Soulful Detroit Forum: Open Forum: TOP DOG RECORDS
Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( - on Saturday, May 04, 2002 - 12:47 am:

Can anyone give me any information on the TOP DOG label? When I searched the forum I think the only mention was by DeAnne in a post where she mentioned a couple releases. The record I found today was by the Camel Drivers called "Sunday Morning 6 O'Clock". It's kind of an intriguing folk-pop record written by John Rhys and Don Domingues; produced by Artie Fields. Does anyone know how many releases that label had and details about the roster?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dave f.. ( - on Saturday, May 04, 2002 - 05:13 pm:

Steve,i dont know much about this label,except i have these two 45s on it,

Kris Peterson-Just as much/Unbelievable-Top Dog 102

Joe Towns-Down and out world/Together we can make such sweet music-Top Dog 105

Dave f..

Top of pageBottom of page   By Joe Moorehouse ( - on Saturday, May 04, 2002 - 09:05 pm:

I don't know who owned Top Dog, but Artie Fields is a good guess. There were about 10 releases on the label, including three each by Joe Towns and the Camel Drivers, all of which I think are relatively common (and some of which were minor hits in the Detroit area). I think the only soul records are the ones by Joe Towns and Kris Peterson (whose single is the best thing on the label by leagues, IMO), but there's also one by Don Rondo that may be moderately soulful. One record that supposedly exists but that I've never seen is by a group called Merseybeat USA, which I'd like to find and hear just because it's so rare. 50-50 chance it has fake British accents, too.

Top of pageBottom of page   By recordboyusa ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 06:11 am:

TOP DOG from recordboyusa:

2313 MERSEY BEATS USA - You'll Come Back/Nobody Loves
2314 KEYES - Can't Win For Losing/She's The One
2315 RUGBYS - Walking The Streets Tonight/Endlessly
2316 NITE OWLS - Act Your Age/
2318 MERSEY BEATS USA - Does She Or Doesn't She/Stop Look & Listen

100 CAMEL DRIVERS - The Grass Looks Greener/It's Gonna Rain
101 DON RONDO - Just Before The Battle/
102 KRIS PETERSON - Just As Much/Unbelievable
103 CAMEL DRIVERS - Sunday Morning Six O'Clock/Give It A Try (also issued on Buddah)
104 CAMEL DRIVERS - Forgive Us/
105 JOE TOWNS - Together We Can Make/Down and Out World
106 MERSEYBEATS USA - Nobody Loves Me That Way
107 JOE TOWNS - You Can't Hold Me Back/Busy Signal
108 JOE TOWNS - Look Around And You'll Find Me/Down and Out World
109 THE PUSHCART - Yo Te Amo/I've Got A Ticket To The World

200 CAMEL DRIVERS - Give It A Try/You Made A Believer Of Me

Merseybeats USA featured some future members of NRBQ when they were still living in Louisville. After they moved to Miami and met up with the Seven of Us, plus drummer Tom Staley and vocalist Frankie Gadler, NRBQ was born.

Jeff Lemlich
The Florida music forum:

Top of pageBottom of page   By Joe Moorehouse ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 01:48 pm:

Hi Jeff.

Looking at this discography, my guess is that the Top Dog label moved at some point, either from Detroit to another town or from another town to Detroit. All of the records except perhaps Merseybeats USA in the 100 to 200 series are by Detroit-area artists and are relatively available in Southeastern Michigan. I've never seen any of the records in the 2300 series and none are by artists I've ever heard of, so I'd be shocked to learn that these are Michigan records. The Louisville-NRBQ connection further suggests that the 2300 series is from somewhere else. Do you have any records in the 2300 series? Is there an address on them? Is the logo the same as on the Detroit 45s? And, do you happen to know which future NRBQ members were in Merseybeats USA? Thanks!

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 02:12 pm:

Thanks for all the responses to my Top Dog inquiry. The Merseybeats USA name rang a bell but I'd forgotten they were an embryonic NRBQ. Were'nt Terry Adams and Steve Ferguson the only future NRBQ members in the Merseybeats? Seeing their release in the 100 series makes me curious what the Detroit connection to that band could have been. Also, does anyone know the what years Top Dog would have been in operation?
Thanks again
Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By acooolcat ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 03:37 pm:

My listing is slightly different to Jeff's;

#106 - Joe Towns - Take That Woman Out That Shack/Down And Out World

#201 - The Camel Drivers - The Grass Looks Greener/I'm Gonna Make You Mine

I have #103 dated 1968.
I don't have the actual 45s - so can't say for sure that I'm 100% right with the label numbers and titles etc.

Top of pageBottom of page   By acooolcat ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 03:50 pm:

There was also a release on Pelikin - which was a sister label to Top Dog.

# 102 - Kris Peterson - Mama's Little Baby
Soul Rhythm Band - Instrumental

This was quite a hit in Detroit.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Joe Moorehouse ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 04:04 pm:

Top Dog 103 (Camel Drivers) charted in Detroit in June of '68, so we can extrapolate a bit from there on the dates. There were two other Kris Peterson releases on Pelikin besides Mama's Little Baby:

Pelikin 100
Me Without You
Nature Boy

Pelikin 101
I Believe in You
Lullabye of the City

If there are any records on the label not by Kris, I've never seen them.

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Rhys ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 09:51 pm:

Top Dog Records was part of Artie Fields Productions and was housed in an old theatre converted into a studio on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
The studio was strange because the control room was on one side of the building and the studio was on the other. In essence, you couldn't see who you were recording.
I listened to a tape the other night I recorded there in 1967 of the original Scot Richard Case. What a trip!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Joe Moorehouse ( - on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 10:29 pm:

Hi John.

What did you record on the Scot Richard Case? The stuff that was released by Jeep Holland on A-Square (I'm So Glad and Who Is That Girl) or something else?

Top of pageBottom of page   By recordboyusa ( - on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 04:25 am:

The artists in the 2300 series all seem to have ties to the Louisville area. I have the Rugbys 45 and just checked it, but there's no address on the label.

Jeff Lemlich
The Florida music forum:

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