Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mike Simpson Orchestra - Cuban Twilight / Argo Rock

I don't know much about Mike Simpson and his orchestra. Was he a clarinet player? Anyhoo, this nice little 45 on Argo was released in 1956 and features two instrumental numbers, Cuban Twilight & Argo Rock.
Argo Records was started in December of 1955 to accommodate some of the rapidly growing recording activity at Chess Records. Originally the label was called Marterry, but bandleader Ralph Marterie objected, and within a couple of months the imprint was renamed Argo. Initially, Argo offered a variety of music, including pop, blues, and even Calypso. Argo's first big hit was by New Orleans performer Clarence "Frogman" Henry, whose classic "Ain't Got No Home" came out in 1956. By 1957, Argo had become known for its jazz offerings. Jazz performers affiliated with the label included Ahmad JamalJames MoodyKing Fleming, and the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Major rhythm and blues performers on the label were Etta James and The Dells. Argo changed its name in 1965 to Cadet Records when the company discovered that an Argo Records already existed in the UK.

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