Before Berry Gordy’s Motown, There Was “Dolphin’s of Hollywood”

0 Posted by - October 29, 2021 - Black History, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS

John Dolphin relocated to Los Angeles in 1948 and opened a record store near Central Avenue, “Dolphins of Hollywood. Dolphin would go on to make history by operated one of the most successful businesses in the city’s history.

Dolphin who was also known as “Lovin’ John” wanted to bring Hollywood to South Los Angeles. He would become a major influence in the transitional period of rock n roll and R& B.

Dolphin had well-known white DJs spinning records through the night at the big storefront window. He bought airtime on radio station KRKD, which catered to white listeners. They played Dolphin-produced records and songs by others. However, Dolphin had fans of all races.

Young kids would visit the store from all over and dance the night away. However, the white authorities were not too please with whites and blacks intermingling. Officers would arrest the black boys and send the white kids home. Dolphin’s business was shut down a few times, however, he would be right back up and running.

Dolphin’s operated his business until February 1, 1958. On that particular day, Dolphin was shot and killed by Percy Ivy, an aspiring entertainer who wanted a record deal. Dolphin would not give him one, and Ivy shot him dead. Dolphin’s wife, Ruth, managed to keep the store open until 1989.



LA Weekly

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