Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Miami's AFS label

courtesy of Rockin' Country Style
AFS Records was a small label founded by Miami record producer Harold Doane and Mitch Lebow. Doane had set up his American Recording and Transcription Service in 1945 at the Cadillac Hotel and moved his studio several times, before he finally settled on 119th Street in Miami. The first records on Doane's label Art appeared in 1951 by Blind Blake Higgs, a black calypso musician from Nassau. Art was the first record label to release calypso (then called "goombay music").

Doane extended his operations in the mid-1950s and founded two new labels: Perfect in 1955 (which was close down in 1956) and AFS 1957. AFS was a label who exclusevly signed artists and songwriters who were members of the American Federation of Songwriters (shortcut AFS). The AFS label was first mentioned by Billboard on November 11, 1957, in its "New Record Labels" section. The initial release was by the Three-Thirds, likely a local female vocal trio that also accompanied other artists on their recordings for Doane.

Wesley Hardin and Roger Smith were two of the artists that recorded for AFS. Rockabilly singer Wesley Hardin had previously recorded for Perfect and waxed the pounding single "Anyway" b/w "A Thing Called Love" in 1957. He was accompanied by the Roxsters, who recorded a single on their own in 1958 on Art. "Be-Bop Boogie" was Roger Smith's first rock'n'roll recording and it sounds almost absurd when he tries to copy the vocal style of young rock'n'rollers. He probably came from another musical direction and went with the rock'n'roll craze in 1958. Air Records, another Miami label, eventually re-released "Be-Bop Boogie" and Smith went on to record for the label at least until 1960.

In 1960, Doane released a single by a band called Russ Samuel and the Vanguards, "When You Were My Girl" b/w "Melancholy Babe." It is supposed to be the label's biggest seller and sold about 35.000 copies. Samuel was at one time a member of Happy Harrold's band.

Sometimes after 1960, Doane closed down AFS Records. Between 1979 and 1981, the label was revived to issue three collector oriented LPs with Miami rockabilly recordings, which were later compiled by Ace Records. In 1999, Harold Doane sold his entire master catalog to 2Tribes Entertainment, including all Art recordings and probably also the AFS masters.

300: Three-Thirds - I'm No Good Without You / Congratulations
301: Three-Thirds with the Marlins - Kisses Sweeter Than Wine / Lonely Blues (1957)
302: Wesley Hardin with the Roxters - Anyway / A Thing Called Love (1957)
303: Trudy Lawrence - You Covered Me with Kisses / Ashes of Love (1958)
304: Bey Ireland with the Stardusters - Old Chuck Wagon / The Stardusters - A Stocking Full of Love (1958)
305: Roger Smith with Orchestra - Be-Bop Boogie / Stay Awhile with Me (1958)
306: The Stereos - Hot Rod / Poison (1958)
308: The Southern Travelers - In My Heart / Lord Jesus
309: Russ Samuel and the Vanguards - When You Were My Girl / Melancholy Babe (1960)

Sources: Rockin' Country Style, Rob Finnis, Wanda, the Bassest, various Billboard issues, Drunken Hobo


jolly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the bassest said...

AFS Records was still in business in 1960, I'm sure.
I recorded there in 1960 with
Russ Samuel and the Vanguards with the Teacher's Pets.
We recorded "When Your Were My Girl" and "Melancholy Babe".
Harold assured us we had a smash.

the bassest

Mellow said...

Hi, thanks for this correction! Would like to know more about your band and your memories regarding AFS. You can contact me via email, just look at my profile page for my adress.

Wanda said...

Possible additions:

309: Russ Samuel & the Vanguards - When You Were My Girl/Melancholy Babe (1960)

Mary said...

I have an old 45 with a label exactly like this only with a different song and artist.

Mellow said...

Mary, which release number/artist/title is it?

DrunkenHobo said...

Russ Samuel on Google + has label shots
https://plus.google.com/102552471656358287402/posts Dean

Mary said...

Mellow, I have tried to send you the label info, actually the pics of them. Your email doesn't work for me, nothing happens when I click on it.
So, how can I get them to you?

Mellow said...

You can click on my email while being at my profile page. otherwhise look at: http://arkansas45s.blogspot.de/p/contact.html

so you can contact me!

DrunkenHobo said...

300 THE THREE-THIRDS - I'm No Good Without You/
304 BEY IRELAND with THE STARDUSTERS - Old Chuck Wagon/THE STARDUSTERS - A Stocking Full Of Love
were left on my blog by Jeff Lemlich