The post war boom in Rhythm & Blues was fuelled partly by the enormous number of rural African Americans who migrated to the big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago to work in the industrial plants servicing the war effort. The rise in popularity of this new music had coincided with the forced disbanding of most of the big bands that had ruled both black and white audiences since the mid thirties due to financial constraints placed upon bandleaders. Of course at this time the major purchasers of R&B records were the jukebox operators who placed their machines in bars of urban areas and caught the imagination of workers and partygoers.
The major labels felt the pinch just a little in the fight to get their records on the boxes that generated the most nickels and by 1949 Decca, RCA, Mercury and Columbia all had dedicated R&B divisions and began to compete with their indie rivals. Although several of these major label divisions had their own identities, several like Decca retained the company name but identified their R&B or country series with new catalogue numbering sequences. London Records was one of these labels and although its R&B division had little mainstream success it did record a roster of established artists, and has unlike most of the labels named, never had its repertoire reissued in this way in the CD era.
The vast majority of these titles have never been reissued before even the LP era and are making their CD debut here. This then is the story of one of the unsung outlets for R&B music London Records of America.
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