike Taylor – Dream – Mi-A-Suri-Talk – 1962

(Taylor was a member of Laurie’s Demilles and the Camerons)

Ernie Maresca – Seviller 125 – Love Express/Lorelei – March, 1963

Peter Barin – Sabina 512 – Lookout for Cindy – June, 1963

The Run-A-Rounds – KC 116 – Unbelievable – August, 1963

The Belmonts – Sabina 519 – C’mon Everybody (Do You Want To Dance) – September, 1963

Ernie Maresca – Seville 129 – The Rovin’ Kind/Please Be Fair – December, 1963

Dean and Jean – Rust 5075 – Hey Jean, Hey Dean (Let’s Have a Party)/Please Don’t Tell Me Now – Charted Number 32 Hot 100 – January, 1964

The Hubcaps – Laurie 3219 – Hot Rod City – January, 1964

Ernie Maresca – Rust 5076 – The Beetle Dance/Theme From Lily, Lily – February, 1964

(Jumping on the band wagon with the Invasion)

The Harps – Laurie 3239 – Marie – March, 1964

(The Harps would become Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes)

Bernadette Carroll – Laurie 3228 – Party Girl – Charted Number 47 Hot 100 – March, 1964

(Bernadette was also a member of the Angels and the Starlets)

The Demilles – Laurie 3247 – Cry and Be On Your Way – March, 1964

This group was fronted by David Banks (who may have been Dave Romano), an excellent singer who provided background vocals for many of the Laurie recording artists.  The Demilles were also known as the Camerons and they used many other names.  Mike DeMartino was a member of this group and he recorded as “Mike Taylor)

The Ray-Vons – Laurie 3248 – Judy/Regina – (Maresca Produced) – April, 1964

The “Ray-Vons” were in fact one Rusty Lane – the composer of this song – real name Karl Zeeb, Jr. – The New York Doo-Wop group The Mystics back him up on these two tracks

The Ray-Vons

The Four Graduates – Rust 5084 – Candy Queen – July, 1964

(These guys would become better known as the Happenings)

Bernadette Carroll – Laurie 3268 – Happy Birthday – August, 1964

Reparata and the Delrons – World Artists 1036 – Whenever A Teenager Cries – Charted Number 60 Hot 100 – November, 1964

They were formed out of Brooklyn, New York in 1962)

The Mustangs – Providence 407 – Rumpus – November, 1964

(The Mustangs were a surf-style instrumental group)

Angela Martin – Atco 6327 – Dip Da Dip (I Want To Be His Girl) – November, 1964

Angela Mignanelli

Jerry Fender & the Secrets – Royalty – Come On Little Angel – 1964

(Jerry Fender was with a group called The Chateaus out of Kentucky – recording in the mid 1960’s)

Russ Damon – Laurie TL 3 – George’s Nut House – 1964

The Demolyrs – UWR 900 – Hey Little Rosie – 1964

(From the Bronx, New York the Demolyrs often worked as session vocalists as well as instrumentalists)

Slim Jim – Laurie 3226 – Lilly, Lilly/Theme From Lilly Lilly – 1964

Dean and Jean – Rust 5094 – 7 Day Wonder (Maresca Producer) – January, 1965

Jimmy Curtiss – Laurie 3315 – The Girl From the Land of a Thousand Dances/Let’s Dance Close (Like We Used To) – May, 1965

Jimmy was the co-writer with Ernie on “Child of Clay” b Jimmie Rodgers – Real name James Martin Stulberger – He was a member of “The Bag”  and “The Hobbits” both recording in the later 1960’s  – Curtiss headed up his own record label Perception beginning in 1969

The Other Two – RCA Victor 47-8607 – Hold Back The Light of Dawn – June, 1965

I believe The Other Two were from England

Jimmy Curtiss – Laurie 3312 – Not For You/You’re What’s Happening Baby – July, 1965

Ernie Maresca – Seville 138 – It’s Their World/I Can’t Dance – October, 1965

Frank Lyndon – Laurie 3322 – Santa’s Jet/Sing Along with Santa’s Jet – November, 1965

(Frank Lyndon took over lead vocals after Dion departed the Belmonts – He was also a member of the Darvels)

Bernadette Carroll – Laurie 3320 – Try Your Luck – November, 1965

Jerry Williams with the Sherrys and the Dynamiters – Sonet 7644 (Sweden) – 1965

(Williams was from Sweden who had been with a group called The Violents)

Dion – Laurie 3303 – I Got The Blues – 1965

The Teardrops – Laurie 3325 – Hey Gingerbread/Champaign Lady – January, 1966

The Four Coins – Laurie 3331 – I’ll Never Love Again/Try Your Luck – March, 1966

Sal Corrente – Roulette 4673 – Run, Run, Run – March, 1966

(Salvatore was a NY police office and a member of “The Johnny Law Four”)

Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3345 – The Good Life/A Bum Can’t Cry – May, 1966

(Ernie’s singing debut release with Laurie Records)

Ben Zine – Parkway 996 – What The Heck’s The Hanky Panky/Village of Tears – July, 1966

Frank Lyndon – Bang 531 – Don’t Look At Me (and Earth Angel Maresca Producer) – August, 1966

Former member of the Belmonts – the co-writer Rosemary was Frank’s wife – She sometimes wrote songs as Rosemarie Scheerin – Frank was also a member of a New York doo-wop group called the Darvels – a group that included a close friend of Maresca’s, Warren Gradus a later member of the Belmonts

The Four Coins – Laurie 3360 – Shout, Shout (Knock Yourself Out)/People Get Jealous – October, 1966

(The Four Coins all started off as musicians in the Bobby Vinton Orchestra before first becoming the Four Keys and then the Four Coins)

Ernie Mareska – Providence 417 – Rockin’ Boulevard/Am I Better Off Than Them – October, 1966

The Spiedels – Providence 418 – Dream Girl/That’s What I Get – November, 1966

Boots Walker – Rust 5105 – Put Your Boots On The Shelf/Crazy Things Like That – 1966

“Boots Walker” was an alias for Louis Zerato – who a co-wrote several songs with Ernie Maresca – He apparently moved to Colorado later in his career

Renee St. Clair – Jubilee 5558 – Under the Brooklyn Bridge – January, 1967

Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3371 – My Son/My Shadow and Me – January, 1967

Johnny Law Four – Providence 419 – There Ought To Be a Law/Call On Me – March, 1967

(This is police office Sal Corrente a close friend of Ernie’s – the entire group were New York police officers)

Boots Walker – Rust 5115 – They’re Here/A Bum Can’t Cry – April, 1967

Jimmy Curtiss – 3383 – Psychedelic Situation/Gone But Not Forgotten – April, 1967

Jimmie Rodgers – A&M – Child of Clay – Charted Number 31 Hot 100 – August, 1967

(This would be Rodgers final charting single)

The Casualeers – Laurie 3407 – Open Your Eyes – September, 1967

(The Casualeers were a soul group out of Chicago, Illinois

Boots Walker – Rust  5117 – Magic Carpet/White Collar Worker – (Maresca Producer) – 1967

Artie Chicago (From the Bronx) – The Wanderer/Please Don’t Play Me A7 – January, 1968

(This is Ernie backed by the Belmonts)

The Cardboard Zeppelin – Laurie 3433 – Ten Story Building/City Lights – March, 1968

Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3447 – What Is A Marine/The Night My Papa Died – May, 1968

The Chiffons – Laurie 3460 – Up On the Bridge – August, 1968

The Dawn – Rust 5128 – Baby I Love You – 1968

They were also known as The Five Discs and the Boyfriends

Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3496 – Blind Date/People Get Jealous – April, 1969

Carlo’s Crown Jewel – Tower 497 – Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy/It’s Alright – (Marcesca Producer) – August, 1969

This is original Belmont member Carlo Mastrangelo

Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3519 – The Spirit Of Woodstock (Remains in America Today)/Web Of Love – September, 1969

(Ernie changing with the times so it seems co-writing here with Warren Gradus who would join the Belmonts later on)

Frank Lyndon – Uptown 758 – Don’t Go Away Baby/Lisa – 1969

Slim Jim – Laurie 3572 – My Son  – 1971

Sundae – Laurie 3595 – The Third Degree/Livin’ In Pain – 1972

The Five Discs – Laurie 3601 – Rock and Roll Revival/Gypsy Woman – 1972

The group was from Brooklyn and also recorded as the Boyfriends on the Kapp label and earlier as the Dawn on Rust Records

Foreign Intrigue – E.M. 1001 – The Wanderer/Blind Date – October, 1977

This is a reissue of the Maresca recording on Ernie’s own label – the only release I could find on E.M.

Warren Gradus – Laurie 3665 – Lovers Who Wander/A Bigger Wall – 1978

Warren was a member of the Darvels and a latter member of the Belmonts

Dion and the Belmonts – Ernie Maresca – Laurie 3698 – Dion and the Belmonts Medley/You’re The Only Girl For Me – 1982

Ernie Maresca – Laurie4006 – The Original Songs of Ernie Maresca – 1978

April 4th. 1964! A Week on the Charts Like No Other

January 12, 2020

The Top Ten Beatles’ Five-Fecta!

(Note – this is an old Post from my earlier (first) blog “The British Invasion” from June, 2011 – Thought I would dust it off and embellish it a bit)

History was made this week on the Billboard Charts – April 4th, 1964 marked the first and the only time in the history of the U.S. Charts that a group (or any artist for that matter) would occupy – not just the top 2 positions, but the Top Five!

Many acts through the years have managed holding positions number 1 and number 2 simultaneously (Elvis was the earliest in 1956 with “Hound Dog”, and “Love Me Tender”). The Bee Gees were the first to follow the Beatles 1964 accomplishment with “Night Fever” and “Stayin Alive” in 1978. Then it would be a very long 24 years before it would once again occur – with Ashanti charting one-two with “Foolish” and “What’s Luv”. After that – six more acts would do a one-two.  Akon has done it on three different occasions with 3 sets of songs.

As presented below, the Beatles were joined by seven of their fellow country mates on the charts – In the months that followed that number would greatly increase.

Beyond the Top 10 – The boys from Liverpool enjoyed occupying seven additional positions within the Hot 100!

Number 1 – Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

Number 2 – Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Number 3 – She Loves You – The Beatles

Number 4 – I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

Number 5 – Please Please Me – The Beatles

The Beatles Beyond the Top 10 – April 4th, 1964

Number 31 – I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Number 41 – From Me To You – The Beatles

Number 46 – Do You Want To Know A Secret – The Beatles

Number 58 – All My Loving – The Beatles

(Released on an extended play)

Number 65 – You Can’t Do That – The Beatles

Number 68 – Roll Over Beethoven – The Beatles

(Demand was so great the Canadian release charted in the U.S.)

Number 79 – Thank You Girl – The Beatles

April 4th, 1964 Beatles Long Plays on the U.S. Charts

(At this time Billboard presented a “Top 150” positions – later to be expanded to 200 positions)

Number 1 – Meet the Beatles – Capitol

Number 2 – Introducing the Beatles – Vee Jay

Number 87 – The Beatles with Tony Sheridan and Their Guests – MGM

Number 135 – Jolly What! England’s Greatest Recording Stars – The Beatles and Frank Ifield- Vee Jay

(This LP would again be released by Vee Jay in August of 1964 – in what would end up being an extremely hard to find issue – shown below this one – The Beatles are depicted in art form due to Capitol Records preventing Vee Jay from using their actual photos any longer – and then eventually, Capitol’s muscle would completely push Vee Jay out of retaining any Beatles’ publication rights.)

Joining the Beatles – British Invaders on the April 4th, 1964 Hot 100 & Bubbling Under Chart

Number 10 – The Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over

Number 15 – The Searchers – Needles and Pins

Number 24 – The Swingin’ Blue Jeans – Hippy Hippy Shake

Number 42 – The Carefrees – We Love You Beatles

Number 48 – The Dave Clark Five – Bits and Pieces

Number 75 – Dusty Springfield – Stay Awhile

Number 113 – The Bachelors – Diane

Invasion Related Novelty Tunes on the April 4th, 1964 Hot 100

(Plus a couple of non-novelties but Invasion related by American artists)

Number 52 – Bobby Vee – I’ll Make You Mine

(An obvious attempt at catching that Liverpool sound)

Number 85 – The Four Preps – A Letter to the Beatles

Number 123 – Jimmy Griffin – All My Loving