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Sittin' In With
New York based independent label begun by brothers Morty and Bobby Shad in 1948 had fleeting success with their record line which featured some jazz stalwarts like Stan Getz, Wardell Gray and Julian Dash, blues acts Lightnin’ Hopkins, Brownie McGhee and Smokey Hogg, as well as players on the outskirts of rock ‘n’ roll such as Big John Greer and Peppermint Harris. Their most authentic full-time rockers were James Wayne and Goree Carter, though Carter’s most important sides were for other labels.
One notable footnote to the label was their release of a Ray Charles record before Ray’s breakthrough which marks one of the few vintage sides not found among Downbeat, Atlantic or ABC catalogs, the three labels Charles had his longest associations with.
Bobby Shad’s start in music came with the Savoy label as a producer for Charlie Parker. He then moved to National Records, one of the many big names who worked briefly for that label, before starting his own company the next year. Despite their New York origins the company focused mainly on musicians from the Gulf Coast, the Texas/Louisiana area, giving them a distinct sound, but somehow they missed out on the wealth of talent from New Orleans outside of James Wayne.
Over the years Bob Shad would work with countless notable acts as producer, often with no official credit for just money under the table, but after signing as a full-time producer with Mercury Records in the 1950’s his name recognition grew as he oversaw Dinah Washington among other big names. He started other small labels in the late 1950’s and had a handful of hits with them before discovering 1960’s rocker Janis Joplin, producing her first album with Big Brother & The Holding Company for which he probably remains most well known among rock aficionados.
The Sittin’ In With label however had only a few big sellers and closed its doors in 1953.