• The Dapps (Detroit)
    aka The Five Dapps

    Personnel :

    Johnnie Mae Matthews (Lead)

    James Bennett (Lead)

    George Wooden

    Emry Franklin (Guitarist)

    Albert Williams

    Discography :

    The Five Dapps
    1958 - You're So Unfaithful / Do Wop A Do (Brax 208)

    Johnnie Mae Matthews & The Dapps
    1959 - Dreamer / Indian Joe (Northern 3727 )
    1959 - Mr Fine / Some Day (Chet Oliver)  (Northern 3729)

    Biography :

    Celebrated as the "Godmother of Detroit Soul," Johnnie Mae Matthews was born December 31, 1922, in Bessemer, AL.  When she was 12 the family relocated to New Jersey, and in 1947 Matthews alone moved to Detroit, where she married and raised a family, largely limiting her musical aspirations to singing and playing piano at home. In 1957 she joined a local quintet called the Five Dapps  and eventually recorded her first 45 in 1958. It was released on the Brax label, a short lived enterprise funded by local realtor George Braxton.


    Songwriter James Bennett sang lead on Do Wop A Do - a Chuck Berry styled Rock n' Roll number complete with guitar breaks. Johnnie Mae took over on the slower flip side, a jazzy-blues song titled You're So Unfaithful. The other three Dapps were  George Wooden, guitarist Emry Franklin and Albert Williams, who had the soubriquet, "Fruit". Later in 1958, Matthews formed her own record label, dubbed the Northern Recording Company, so named in honor of the popular brand of toilet tissue. Headquartered in an office at 2608 Blaine, just a few blocks from her home, she launched the imprint on just $85 borrowed from her husband's paycheck from the Ford Motor Company, in the process becoming one of the very first African-American women to own and operate her own label.

    The Distants

    With sessions typically recorded at either nearby Special Studio or radio station WCHB, Northern launched largely as a vehicle for Matthews' own performing career. Its premiere release, 1959's "Dreamer," was credited to Johnnie Mae Matthews & the Dapps, while the follow-up, "Mr. Fine," featured as its flip side "Someday," a solo turn by local singer Chet Oliver. She went on to manage the "The Distants" who were later renamed "The Temptations", Northern Recording Company later issued their debut single "Come On".




    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Five Dapps

    You're So Unfaithful                         Do Wop A Do

     Johnnie Mae Matthews & The Dapps

    Mr. Fine / Some Day




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