As the 1940s turned into the 50s girls were supposed to sing about June and moon or the price of doggies in windows, but across town in the black juke joints a more raunchy sound could be heard. Here the girls taunted and challenged with R&B songs that spelled out far more basic emotions. The excitement generated caused many an indie record company to commit such performances to wax, knowing that jukebox sales would follow. The snag was no airplay. In America censorship was in full flow both in film and on the airwaves. This meant it was almost impossible to get major sales, which in turn means that these records are tough to find some 50+ years later. But here’s where we get lucky.
The brothers Bihari, owners of Modern Records, not only recorded much of this genre, but they kept the acetates or tapes. As a result, Ace Records, who now own this material, have been able to put before you 28 tracks of early in-your-face female R&B, 18 of which are previously unissued and a further eight that have not seen prior CD release.