Mercury and Dot Records

Mike Callahan and David Edwards

Jim Lowe (born: Springfield, Missouri, 1927) was working in Chicago as a disc jockey, trying to find his niche in music, in 1954. That year, he was signed to Chicago’s Mercury label, and wrote and recorded country and western material. One of his songs was the original version of the self-penned “Gambler’s Guitar.” The flip side of “Gambler’s Guitar” was a wonderful version of the old standard, “The Martins and the Coys,” done in a delightful country style. Both received airplay in Chicago, but “Gambler’s Guitar” was covered by established singer Rusty Draper, making #6 and relegating Lowe’s original to a #26 showing. Cover records were one thing, but Draper was on Lowe’s own label, Mercury! Lowe soon moved to New York to continue his radio career, and switched to Dot Records in 1955.

His first successful attempt with Dot was the novelty “Close the Door (They’re Coming in the Windows),” a vaguely obnoxious tune if only because once heard, it absolutely could not be eradicated from the mind (“Those UH-uh-UH-uh, UH-uh- UH-uh, are everywhere!”). A few months later, he recorded another novelty, “Green Door,” in a Greenwich Village apartment. This time, it was pure gold, rising to #1. After a few more moderate hits for Dot, Lowe concentrated on his radio career. Dot released two albums by Jim Lowe


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