One-derful! Records was an independent record company based in Chicago and was located on Michigan Avenue. It was one of the few black-owned record labels, and was founded by George Leaner in 1962. The company focused on blues, soul, and R&B genres, and had many notable artists like Otis Clay, McKinley Mitchell, Betty Everett, The Five Du-Tones, Alvin Cash, and was the first company to record The Jackson Five in 1967. The company was active for seven years, and was officially defunct in 1968.
George Leaner (1917-1983)
George and brother Ernest Leaner were born in Mississippi, they moved to Chicago and became two very powerful music executives in the 20th century. George opened One-derful! Records on his own, but was known to produce and co-own it with Earnest along with other labels such as M-Pac, Mar-v-lus, Toddlin’ Town, and Halo.
Otis Clay was an American R&B singer from Waxhaw, Mississippi who signed with One-derful! in 1965 to transition from gospel to secular music. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.
1966, “I’m Satisfied” / “I Testify”
1967, “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)”
1967, “A Lasting Love”
1972, “Trying To Live My Life Without You”
The Five Du-Tones
The Five Du-Tones is an American soul group from St.Louis, Missouri. They recorded nine singles with One-derful! records between the years 1963 and 1966 that merged doo-wop and soul genres together. They provided One-derful!’s most popular song “Shake a Tail Feather” in 1963.
1963, “Shake a Tail Feather” / “Divorce Court”
1964, “The Gouster” / “Monkey See-Monkey Do”
1965, “The Woodbine Twine” / “We Want More”
The Sharpees were a Soul and R&B group from St. Louis, Missouri. The group signed with One-derful! in 1965. This group originated from a band led by Benny Sharp that came together in 1947, “Benny Sharp & the Zorros of Rhythm”.
1965, “Do the 45” / “Make Up Your Mind”
1965, “Tired of Being Lonely” / “Just To Please You”
1966, “I’ve Got A Secret” / “Make Up Your Mind”
1966, “The Sock” / “My Girl Jean”
McKinley Mitchell was a soul and blues singer from Jackson, Mississippi. His record with One-derful!, “The Town I Live In” peaked at #8 on the US Billboard R&B Chart in 1962. It was their first released single!
1962, “The Town I Live In”
1962, “I Found An Angel” / “All Of A Sudden”
1963, “You’re Not Gonna Break My Heart” / “Darling That’s What You Said”
1965, “I’m Ready” / “Watch Over Me”