Various Artists

The Golden Era of Doo-Wops: Flash Records

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Flash Records existed for only four years, from 1955 until 1959, an outgrowth of the Flash Record Shop in south central Los Angeles, owned by Charlie "Flash" Reynolds. The Georgia-born Reynolds recognized that there was a vast array of talent in the neighborhood who had the potential for success but no chance to be recorded, and he changed that in June of 1955 when he cut his first three singles, by Sidney Maiden, B. Brown and the McVouts, and Haskell Sadler -- none of their blues sides (none of which are on this collection) ever came close to charting, but they didn't have to. Reynolds had set up his operation so that he could make back his costs with only a few hundred sales, and as he had confidence in the product and could recommend it, he did that over his own counter. His entry into R&B harmony vocals came with signing the Jayhawks -- he later added the Poets and Emanon 4 to his stable, and the Cubans. All of these acts, although they emphasized vocals, had a fairly hard rock sound by doo wop standards, and they gave Flash a tougher sound than a lot of the usual releases in this field.

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