Dolphin's of Hollywood Productions

Legendary Los Angeles record store Dolphin's of Hollywood and its owner John Dolphin, one of the first and most well respected and successful black businessman and independent record label owner. His contributions to the formative years of rock & roll are often overlooked. A mini-mogul who had nearly every facet of the record business covered. A former car salesman, Dolphin first entered the music business as a retailer — sometime during the Korean War. In 1948 he opened Dolphin’s on Hollywood, a record store on Vernon Avenue that remained open 24 hours a day to cater to the late-shift workforces necessitated by the conflict overseas. Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store even featured a DJ broadcasting over local station KRKD from inside the store’s walls, beginning with Ray Robinson and most famously including Hunter Hancock and Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg. His marketing genius would serve Dolphin well in the years to follow, through his radio show he could instruct the DJs to play the records his labels produced. (His motto: “We’ll record you today and have you a hit tonight.”) Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store soon became the most famous record shop in America and the Dolphin’s of Hollywood show the most popular black radio show in America. Recording artist appeared at the store and preformed live on-air interviews as well as greet and signed autographs for customers. Dolphins of Hollywood record store was the first business to open 24 hours even on Sundays, also first to offer “Buy One Get One Free” for purchases of any record in the store. Dolphin eventually operated a group of record stores, each was named Dolphin’s of Hollywood. Despite the fact that the main store, and the first to use the name, was actually located in South Central/Watts area of Los Angeles on East Vernon Ave, near the corner of Central Avenue. The name Dolphin’s of Hollywood was arise from the fact that Hollywood wouldn’t let any blacks own or operate any businesses in Hollywood, so this was Dolphin’s way bringing Hollywood to the hood. On Saturday nights about midnight there would be 500 plus people all outside dancing in the street in front of the Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop. The creator and innovator of the crossover music concept he knew white teenagers loved black music. He went on white radio station KRKD and played a black music format, marketing black music to whites. White kids would pack the Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop in the all black neighborhood of Watts, nightly. Dolphin hired a white deejay the most famous Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg, who drew white teenagers to the shop in ever increasing numbers. Dolphin’s of Hollywood radio show featuring Huggy Boy as deejay was the first to play and break the song “Earth Angel” by the Penguins and within weeks of its release it shot to the top of the charts. Artist would appear at Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop for in-store promotion, artist such as Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vangh, Little Richard, James Brown “the Godfather of Soul”, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Ike and Tina Turner, Fifth Dimension, Solomon Burke just to name a few. John Dolphin was the epitome of the record business hustler, a big man with a big cigar, and big talk. He would go on an mount several small record labels, a few with appropriately inspired names revealing Dolphin’s penchant for making money above all else: Cash, Money, Lucky, and Recorded in Hollywood Records. John Dolphin did not typical pay any royalties to artist or groups because he purchased “all rights” to product he made one payment deals, he bought “all right” on his deals, all cash. Dolphin’s empire flourished he was the pioneer of the black record industry on the west coast and was one of the first black independent record label owners. On February 2, 1958, Percy Ivy, a disgruntled wanna-be singer/songwriter went to John Dolphin’s Record company office in an attempt to hustle John Dolphin out of some money and/or taped music recordings, shot Dolphin dead behind the desk of his Hollywood office. The murder was witnessed by a group of white kids including future session drummer Sandy Nelson and latter-day Beach Boy Bruce Johnston – who’d traveled to South Central in the hopes of interesting Dolphin in their songs. The shop was then ran by Dolphin’s assistant, Rudy Ray Moore who you might know as Dolemite, and his widow, Ruth Dolphin. Ruth Dolphin later reactivated Money Records, which would serve as a springboard for the great soul chanteuse Bettye Swann and her 1967 smash hit single, “Make Me Yours” #1 Billboard R& B chart was released on Money Record.

General Manager: AD Dolphin 310.877.9137

10/30/2015
Opening Night April 2015 - Recorded In Hollywood The Musical

The Premiere of Recorded In Hollywood - The Musical, opening night April 11, 2015 at Lillian Theatre. The musical went on to run for 4 straight months selling out every show! Nominated for 8 Scenie Awards by LA Stage Alliance and 2 Ovation Awards. It was an amazing first run and is returning bigger and better in 2016.
Stay Tuned...go to www.recordedinhollywood.com

https://www.youtube.com/embed/onYb6qe2-vI

The Premiere of Recorded In Hollywood - The Musical, opening night April 11, 2015 at Lillian Theatre. The musical went on to run for 4 straight months sellin...

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD: THE JOHN DOLPHIN STORY
10/18/2011
Dolphin's Of Hollywood - The Book

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD: THE JOHN DOLPHIN STORY

Legendary Los Angeles R&B producer John Dolphin was one of the first and most well respected and successful black businessman and independent record label owner. His contributions to the formative years of rock & roll are often overlooked. A mini-mogul who had nearly every facet of the record busine...

Dolphin's Of Hollywood - The Book
07/18/2011
Dolphin's Of Hollywood - The Book

Dolphin's Of Hollywood - The Book

Legendary Los Angeles R&B producer John Dolphin was one of the first and most well respected and successful black businessman and independent record label owner. His contributions to the formative years of rock & roll are often overlooked. A mini-mogul who had nearly every facet of the record busine

05/31/2010

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