Monday, June 28, 2010

The Cadets - Stranded In The Jungle - Kent, 1958(?)

The Cadets were a doo-wop group that has been performing under various names and lineups since the late 40s.  During the 50s they releaed tunes on the Modern label, as well as music on the Modern subsidiary RPM under the name The Jacks.
I have so many jungle-themed tunes from the 50s.  People seemed to have really been into "exotic" things during that period. "Stranded In The Jungle" was already a popular tune by The Jay Hawks when The Cadets covered it, and thier superior version released in June of 1956 shot up the charts, to #4 R&B / #15 pop. The song's about someone trapped in the jungle as his girl fends off suitors in the States. One memorable line from the song became a sort of a catch phrase for The Cadets: "Great googly-moogly, let me outta here!"
89 cents will get you tune on Amazon. $.89! Stranded In The Jungle

The BSNPubs site has a great writeup on Modern/RPM/Kent labels, here's an excerpt:
The Modern label was formed in 1945 in Los Angeles, California, by Saul and Jules Bihari. Modern recorded rhythm & blues, country &western, jazz, popular, blues, and gospel. The subsidiary RPM was formed in 1950 and released blues, jazz, rhythm & blues and rock & roll. The subsidiary Crown was formed in 1954 and after three years (starting in 1957), was used only for budget priced albums. The Riviera label subsidiary was a budget label that operated in 1959. The Kent label subsidiary was formed in 1958 and issued only singles, but the name was used again from 1965 to 1971 for album issues. All of these labels were very much a family affair, as the President of all the labels was Saul Bihari, his brothers Jules and Joe served as Vice Presidents, and brother Lester was head of Sales and Promotion. At the Modern, RPM and Crown labels, A&R was handled by Joe and Jules Bihari, Maxwell Davis, Austin McCoy, Jake Porter, Lester Sill and Ike Turner.
In the late '40s and early '50s, Modern/RPM was able to attract many fine blues performers to the labels, including B.B. King, Roscoe Gordon, Elmore James, Smokey Hogg, Lightnin' Hopkins, Little Willie Littlefield, Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Pee Wee Crayton and John Lee Hooker. Modern also leased masters from Sam Phillips in Memphis, and was the first label to release material by the legendary Howlin' Wolf. A split between the Bihari brothers and Sam Phillips occurred when Phillips started leasing the Wolf masters to Chess in Chicago.
Modern/RPM was even successful in the rock & roll field, with vocal groups including the Cadets, Marvin and Johnny, the Jacks, and the Teen Queens, and single artists Jesse Belvin, Etta James, Jimmy Beasley, Richard Berry, and Shirley Gunter. The biggest hits for the Biharis were an uptempo instrumental by tenor sax player Joe Houston, titled "Blow, Joe, Blow', the slow group recording by the Jacks titled "Why Don't You Write Me" in 1955, a novelty number titled "Stranded in the Jungle" in 1956 by the Cadets (a group with the same personnel as the Jacks), a hit by Jesse Belvin with the fine ballad "Goodnight, My Love" in 1956, and a hit with the amateurishly sung "Eddie My Love" by a girl group called the Teen Queens, also in 1956.
What I can't seem to figure out is - when was my 45 released? According to the BSNPubs Site, Kent started releasing singles in 1958. But this Kent discography doesn't list the Cadet's single. Also strange is the fact that my Cadets record is labeled release number #994 - which by looking at the discography leads me to believe this is a 70s reissue. BUT - this is an old style Kent label and 994 is the number of the original Modern release in the 50s. So I'm gonna throw out a guess that this was an early release on Kent (late 50s) before the label had it's own numbering system and unique releases. If you know something, say something!
And now, the clip:

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