Episode 6: Montel Records


This edition of Trick Bag showcases one of the great independent record labels of Louisiana. S.J. Montalbano’s Baton Rouge-based Montel Records issued its first single in late 1958. Over the course of the next ten years, Montel and its sister labels, Carmie, Michelle, Stephanie and Debbie — the latter three named for Montalbano’s three daughters — provided a platform for an eclectic mix of R&B, Rock’n’Roll, swamp pop, country, blue-eyed soul and garage rock. A 1963 Michelle release — Dale and Grace’s “I’m Leaving It Up to You” — put the label in the national spotlight when the song hit #1 on the Billboard chart. Other South Louisiana classics from the Montel arsenal include “Shirley” by John Fred and the Playboys, “Crazy Baby” by Buck Rogers and the Jets, “Danny Boy” by Sugar Boy Crawford, “Night Owl” by Bobby Loveless and “The Crying Man” by the Boogie Kings featuring Gee Gee Shinn.  

S.J. “Sam Montel” Montalbano passed away on February 10th at age 84. This episode presents choice cuts from the vaults of Montel Records and tells the stories behind the music and artists who were part of its stable. 

Songs In This Episode:

  • Lester Robertson & the Upsetters – My Girl Across Town
  • Bobby Loveless – Night Owl
  • The Boogie Kings – When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (Live at the Bamboo Hut in Galveston, TX)
  • John Fred & the Playboys – Shirley
  • Lee Tillman – One More Time
  • Buck Rogers and the Jets – Crazy Baby
  • Joe Tex – I’ve Got a Song
  • Jay Chevalier – Cuttin’ Cane
  • The Tempos – I Gotta Make a Move
  • Dale and Grace – I’m Leaving It Up to You
  • The Nitehawks – Boogie Chillun
  • Van Broussard – Kidnapper
  • The Hi-Fi’s – I’m So Lonely
  • Mohawk and the Red Necks – Enchanted Forest
  • The Boogie Kings (featuring Gee Gee Shinn) – Funny (How Times Slips Away)
  • Dynamic Duke Royal (Luther Kent) – I Wanna Know
  • Sugar Boy Crawford – Danny Boy


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