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Romance In The Dark, CD (£11.50)
R&B Hall of Fame inductee kicked off the Modern label in 1945 and went on to cut a slew of boogie piano & vocal R&B sides for the label.
The artist who put Modern Records on the musical map was perhaps surprisingly not BB King or Elmore James or John Lee Hooker but a beautiful, classically trained pianist named Hadda Brooks. Brooks created a young, hip style - a boogie pianist not averse to boogie-ing the classics (check out her recording Schubert's Serenade In Boogie) she was also a fine singer of blues and standards. Hadda charted with numbers like That's My Desire (No 4 on the Race charts), Out Of The Blue (No 9 and from her first movie in 1947) and Honey, Honey, Honey (all on this CD). Hadda's main boogie inspiration was the Kansas City ivory whupper Pete Johnson and she gives a few nods in his direction on Bully Wully Boogie. After a spell in the movies - with Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner - Hadda returned to Modern for a session in 1951 on which she was backed by the Count Basic Orchestra. When A Woman Cries, Tough On My Heart, I Feel So Good and Don't Call It Love are among the recordings here from that final Modern session. Hadda went on to cut sides for Okeh, host a 1953 Los Angeles TV show, work the night club circuit and in 1993 be inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Hall Of Fame at the Hollywood Palace.