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Launched as a subsidiary imprint under the Bihari Brothers' Modern Records umbrella, RPM Records specialized in blues, jump blues, and R&B. The Bihari Brothers (there were four of them, Lester, Julius, Saul, and Joseph Bihari) founded Modern Records in 1954 in Los Angeles as a West Coast R&B and blues label, spinning it off into an independent record empire by adding other imprints, including RPM, Flair, Meteor, and Crown Records (they even launched a Christmas and holiday label, Yuletide Records) before things crashed in the mid-'60s and forced things into bankruptcy, with the Modern umbrella catalog falling to Kent Records, who licensed it to the U.K.'s Ace Records in the mid-'80s, who in turn purchased it outright in the 1990s. This two-disc set, the first volume in a series covering the RPM part of the story, extends from 1950 to 1953, and includes sides by some well-known names like B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Ike Turner (who was a longtime talent scout for the Bihari Brothers), but also sides by lesser-known artists like the great Rosco Gordon, with roughly half of these 52 tracks featured in either alternate or previously unreleased versions, all of which makes this a wonderful historical and archival release.