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The music described and sampled herein is not offered for sale.  Those interested should consult Amazon, eBay, Discogs and other online

music sites for purchase or download options. While there is no attempt to describe all releases, as a standard discography would, source recordings are listed.

Source for Betti/Betty Mays recordings: The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord

Sources for King Records recordings:

Bill Doggett 1952-53 (Chronological Classics 5097)

The King Labels:  A Discography Compiled by Michael Ruppli is an excellent resource, based on Ruppli, with information on 45 and LP issues of King recordings.

Betty Mays
New York City, New York 

September 27, 1949

Betti Mays Betty Mays Abbey Record 3007

Betty Mays (vocal) acc by Sol Amato (trumpet) Percy France (tenor saxophone) Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone) Gil Coggins (piano) Arthur Phipps (bass) George James (drums) 

         The Nearness of You  (Carmichael/Washington)       Abbey 3007
         Until the Real Thing Comes Along (Cahn et al.)         Abbey 3007  



These tracks were not available at the time of this project. This is surprising considering the rave review received from Cash Box less than a month later:
















Betti Betty Mays Cash Box Review Abbey 3007

Betty Mays
New York City, New York 

November 4, 1949

Betty Mays (vocal) acc by Bernie Glow (trumpet) Kai Winding, J.J. Johnson (trombone) Percy France (tenor saxophone) Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone) Gil Coggins (piano) Arthur Phipps (bass) George James (drums) 

Mays’ Haze (take 1) (Hart-Mays)

Mays’ Haze (take 2) (Hart-Mays)

Slow Rock (instrumental)

Old Mill Stream    (Cooper)

           Why Fool Yourself  (unissued)
           Gimme a Pound of Ground Round   


Mays' Haze takes 1 & 2 and Old Mill Stream available on:

Yes Indeed! Women Vocalists on United (Delmark 2004)

Slow Rock appears on Regal 3243, from personal collection of Daniel Gould

Actress/singer Mays used Betty and Betti spellings as seen below:

Betti Mays Slow Rock Label
Betty Mays Recording Session Percy France

Down Beat - December 16, 1949 

Slow Rock
00:00 / 02:14

Percy France solo starts at :43 and is followed by Cecil Payne.

78 transferred to digital by Jeff Crompton/digitally remastered by Daniel Gould.

Bill Doggett
Cincinnati, Ohio 

October 30, 1952

Except as noted, source for following King Records recordings is Bill Doggett 1952-53 (Chronological Classics 5097)

Bill Dogget Shep Shepherd Percy France Mildred Anderson King Records Promo

Bill Doggett, Berisford (Shep) Shepherd, Mildred Anderson, Percy France

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) John Faire (guitar) Amos Williams (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums) Mildred Anderson (vocal)


I’m Free (vo) (Gonzalez)

Moondust (Doggett)

Early Bird (Doggett)

Mistreater (vo) (Moore)

Early Bird - excerpt
00:00 / 01:31
00:00 / 01:11

Cash Box, July 21 1962 - In 1962, King released a 1957 recording paired with

an even older ballad from Percy France's first session with Bill Doggett.

The Royals
Cincinnati, Ohio 

November 1, 1952

Henry Booth (lead vo) Charles Sutton (vo) Lawson Smith (baritone vo) Sonny Woods (bass vo)

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) David Hamilton (guitar) Joe Williams (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums)


                               Shrine of St Cecilia

                               I Feel So Blue

Are You Forgetting (Ballard)

                               What Did I Do

Indented tracks do not include France.

Source: The Royals - The Federal Singles (Ace Records)

Bill Doggett
New York City, New York 

February 18, 1953

Are You Forgetting
00:00 / 00:40

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Shep Shepherd (drums) Mildred Anderson (vocal)


Percy Speaks (Doggett-France)

No More in Life (vo) (Doggett-Adams)

Ready Mix (Bryant/Doggett-Carrol)

Real Gone Mambo (Doggett-Shepherd-France)

(Si Si Nova issued in 1963, same as Real Gone Mambo with shakers and cowbell overdub)   














Percy Speaks
00:00 / 02:01


Bill Doggett
New York City, New York

August 18, 1953

Meridian (Mississippi) Echo - March 1, 1953

Down Beat Percy Speaks Ready Mix Bill Doggett Percy France

Down Beat - September 23, 1953

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Mickey Baker (guitar) Carl Pruitt (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums) Mildred Anderson (vocal)


It’s a Dream (Doggett)

You Ain’t No Good (vo) (Doggett-Anderson)

Your Kind of Woman (vo) (Doggett-Anderson)

Cash Box Review King 4702

The Billboard March 20 1954

It's a Dream
00:00 / 01:32
The Song is Ended
00:00 / 01:00

Cash Box March 27 1954

Bill Doggett
Cincinnati, Ohio

December 16, 1953

Pittsburgh Courier - October 10, 1953

Percy France Shep Shepherd Bill Doggett Mildred Anderson

Pittsburgh Courier - October 24, 1953

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Jerry Lane (guitar) Clarence Mack (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums)


Tailor Made aka Crackers (Doggett)

King Bee (Doggett)

The Song is Ended (Berlin)

Eventide (Moonrise) (Doggett)

And The Angels Sing  (Elman-Mercer)

Sweet Lorraine (Burwell-Parish)

There’s No You (Durgam-Adair-Hopper)

Easy (Doggett-Small)

00:00 / 01:22
Tailor Made
00:00 / 01:03
King Bee
00:00 / 01:01
Billboard May 15 1954 - King 4711 Review

The Billboard May 15, 1954

Cash Box May 8, 1954

Cash Box November 7 1964 - King went ten years into its archive of Doggett recordings and renamed "Tailor Made" as "Crackers."

Cash Box June 12 1954


Bill Doggett
New York City 

June 23, 1954

Baltimore Afro-American January 30, 1954

In 1956, organist Fabulous Preston recorded "Ooh-La Cha-Cha" on the Flash Label. It is unknown if the driving tenor saxophone is that of Percy France.

Baltimore Afro-American January 30, 1954

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Harry Polk (guitar) Beverly Peer (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums)


My Reverie (Clinton/Debussy)

Sweet Slumber (Millinder et. al.)

I’ll Be Around (Wilder)

The Nearness of You (Carmichael/Washington)   


Bill Doggett Moondust for Dancers in Love (King 502)

The Nearness of You - excerpt
00:00 / 01:08
My Reverie
00:00 / 00:41

The Billboard February 5, 1955

Cash Box February 5, 1955

Bill Doggett
Cincinnati, Ohio 

August 23, 1955

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Billy Butler (guitar) Edwyn Conley (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums)


We Found Love (Gibson)

Honey Boy (Doggett-Butler)

Misty Moon (Doggett)

Sources, respectively:

Bill Doggett Candle Glow (King 563)

Bill Doggett Hot Doggett (King 514)

Bill Doggett Impressions (King 868)

The Five Royales
Cincinnati, Ohio 

August 24, 1955

Group as August 23 1955, backing Clarence Paul, Windsor King, Eugene Tanner, John Tanner, Lowman “Pete” Pauling (vocals)


Someone Made You For Me (Glover)

I Ain’t Getting Caught (Glover)



Ruppli's King Records discography does not include Doggett group and gives approximation of recording date; However, matrix numbers are sequential to August 23 session. A reissue by a Denmark company indicates that Doggett group with Percy France is backing group on these tracks. Reissue program was post-Ruppli publication and has otherwise accurate discographical details which are famously lacking on domestic King issues and reissues.

France plays just a single tenor note at the end of “Someone …” 

I Ain't Getting Caught
00:00 / 00:22

Cash Box October 22, 1955

Bill Doggett
New York City, New York 

January 12, 1956

Bill Doggett (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Clifford Scott (tenor & alto sax) Billy Butler (guitar) Al Lucas (bass) Shep Shepherd (drums)


                             Moon Nocturne

                             In a Sentimental Mood

                             When Your Lover Has Gone

Squashy (Doggett)

What a Difference a Day Made (Scott-alto) (Adams-Grever)

                             Stella By Starlight

Who’s Who (First solo France – second Clifford Scott) (Doggett/Harris)

                             We’ll Be Together Again

Indented tracks do not include France.

Note: Ruppli identifies “Squashy” as featuring Clifford Scott on tenor sax however a close listening suggests that it is Percy France. In addition, during the Percy France Memorial broadcast on WKCR, Bill Doggett requested “Squashy” be broadcast, indicating that his recollection was that France is the saxophonist.   

The Billboard June 16, 1956

Cash Box  June 30, 1956

What a Difference a Day Made
00:00 / 01:07
Who's Who
00:00 / 00:58


"What a Difference ..."  King 45-4936

"Who's Who" Bill Doggett, Hot Doggett (King 514)

Digitally remastered by Daniel Gould

"Squashy" from Amazon MP3

00:00 / 01:04

Cash Box April 28, 1956

The success of the single "Honky Tonk Part 2" led King Records to begin issuing 12 inch LPs assembled from Bill Doggett's catalog. Among the earliest was Hot Doggett, and Percy France was pictured on the back cover.

Bill Doggett Percy France - Hot Doggett

King Records wasn't exactly concerned with what might be described as discographical niceties, and as a result, reviews gave all credit to Percy France, even though he is the saxophonist on five of the twelve tracks (if I am right about "Squashy"), with Frank Heppinstall, who replaced France during 1954-55, on four tracks and Irving "Skinny" Brown and Arthur "Pigmeat" Garner on the rest.

The Billboard August 25, 1956

Cash Box August 25, 1956

1958 saw the release of Doggett Beat for Dancing Feet, and the favor was returned. This reviewer identified two tracks that are enlivened by Percy France's tenor while identifying Clifford Scott as the saxophonist:

Cash Box December 21, 1957













Sir Charles Thompson

New York City, New York 

Recorded 1959 - Released 1960

Matt Dennis, Windsor Star - Ontario                  September 29, 1956

Sir Charles Thompson Percy France

Percy France (tenor saxophone) Rudy Rutherford (clarinet) Sir Charles Thompson (piano, organ) Aaron Bell (bass) J.C. Heard (drums) 

                                    I Get a Kick Out Of You
Cool and Easy (Thompson)
Robbin’s Nest (Thompson-Jacquet
                                   The Lady In Red
April Love (Fain-Webster)
19th Hole (Thompson)
Jumpin’ At Basie’s (Thompson)
I Wanta Love You (Thompson)

What’s New? (Burke-Haggart)
Oh Me, Oh My (Thompson)
Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (Fain-Webster)
Party Time (Thompson)

Indented songs do not feature France.

High Fidelity May 1960

19th Hole
00:00 / 01:18
Jumpin' at Basies
00:00 / 01:10

Hi-Fi Stereo Review May 1960

Sir Charles Thompson held a lengthy engagement at Count Basie's as Down Beat informed on October 29, 1959, using the same front line as would appear on the Columbia album:

DB 10-29 1959- Sir Charles Announcement.jpg

Downbeat, October 29, 1959

The gigs with Thompson led to France's own leader opportunities at Count Basie's Lounge. This ad appeared on successive Saturdays, February 6 & 13, 1960 in the New York Age, an African-American weekly:

Percy France at Count Basie's

On March 31, 1960, and again on April 14, Down Beat announced that his engagement had been extended:

Percy France All-Stars Count Basie's

Later in 1960, Percy France made his only appearance in the International Jazz Critics Poll by Down Beat. English critic Albert J. McCarthy gave Percy France a "New Talent" vote in the sixth annual poll. Other tenor saxophonists who received one "New Talent" vote that year included Stanley Turrentine, Clifford Jordan, Booker Ervin, David Newman and Oliver Nelson (Johnny Griffin, with twelve votes, was the winner).

Down Beat August 4, 1960

York Daily Record - November 17 1960

York Daily Record - November 17 1960

The Gazette & Daily - November 14, 1960

The Gazette & Daily - November 14, 1960

Jimmy Smith
Hackensack, New Jersey

June 16, 1959 - Released 1961

Jimmy Smith (organ) Percy France (tenor sax) Kenny Burrell (guitar) Donald Bailey (drums)

See See Rider (Rainey)

                               Sugar Hill

                               I Got a Woman

Messin’ Around (Smith)

Gracie (Smith)

Come On Baby (Burrell)

                              Motoring Along

                              Since I Fell For You

Apostrophe (France)


                              Motorin’ Along (alternate)

                              Since I Fell For You (alternate)

Indented songs do not feature France.

Tracks listed are from 1996 Blue Note CD which included unissued alternates and Percy France's original "Apostrophe" which did not match the "down home" atmosphere of the original LP. It was first issued in 1981 on LT-1092, On The Sunny Side.

Jimmy Smith Review, Audio magazine

Audio, June 1961

Jimmy Smith - Hi-Fi Stereo Review July 1961

Hi-Fi Stereo Review - July 1961

Review - Jimmy Smith - Cash Box

Cash Box February 18, 1961

Jimmy Smith Review - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star Tribune - April 23, 1961

Down Beat - April 27, 1961

Jimmy Smith Review - Petoskey News-Review

Les Carter - Petoskey News-Review - July 10, 1961

Down Beat Joe Newman Percy France

Down Beat - April 13, 1961

Freddie Roach Down to Earth




Freddie Roach

Hackensack, New Jersey

August 23, 1962

Freddie Roach (organ) Percy France (tenor saxophone) Kenny Burrell (guitar) Clarence Johnston (drums)


De Bug (Roach)

Ahm Miz (Roach)

Lujon (Mancini)

Althea Soon (Roach)

More Mileage (Roach)

Lion Down (Roach)

Freddie Roach Down to Earth Review

Billboard December 22, 1962

Freddie Roach Down to Earth Review

Cash Box December 22, 1962

Freddie Roach Down to Earth Review

Russ Wilson - Oakland Tribune - December 30, 1962

Please click above to see more of the Percy France Sessionagraphy. 

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