Lou Beatty stands proud outside his new facility at 6072 14th Street

Fred had learned a lot at Golden World and was ready to put his new experience to the test at a new studio which was being opened by local entrepreneur Lou Beatty.

Beatty lived on Lasalle Street near the Boulevard and was a successful business man owning construction companies and motels in various parts of the city. He even owned a motel right across the street from his new La Beat studio.  

Beatty's motel provided temporary accommodation for some La Beat staff

It is feasible that Lou took an interest in the recording industry as his sons, Chris and Lou Jr,  were working on commercials at the time.

Regardless, to get the studio off the ground, Beatty  formed a partnership with James Hendrix who was already running the Carrie label in Detroit after founding it in his home town of Nashville.  Having moved to Detroit in 1959, Hendrix was also issuing material on The Arabians, Clifford Binns, Cornell Blakely and others from the Motor City.

But Fred recalls that Hendrix was a low key figure at La Beat and didn't have much to say. 

James Hendrix

"I first met Lou Beatty somewhere between 1965 and 1966, possibly through legendary jazz pianist, Teddy Harris Sr.

He had this new place on 14th street, just a block away from my  upstairs flat which was sitting close by  at 6063 15th .

I just went around and introduced myself. That was my style, I had confidence man and felt that my talent and experience could get me in anywhere. I just needed the chance to show what I could do.

Beatty's investment was a large 4 family building at number 6070-6076 14th Street. He soon converted it into a studio, an office and several rehearsal rooms. Most rooms upstairs were furnished with a piano while downstairs was converted into a recording studio and control room.

Sadly, the studio was a horrible job because it was in the front room where large windows were a prominent feature. To make matters worse we were on ground level, with traffic laden 14th Street only a few feet away!

Lou soon found an answer to that however and sent me to a studio in Chicago which had equipment, special EQ, capable of removing car sounds from recordings! I think I had to do that to most of Beatty’s catalogue.

I would also do the mixing there.”  

Universal Studios,
one of the studios used by La Beat in Chicago

Needing someone who new the industry well, Lou then contacted Teddy Harris Snr who had experience of running a Publishing Company.

So Harris Snr ran Beatty’s Publishing Company, copied the tunes for the labels and was like an overseer.

“I then joined the company as Producer grass roots and became Beatty’s musical advisor. Teddy was my boss but he gave me a free hand and trusted my judgement. I would oversee the session even telling the arranger what to do so that their role was purely to write down the notes for the musicians.

Some musicians soon began hanging around the studio and Beatty gave them a job and some accommodation in the motel. He gave them the name La Beat Production Team (LPT for short). They were Johnny Mills on drums, Billy McCoo on bass, Curtis Trusell on guitar and myself on piano. John Glover was also playing bass on occasion.

I was in that studio 7 days a week."


Notes thanks to David Meikle.


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