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Don Robey

Label owner, songwriter, maker Don Robey’s name ought to be on any serious set of early pop/R&B pioneers. His Duke-Peacock category of brands boasted an extraordinary roster: Johnny Ace, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Big Mama Thornton, Clarence “Gatemouth” Dark brown, the Dixie Hummingbirds, O.V. Wright, Carl Carlton, the Five Blind Kids of Mississippi, Inez Andrews, Memphis Slim, Small Junior Parker, Joe Hinton, and much more. Blessed November 1, 1903, in Houston, TX, Robey’s entrepreneurial heart was nutured while we were young around the top notch of Houston’s dark business community. Falling out of senior high school, he attempted his hands at being truly a professional gambler. After relationship and getting a kid, he opened up a taxicab business. Merging his interest for music along with his business feeling, Robey became a meeting promoter, keeping ballroom dances throughout the Houston region. During the past due ’30s, Robey still left Houston for a couple years for LA, starting the Harlem Barbeque grill night membership. After time for Houston within the middle-’40s, he opened up the Bronze Peacock Supper Club spotlighting best jazz talent. Afterwards, Robey opened an archive shop and in 1947 he became a skill manager putting your signature on blues vocalist/guitarist Clarence “Gatemouth” Dark brown. In 1949, following a poor knowledge with Palladium Information, Robey made a decision to take up a record label and asked Evelyn Johnson to accomplish some research. Predicated on her function, Robey made a decision to begin Peacock Information and recorded Dark brown as his 1st designer. The double-sided strike “Mary IS OKAY” (quantity eight R&B) supported with “My Period Is Costly” (quantity nine R&B) was popular during past due 1949. More strikes adopted: Marie Adams’ number 3 R&B hit “I’m Gonna Play the Honky Tonks,” Floyd Dixon’s quantity eight R&B hit “Sad Trip Blues,” and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton’s number 1 hit “Hound Pet.” In 1952, Robey merged his Peacock label with Dave Mattis’ Duke Information of Memphis, TN, and Duke-Peacock was created. Robey got over full possession from the label in 1953. Authorized to Duke had been legendary blues vocalist Johnny Ace and Roscoe Gordon. Ace got three number 1 R&B strikes: “My Music,” which kept the top place for nine weeks through the fall of 1952; “The Time clock,” that was number 1 for five weeks in summer season 1953; and “Pledging My Like,” that was number 1 for ten weeks. The others of Ace’s singles had been TOP R&B strikes: “Combination My Center” (number 3), “Keeping My Love for you personally” (number 2), “Make sure you Forgive Me” (amount six), “Hardly ever Let Me Move” (amount nine), and “Anymore” (amount seven). The singer’s star only elevated when he was fatally shot throughout a backstage video game of Russian Roulette at Houston’s Town Auditorium, dying the next day on Dec 25, 1954. Another early Duke-Peacock superstar was Small Junior Parker. A cousin of Al Green along with a bandmate of Howlin Wolf, the vocalist/harmonica player initial hit the graphs with “Feelin’ Great” by Small Junior’s Blue Flames on Sunlight Records, which strike quantity five R&B in fall 1953. His 1st Duke strike was “THE NEXT TIME THE THING IS Me” (quantity seven R&B) in 1957, and much more Top Ten strikes adopted: “Traveling Steering wheel,” “At night,” and “Annie GET A Yo Yo.” Charting 45 singles for the R&B graphs and 33 for the pop graphs, Duke-Peacock’s all-around biggest R&B superstar was Bobby “Blue” Bland. A bandmate of Ace, Gordon, and Parker within the Beale Streeters along with a Duke musician prior to the merger, Bland initial charted with “Farther Up the street,” lots one R&B strike in fall 1957. Bland’s batch of Duke-Peacock TOP R&B strikes also contains “Little Guy Blue,” “I’ll Look after You” — compiled by Brook Benton — “Business lead Me On,” “Cry Cry Cry,” “I Pity the Fool,” “Don’t Cry FORGET ABOUT,” “Start Your Like Light,” “Ain’t That Adoring You,” “Produce Not to Enticement,” “Stormy Mon Blues,” the double-sided strike “That is the Method Love Is normally” b/w “Ask Me,” and “These Hands (Little but Mighty).” Zero record label might have strikes without talented workers in the backdrop. Robey’s personnel included advertising/sales repetitions Dave Clark and Irving Marcus, in addition to manufacturer/arrangers Joe Scott, Johnny Otis, and Costs Harvey. Evelyn Johnson went Robey’s Buffalo Reservation Agency. The membership as well as the label had been located at 2612 Erastus St. Robey started issuing gospel on Peacock; actually, he issued even more gospel music than blues or R&B. He constructed an amazingly wealthy and long lasting roster of gospel skill: the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Sensational Nightingales, the Mighty Clouds of Pleasure, the Five Blind Young boys of Mississippi, Rev. Cleophus Robinson, Christland Performers (with unique Soul Stirrers business lead vocalist R.H. Harris), O’Neal Twins, the Highway QCs, Rev. W. Leo Daniels, Rev. Julius Cheeks, Swan Silvertones, Harmonizing Four, Willie Banking institutions as well as the Messengers, Mildred Clark, Tessie Hill, Charles Flip as well as the Gospel Messengers, Sunset Travelers, among others. The Hummingbirds, who have been still performing within the 1990s, produced the R&B graphs with “Adores Me Such as a Rock and roll” (amount 72 R&B in fall 1973). That same season, the group supported Paul Simon on his yellow metal number 2 pop remake from the tune in past due summer time 1973. Robey also released gospel on his Track Bird label, that was created in past due 1963. In 1957, Robey began Back Defeat, an R&B label that experienced strikes with O.V. Wright, Joe Hinton, and Tx rock-country vocalist/guitarist Roy Mind as well as the Characteristics. Also authorized to Back Defeat was rock and roll group the Rob Roys, including future strike composer/maker Charles Fox (“Content Times”). Carl Carlton, whose two biggest strikes had been the 1981 million-seller “She’s a poor Mama Jama” and “Everlasting Like,” got his 1st big break through Don Robey. Carlton, who began documenting for Lando Information in his teenagers only a small amount Carl Carlton in 1964 in his indigenous Detroit, was agreed upon to Back Defeat following the label found the Lando one “Competition Ain’t Nothin’.” While sector vets like Gus Redmond and Rick Roberts can chat of Robey’s notorious methods, an important reality shouldn’t be forgotten: Robey was among the initial African-Americans to possess a highly effective record label within the U.S., predating Motown’s Berry Gordy by greater than a 10 years. The music business can be hugely tough and Robey demonstrated that he could possibly be as tough as some of his peers. Robey marketed Duke-Peacock to ABC-Dunhill Information on, may 23, 1973. He was maintained like a specialist with ABC, which reissued the Duke-Peacock catalog. Through the ’80s, MCA Information bought the ABC Information catalog, including Robey’s legacy. On June 16, 1975, Don Robey passed away in his indigenous Houston.

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