11839 12th Street

Coincidentally, Golden World opened their first premises on the same block some 15 years later(see the left hand door). The Fortune premises may well be demolished, but there is a slight possibility that they were in the cleaners shop. The doors are not numbered.

The Fortune Records story started almost 40 years ago. Devora came to Detroit from Cleveland, Ohio and was introduced to Jack Brown through a blind date set up by a friend. Devora was already writing poems and songs, even though Jack was working as an accountant at the time, he liked her songs and encouraged her to send them to a few music publishers. By this time Devora married Jack Brown, and in 1947 after little response from other publishers they decided to start a publishing company and record the songs themselves.

Jack and Devora set up the publishing company with Devora’s brother helping out.

Trianon Publications can be seen on this 1952 release 

Since there were the three of them they decided on TRIanon Publications as the name (in the mid sixties Jandon Publishing was formed, named after their children and Sheldon).

When they started recording they went first class renting the finest studio in Detroit, which was owned by Vogue Records (the same company that made picture discs).

Next they got a well known band leader in the area named Artie Fields, who put a 16 piece orchestra together and recorded Fortune 101, titled “Jane (Sweet As Summer Rain)” and “Texas Tess Down Texas Way”. Jack always kidded Devora that they could make a FORTUNE with her songs so that’s what they decided to call the label.

Artie Fields at the first SoulfulDetroit Night in 2003

The record was a hit in the Detroit area giving them incentive to record songs on other local bands and artists. They worked out of their house at 11839 12th Street in Detroit and rented time at local studios like Vogue and United Sound Systems, as well as recording quite a number of masters in Toledo, Ohio.

12005 12th Street

Another building rumoured to have housed Fortune Records in the early days. The entrance was the second door from the left      


Notes thanks to Ron Murphy

Image notes David Meikle.


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