Peacock Records was the first record label owned by Don
Robey, but to understand the history of the label you
have to look back a little further.
Born on the 1st of November, 1903, in
Houston’s Fifth Ward, Don D Robey had a pretty
unremarkable childhood until he dropped out of school
aged just 16, to become a professional gambler. He was
obviously quite successful because within five years he
could be found owning/managing his own taxi business.
It’s never been clear whether he owned the business, or
just managed it on behalf of someone else, but that sort
of cloudy distinction was to be a feature of Don’s
business dealings throughout his career. He also got
married and had a son during the time he worked in the
of his passions was music and although it’s not known
when Don became involved in promoting dances, but by
1939 he had moved to Los Angeles where he gained
employment as the manager of The Harlem Grill, a well
known night club that featured live acts. Sometime in
1942, don returned to Houston and worked on the fringes
of the entertainment industry for a couple of years
until he opened his own club called The Bronze Peacock
Dinner Club, at 2809 Erastus Street in 1945. ‘The
Peacock’ as it became known locally, soon began
featuring some of the biggest live acts of the day, and
became a great success amongst the better off black
residents of Houston. Although a complete list of
artists that appeared at the club is not known, there
are details that Ruth Brown, Louis Jordan, Lionel
Hampton, and T-Bone Walker were among the club’s
Sometime between 1945 and 1947, it’s also believed that
Don Robey opened a record shop as well, but details are,
again, a little hazy. What is
known, is in 1947, Don Robey became involved in artist
management for the first time when he agreed to
represent a local Houston Blues singer called Clarence 'Gatemouth'
Allegedly, Brown, who was able to play a variety of
instruments, jumped onto the stage at the Bronze Peacock
during a T-Bone Walker set, and stole the show. Never
one to dismiss an opportunity, Don Robey spoke to him
after the show and as a result took over his management
through a new company that he formed; The Buffalo
Booking Agency. Having installed
Evelyn Johnson to run the booking agency he concentrated
on The Bronze Peacock.
The arrangement was obviously profitable for both Robey
and Brown though, because two years later Don Robey
decided that he wanted to record Clarence ‘Gatemouth’
Brown. Being the entrepreneurial type, rather than go to
an established label, where he might lose some control,
Don Robey just decided to set up his own record label.
So, in late 1949, Peacock Records was formed.
In early 1950, Brown recorded six tracks in one session,
and four of these formed the first three singles for the
label. Confusingly, the first two releases were both
number 1500, and two tracks were used twice.
1500 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Didn't Reach My Goal / Atomic Energy - 1950
1500 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Didn't Reach My Goal / Mercy On Me - 1950
1501 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Ditch Diggin' Daddy
/ Mercy On Me - 1950
However, it set the stage for one of the biggest, and
best, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, and Soul labels ever to
have existed, and lasted until Don Robey’s death in
next three years saw a steady succession of releases for
the label, although none were huge hits, they all sold
well enough to establish the label and give it a good
financial footing. So much so that Don Robey eventually
closed The Bronze Peacock as a nightclub and made it the
headquarters, and recording studio for Peacock Records.
1952 Duke Records was formed by David J. Mattis (Who was
the the program director at Memphis radio station WDIA)
and Bill Fitzgerald in Memphis, Tennessee. A similar
type of set up to Peacock, Duke had already had hits
with Johnny Ace and Roscoe Gordon by the summer of the
1952. The two labels, Duke and Peacock were combined in
a partnership in August 1952. By April 1953, Don Robey
had managed to obtain full control of both labels, and
their base became 2809 Erastus Street in Houston.
really started to come together though in 1953.
artist, and one song, made more money for the fledgling
company than any other. Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton
had a number one R & B record that took the whole nation
by storm. So many copies were sold of this one record
that Peacock managed to keep three record pressing
plants going on this one track alone. Of course three
years later, it was covered by Elvis Presley, and became
an even bigger hit all over the world.
wasn’t just a one artist company though, the Duke label
was racking up hit after hit from Johnny Ace, and it is
this that was to cause the first really major problem
for the label, and led in some ways to a change in
On Christmas Eve 1954
Johnny Ace was found dead backstage at the City
Auditorium in Houston.
During a break
between sets, Ace allegedly decided to play a game of
Russian Roulette. He aimed a .45 caliber revolver at his
girlfriend, Olivia Gibbs, and pulled the trigger. He
then attempted to shoot her friend, Mary Carter. Both
times, the hammer fell on an empty chamber. He then
swiftly turned the gun on himself and lost the gamble.
Not only did it end the life of the label’s biggest
star, but accusations later surfaced that Don Robey was
in some way responsible for the death of Johnny Ace
because of the way he conducted the renegotiation of
Johnny Ace’s contract. Mind you, it’s also claimed that
these allegations originated from Huey P Meaux, who just
happened to be a competitor of Don Robey’s !
only nine releases on Peacock in 1955, but they did
include the wonderfully titlled ‘Tarzan And The
Dignified Monkey’ by Big Mama Thornton. Duke though, was
going from strength to strength with Bobby Bland and
Little Junior Parker becoming the stars of the label.
The next five
years saw the consolidation of the Duke and Peacock
labels and in 1957, the formation of the Back Beat
label. I guess what happened over the next couple of
years would be what we now call a re-structuring, or
re-alignment of the business.
beginning of the next decade, Duke and Back Beat
released almost exclusively R & B and Soul music, and
Peacock became a label that released purely Gospel.
Right from the
start of the label, Gospel had been a big part of the
output, but it was mixed in with the Rhythm & Blues, and
by the mid Fifties Peacock had most of the really big
name acts under contract.
The Dixie Hummingbirds,
The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, The Five Blind Boys Of
Mississippi, Reverend Cleophus Robinson, The Sensational
Nightingales, The Gospelaires of Dayton, Ohio, The
Pilgrim Jubilee Singers, The Loving Sisters, all
recorded for Peacock. In fact Peacock released 99 Gospel
albums in total.
This accounts for some
of the confusion over the numbering of the records.
Starting in 1950 with number 1500, the Gospel releases
started in 1952, with number 1700, and ran concurrent to
the 1500 series. In fact by 1960 there were only five
releases on the R & B side compared to sixteen on the
Gospel side of Peacock.
Of course, by then Duke
was becoming a major force, and in 1957, Back Beat had
been formed as A subsidiary label for R & B. By the
early Sixties though, Back Beat was issuing records that
were clearly recognised as Soul music. A further Gospel
label, Song Bird, was opened in 1963 and Sure-Shot was
to join the group later in the Sixties.
Don Robey’s reputation
as a hard bargaining business man was growing in line
with the success of the label’s records. It’s also
claimed that his reputation as a gangster ! It’s often
acknowledged that he conducted negotiations with artists
with a .45 revolver on his desk, and had a tendancy to
brandish it in the air at sticky points in the
negotiations. It’s also rumoured that he was well
connected with the local mobsters. Certainly, back in
the late Fifties / early Sixties, it would have been
impossible for anyone in the entertainment business to
not be aware of, and deal with organised crime, and
don’t forget Don Robey had been in this business for
nearly fifteen years by now
It wasn’t just in his
dealings with artists that the reputation for sharp
business practices was deserved either. At the
beginnings of the label Don realised that there was as
much money top be made from song publishing as there was
from record sales. Consequently you will find his name
on a huge proportion of the Peacock and Duke releases as
writer, but using the pseudonym Deadric Malone. Deadric
was Don’s middle name and Malone was his first wife’s
maiden name. The four label scans below show clear
examples of this.
It was estimated that at
the time of his death in 1975, Don Robey held the
copyright title on 2,500 songs, in all probability, he
didn’t write any of them ! It wasn’t illegal though.
In almost every case,
the writer of the song would have not only sold the
song, but also his rights to it at the same time, simply
because he needed the $20 right then ! In cash ! On
other occasions, writers would be under contract to
another label, thus to earn some cash on the side by
writing they would sell songs to Don Robey. Obviously
their own name couldn’t go down as the writer, so it
became D. Malone on the label. Oscar Perry in particular
has admitted to doing this.
There is also a story
about Don Robey’s continued dabbling in gambling. He
owned a racehorse called Sunrise County. Entered into a
race in which the horse was viewed as an also ran by the
bookies, it romped home by twenty lengths. It’s claimed
Robey’s winnings had to be carried out in sacks. Clearly
the horse was doped up to the eyeballs, so the Stewards
called for an enquiry. It didn’t last long though,
because when they went to test the horse, Don Robey
claimed it had bolted from it’s horse box and couldn’t
be found. It was never seen again !
Then there are the legal
cases. Don Robey sued Checker records in 1963 over their
interference in the contract of The Five Blind Boys. The
case was essentially won by Don Robey because he had a
contract signed by the group in 1960. He was awarded
$250,000 in damages, plus $10,000 costs. That was a hell
of a lot of money in 1963 ! Checker appealed against the
decision some months later, and won. Why ? Because it
turned out that the contract The Five Blind Boys had
signed in 1960 had actually been signed in 1961, and
backdated by Don Robey.
Quinton Claunch of
Goldwax records also tells a story about Don Robey
demanding royaties from a song jointly written by O V
Wright (‘There Goes My Used To Be’) who happened to be
under contract to Peacock as a member of the Sunset
Travellers. I gather he got them as well
Despite all this, and
whilst some artists hated him, most of the people who
dealt with Don Robey have fond memories of him.
Certainly his biggest artist, Bobby
Bland, acknowledges that without Don Robey he might
never have become the star he is.
This brings us to the
early Sixties, where the label had finally achieved it’s
aims in becoming a national force in Black music. R & B
was gradually fading as Soul music took centre stage,
and although many of Peacock’s releases are aimed at the
new market they always retained the rawer edge of Texas
R & B. I’m not going to delve into the release and
artists of the Sixties in any great detail, that’s for
another day, and another article.
In 1973, with his health
failing, Don Robey sold the Peacock / Duke / Back Beat /
Song Bird and Sure-Shot labels to ABC-Dunhill.
Even this deal was
shrouded in controversy, because it’s alleged that Don
Robey sold the labels to settle a rather pressing
gambling debt. He stayed on as a consultant, to
co-ordinate the reissue programme that ABC Dunhill put
together on the newly created ABC Peacock label in 1974
Sadly on June 16, 1975,
Don Robey died in his native Houston.
What also has to be
remembered is that although his mother was white, Don
Robey was regarded as a Black man through his whole
life. He created an independent business empire in the
record business a full ten years before Berry Gordy Jr
named his first label, and as Don Robey himself said “I
had two strikes against me before I started, I was
Black, and I was in the Record Business”. No mean
achievement by any standard, and a wonderful legacy to
- Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown -
Didn't Reach My Goal / Atomic Energy - 1950
1500 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Didn't Reach My Goal / Mercy On Me - 1950
1501 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Ditch Diggin' Daddy /
Mercy On Me - 1950
1502 - Bea Johnson and Jim Wynn and his Band - Glad You Let
Me Go / No Letter Blues - 1950
1503 - ?
1504 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Mary Is Fine / My Time Is Expensive - 1950
1505 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Boogie Rambler / 2 O'Clock
In The Morning - 1950
1506 - Skippy Brooks - Across The Country Blues / Skippy
Blues - 1950
1507 - ?
1508 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - I've Been Mistreated / It Can Never Be That Way -
1509 - L. Durst Dr. Hep Cat -
Hattie Green / I Cried - 1950
1510 - Silver Cooks and the Gondoliers - Mr. Ticket Agent /
Coming Back Home - 1950
1511 - ?
1512 - Norman Dunlap - Tantilizing Dreams / Rain In My Soul
1513 - R.B. Thibadeaux - R.B.
Boogie / New Kind Of Lovin' -
1514 - Edgar Blanchard and the Gondoliers - Creole Gal Blues
/ She'll Be Mine After A While - 1950
1515 - Norman Dunlap and the Gondoliers - If This Is Love /
You Mean The World To Me - 1950
1516 - ?
1517 - Memphis Slim - Mean Little Woman /
The Girl I Love - 1950
1518 - ?
1519 - Iona Harlin -
/ ? - 1950
1520 - ?
1521 - ?
1522 - ?
1523 - ?
1524 - R B Thibadeaux - Blues At Daybreak / You Love Me So
Good - 1950
1525 - R B Thibadeaux - She's A Real Fine Woman / Rain On My
Window Pain - 1950
1526 - Iona Wade and the Jay McShann
Orchestra - Take My Number Baby / Come On
In, Drink Some Gin - 1950
1527 - ?
1528 - J. Riggins Jr. - Let's Dance / We'll Be Together -
1529 - ?
1530 - ?
1531 - Willie Holiday - I've Played This Town / My Woman Put
Me Down - 1950
1532 - Iona Wade and the Jay McShann
Orchestra - Gonna Make
A Change / Keep Your Man At Home
1533 - ?
1534 - ?
1535 - The Original Five Blind Boys
Vocal Solo: Archie Brownlee - Something
Within Me / One Of These Days -
1536 - The Original Five Blind Boys
Brownlee - Lead - Jesus Gave Me Water /
Amazing Grace - 1950
1537 - Elmore Nixon - Alabama Blues / My Wish For You - 1950
1538 - Carl Campbell Henry Hayes and the Four Kings -
Early Morning Blues / Traveling On - 1950
1539 - ?
1540 - Willie "Doc" Jones - Do You Want
To Roll / Wolf Song - 1950
1541 - ?
1542 - Floyd Dixon - I'm So Worried / Don't Cry Now Baby -
1543 - Floyd Dixon - We'll Be Together / Let's Dance - 1950
1544 - Floyd Dixon - She's Understanding / Sad Journey -
1545 - ?
1546 - Floyd Dixon - Pleasure Blues /
Rockin' At Home - 1950
1547 - ?
1548 - ?
1549 - Walter Brown - New Little Girl /
? - 1950
1550 - The Five
Blind Boys "Jackson
Lead: Archie Brownlee - Our Father
(Which Art In Heaven) /
Move In The Room With The Lord - 1950
1551 - The Five
Blind Boys "Jackson
Lead: Vance Powell And Archie Brownlee -
He's My Rock / I've Got A Right - 1950
1552 - The Original Five Blind Boys
Archie Brownlee - Lead - Old Ship Of Zion /
In This World Alone - 1951
1553 - The
Original Five Blind Boys (Jackson
Lead: Archie Brownlee And
Perkins - World Prayer / How Far Am I From
Canaan - 1951
1554 - ?
Lynn Accompanied By Wallace Sanford's Orchestra -
Goin' Back Home / Unfaithful
Woman - 1950
1556 - ?
1557 - Clarence Green - Hard Headed Woman / Until
The End - 1950
1558 - ?
1559 - ?
1560 - Harry "Slick" Johnson - My Baby's Coming Home / No
One Can Take Your Place - 1950
1561 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - She Walks Right In / Win With
Me - 1950
1562 - Joe Lutcher - I'm Cutting Out / Give Me My
Hadacol - 1950
1563 - ?
1564 - ?
1565 - ?
1566 - ?
1567 - Willie Mae Thornton - All Fed Up / Partnership Blues
1568 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - I Live My Life / Justice Blues - 1951
1569 - Paul Monday with the Bill Harvey Orchestra - Happy
Birthday To You / Dearest Mother - 1951
1570 - Paul Monday with the Bill Harvey Orchestra - Irene's
Boogie / If You Were Mine - 1951
1571 - Sister Jessie Mae Renfro - A Wonderful Savior / Rock
Of Ages (Hide Thou Me) - 1951
1572 - Elmore Nixon - Hep Cat's
Advice / You See Me Smiling - 1951
1573 - Rev. I.H.
Archie Brownlee with Original
Five Blind Boys / Rev. I.H. Gordon with the
Gordonaires - Doctor Jesus /
Seek The Lord - 1951
1574 - Joe "Papoose" Fritz - Summer's Coming / On In Misery
1575 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Pale Dry Boogie - Part 1 / Pale Dry Boogie - Part 2
1576 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - She Winked Her Eye / Sad Hour - 1951
1577 - Walter Brown and McShann's
Orchestra - The Search / ABC Blues - 1951
1578 - Bettye Jean Washington -
Why, Oh Why / Bettye Jean's
Blues - 1951
1579 - Smilin' Smokey Lynn with
the Bill Harvey Orchestra - Leave My Girl Alone / Straighten
Up Pretty Baby - 1951
1580 - The Original Five Blind Boys
Archie Brownlee, Lead - Coming Home / Mother
Don't Worry - 1951
1581 - Joe "Papoose" Fritz - I'm Not Suspicious / But Make
Her See Things My Way - 1951
1582 - Wilson and Watson Singers Andrew
Wilson -Lead - Keep The Fire Burning In Me /
After Awhile - 1951
1583 - Marie Adams with the Bill Harvey Orchestra - I'm
Gonna Play The Honky
/ My Search Is Over - 1951
1584 - The Bells
Of Joy Lead A. C. Littlefield And C. Reed -
Let's Talk About Jesus / I'll Work Lord - 1951
1585 - Paul Monday with the Bill Harvey Orchestra - Tired Of
This Life / I'm Living Traveling Through Love - 1951
1586 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Too Late Baby / Taking My Chances - 1951
1587 - Willie Mae Thornton with the Bill Harvey Band - No
Jody For Me / Let Your Tears Fall Baby - 1951
1588 - Sister Jessie Mae Renfro - In That Home By And By /
He's So Wonderful - 1951
1589 - Rev. I.H. Gordon / Rev. I.H. Gordon with the Original
5 Blind Boys - In The Upper Room / Dry Bones - 1952
1590 - ?
1591 - Golden Harp Gospel Singers - Any Stars In My Crown -
Part 1 / Any Stars In My Crown - Part 2 - 1952
1592 - The
Lead: Robert Harris And J.
H. Medlock - Let
Me Tell You About My Jesus / I Know My Jesus Is The Light Of
The World - 1952
1593 - Lloyd "Fat
Man" Smith with the
- Why Oh Why / Giddy Up Giddy Up - 1952
1594 - The Dixie
Hummingbirds Paul Owens - Lead - What Are
They Doing In Heaven Today / Wading Through Blood And Water
1595 - Sonny Parker with Gladys
Hampton's Blues Boys - Money
Ain't Everything / Worried Life Blues - 1952
1596 - Gospel Tone Singers - Rest For My Labor / Speak to Me
Jesus - 1952
1597 - Andrew Tibbs and Cherokee
Conyer's Orchestra - Mother's
Letter / Rock Savoy Rock - 1952
1598 - Golden Harp
Leads: Jeanette Harris And
Ann Grant - Calling Jesus My Rock / I'll
Make It Somehow - 1952
1599 - The
Lead: Robert Harris -
A Few More Days (I'll Lay My Burdens Down) / Peace In The
Land (Where I'm Bound) - 1952
1600 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Baby Take It Easy / Just Got Lucky - 1952
1601 - Mildred Jones with the Bill Harvey Orchestra - It's
Been A Long Time / Love Sick Gal - 1952
1602 - Memphis Slim - Living Like A King / Sitting And
Thinking - 1952
1603 - Willie Mae Thornton with the Bill Harvey Orchestra -
Everytime I Think Of You /
Mischievous Boogie - 1952
1604 - Marie Adams with Chuck Dillon's Orchestra - He's My
Man / Alone - 1952
1605 - Jimmy McCracklin and his
Orchestra - My Days Are Limited / She's Gone - 1952
1606 - Joe "Papoose" Fritz - Better Wake Up Baby / Real Fine
Girl - 1952
1607 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown with Jimmy McCracklin's
Orchestra - Dirty Work At The Crossroads / You Got Money -
1608 - Paul Monday with Al Grey's Orchestra - I Can't Forget
About You / I Promise - 1952
1609 - Al Grey's Orchestra - Trombone Interlude / Over And
Under - 1952
1610 - Marie Adams and Cherokee
Conyer's Orchestra - Sweet Talking Daddy / My Song -
1611 - Lloyd "Fatman" Smith - No
Better For You / My Clock Stopped - 1953
1612 - Willie Mae
"Big Mama" Thornton : Kansas City Bill & Orchestra -
Hound Dog / Nightmare - 1953
1612 - Willie Mae
"Big Mama" Thornton : Kansas City Bill &
Hound Dog / Rock A Bye Baby - 1953
1613 - Gwen Johnson and Quinton
Bastiste and Orchestra - New Orleans / Never Again -
1614 - Marie Adams with Chuck Dillon's Orchestra / Marie
Adams with Pluma Davis's
Orchestra - Ain't Car Crazy /
I'm The Bluest Gal In Town - 1953
1615 - Jimmy McCracklin - Share
And Share Alike / She Felt Too
Good - 1953
1616 - The Deuces of Rhythm - A Fool At The Wheel /
Ain't That Good News - 1953
1617 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown and Al Grey's All Stars - Boogie Uproar / Hurry Back
Good News – 1953
1618 - Gladys Hill and Al Grey's All Stars - Don't Touch My
Bowl / Prison Bound - 1953
1619 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown and Al Grey's All Stars - Please Tell Me Baby / Gate
Walks To The Board - 1953
1620 - Sonny Parker with Gladys
Hampton's Blues Boys - Disgusted Blues / She Sets My
Soul On Fire - 1953
1621 - Willie Mae Thornton with Kansas City Bill's Orchestra
- Cotton Pickin' Blues / They
Call Me Big Mama - 1953
1622 - Jimmy Swan and Pluma
Davis Band - Laughing Laughing
Blues / Hey Now Baby Hey - 1953
1623 - Robert Ketchum – Stockdale / She's Gone From Me -
1624 - Pete "Guitar" Lewis - Goin'
Crazy / Back Door Troubles - 1953
1625 - Johnny Otis Orchestra - Young Girl / Rock Me Baby -
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton,
Johnny Otis Band
- I Ain't
No Fool Either / Big Change - 1953
1627 - Joe Fritz and Johnny Otis Orchestra - Woman I Love /
Honey Honey - 1954
1628 - Tempo Toppers, The Deuces of Rhythm - Always / Rice,
Red Beans And Turnip Greens - 1954
1629 - Billy Brooks and Pluma
Davis Band - What Can I Do / I Called My Baby - 1954
1630 - Valli Ford - He's My Kind
Of Man / All Of Me - 1954
1631 - Marie Adams and Pluma
Davis Orchestra - You've Gone From Me / I'm
Gonna Latch On - 1954
Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton,
Johnny Otis Band
- I Smell A Rat / I've Searched The
Whole World - 1954
1633 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Midnight Hour / For Now So Long - 1954
1634 - Jimmy McCracklin and his
Blues Busters - I Cried / The End - 1954
1635 - Harold Conner, Phineas
Newborn and Orchestra - I'm Feeling So Bad / Come Back Come
Back - 1954
1636 - Johnny Otis Orchestra - Shake It / I Won't Be Your
Fool No More - 1954
1637 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown with Pluma Davis Orchestra
/ Depression Blues - 1954
1638 - Mildred Jones with Pluma
Davis and the Rockets - Mr. Thrill /
Mis-Used Woman - 1954
1639 - Jimmy McCracklin - The
Cheater / My Story - 1954
1640 - Joe Fritz - Cerelle / If
I Didn't Love You So - 1954
1641 - Gwen Johnson and Quinton
Bastiste and Orchestra - Young Boy / Trumpet Blows
The Blues Away - 1954
1642 - Willie Mae Thornton with Burt
Orchestra - Stop Hoppin' On Me /
Story Of My Blues - 1954
1643 - The Four Clefs - I'll Be Waiting / Please Don't Leave
Me - 1954
1644 - Doug Finnell and his All
Stars - Sugar Man / Love And Satisfaction - 1954
1645 - David Dean - Stay Here With Me / Too Fine To Be Mine
1646 - Marie Adams and Pluma
Davis - The Shape I'm In My / Destination - 1954
1647 - Willie Mae Thornton - Rock-A-Bye Baby / Walking Blues
1648 - Johnny Otis Orchestra - Sittin'
Here Drinkin' / You Got Me
Crying - 1955
1649 - Marie Adams and Johnny Otis Orchestra - In Memory Of
Johnny Ace / Boom Daddy Wa
Wa - 1955
1650 - Willie Mae Thornton - The Fish / Laugh, Laugh, Laugh
1651 - The Dappers and Orchestra
- Come Back To Me / Mambo Oongh
1652 - Harold Conner and Bill Harvey's Orchestra - Don't Be
No Fool / Your Magic Kiss - 1955
1653 - Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown - Rock My Blues Away / Gate's Salty Blues - 1955
1654 - Willie Mae Thornton and Elroy Peace - Tarzan And The
Dignified Monkey / How Come - 1955
1655 - The Scamps - Yes My Baby / Waterproof - 1955
1656 - The Cherokees - Drip Drip
/ Is She Real - 1956
1657 - Billy Wright - The Question / Bad Luck, Heartaches
And Trouble - 1956
1658 - Little Richard and Johnny Otis Orchestra - Little
Richard's Boogie / Directly From My Heart To You - 1956
1659 - Buddy Ace - I Told You So / Too Late To Be Sorry -
1660 - Elmore Morris and Joe Scott Orchestra - Darling,
Depend On Me / Don't Let It End This Way - 1956
1661 - Big Walter and Combo - Shirley Jean /
Gamblin' Woman - 1955
1662 - "Gatemouth" Brown -
Ain't That Dandy / September
Song - 1956
1663 - Louis Jones - Rock And Roll Bells / All Over, Goodbye
1664 - Tommy Mosley - Concerto To The Blues / Love You (Till
The End Of Time) - 1956
1665 - Scotty Mann and the Masters - The Mystery Man / Just
A Little Bit Of Loving - 1956
1666 - Big Walter and the Thunderbirds - Hello Maria / Pack
Fair And Square - 1956
1667 - Elmore Morris - After It's Too Late / Sincerely
Forever - 1956
Elmore Morris : Johnny
Board And Orchestra -
Indeed I Do / Hurting All The Time - 1956
1669 - Big Walter and the Thunderbirds - Just Looking For A
Home / You're The One I Need - 1956
1670 - Arthur Prysock - There
Goes The Mailman / Oho Oh Yeh
(What The Heck) - 1957
1671 - Billy Tate Orchestra - Don't Call My Name / Right
From Wrong - 1957
1672 - James Wayne - Please Be Mine /Yes I Do - 1957
1673 - Little Richard and Johnny Otis Orchestra - I Love My
Baby / Maybe I'm Right - 1957
1674 - Big Walter Price - I Gotta
Go / I'll Cry For You - 1957
1675 - Johnny Otis Orchesta -
Butter Ball / Dandy's Boogie - 1957
1676 - Arthur Prysock - Bye
Bye Baby / Too Long I've Waited
1677 - The Uniques - Right Now /
Somewhere - 1957
1678 - Tommy Mosley - I'll Walk With You / What Would You Do
1679 - Sonny Woods and the Downbeats - Let's Go Steady / So
Many Tears - 1957
1680 - Big Walter - Can't Stand To Lose / Ramona - 1957
1681 - Willie Mae Thornton - Just Like A Dog
(Barking Up The Wrong
Tree) / My Man Called Me - 1957
1682 - Bea Booker - Comfort In My Heart / If I Had Known -
1683 - Jimmy McCracklin - I Need
Your Loving / The Swinging Thing - 1958
1684 - ?
1685 - Tommy Mosley - Completely Yours / Someone Else Walked
In - 1958
1686 - Raful Neal - Crying Hard
/ Sunny Side Of Love - 1958
1687 - ?
1688 - Checker Dots - All I Hear / Alpha Omega - 1958
1689 - The Downbeats - You're So Fine / Someday She'll Come
Along - 1958
1690 - Kenneth Deal - Chinatown Rock / Go
Go Jumbo - 1958
1691 - Elmore Morris - Baby I Need You / What Can I Do For
You - 1958
1692 - Gatemouth Brown - Just
Before Dawn / Swinging The Gate - 1958
1693 - Al Braggs - Chase 'Em Tom
Cat / A Little Bit Closer - 1958
1694 - Billy Dans and the
Legends - Spunky Onions / Goodbye Jesse - 1958
1695 - The Uniques - Mysterious
/ Picture Of My Baby - 1960
1696 - Gatemouth Brown - Slop
Time / Gate's Tune - 1960
1697 - James Booker - Gonzo / Cool Turkey - 1960
1698 - Al Braggs - Listen To Me Baby / There - 1960
1699 - Al Braggs - An Angel / I Don't Think I Can Make It -
and 1800 numbers form the Peacock Gospel series of releases
James Booker - Smacksie /
Kinda Happy - 1961
1901 - Tony Washington - Forever More / Good Mind - 1961
1902 - Abner and Linda - Don't
Mess With Me / Baby My Mule - 1961
1903 - Willard Burton – Backslide / Teardrops Of Love - 1961
1904 - Herman Bean - Baby Sitter / Doing Fine - 1961
1905 - Jackie Verdell - You
Ought To Know Him / Bye Bye
Blackbird - 1962
1906 - King and Collins - Love In My Heart / She's Alright -
1907 - Al Braggs - Cigarettes And Coffee / We Belong
Together - 1962
1908 - James Booker - Tubby Part 1 / Tubby Part 2 - 1962
1909 - The Rebels - The Donkey Step / Just Give Me Your
Heart - 1962
1910 - The Versatiles - White
Cliffs Of Dover / Just Words - 1963
1911 - Kenneth Deal - Get Them Told / Wonder Girl - 1963
1912 - The Shadows Five - Twistin'
/ Shadows Markham - 1963
1913 - Joe Scott and Orchestra - The King Bee /
Pickin' Heavy - 1963
1914 - ?
1915 - Kenneth Deal - Give A Little Love / Tell Me Where -
1916 - Crump Brothers - Chico's Lullaby / Lost Bandit - 1963
1917 - Willard Burton - Dreaming / Twisting Twist - 1963
1918 - Al Braggs - You're Something Else / Easy Rock - 1963
1919 - Emorise Kelley -
Disappointed In Love / The Biggest Fool - 1963
1920 - Eddie and the De Havelons
- Christmas Party / Baby Dumpling - 1963
1921 - Jackie Verdell - Hush /
Why Not Give Me A Chance - 1963
1922 - Ruben and the Chains - It Happens This Way / I Can
Learn - 1963
1923 - James Booker - Big Nick / Cross My Heart - 1963
1924 - The Adorables - The Drive
/ Baby, Come And Get It - 1963
1925 - Sugar Boy and the Sugarlumps
- So Long Goodbye / Mama Won't You Turn Me Loose - 1963
1926 - Sandra Kay Tucker - Have It Your Way / I Got A Good
Thing - 1963
1927 - Bob and Peggy - Everybody's Talking / I'm
Gonna Love My Way - 1963
1928 - Al Braggs - Drip Drop There Goes The Tears / Take A
Look At Me - 1963
1929 - Little Frankie Lee and the
Saxtons - Don't Make Me Cry /Full Time Lover - 1963
1930 - Jackie Verdell - Y.K.W. /
Come And Love Me - 1964
1931 - Al Braggs - I Just Can't Get Over / You Hootenanny
Hoot - 1964
1932 - Bud Harper - Wherever You Were / Let It Rain - 1964
1933 - Reuben and the Chains - Hey Girl / When You Love
Someone - 1964
1934 - Melvin Carter - Teacher Of Love / Something Reminds
Me - 1964
1935 - Little Frankie Lee - I Gotta
Come Back / Taxi Blues - 1965
1936 - Al Braggs - Out Of The Pan (Into The Fire) / Joy To
My Soul - 1965
1937 - Don Fletcher - I'm So Glad / Two Wrongs (Don't Make A
Right) - 1965
1938 - Reuben and the Chains - Ain't
You Gonna Love Me / Answer These
Questions - 1965
1939 - Bud Harper - Mr. Soul / Let Me Love You - 1965
1940 - Vi Campbell - Seven Doors / I'm Yours - 1966
1941 - ?
1942 - Ricky
/ Just As Long - 1966
1943 - ?
1944 - Minnie Epperson - It'll Last Forever / Nothing But
The Facts - 1966
1945 - Al Braggs - Earthquake / How Long (Do You Hold On) -
1946 - Lonnie Woods Trio - Shakin'
Sugar Part 1 / Shakin' Sugar
Part 2 - 1966
1947 - Sonny Fisher - I'm Going (All The Way) / Hurting -
1948 - ?
1949 - Little Eddy Taylor - Forgive One Mistake / I Had A
Good Life - 1967
1950 - ?
1951 - ?
1952 - Minnie Epperson - The Way You're Acting / You Can't
Move Me - 1967
1953 - ?
1954 - Johnny Meyers - T.C.B. (Taking Care Of Business) /
Teenage Girl - 1967
1955 - Jay Holman - Go Girl / Sounds And Sights - 1967
1956 - Mel Carter - Tired Of Being Fooled By You / I'll Be
True To You - 1967
1957 - Al "TNT" Braggs - That's All A Part Of Loving You /
Home In That Rock - 1967
1958 - Jean Stanback - I Still
Love You / If I Ever Needed Love - 1968
1959 - Al "TNT" Braggs - That's All A Part Of Loving You /
Home In That Rock - 1968
1960 - Minnie Epperson - Grab Your Clothes / No Love At All
1961 - Willie Tomlin - Stroke My Yoke / Check Me Baby - 1968
1962 - Al "TNT" Braggs - I'm A Good Man / I Like What You Do
To Me - 1968
1963 - ?
1964 - ?
1965 - Little Frankie Lee - Hello Mr. Blues / I'm Making
Love - 1968
1966 - ?
1967 - Al "TNT" Braggs - Give It Up / Running Out Of Lives -
1968 - The Insights - It's A New
Day / Love And Peace Of Mind – 1969
Acknowledgements to Bosko Asanovic for the discography, and
the members of Soul-Source for the label scans.
original Bronze Peacock Dinner Club at 2809 Erastus Street,
Houston pictured in 2003. Apparently apart from the obvious
change of use the building is virtually unchanged since it
was last used as the recording studio for Peacock.
Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown
A very rare
photo of Don Robey
With Al ‘TNT’ Braggs, and Bobby Bland
The Dixie Hummingbirds
O. V. Wright
Little Eddie Taylor