Randy Wood RIP

RANDY WOOD, who started out stocking records in a nook of his Texas appliance store before going on to found Dot Records, a label that found success in the ’50s recording white artists like Pat Boone covering R&B songs originally cut by black artists, died on Saturday at his home in La Jolla. He was 94. Wood "picked out all my early hits, Boone told the L.A. Times in 2005. “He was just my mentor, my angel." Boone stayed with Dot for 13 years. The R&B remakes were not without controversy. Dot, Boone and other singers were accused of stealing music and success from black artists. "That's a perversion of history," Boone said. "The recording directors at the small R&B labels wanted to attract attention to their artists, and the covers expanded the impact of the song. Little Richard, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were all thrilled because it made it possible for their songs to finally get heard, and Randy knew that." At one point in the mid-’50s, Dot had half of the Top 10. Wood is credited with a number of innovations, including automatically shipping large numbers of potential hits to distributors and guaranteeing that the unsold ones could be returned. (4/15a)