The Harlem Hamfats was a Chicago jazz band formed in 1936. Initially, they mainly provided backup music for jazz and blues singers, such as Johnny Temple, Rosetta Howard, and Frankie Jaxon for Decca Records, but when their first record "Oh Red" became a hit, it secured them a Decca contract for fifty titles. They launched a successful recording career performing danceable music. The group was not from Harlem nor were they "hamfats". The name 'hamfat' derives from early 20th century slang in which the word was used to designate something as second-rate or a poor substitute.