HISTORY AND DISCOGRAPHY

 

The first record company owned and operated by Los Angeles entrepreneur John Dolphin whose Dolphin’s Of Hollywood Record Store was the most innovative retail outlet of early rock featuring famous local disc jockeys broadcasting live from his front window which attracted customers, artists and curiosity seekers, while he also kept his store open all night which resulted in it becoming a magnet for like-minded young rock fans, especially on weekends, who’d hang out there for hours to soak up the atmosphere.

Though the store was not in Hollywood, but rather on the corner of Central and Vernon in South Central LA, Dolphin named it that because black business was not welcome in Hollywood, so – as he put it – he “brought Hollywood to the black community”. Once white patrons turned onto rock ‘n’ roll began frequenting the store however it faced nonstop harassment by police seeking to stop any interracial assimilation from occurring.

Dolphin branched into producing records with Recorded In Hollywood in 1948, primarily to be sold through his stores and promoted by having them played on the in-house radio shows and the artists consisted mainly of local kids seeking a measure of neighborhood fame, though he employed skilled musicians to back them including bassist Red Callender. He typically paid little to nothing to the artists, but delivered on his promise they’d be pressed, sold and spun on the air – often the very same day – which tended to be enough to placate the amateurs and to give aspiring professionals experience in the studio as well as a glorified demo to pitch to more established labels.

Many members of the fertile Los Angeles rock scene of the early to mid-1950’s got their start cutting records for one of Dolphin’s many imprints and if some started to draw interest he’d branch out and distribute the records to a wider market. He sold off the Recorded In Hollywood label in 1953 and turned his attention to other labels started in their wake, including Cash and Money.

Dolphin was murdered in his store February 1, 1958 by part-time employee Percy Ivy who had sold Dolphin songs he’d written but had never been paid. Future hit-makers Bruce Johnston (Beach Boys) and drummer Sandy Nelson were among those who witnessed the shooting as they too were trying to sell him songs they’d written.
 
 
RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date on Spontaneous Lunacy):

PERCY MAYFIELD: Two Years Of Torture (7) (Recorded In Hollywood 111; May, 1950)
PERCY MAYFIELD: Half Awoke (7) (Recorded In Hollywood 111; May, 1950)
THE HOLLYWOOD FOUR FLAMES: She’s Got Something (5) (Recorded In Hollywood 164; August, 1951)
THE HOLLYWOOD FOUR FLAMES: I’ll Always Be A Fool (1) (Recorded In Hollywood 164; August, 1951)
THE HOLLYWOOD FOUR FLAMES: The Glory Of Love (5) (Recorded In Hollywood 165; August, 1951)
THE HOLLYWOOD FOUR FLAMES: Young Girl (3) (Recorded In Hollywood 165; August, 1951)
GENE FORREST: It Was You (3) (Recorded In Hollywood 172; November, 1951)
GENE FORREST: Everybody’s Got Money (3) (Recorded In Hollywood 172; November, 1951)