RAY MAXWELL, Misirlou, 1962

Over the years I have more or less accidentally come accross each of these three releases of  the German Heliodor label. Heliodor was a  sub-label of Polydor that pressed smaller quantities of mostly US rock´n´roll releases. They were also sold cheaper than the regular Polydor record. At the time the label was especially popular among German rock´n´roll kids. This is a German Heliodor pressing of a record originally released by the small indedependent Moonglow label from Los Angeles.

Ray Maxwell, the founder of Moonglow Records , was born Rene Jan van Hoogten, brother of Alfred van Hoogten, the owner of the Belgian Ronnex label. Starting in 1951 Ronnex released many cool Jazz, Rock´n´Roll, Twist and Beat records. It was Alfred van Hoogten who discovered Jack Hammer and Corry Brokken.  Ray Maxwell was initially sent to the USA by his brother to set up a subsidiary of Ronnex but the label soon took on a life of its own. Maxwells´s biggest success was discovering the Righteous Brothers in 1963. A very interesting account of the early years at Ray Maxwell´s Moonglow label can be found at the blog of Rhythm & Blues legend Daddy Dewdrop. Ray Maxwell seems to have been an exceptionally cool guy for a record label owner. A record collector and musician himself, he recorded this pretty snappy version of Misirlou:

RAY MAXWELL, Misirlou, 1962

after Dick Dale´s original rock´n´roll interpretation:



corry-frontcorry-dank-zijprobeer-het-zelf-uitcorry-backcorry-flexiIn 1957 Dutch singer Corry Brokken won the second European Song Contest, the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Europénne.  While she is mostly known for her smooth pop ballads, her career got started when she recorded the swingin´ Auto-Scooter´s-Boogie with Albert Van Hoogten´s small indie  Ronnex in 1955.  Now Ronnex was a hip label, from putting out Bill Haley´s pre-rock´n´roll sides, to Jack Hammer´s crazy twists, to the fuzzed-out beat of the Shake Spears. In the mid-1950s Albert sent his brother, Rene Jan van Hoogten, to the United States to set up a label there. Rene later changed his name to Ray Maxwell, started Moonglow Records, recorded a bunch of very cool rockin´records and eventually discovered the Righteous Brothers.

To celebrate tonight´s  59th annual Eurovision Song Contest, here´s  a one-sided flexible 45, recorded by Corry Brokken and her Hi-Fives for BP in the early 1960s