[78-L] Swing Time, Down Beat questions

Han Enderman jcenderman at solcon.nl
Mon May 9 06:13:17 PDT 2011

This is an interesting problem and information supplied by Carey (below), 
Gart's ARLD and the 1987 Leadbitter-Slaven postwar blues dg (I do not have 
the later and still available postwar blues dg) is contradictory and incomplete.
I have a large series of label images and here are the ranges with some dates:

Down Beat 100-230; 401; 3002 (Western Series). - 1947-c.10/1949
Swing (134-)231. - Only one new release: 231 Lowell Fulson. - c.10/1949
Swing Beat (122-221).
Swing Time (114-)234-347. - c.3/1950

Some remarks:
- DB 100 Lucky Thompson
- DB 128 4/48, 205 5/49 (ARLD release dates) [205 = Jay McShann]
- (DB)/ST 228/229 Ray Charles [no images seen of the DB issues]
- Sw 231 Lowell Fulson [not seen on ST]
- ST 234 Lloyd Glenn 9 Nov 50
- ST 244 12/50 (ARLD).
- ST 347 by The Serenaders is last available image.

Apparently 231 is the only new issue on Swing, following DB 230, also by Lowell Fulson.
I have not seen (Swing Time) 232/233.
ST 234 by Glenn is common and a recording date (in the blues dg) of 9 Nov 50 fits with 
a release date or announcement in Dec 50.
Thus Swing Beat is only known from repressings !
Probably there was no recording activity for a long time in 1950, after the release of 231
in late 1949.
This suggests that Swing Beat was introduced late 1949 for repressings and that the 
namewas changed to Swing Time when new recordings were released late 1950.

Recording dates are almost absent in the available blues dg.
Possibly there is more info in Billboard (difficult to consult here), and some searches in 
Billboard on these artists may help.

Any comments and additional info welcome.
Han Enderman
>>> Jack Lauderdale started the Downbeat Record Company in 1947. For the first couple of years 
Downbeat (or Down Beat) was challenged by legal problems because of the famous jazz magazine 
that bore the same name. This resulted in a series of label name changes; 
first to Swing (there was only one release with this name), 
then Swing Beat for the Christmas 1947 catalog and subsequent recordings after the 1948 strike 
and into 1949. 
In October 1950 it was changed again to Swing Time. 
Ray Charles' first release was on Down Beat 171. 

As for the numbering system, I believe that the numbering was not interrupted by the changes in the 
label names and continued, but I can't be certain of this without doing more research. 
The only Down Beat record I own is the aforementioned disc above by The Maxin Trio (actually the 
McSon Trio, with a misheard name), which included Brother Ray's first vocals: 
"I Love You, I Love You" and "Confession Blues."

Cary Ginell

> Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 21:44:51 -0700
> From: 78rpm at sbcglobal.net
> To: 78-l at klickitat.78online.com
> Subject: [78-L] Swing Time, Down Beat questions
> I've run across Swing Time, Down Beat, Swing and now Swing Beat (combining the 2 names!) labels 
from the 1940s. All with the same label design, so I'm guessing the same ownership. 
I can't figure out if certain artists only appeared on 1 label or several. 
Was the numbering system shared between the labels? Is there any rhyme or reason to all those labels?
> Thanks,
> Philip Fukuda 

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