Various Artists

The Swingtime Records Story

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A black entrepreneur named Jack Lauderdale, for a period of a half dozen years, ran the Swingtime label -- and its myriad subsidiaries -- and his story is nicely told through the music on this wonderful two-disc box set. Lauderdale was no two bit hustler; he had both vision and ambition. He recorded everything from big band jump blues to piano trios to gospel groups. He released the first major recordings of guitarist Lowell Fulson and discovered a young Ray Charles when he was still in his Nat King Cole phase, although starting to find his own style. Nineteen of the 50 tracks included here are either by Fulson or Charles, the twin historical peaks of Lauderdale's empire. Add to that mix delightful work from Big Joe Turner, pianist Lloyd Glenn, a young Jimmy McCracklin, Percy Mayfield, Johnny Otis, and Charles Brown and you're beginning to get the big picture. In many ways, the tracks included here could easily represent the breadth of late '40s to early '50s in vogue sounds of African-American music. It's that far-reaching in its scope.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:25
2 2:32
3 2:44
4 3:03
5 2:58
6
2:51
7
2:59
8 2:45
9 2:54
10 2:55
11 2:59
12 2:12
13 2:41
14 2:44
15 2:34
16 2:31
17 3:01
18 2:28
19 2:38
20 2:58
21 2:57
22 2:53
23 2:44
24 3:09
25 2:47
blue highlight denotes track pick