Dockery, James

A native Chicagoan, James Dockery forwent brutal Midwest winters and resettled in Los Angeles after receiving his honorable discharge in 1963. Dockery bummed around the Los Angeles club scene before meeting Arthur Monday in 1968, a man whom Dockery would refer to later as “my spiritual advisor.” Monday was in the process of notching his first solo 45—the “What Goes Around Comes Around” two-parter, Stage Music M101)—when he and Dockery crossed paths in 1969. They set up shop at 1177 S. Norton Avenue, and incorporated in California as Soul Craft Records, a subsidiary of True Productions. Dockery’s solo effort, “Giving You The Love You Need” b/w “My Faith In You Is All Gone,” would roll off the line first, with Art Monday IV getting a nod as Musical Director. The following year, “In A World of Gloom,” credited to James’ alias Jonas Dockery, appeared on Chicago's Thomas label, but only replicated the gloomy sales and airplay figures of its predecessor. Although the “Gloom” 45 didn’t break the Thomas label’s back, it was the last single to carry its logo. An unsteady stream of Soul Craft singles trickled out over the next few years, by the likes of David Will and C. C. Neal, with shelved productions from a pre-Love Unlimited Barry White. The Soul Craft logo—a rocket bursting through a cloudbank and into space, flanked by a banner reading “Come Trip With Us”—was retired in 1972.