John Dolphin was one of the key independent black record label owners on the West Coast. Starting with his Recorded In Hollywood label in the 1951-54 period, he started many other labels in the R&B, blues, gospel, jazz and doo wop vein. Money Records came along in 1954 and ran for a couple of years. Then there was Cash in 1955, as well as other subsidiaries such as Lucky and Ball. After John's unfortunate demise in early 1958, the family continued to run the business and a reactivated Money label served up several soul hits from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. Now that Ace Records has acquired the rights to the Dolphin recordings, we can look forward to a fascinating series of releases covering the whole gamut of the material on his labels. The first to be released comes from the golden period of soul and showcases soul songtress Bettye Swann, featuring all of her Money recordings that have so far been discovered.
Bettye first hit the R&B charts in 1965 with Don't Wait Too Long and reached the top spot two years later with her best seller Make Me Yours which was also a Top 20 Pop hit. She then had several releases on the Money label before moving on to more country-influenced recordings on Capitol and later Atlantic.
An album was planned to be released after the success of Don't Wait Too Long but the idea was put on hold and her first actual LP was Make Me Yours released in 1967. This now rare album featured, in addition to her hits, reworked versions of songs originally scheduled for the postponed first LP. All of these tracks, as well as her singles, are included on CDKEND197 Bettye Swann - The Money Recordings. Arthur G.Wright, Bettye's producer on most of her Money tracks, had a talent for productions that were quite full and inventive for an independent soul label. We have been given the opportunity to go back to the original multi-track tapes and remix some of the songs, bringing out more of the instrumentation and using some of the alternate vocals which Bettye recorded. Presented as a bonus alongside the original versions, the remixes were done by Rob Keyloch at the Sound Studio in Stoke Newington High Street in North London.
With many photographs, label shots, for which we are indebted to Ruth Dolphin's help, and Bettye's career discography, there's plenty to interest the soul fan in this release. As an added bonus, there's a superb rehearsal version of Don't Look Back with Bettye accompanied by just an acoustic guitar.