26 Jan Modern Records
South of Santa Monica Boulevard is an area where there once was located a number of light industrial businesses. Because the adjacent City of Beverly Hills’ zoning severely restricted industrial land use, this area became the locale for many services. Dog kennels, veterinarians, lumberyards, dry cleaners, car repair shop, metal workers, and manufacturing plants located here in the 1930’s to serve local demands.
One of these light industrial businesses was a record factory at 692 Robertson Boulevard, now occupied by The Abbey. But what makes this particular record factory very significant is that it was also home to Modern Records, one of the first R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll labels. Started by the Bihari Brothers (pictured) in 1945, Modern produced early recordings of legends like B.B. King (also pictured), John Lee Hooker and Etta James, as well as the first recording released by Howlin’ Wolf.