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Juggy Murray

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Biography

Producer Juggy Murray co-founded the famed Sue Records, one of the first and most successful African-American-owned labels in popular music. Born Henry Murray, he and partner Bobby Robinson founded Sue in New York City in early 1957 -- later that year the label scored its first regional hit with the Matadors' "Vengeance," followed in 1958 by Bobby Hendricks' national Top 40 hit "Itchy Twitchy Feeling." A year later, Murray formed the Symbol Records subsidiary -- in 1960, Hendricks notched his second Sue hit, "Psycho," while recordings by the Ray Bryant Combo, Ernestine Anderson, and Jimmy McGriff also established the label as a jazz hotbed as well. But the company's most important releases were in an R&B vein -- 1958 marked the release of an early Don Covay single, "Believe It or Not," and in 1960, Sue launched the collaboration of Ike & Tina Turner with "A Fool Too Long." Ike & Tina issued a series of national hits under Murray's hand, among them "I Idolize You," "It's Gonna Work Out Fine," "Poor Fool," "Tra La La La La," and "You Shoulda Treated Me Right." Symbol actually released the company's biggest hit, Inez Foxx's 1963 Top Ten smash "Mockingbird" -- she and guitarist brother Charlie also issued a handful of well-received Symbol efforts. Other Sue hitmakers: Baby Washington "("That's How Heartaches Are Made""), the Soul Sisters ("I Can't Stand It") and Wilbert Harrison ("Let's Work Together"). In 1972, Murray issued his first solo LP, Built for Speed; Inside America followed four years later. He also continued operating Sue into the next century, although the label never again recaptured the commercial success of its '60's heyday. ~ Jason Ankeny

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