Blue Jay


Blue was owned by John S. Burris. The label was part of his Ohio Music Company business, which included a music store, recording facilities, and music publishing. Burris had owned other businesses, including a grocery store.

Blue Jay records was a very early operation in the 'song-poem' model. Burris encouraged aspiring songwriters to send him material, which he would publish under the Ohio Music Co BMI publishing affiliation, and then plug the songs to performers. This went back to the old Tin Pan Alley ways of selling the music where a recording was secondary to the song rights. 

The Blue Jay label started around 1953 and released the last record around 1959. Based on newspaper reports Burris had health issues which probably led to the label's gradual disappearence. He passed away in 1965. 

The storefronts for the operation had three different addresses, first 23 1/2 S. Park Place, then 31 1/2 S. Third Street, then 316 East Main Street. The 1/2 addresses mean upper floors of the buildings.

Most of the Blue Jay records were recording by Burris' children, his son Ernie and his daughter June/Junie Hackney. The most famous and collectible record on the label seems to have no direct connection to the Burris Family, the artist is Lucky Plank. Homer "Lucky" Plank was from Muldrow, OK, a few miles from the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line. There's no obvious ties for Plank and Ohio so he probably

110 Lucky Plank Hey Hey Baby / I Was Only Dreaming