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Episode #673 – DOOTONE Records

Air Week: March 27-April 2, 2023

DooTone Records

Matt The Cat takes a look at another Black-owned, independent, LA-based record label that contributed greatly to the birth of Rock n’ Roll and the popularity of R&B Vocal Groups during the 1950s. This week, the “Juke In The Back” puts Dootsie Williams’ little label, DooTone Records into the spotlight for a solid hour of stunning Rhythm & Blues from the ’40s and ’50s. We’ll dig on Dootsie’s first label Blue Records, which was born out of the Musicians Union Strike of ’48. Dootsie, a big band trumpeter had been in the business since 1930 and saw there was a profit to be made of lewd party records as well as Blues and R&B. He expanded his enterprise in 1951 by starting DooTone Records and began releasing records from LA’s emerging vocal group scene. The Medallions, Don Julian & The Meadowlarks and DooTone’s only huge national hit, The Penguins’ “Earth Angel” were issued by the end of 1954. He continued into ’55 and ’56 with The Dootones, The Pipes, The Cuff-Links, The Calvanes and a slew of great Los Angeles R&B, before deciding that the independent record business wasn’t going to get any better. This week, we take a snap-shot of a regional sound being discovered by a nation who’s musical tastes were changing as young people were buying records and Rock n’ Roll was emerging. It’s a piece of history that sounds best when played on the “Juke In The Back.”


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