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Dolly Lyon

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Little is known about this jazz and R&B singer who was active in the mid to late 1950s. Her earliest known recordings, made in 1955 or 56, are with Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra: “Waltz in Blue” and “Nobody Plays Piano Like Sacramento” (Decca 9-29864 and 9-30034, respectively). On the latter, she is backed by Ace Harris on piano. In 1957, she recorded two sides of a 45 rpm single for Apollo Records, a small independent label based in New York City: “Call Me Darling” and “Palm of Your Hand” (AP 3630). Neither side charted, though “Palm” was listed as a “new record to watch” by Chicago’s WJJD in October of 1958. Apollo also recorded her as a guest vocalist with the Cellos, a five man doo-wop group, on a teen romance novelty number titled “Don’t Wait”. Although recorded in 1958, “Don’t Wait” was never released until it was included in a 1992 CD Cellos compilation, “Rang Tang Ding Dong” (Relic 7029). Ms. Lyon also recorded two sides for Buzz, another small New York indie, “Memories of You” and “Chattanooga Cha-Cha” (T-108). A record dealer in Michigan lists “Dolly Lyon—’I Feel It / Stop’ white disc jockey copy , xol ,Doe 104” in his inventory; however, when contacted, he said he couldn’t locate the record and may have sold it.

Although largely forgotten in the U.S., Dolly Lyon has something of a fan base in Europe and Britain, especially in the north of England, where “Palm of Your Hand” is considered part of the “Northern Soul” canon, and Belgium, where “Palm” is part of a popular but hard to define genre called “Popcorn”.

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