The Bihari Brothers, Jules, Joe, Lester and Saul, formed the base of one of the most influential r&b labels in pop history. Counted among the artists who recorded for Modern are John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Hadda Brooks, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lowell Fulson, B.B. King, Etta James and Ike Turner, among others.
Located in L.A.’s Watts district, the label actually grew out of brother Jules‘ frustration with distributors. He ran a jukebox concession in the black neighborhoods and grew increasingly frustrated by the fact that he couldn’t get enough copies of hit records. So much so that, along with his other brothers, he decided to form a label.
Their first release was by a young female piano player named Hadda Brooks. Soon after the enterprising brothers bought a pressing plant and had a full staff of workers wich included producer Lester Sill. The brothers also divided tasks among them equally with Saul handling manufacturing and Jules taking production chores.
Throughout the years, the Bihari’s consistently showed the talent and tenacity to stay ahead of the current trends, discovering, producing and releasing some of the best work of the genre. In 1975 Saul died, leaving his three bothers to continue the company. In recent years, however, Modern has mainly relied on its back catologue and “glory days” for revenue.
Jules Bihari was the eldest of the four Bihari Brothers (Jules, Saul, Joe and Lester), who are best known for founding Modern Records.
Bihari grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a large Jewish family of Hungarian descent. He later moved to Los Angeles – as did his brothers – in 1941, and got a job servicing and operating jukeboxes in black neighbourhoods
Here’s another Interesting Trivia about Bihar which I’m sure will be a googly for most of you.While searching the net I came across this RnB American Musical Group of late 60’s and 70’s called Bihari Brother’s. Although they didn’t had any Bihari connection but I was really amazed to find the group titled Bihari Brothers.
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