HISTORY AND DISCOGRAPHY

 


Independent record company began in Newark, New Jersey in 1945 by Irving Berman that was primarily a jazz and gospel based label, though often with a pop slant to some of their most notable jazz-rooted artists, and thus only incidentally connected with rock ‘n’ roll.

Berman owned Regis and Arco Records as well but it’d be under the Manor designation he’d have his greatest success, thanks largely to his convincing the very attractive Creole vocalist Savannah Churchill who’d already scored on Beacon and Capitol Records, to sign with him as her manager. He naturally then recorded her on Manor where she enjoyed her most successful run, often paired with The Four Tunes, the closest act they had to a rock vocal group, though the material with Churchill was largely in the pop realm.

In addition to her Manor achieved some notoriety with gospel acts The Coleman Brothers, Ernestine B. Washington and The Dixie Hummingbirds, but historically it’s with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Slam Stewart, Tab Smith, Coleman Hawkins and Jimmie Lunceford, that they made their biggest impact.

Their rock output was confined mostly to early efforts by artists (such as Tiny Bradshaw, Paul Bascomb, Joe Morris and Jimmy “Baby Face” Lewis) who would leave their biggest mark in rock ‘n’ roll on labels other than Manor. Their greatest opportunity to make inroads in the field came with The Four Tunes but as they were successful in a milder pop style already when rock emerged they never were fully pushed into trying to adapt their approach to suit the new genre and thus only hinted at rock sensibilities from time to time.

By the early 1950’s with the types of music Manor specialized in on the wane the label quietly folded.

 
 
MANOR RECORDS REVIEWED TO DATE ON SPONTANEOUS LUNACY:
 
 
JOE MORRIS: Boogie Woogie Joe (7) (Manor 1128; April, 1948)
THE FOUR TUNES: Confess (3) (Manor 1131; April, 1948)
MANHATTAN PAUL (BASCOMB): Rock And Roll (8) (Manor 1137; September, 1948)
THE FOUR TUNES: I’m Gonna Ride Tillie Tonight (6) (Manor 1154; December, 1948)
JIMMY “BABY FACE” LEWIS: I’m Wise To You Baby (7) (Manor 1164; January, 1949)
JIMMY “BABY FACE” LEWIS: Every Sunday Before Monday (4) (Manor 1197; September, 1949)
JIMMY “BABY FACE” LEWIS: Bulging Eyes (4) (Manor 1197; September, 1949)