The Flash Records Story Various Artists (Label Stories)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1309

This product is also available in these versions:
The Flash Records Story (MP3), MP3 (£15.98)

Charlie Reynolds was just one of many black entrepreneurs in 1950s Los Angeles who started his own independent record company, hoping to cash in on America’s post-war rhythm and blues juggernaut. As the owner of the popular Flash Record Shop at 623 East Vernon Avenue, he had a first-hand look at what customers, especially teenagers, were buying. Operating out of his back room, he released 31 blues, R&B, doo wop, and proto-soul platters between 1955 and 1959. One of them even spent a couple of weeks in the national Top 40 charts. But as Reynolds soon discovered, the indie record business was a hustler’s game. The increasing costs of payola and his distributors’ refusal to pay royalties for the last single until the next one started selling ate up his profits. He eventually let Flash Records lapse quietly into history. Still, as this new 2-CD, 60-song package attests, Reynolds had a great run and produced more than his share of exciting and worthy material.

“The Flash Records Story” contains nearly every Flash release – most of them on CD for the first time – along with a few tracks that remained in the can. Gutbucket aficionados will love the blues trio of Sidney Maiden, Haskell Sadler and Bee Brown, not to mention singer-guitarist Frank Patt with pianist Gus Jenkins’ band, and sassy blues thrushes Sheryl Crowley and Mamie Jenkins. There’s also bluesy balladeers James Curry, Paul Clifton and Buddy Cypress, boogie woogie pianist Judge Davis, budding black hearththrob Nip Roman and honking tenor saxophonists Maurice Simon and Lorenzo Holden.

LA’s most popular form of R&B in the 1950s was doo wop, and Flash’s roster of vocal groups is second to none. Most collectors are aware of the Jayhawks, who wrote and recorded the original ‘Stranded In The Jungle’, so naturally we’ve included all their Flash singles and documented their amazing if turbulent story. Flash’s other vocal group singles were one-off affairs but no less impressive: the mysterious Emanon 4, with their haunting, gospel-tinted harmonies; the Hornets, a quartet of servicemen aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier who drove to Los Angeles during a weekned leave and recorded only two songs in a Watts garage studio – but what great songs they are; the Poets from LA’s famed Jefferson High School, whose ‘Vowels Of Love’ became a popular record several years later during the early 60 doo wop revival; the Arrows from New Orleans, newly migrated to the West Coast; and an ultra-smooth supergroup of doo wop veterans who called themselves the Cubans, who would evolve two years later into Little Caesar and the Romans of ‘Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)’ fame. The Cuban were so fantastic, we’ve included their entire session of five songs, plus an alternate take. Rounding out the set is a huge booklet chocked full of photos and newly discovered information.

Most of Flash’s singles sold poorly and are rare today: to buy them all from collectors you’d have to sell your house and at least one child. With this package, mastered directly from the original tapes, you can keep the house, keep the kid, Flash back to the 50s, and enjoy the legacy of the late, great Charlie Reynolds.

By Jim Dawson


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Good Woman Blues - B Brown & His McVouts

  • 02 Preview Gone For Good - Haskell Sadler

  • 03 Preview Hurry, Hurry, Baby - Sidney Maiden & His Ramblers

  • 04 Preview Mambo For Dancers - B Brown & His McVouts

  • 05 Preview Everything Is Wrong - Sidney Maiden & His Ramblers

  • 06 Preview Do Right Mind - Haskell Sadler

  • 07 Preview Counting My Teardrops - The Jayhawks

  • 08 Preview Blues For Monday - The Emanon "4"

  • 09 Preview Oh! That Girl - The Emanon "4"

  • 10 Preview The Devil's Cousin - The Jayhawks

  • 11 Preview Just A Night Girl - Sheryl Crowley with James Curry & His Orchestra

  • 12 Preview Still Longing For You - James Curry

  • 13 Preview I'll Be Seeing You - Sheryl Crowley & James Curry

  • 14 Preview Walking Down Swing Street - Lorenzo Holden

  • 15 Preview Please Baby - James Curry

  • 16 Preview Don't Mind Dyin' - The Jayhawks

  • 17 Preview Stranded In The Jungle - The Jayhawks

  • 18 Preview My Promise - James Curry

  • 19 Preview My Devotion - Sheryl Crowley with Lorenzo Holden's Orchestra

  • 20 Preview My Only Darling - The Jayhawks

  • 21 Preview Love Train - The Jayhawks

  • 22 Preview It Ain't To Play With! - Sheryl Crowley with Lorenzo Holden's Orchestra

  • 23 Preview Flashy - Maurice Simons

  • 24 Preview Blue Light - Maurice Simons

  • 25 Preview You Told Me - Gus Jenkins

  • 26 Preview Gonna Hold On - Frank Patt

  • 27 Preview Don't Forsake Me (Bop To De Lao) - Buddy Cypress

  • 28 Preview I'm In Love With You - Buddy Cypress

  • 29 Preview You Going To Pay For It Baby - Frank Patt

  • 30 Preview Ooh-La Cha-Cha - The Fabulous Preston Combo

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Mr Boogie - Judge Davis

  • 02 Preview Can't Sleep At Night - Judge Davis

  • 03 Preview Sawmill Section - Judge Davis

  • 04 Preview Hambone - Mamie Jenkins

  • 05 Preview Jump With Me Baby - Mamie Jenkins

  • 06 Preview Darling I Need You - Nip Roman

  • 07 Preview With These Words - Nip Roman

  • 08 Preview Crying Over You - The Hornets

  • 09 Preview Tango Moon - The Hornets

  • 10 Preview Dead - The Poets

  • 11 Preview Vowels Of Love - The Poets

  • 12 Preview Explain Yourself - Judge Davis

  • 13 Preview Ain't I Cried Enough - Paul Clifton

  • 14 Preview I'm Hurted - Mamie Perry with the Gus Jenkins Orchestra

  • 15 Preview My Baby Waited Too Long - Mamie Perry with Gus Jenkins Orchestra

  • 16 Preview I'm Your Slave aka How Long Will I Be Your Slave (Take 2) - Frank Patt

  • 17 Preview You've Been Gone So Long - The Cubans

  • 18 Preview Indian Bop Hop - The Arrows with Paul Clifton's Band

  • 19 Preview Annie Mae - The Arrows with Paul Clifton's Band

  • 20 Preview Don't Go Baby - The Cubans

  • 21 Preview Just A Minute Baby - Frank Patt

  • 22 Preview Drift On - Gus Jenkins

  • 23 Preview Don't Have To Cry No More - Frank Patt

  • 24 Preview You've Been Gone So Long (Previously unissued) - The Cubans

  • 25 Preview Oh Miss Dolly - The Cubans

  • 26 Preview Can't You See - The Cubans

  • 27 Preview Tell Me (Will You Ever Be Mine) - The Cubans

  • 28 Preview Are You Alright? - Paul Clifton

  • 29 Preview I'm Your Slave aka How Long Will I Be Your Slave (Take 1) - Frank Patt

  • 30 Preview Slow Down - Gus Jenkins

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