On Thursday, July 28, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., The City of Los Angeles will officially rename the intersection of Central Avenue and Vernon Avenue to ‘Dolphin’s of Hollywood Records Square’ in recognition of the record store’s role in history in connection with jazz and R&B music. City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. of the 9th District will preside over the ceremony.
Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store was opened by trailblazing Los Angeles entrepreneur John Dolphin at 1065 Vernon Avenue in 1948. It soon became the “place to be”. The most famous record store in the country, with legendary DJs like Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg, Hunter Hancock and Charles Trammel spinning records and broadcasting all night from the front window, became a gathering place for music lovers from every race and background — despite ongoing opposition and harassment from the LAPD under police Chief William H. Parker – until Dolphin’s murder by a store employee in 1958. Dolphin’s wife, Ruth, continued to operate the store until 1989.
Dolphin recorded a host of R&B, blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and even western music talent at the store on a series of labels with evocative names like “Lucky,” “Money,” “Cash” and “Recorded in Hollywood.” The many great artists whose careers he advanced included Sam Cooke, Jesse Belvin, Charles Mingus, Pee Wee Crayton and Major Lance.