Jasman Records

By Jim Moore Sr., Owner, Producer at Jasman Records

Jasman Records was created in 1959 as a result of my signing a San Francisco Bay Area singer, Joan Adams. I secured an audition for her with Count Basie’s orchestra and she was offered a job with the band. However, due to personal reasons she was unable to accept. I recorded six songs at Sierra Sound Studios on her in the ’60s. They were never released.

My first three productions were on my first label, Sharp Records. They were on Joan Adams, The Veshells, a female vocal trio; and Big Mama Thornton’s “Me and My Chauffeur” with the Johnny Talbot band.

Because another record company already had the name Sharp, I changed my company’s name to Jasman in 1964 when I recorded a single on Johnny Talbot, “Get Sum”, which was the first recording issued on the Jasman label. In the ’70s I recorded Johnny Talbot again. The tune was “Take it Off” and was eventually leased to Atlantic Records.

Sugar Pie Desanto and James Moore Sr.

There were two other recording companies in the Bay Area at that time: Ray Dobard’s Music City and Bob Geddins’ Veltone. In the early ’60s, Bob opened a new studio in downtown Oakland on 11th Street. I happened to be there as he was putting the finishing touches on the studio when Sugar Pie DeSanto and her husband came in the front door.

She was carrying a tape recorder and said to Bob, “I think I got one.” Later that night a band was assembled with Johnny Heartsman on guitar and Sugar Pie’s first hit “I Want to Know” was recorded, which caught the attention of Chess Records. She was under contract for seven years with Chess Records and toured nationally.

In the ’70s Sugar Pie returned to the Bay Area and Bob Geddins came into the picture again. I had already given “Hello, San Francisco” to Buddy Guy who recorded it for Vanguard which I produced in Berkeley, CA. Sugar Pie recorded that song in the ’70s which was the title of the album, “Hello, San Francisco.”

In 1992 we collaborated on another CD, “Sugar is Salty”, which featured many of the best musicians in Oakland.

Her newest one, “Classic Sugar Pie”, record number 1004, was arranged by Wardell Quezergue and recorded in New Orleans. It features eleven of her Chess tunes and three new ones. It is, by far, her best since her Chess Records.

-Jim Moore Sr.