The Four Tunes

The Four Tunes - Predecessors to the world of Doo-Wop.

Two By The Four Tunes – 1949 – Past Daily Nights At The Round Table

The Four Tunes – Predecessors to the world of Doo-Wop.

The Four Tunes – 1. I’m Just A Fool In Love – 2. The Lonesome Road – Recorded November 15, 1949 – RCA-Victor Records –

Picking up where we left off a few weeks ago with two songs by The Four Tunes in this session for RCA-Victor Records on November 15, 1949. Staring with the A-side: I’m Just A Fool In Love and the B-side: The Lonesome Road.

The Four Tunes originated from The Brown Dots, a quartet started in New York City by Ivory “Deek” Watson (born July 18, 1909, Mounds, Illinois – died November 4, 1969, Washington, DC) after he split from the Ink Spots in late 1944.[1] The other original members were William Henry “Pat” Best (baritone and guitar) (born June 6, 1923, Wilmington, North Carolina – died October 14, 2004, Roseville, California),[2] Joe King (tenor), and Jimmy Gordon (bass).[1]

Best and Watson were co-credited with the song “For Sentimental Reasons”, which became The Brown Dots’ first single. Later it became a 1946 hit for Nat King Cole and was recorded by many other artists. Soon afterwards, King was replaced by Jimmie Nabbie (tenor) and, in late 1946, Nabbie, Best, and Gordon recruited Danny Owens to replace Watson. They called themselves The Sentimentalists (after “For Sentimental Reasons”) and started recording for Manor, backing Savannah Churchill on her 1947 No. 1 US Billboard R&B chart hit, “I Want to Be Loved (But Only by You)”,[1] and also on her 1948 releases “Time Out for Tears” and “I Want to Cry”.

After bandleader Tommy Dorsey asked them to stop calling themselves the Sentimentalists, also the name of his vocal group, they changed their name to The Four Tunes. Nabbie later stated that the name was derived from the fact that all they had left were four tunes that they had not yet recorded. Manor reissued all their Sentimentalists recordings as by the Four Tunes.

They continued recording for Manor until early in 1949, when they switched over to RCA Victor, where they had 18 records released between May 1949 and November 1953. They then switched to Jerry Blaine’s Jubilee label, where they achieved their greatest popularity. Their first Jubilee recording, “Marie” was released in September, and reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart (No. 13 Pop). It sold one million copies. This Irving Berlin tune had been a No. 1 hit for Tommy Dorsey (with Jack Leonard on vocal) in 1937, and was later a hit for Irish group The Bachelors.

Tonight it’s two of those tracks recorded for RCA on November 15, 1949 – straight off the original 78s.

Here’s a taste.

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