Bethlehem Records

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Bethlehem Records
Bethlehem Records Logo.png
Parent company Verse Music Group
(BMG Rights Management)
Founded1953 (1953)
FounderGus Wildi
Genre Jazz
Country of originU.S.
Location New York City

Bethlehem Records was an American jazz independent record label, founded by Gus Wildi in 1953.



Bethlehem is remembered for its jazz releases from the 1950s. Producers included Creed Taylor and Teddy Charles. [1] Bethlehem released the first albums recorded by singers Chris Connor (the dual releases Chris Connor Sings Lullabys for Lovers and Chris Connor Sings Lullabys of Birdland) in 1954, Nina Simone ( Little Girl Blue ) in 1958, and singer/actress Julie London. Julie London recorded four songs that were released on the EP Julie London, and they were later added to the compilation LP Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1955, which also featured Chris Connor and Carmen McRae. Bethlehem recorded the debut album by Marilyn Moore and the album Somebody Loves Me by Jerri Winters, in addition to many many modern jazz musicians including Howard McGhee, Herbie Nichols, Pat Moran McCoy, and Oscar Pettiford.

In 1958, Bethlehem began a distributing deal with King Records. In 1962, Bethlehem Records was sold and absorbed by King Records. [2] After Syd Nathan's death in 1968, King was acquired by Starday Records and relaunched as Starday and King Records. It was purchased in 1970 by Lin Broadcasting and in 1972 by Tennessee Recording & Publishing, until acquired by Gusto Records in 1974. At that time, Bethlehem was purchased by the Cayre brothers' Salsoul Records, who initially intended to release its back catalog for inexpensive 8-track tapes in the 1970s. By 1993, the Bethlehem name was revived as Bethlehem Music Company, although Salsoul is often used as an imprint. The Verse Music Group obtained its licensing in 2010. In 2015 BMG acquired the catalog of Verse Music, including the Bethlehem label. [3]

During 2013–2014, Verse and Naxos reissued the 1950s catalogue on LP, CD, and digital download. This included music by Art Blakey, Chris Connor, Paula Castle, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Nina Simone, Mel Tormé, and Zoot Sims. [4]

Selected acquisitions

In 1956, Period Records sold its jazz LP catalog (10 disks) to Bethlehem. Production of all its jazz recordings were supervised by Leonard Feather. Several of the Period recordings had been previously released by Jazztone for mail-order club release. [5]


BCP 1000 Series

The BCP 1000 Series of 10 inch LP records commenced in September 1954 and ran until July 1955 when the label switched to 12 in LP releases. [6]

BCP 1001 Chris Connor Chris Connor Sings Lullabys of Birdland
BCP 1002Chris ConnorChris Connor Sings Lullabys for Lovers
BCP 1003 Oscar Pettiford Oscar Pettiford
BCP 1004 Bobby Scott Great Scott
BCP 1005 Ruby Braff Ruby Braff Swings
BCP 1006 Hank D'Amico Holiday with Hank
BCP 1007 Charlie Shavers Horn o' Plenty
BCP 1008 Aaron Sachs Aaron Sachs Sextet
BCP 1009Bobby ScottThe Compositions of Bobby Scott: East Coast Jazz 1
BCP 1010 Vinnie Burke East Coast Jazz/2
BCP 1011 Pete Brown Peter the Great
BCP 1012 Joe Puma East Coast Jazz/3
BCP 1013 Eddie Shu I Only Have Eyes for Shu
BCP 1014 Jonah Jones Jonah Jones
BCP 1015 Terry Pollard Terry Pollard
BCP 1016 Conte Candoli Sincerely, Conte
BCP 1017 Stan Levey Stan Levey Plays the Composition of Bill Holman, Bob Cooper and Jimmy Giuffre
BCP 1018 Herbie Mann East Coast Jazz/4
BCP 1019Oscar Pettiford Basically Duke
BCP 1020 Milt Hinton East Coast Jazz/5
BCP 1021Charlie ShaversThe Most Intimate
BCP 1022 Charlie Mariano Mariano
BCP 1023 Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
BCP 1024 Stu Williamson Sapphire
BCP 1025 Herbie Harper Please, No More Shaggy Dog Stories! I'd Much Rather Listen to Herbie Harper
BCP 1026Bob HardawayLou's Blue
BCP 1027Helen CarrDown in the Depths on the 90th Floor
BCP 1028 Max Bennett Hence! Home, You Idle Creatures: Get You Home: and Lend an Ear to Max Bennett
BCP 1029Bobby ScottThe Compositions of Bobby Scott: 2
BCP 1030 Bobby Troup The Songs of Bobby Troup
BCP 1031 The Australian Jazz Quartet The Australian Jazz Quartet
BCP 1032Ruby BraffHoliday in Braff
BCP 1033 Red Mitchell , Bob Brookmeyer and Zoot Sims Happy Minors
BCP 1034Ruby BraffBall at Bethlehem with Braff
BCP 1035 Dick Wetmore Dick Wetmore
BCP 1036Paula|CastleLost Love
BCP 1039Joe DeRiseJoe DeRise Sings
BCP 1040 Russ Garcia Wigville

BCP 12-Inch "Deluxe" Series

The BCP "Deluxe" Series of 12 inch LP records commenced in 1955 and ran until 1960. [7] Early releases consisted of reissues of 10 inch albums from the BCP 1000 Series.

BCP 1 Bobby Scott and Terry Pollard Bobby Scott and Terry PollardCompilation of BCP-1004 and BCP-1015
BCP 2 Oscar Pettiford and Red Mitchell Jazz MainstreamCompilation of BCP-1019 and BCP-1033
BCP 3 Eddie Shu and Bob HardawayJazz PractitionersCompilation of BCP-1013 and BCP-1026
BCP 4 Pete Brown and Jonah Jones Jazz KaleidoscopeCompilation of BCP-1011 and BCP-1014
BCP 5 Ruby Braff A Ruby Braff OmnibusCompilation of BCP-1005 and BCP-1034
BCP 6Oscar Pettiford and Vinnie Burke Bass by Pettiford/BurkeCompilation of BCP-1003 and BCP-1010
BCP 7 Hank D'Amico and Aaron Sachs We Brought Our AxesCompilation of BCP-1006 and BCP-1008
BCP 8Bobby ScottThe Compositions of Bobby ScottCompilation of BCP-1009 and BCP-1029
BCP 9 Conte Candoli and Stan Levey Westcoasting with Conte Candoli and Stan LeveyCompilation of BCP-1016 and BCP-1017
BCP 10 Milt Hinton East Coast Jazz/5Reissue of BCP-1020 with additional material
BCP 11 Bob Dorough Devil May Care
BCP 12 Don Elliott Mellophone
BCP 13 Ralph Sharon and Sue RyanMr. and Mrs. Jazz
BCP 14 Urbie Green East Coast Jazz/6
BCP 15Don ElliotDon Elliott Sings
BCP 16 Hal McKusick East Coast Jazz/8
BCP 17 Joe Roland Easy Living
BCP 18 Sam Most I'm Nuts About the Most...Sam That Is!
BCP 19 Bobby Troup A Great Mercer Songbook: Bobby Troup Sings Johnny Mercer
BCP 20 Chris Connor This Is Chris
BCP 21 Red Allen , Cozy Cole and Charlie Shavers Jazz at the Metropole Cafe
BCP 22Smith/Glamann QuintetPoinciana
BCP 23 Frances Faye I'm Wild Again
BCP 24 Herbie Mann Quartet Flamingo
BCP 25 Charlie Mariano Charlie Mariano
BCP 26 Frank Rosolino I Play Trombone
BCP 27Charlie ShaversGershwin, Shavers and Strings
BCP 28The Six6
BCP 29 Bud Freeman Newport News
BCP 30Conte CandoliToots Sweet
BCP 31 Stu Williamson Stu Williamson Plays
BCP 32 Jack Teagarden Jazz Great
BCP 33Oscar Pettiford Oscar Pettiford
BCP 34 Mel Tormé It's a Blue World
BCP 35Bobby TroupThe Distinctive Style of Bobby Troup
BCP 36 Dexter Gordon Daddy Plays the Horn
BCP 37 Stan Levey This Time the Drum's on Me
BCP 38Red MitchellJam for Your Bread
BCP 39 Sal Salvador Shades of Sal Salvador
BCP 40Herbie Mann and Sam Most The Herbie Mann-Sam Most Quintet
BCP 41Ralph SharonRalph Sharon Trio
BCP 42 Howard McGhee The Return of Howard McGhee
BCP 43 Johnny Hartman Songs from the Heart
BCP 44The Jazz City WorkshopThe Jazz City Workshop Herbie Harper, Larry Bunker, Marty Paich, Curtis Counce, Frankie Capp and Jack Costanzo
BCP 45Helen CarrWhy Do I Love You
BCP 46Russ Garcia OrchestraFour Horns and a Lush Life
BCP 47Terry MorelSongs of a Woman in Love
BCP 48 Max Bennett Max Bennett
BCP 49Charlie MarianoCharlie Mariano Plays
BCP 50Max BennettMax Bennett Plays
BCP 51Joe DeRiseJoe DeRise
BCP 52Mel Tormé Mel Tormé and the Marty Paich Dek-Tette
BCP 53 Peggy Connelly with Russ Garcia "Wigville" BandThat Old Black Magic
BCP 54 Claude Williamson Claude Williamson
BCP 55Stu WilliamsonStu Williamson
BCP 56Chris ConnorChris
BCP 57The SixThe View from Jazzbo's Head
BCP 58Herbie Mann Herbie Mann Plays Reissue of BCP-1018 with additional material
BCP 59Sal Salvador {{{last}}}Frivolous Sal
BCP 60 Duke Ellington Historically Speaking
BCP 61Howard McGhee Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
BCP 62Frances FayeRelaxin' with Frances Faye
BCP 63Herbie Mann Love and the Weather
BCP 64 Betty Roché Take the "A" Train
BCP 65 Charles Mingus The Jazz Experiments of Charlie Mingus Compilation of Period Records SPL 1107 and SPL 1111
BCP 66 Osie Johnson The Happy Jazz of Osie Johnson
BCP 67Charlie Shavers and Maxine Sullivan The Complete Charlie Shavers with Maxine Sullivan
BCP 68 Ralph Burns Bijou
BCP 69Claude Williamson 'Round Midnight
BCP 70 Frank Socolow Sounds by Socolow
BCP 71Stan LeveyGrand Stan
BCP 72 Herb Jeffries Say It Isn't So
BCP 73 Marilyn Moore Moody
BCP 74Sal SalvadorA Tribute to the Greats
BCP 75Sam MostSam Most Plays Bird, Bud, Monk and Miles
BCP 76 Jerri Winters Somebody Loves Me
BCP 77 Jimmy Knepper A Swinging Introduction to Jimmy Knepper
BCP 78Sam MostThe Amazing Mr. Sam Most
BCP 79Tony OrtegaJazz for Young Moderns
BCP 80Frank Rosolino / Russ Garcia / Herbie HarperJazz City Presents Bethlehem Jazz Session
BCP 81 Herbie Nichols Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
BCP 82Various ArtistsBethlehem's Best Volume One
BCP 83Various ArtistsBethlehem's Best Volume Two
BCP 84Various ArtistsBethlehem's Best Volume Three
BCP 85Various ArtistsNothing Cheesy About This Jazz
BCP 86Various ArtistsWe Cut This Album for Bread
BCP 87Various ArtistsDouble Barrel Jazz
BCP 88Various ArtistsJazz Music for People Who Don't Care About Money
BCP 89Various ArtistsWe've Built a Jazz Album for You
BCP 90Various ArtistsA Handful of Cool Jazz
BCP 91Various ArtistsA Lot of Yarn But a Well Knitted Jazz Album
BCP 92Various ArtistsNo Sour Grapes ...Just Pure Jazz

5000 series

The 5000 series of 12 inch LP records commenced in 1957 but only released six albums. [8]

BCP 5001Teale JoyTed Steele Presents Miss Teal Joy
BCP-5002 Charlie Shavers The Most Intimate
BCP-5003 Dick Stabile Dick Stabile Plays for You
BCP-5004 Ted Steele and His OrchestraLet's Go Dancin'
BCP-5005 Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson Clean Head's Back in Town
BCP-5006 Russ Garcia , His Vocal Choir and OrchestraSounds in the Night

6000 series

The 6000 series of 12 inch LP records commenced in 1956 and ran until 1964. [9]

BCP 6001 Kai Winding and J. J. Johnson K + J.J.
BCP 6002 The Australian Jazz Quartet The Australian Jazz Quartet/Quintet
BCP 6003The Australian Jazz QuartetThe Australian Jazz Quartet
BCP 6004 Chris Connor Chris Connor Sings Lullabys of Birdland
BCP 6005 Duke Ellington Duke Ellington Presents...
BCP 6006Chris Connor / Carmen McRae / Julie London Bethlehem's Girl Friends
BCP 6007Pat MoranThe Pat Moran Quartet
BCP 6008 Sam Most Musically Yours
BCP 6009 Sallie Blair Squeeze Me
BCP 6010 Audrey Morris The Voice of Audrey Morris
BCP 6011 Johnny Richards Something Else by Johnny Richards
BCP 6012The Australian Jazz QuintetThe Australian Jazz Quintet at the Varsity Drag
BCP 6013 Mel Tormé Mel Tormé Sings Fred Astaire
BCP 6014 Johnny Hartman All of Me: The Debonair Mr. Hartman
BCP 6015The Australian Jazz QuintetThe Australian Jazz Quintet Plus One
BCP 6016Mel Tormé Mel Tormé's California Suite
BCP 6017 Frances Faye Frances Faye Sings Folk Songs
BCP 6018Pat MoranWhile at Birdland
BCP 6019 Charles Mingus East Coasting
BCP 6020Mel Tormé Mel Tormé at the Crescendo
BCP 6021 Charlie Rouse and Paul Quinichette The Chase Is On
BCP 6022The Australian Jazz QuintetSelections of Rogers and Hammerstein
BCP 6023 Art Blakey 's Jazz Messengers Hard Drive
BCP 6024Various Artists Winner's Circle
BCP 6025 John Williams World on a String
BCP 6026Charles Mingus A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry
BCP 6027Art Blakey Art Blakey Big Band
BCP 6028 Nina Simone Little Girl Blue
BCP 6029The Australian Jazz QuintetThe Australian Jazz Quintet in Free Style
BCP 6030The Australian Jazz QuintetModern Jazz Performance of Kurt Weill's Three Penny Opera
BCP 6031Mel Tormé Songs for Any Taste
BCP 6032 Teddy Charles and His SextetSalute to Hamp
BCP 6033 Frank Minion The Forward Sound
BCP 6034Various ArtistsSmart, Luscious, Beautiful: Sounds of the Trumpet
BCP 6035Various ArtistsFifteen Star Saxophones
BCP 6036Various ArtistsTrombone Band Stand
BCP 6037Various ArtistsBig Band Contrast
BCP 6038Various ArtistsBluesville
BCP 6039 Russ Garcia and Marty Paich Jazz Music for the Birds and the Hep Cats
BCP 6040Mel Tormé, Frances Faye and Others Porgy and Bess: A Jazz Version of Highlights from the Opera
BCP 6041Nina Simone / Carmen McRae / Chris Connor Nina Simone and Her Friends
BCP 6042 Jonah Jones and Jack Teagarden Meet in Dixieland
BCP 6043 Ruby Braff The Best of Braff
BCP 6044The Teddy Charles GroupOn Campus! Ivy League Jazz Concert
BCP 6045 Mal Waldron Left Alone
BCP 6046 Charlie Persip Charlie Persip and the Jazz Statesmen
BCP 6047Leroy ParkinsLeroy Parkins and Yazoo River Jazz Band
BCP 6048 Booker Ervin The Book Cooks
BCP 6049 Dave McKenna and Hal OvertonDual Piano Jazz
BCP 6050 George Wein and the Storyville SextetMetronome Presents Jazz at the Modern
BCP 6051 Zoot Sims Down Home
BCP 6052Frank MinionThe Soft Land of Make Believe
BCP 6053 John Letman The Many Angles of John Letman
BCP 6054 Bennie Green Hornful of Soul
BCP 6055 Howard McGhee Dusty Blue
BCP 6056 Pepper Adams and Donald Byrd Motor City Scene
BCP 6057The ShantymenA Treasury of Spicy Sea Songs
BCP 6058Betty BlakeBetty Blake Sings In a Tender Mood
BCP 6059 Harold Ousley Tenor Sax
BCP 6061 Booker Little Booker Little and Friend
BCP 6062 Tommy Watt and His OrchestraWatt's Cooking
BCP 6063 Humphrey Lyttelton Humph Plays Standards
BCP 6064 Roland Kirk Third Dimension
BCP 6065Various ArtistsGolden Jazz Instrumentals
BCP 6066 John Coltrane John Coltrane in the Winners Circle
BCP 6067 Herbie Mann The Epitome of Jazz
BCP 6068Various ArtistsJazz Vocals Award Album
BCP 6069 Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis with Shirley Scott at the OrganThe Best of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
BCP 6070The Australian All StarsJazz for Beach-Niks
BCP 6071Various ArtistsBlues 'N' Folk
BCP 6072 Milt Buckner The New World of Milt Buckner
BCP 6073The Australian All StarsJazz for Surf-Niks

See also

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  1. Gardner, Mark (2002). Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 212. ISBN   1561592846.
  2. Callahan, M. & Edwards, D., The Bethlehem Records Story, accessed May 14, 2015
  3. "BMG Acquires Catalog of Verse Music, Includes Songs of Nina Simone, J. Lo". Billboard.
  4. Tamarkin, Jeff (15 August 2013). "Bethlehem Records' 1950s Catalog to Be Reissued". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. "Beth'hem Buys Period's Jazz LP Catalog," Billboard, October 20, 1956, p. 18
  6. Edwards, D. & Callahan, M., Bethlehem Discography, Part 1: BCP-1000 10-inch LP Series (1954-1955), accessed May 13, 2015
  7. Edwards, D. & Callahan, M., Bethlehem Discography, Part 2: BCP-1 12-inch LP Series (1955-1960), accessed May 13, 2015
  8. Edwards, D. & Callahan, M., Bethlehem Records Catalog: 6000, 5000 series - album index, accessed November 8, 2019
  9. Edwards, D. & Callahan, M., Bethlehem Discography, Part 3: BCP-6000 Series, accessed May 13, 2015