SUE Records – The R&B Record Label

Ike & Tina Turner - STAGGER LEE AND BILLY - Sue Records

SUE Records – Juggy Murray started the Sue label in America and in the early 1960’s it was also launched in the UK with Guy Stevens running it. Guy was a friend of Roger Eagle the Wheel DJ in Manchester and that’s why he came up with loads and loads of Sue singles!

Records on the UK Sue label were very much sort after in the 1960’s and probably still are.

Guy Stevens was the DJ at the Mod SCENE Club in London he was also the instigator of the Chuck Berry Appreciation Society, and influenced the UK releases that Pye International put out by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley , Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and many others on the Chess label. He was instrumental in bringing Chuck Berry to the UK for his first tour. As the SCENE DJ, Guy played Blues, R&B, some pop chart stuff, Ska and Blue Beat, and Surf sounds.

The Sue Record Label Story L.P.
The Sue Record Label Story L.P.

Chris Blackwell who had made Millie (My Boy Lollipop) into a star and was releasing SKA and Blue Beat to shops around London from the back of his Mini, hired Guy Stevens to run the UK Sue Label in April 1964. Guy had already been in touch with Sue records owner Juggy Murray in the USA to obtain imports to play at the SCENE.

Guy also imported lots of other Blues Soul R&B etc 45’s from the USA including many Stax tracks.

Roger used to get a lot of records from Guy Stevens (Sue UK Records London) to add to his existing massive collection. He was probably one of the first DJ’s to import 45’s and LP’s from the USA.

Sue Records – Singles Releases – Soulbot

The Sue Records Story: New York City (The Sound of Soul)
Best of Sue Records
Soul of Sue Records: New York City
UK Sue Label Story: The World of Guy Stevens

Soul Reflections

The Ferris Wheel @ The Wheel

Where Northern Soul Began

SUE REVIEW – From Amazon

Fine cross-section of rare 60s soul, July 11, 2001
Andre M. “brnn64” (Mt. Pleasant, SC United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Best of Sue Records (Audio CD)
This Cd is an excellent collection of lesser-known 60s soul. Right up there with the Loma Records and Blue Rock records compilations. We hear the early Ike and Tina with “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” (BTW That’s actually Mickey of Mickey and Sylvia speaking to Tina, and not Ike, beign that Ike ain’t the most articulate guy in the world) and “Poor Fool.” We Hear Charlie and Inez Foxx with their energetic version of “Mockingbird.” There’s Tina Britt with “The Real Thing” (penned by Ashford and Simpson) sounding like the twin sister of Martha Reeves’ “Quicksand” (which isn’t a bad thing at all). “She Blew A Good Thing” which reminds you of a inner city high school gym dance circa 1966 (can’t you see them jerk?). There’s also half of Jimmy McGriff’s High-powered version of “I Got A Woman” and Wilbert Harrison’s original version of Canned Heat’s “Let’s Work Together” with an appealingly wheezy harmonica. Buy this and see what your oldies stations have been missing.

Tina Britt And So Much More!!, January 26, 2005
PETER J SAMMON “Camman722” (GLEN RIDGE, NEW JERSEY United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Best of Sue Records (Audio CD)
Sue records was founded by one Mr. Juggy Murray in 1958 and was based in NYC through the 60’s. As the record co. sported several different labels e.g. Symbol and Eastern…it became the Northeast R&B label of that decade! Like another reviewer…I too was only after Tina Britt’s…”The Real Thing” which is absolutely a dynamite record and perhaps the most overlooked R&B classic of all-time! You do really get so much more than that one great song as every track is wonderful. You even get the hard to find Poets’ class…”She Blew A Good Thing.” Anybody who loves the 60’s sound is in for a real treat with this CD despite the monaural sound. Yes…indeed some shortcomings of the master tapes are evident but overall…Sue never sounded better!

The Real Mod Music, August 24, 2005

By Daniel Charles Kroha (Detroit, MI) – See all my reviews
This review is from: UK Sue Label Story: The World of Guy Stevens (Audio CD)
This comp by the original Mod DJ Guy Stevens is the real deal. If you wanna know where the roots of the Stones, Who, Animals, etc. lie, just buy and listen to all three of these comps. Guy had the best taste in early 60’s American proto soul, R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll. If you are into this stuff or want to find out about it, you can do no better than these comps. If you are into Mod culture or call yourself a Mod and you are reading this I congratulate you, you have found your way to the original and real “mod” music.

REVIEWS from Amazon

Forget about Motown!, June 5, 2008
Carl Stewart (western Massachusetts) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sue Records Story: New York City (The Sound of Soul) (Audio CD)
Not many people, certainly not those born after 1960, know the label Sue Records, and that is a shame. Based in New York City, Harlem to be exact, and African-American owned, Sue produced some stunning records during its relatively brief time on the scene.

Some of us have heard the amazing “Mockingbird”, originally recorded at Sue by the brother-sister team of Charlie and Inez Foxx, covered by Aretha, Martha and the Vandellas, Dusty Springfield, and even by Carly Simon and James Taylor, when they were still an item. But here is the real thing and I defy anyone to prefer the Simon/Taylor version, as good as it is, to the original.

Barbara George was another Sue artist and one who never achieved the fame she deserved. If she never recorded anything but “I Know” (You Don’t Love Me No More), her place in the R & B pantheon would be assured. There are 3 other Barbara George cuts on this set, all of them wonderful.

Too many other great bits to mention; among them the Hollywood Flames doing the original “Rockin Robin” and, who woulda thunk it, 10 cuts from the most successful of the Sue stable, Ike and Tina Turner. Listen to “A Fool in Love” and remember how great Ike and Tina were at the beginning of their careers.

This is a boxed set that undeservedly languished on shelves at record stores. There is an awful lot of terrific R & B to be found on these 4 CDs


The UK Sue Label: HITCH HIKE by Russell Bird

SYMBOL 915 in USA (a sub of SUE)

Russell Bird was a pseudonym for BERT BURNS – the famous New York city record producer and song writer.

Russel Birds Hitch-Hike was a MODS Anthem of the 60’s !

And the only track I know of that features Bert Burns singing!

Using a basic and very recognizable blues riff, it got the dance floors shakin’ in Manchester at the Soul Clubs: The Twisted Wheel, The Jiggy, and The Blue Note.


Born in the Bronx, New York City, to Russian Jewish immigrants, Bert Berns contracted rheumatic fever as a child, an illness that would mark the rest of his life. Turning to music, he found consonance in the sounds of his African American and Latino neighbors. As a young man, Berns danced in mambo nightclubs, and made his way to Havana before the Cuban Revolution.

Shortly after his return from Cuba, Berns began a seven-year run from an obscure Brill Building songwriter to the chief of his own record labels. His first hit record was “A Little Bit of Soap”, performed by The Jarmels in 1961. One year later, the Isley Brothers recorded “Twist and Shout”, written by Berns and Phil Medley. During these years, Berns wrote and produced records for a wide range of labels, including Wand, United Artists, Capitol, Laurie, MGM, Big Top, Old Town, Roulette, and Atlantic Records. In 1963, Berns would replace Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as the staff producer at Atlantic, where he produced such acts as Solomon Burke (“Cry to Me” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”), The Drifters (“Under the Boardwalk” and “Saturday Night at the Movies”), Barbara Lewis (“Baby I’m Yours” and “Make Me Your Baby”), Little Esther Phillips (“Hello Walls”), Wilson Pickett and LaVern Baker. Berns was also one of the few American record producers to travel across the Atlantic to London, where he produced a number of British Decca artists such as Them (“Here Comes the Night”, “Baby Please Don’t Go” and Lulu.

In 1965, Bert Berns formed his own record labels, Bang Records and Shout Records. Bang Records was founded with the Atlantic Records partners, with the label’s name derived from the initials of their first names-Bert Berns, Ahmet Ertegün, Nesuhi Ertegün and Gerald (Jerry) Wexler. Bang was home to such artists as The McCoys (“Hang on Sloopy”), The Strangeloves (“I Want Candy”), Them’s ex-lead singer Van Morrison (“Brown Eyed Girl”), and Neil Diamond (“Solitary Man” and “Cherry Cherry”). Berns formed Shout Records as an outlet for his R&B passions, recording Freddie Scott (“Are You Lonely for Me Baby”) and Erma Franklin (“Piece of My Heart”).

Bert Berns died in 1967. One of his last songs, “Piece of My Heart”, was originally recorded that year by Erma Franklin and covered shortly later by Big Brother and the Holding Company (fronted by then-unknown Janis Joplin). The Led Zeppelin outtake “Baby Come On Home” (originally titled “A Tribute To Bert Berns”) was loosely based on a song Berns wrote for Hoagy Lands, and was recorded in Berns’ honour. While the Bang/Shout Records catalogue is today owned by Sony Music, the Berns family still owns the music publishing operations originally called Web IV Music. The Web IV name was also derived from the founders with WEB as an acronym for Wexler-Ertegun-Berns and the Roman numeral IV for the four original partners.

Sue Records – Wikipedia

Guy Stevens and Sue Records