Mainstream Records

Last updated
Mainstream Records
Founded1964 (1964)
Founder Bob Shad
Defunct1978 (1978)
Country of originU.S.

Mainstream Records was an American record company and independent record label founded by producer Bob Shad in 1964.


Mainstream's early releases were reissues from Commodore Records. Its catalogue grew to include Bob Brookmeyer, Maynard Ferguson, Jim Hall, Helen Merrill, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Raney, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, and Sarah Vaughan. Janis Joplin, with Big Brother and the Holding Company, first appeared on Mainstream. [1]

In 1978, Mainstream ceased activities. Bob Shad died in 1985. In 1990, the label was restarted by his daughter, Tamara, and Humphrey Walwyn, the former head of BBC Records. [2] It was bought by Legacy Recordings in 1993 and purchased back by the Shad family in the early 2000s. The label is now run by Shad's granddaughter Mia Apatow, with the help of her brother Judd Apatow.


56000/S6000 series (12" LPs)

The Mainstream 56000/S6000 Series commenced in 1964 when the label was established by Bob Shad and ran until 1971 and initially reissued material from Commodore Records and Time Records (an earlier Bob Shad label) in addition to some new jazz recordings, then soundtracks, before branching into psychedelic rock around 1966. [3]

Catalog numberTitleArtistNotes
56000/S6000The Commodore Recordings 1939, 1944 Billie Holiday
56001/S6001Begin the Beguine Eddie Heywood
56002/S6002Influence of FiveVarious Artists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Don Byas, Chu Berry
56003/S6003Dixieland-New OrleansVarious Artists Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison & Others
56004/S6004Town Hall ConcertVarious Artists Gene Krupa, Charlie Ventura, Bill Coleman, Red Norvo, & Others
56005/S6005The Soil and the SeaVarious Artists Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Peter Hawes, Lee Hays
56006/S6006I'm LostDottie Clark
56007/S6007Boss of the Blues Charles Brown
56008/S6008Chairmen of the BoardVarious Artists Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Joe Bushkin, Mel Powell, Jess Stacy
56009/S600952 StreetVarious ArtistsBillie Holiday, Ben Webster, and Others
56010/S6010Dixieland-Chicago StyleVarious Artists Muggsy Spanier, Russell, & Others
56011/S6011Era of the ClarinetVarious ArtistsPee Wee Russell, Edmund Hall, Irving Fazola, Benny Goodman, Tony Parenti, George Lewis
56012/S6012Lester Young & Kansas City SixLester Young
56013/S6013 Two Jims and Zoot Jimmy Raney, Zoot Sims & Jim Hall
56014/S6014 The Artistry of Helen Merrill Helen Merrill
56015/S6015A Taste of Honey Morgana King
56016The Songs of Kurt Weill Felicia Sanders Reissue of Time 2007
56017/S6017Era of the Swing TrumpetVarious ArtistsEldridge, Hackett, Jonah Jones, Page, Williams, & DeParis
56018/S6018Town Hall Concert Volume 2Various ArtistsKrupa & Ventura 3, Stuff Smith, Red Norvo, Wilson, Phillips, Bert, Rogers, Sachs, Palmieri, Stewart, Powell, Krupa, Ventura, & Walthers
56019/S6019Tenor HierarchyVarious ArtistsColeman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Ben Webster, Frank Wess, Phillips, Don Byas
56020/S6020Jelly Roll Morton Jelly Roll Morton
56021/S6021Bahutu Chant & DancersBahutu Chant & Dancers
56022/S6022Once Upon a TimeBillie Holiday & Teddy Wilson
56023/S6023Expressions East John Berberian
56024/S6024Legend Eddie Condon
56025/S6025Look at YesterdayVarious Artists Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Stewart, Paul Quinichette, Jimmy Raney, Wardell Gray
56026/S6026LegendPee Wee Russell
56027/S6027Legend Willie "The Lion" Smith
56028/S6028Second to None Carmen McRae
56029/S6029Riverboat JazzJuggy’s Jazz Band
56030/S6030August ChildSylvia Copeland
56031/S6031 Color Him Wild Maynard Ferguson
56032/S6032Organ Out Loud Gene Ludwig
56033/S6033The Award Winner Frank Wess
56034/S6034 Ruth Brown '65 Ruth Brown
56035/S6035Ballads My WayCharles Brown
56036/S6036Corcovado Trumpets Vic Schoen
56037/S6037MeditationsColeman Hawkins
56038/S6038Sittin' InChu Berry
56039/S6039Legend Bunk Johnson
56040/S6040 The Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Reissue of Time T/7004
56041/S6041 Tiger Tail Stanley Turrentine Reissue of Time 52086
56042/S6042NowCleo Bradford
56043/S6043 Tonight Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56044/S6044Haven't We Met?Carmen McRae
56045/S6045 The Blues Roar Maynard Ferguson
56046/S6046YancyEmily Yancy
56047/S6047Oud ArtistyJohn Berberian
56048/S6048It's Time We Met Terry Gibbs
56049/S6049Home Town Blues Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
56050/S6050Vibrations Jimmy Ricks
56051/S6051Latin Au Go Go Joe Cain
56052/S6052Miss Morgana King Morgana King
56053/S6053The Collector Maurice Jarre Soundtrack to The Collector
56054/S6054 The Power of Positive Swinging Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56055/S6055We Three TrioWe Three Trio
56056/S6056Baby the Rain Must Fall Elmer Bernstein Soundtrack to Baby the Rain Must Fall
56057/S6057The Moment of Truth Piero Piccioni Soundtrack to The Moment of Truth
56058/S6058 Wonderful Life Irene Kral
56059/S6059The CreeperDennis Budimir
56060/S6060 The Maynard Ferguson Sextet Maynard Ferguson
56061/S6061King Rat John Barry Soundtrack to King Rat
56062/S6062Juliet of the Spirits Nino Rota Soundtrack to Juliet of the Spirits
56063/S6063Great Original Soundtracks & Movie ThemesVarious Artists
56064/S6064The Heroes of Telemark Malcolm Arnold Soundtrack to The Heroes of Telemark
56065/S6065 Woman Talk Carmen McRae
56066/S6066 Mumbles Clark Terry
56067/S6067The Lollipop CoverRuby Raksin
56068/S6068 A Patch of Blue Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack to A Patch of Blue
56069/S6069Comic Book HeroesCapes and Masks Orchestra
56070/S6070The Square Root of ZeroElliot Kaplan
56071/S6071The 10th VictimPiero PiccioniSoundtrack to The 10th Victim
56072/S6072That Man in Istanbul Georges Garvarentz|Soundtrack to That Man in Istanbul
56073/S6073The Trouble with AngelsJerry GoldsmithSoundtrack to The Trouble with Angels
56074/S6074I've Lost My Yo-YoBrandywine Singers
56075/S6075Pow! Jeannie Trevor Sings!!Jeannie Trevor
56076/S6076Award Winning Original Motion Picture Soundtracks & ThemesVarious Artists
56077/S6077 Stagecoach Jerry GoldsmithSoundtrack to Stagecoach
56078/S6078 Harper Johnny Mandel Soundtrack to Harper
56079/S6079Detectives & the Agents & Great Suspense Motion Picture ThemesVarious Artists
56080/S6080 Walk Don't Run Quincy Jones Soundtrack to Walk, Don't Run
56081/S6081 The Blue Max Jerry GoldsmithSoundtrack to The Blue Max
56082/S6082The Shop on Main Street Zdeněk Liška Soundtrack to The Shop on Main Street
56083/S6083Walk on the Wide Side Elmer Bernstein Soundtrack to Walk on the Wild Side
Rerelease of Choreo A4ST
56084/S6084 Alfie Carmen McRae
56085/S6085Bitter AcidMauricio Smith
56086/S6086 Gingerbread Men Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56087/S6087Songs of InspirationBill Brown
56088/S6088The Wrong BoxJohn BarrySoundtrack to The Wrong Box
56089/S6089Chaplin's Art of ComedyElias BreeskinSoundtrack to Chaplin's Art of Comedy
56090/S6090Gypsy Girl Milton DeLugg Soundtrack to Gypsy Girl
56091/S6091 In Person in San Francisco Carmen McRae
56092/S6092Mira! Hugo Montenegro
56093/S6093Soul of a People Gordon Jenkins Reissue of Time 2050
56094/S6094A Man and His MoviesElmer Bernstein
56095/S6095Hey, Listen Baby-Let’s Dance David Carroll and His Orchestra
56096/S6096Wine, Women and ItalyItalian Guitars
56097ThunderOrquesta Los Hombres de España
56098/S6098Melodies of Love Richard Hayman
56099/S6099 Big Brother and the Holding Company Big Brother and the Holding Company
56100/S6100A Pot of FlowersVarious ArtistsThe Wildflowers, Harbinger Complex, Euphoria and The Other Side
56101/S6101Music from CamelotHugo Montenegro
56102/S6102The Superfine DandelionThe Superfine Dandelion
56103/S6103Jelly Bean BanditsJelly Bean Bandits
56104/S6104 The Amboy Dukes The Amboy Dukes
S6105Tiffany Shade Tiffany Shade
S6106Bohemian Vendetta Bohemian Vendetta
S6107The Tangerine ZooThe Tangerine Zoo
S6108The Growing ConcernThe Growing Concern
S6109The Best of Morgana KingMorgana King
S6110 Live & Wailing Carmen McRae
S6111Slaughter on 10th AvenueHugo Montenegro
S6112 Journey to the Center of the Mind The Amboy Dukes
S6113The Art of Lovin'The Art of Lovin'
S6114The Best of Pete Jolly Pete Jolly
S6115Ellie PopEllie Pop
S6116Outside Looking InThe Tangerine Zoo
S6117The Orient ExpressThe Orient Express
S6118 Migration The Amboy Dukes
S6119Stone CircusStone Circus
S6121A Spoonful of Cathy Young Cathy Young
S6122Last NikleLast Nikle
S6123Totie Fields Live Totie Fields
S6124Hour WorldThe British Casuals
S6125The Best of the Original Amboy DukesThe Amboy Dukes
S6126Drive ItLincoln St. Exit
S6127Josefus Josefus
S6128December's ChildrenDecember's Children
S6129Electric Holy ManHenry Tree

300 series (12" LPs)

The Mainstream 300 Series commenced in 1971 as the label focussed more on funk/soul and jazz artists (as well as reissuing jazz LP's originally released on Time Records) before the label folded around 1976.

Catalog numberTitleArtistNotes
MRL 300Rated X for ExcitementRon Frangipane & His Orchestra
MRL 301Motion Pictures: The NOW GenerationJoe Scott & His Orchestra
MRL 302ImagesDean Christopher & His Orchestra
MRL 303Blood, Sweat & BrassThe Phoenix Authority
MRL 304The Music of Laura NyroRon Frangipane
MRL 305Hard Mother Blues Ernie Wilkins & His Orchestra
MRL 306A 65-Piece Rock Workshop Bob Shad & The Bad Men
MRL 307A Symphony of Our TimeJoe Scott
MRL 308Hometown Blues Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Reissue of 56049
MRL 309Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
MRL 310Ray Charles, Arbee Stidham, Lil Son Jackson, James Wayne Ray Charles, Arbee Stidham, Lil Son Jackson, James Wayne
MRL 311The Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Reissue of 56040
MRL 312 Charles Williams Charles Williams
MRL 313 Hip Ensemble Roy Haynes
MRL 314 A New Shade of Blue Harold Land
MRL 315 Blue Mitchell Blue Mitchell
MRL 316 Screamin' Blues Maynard Ferguson Reissue of 56045
MRL 317Dave HubbardDave Hubbard
MRL 318 Hadley Caliman Hadley Caliman
MRL 319Right On Maxine Weldon
MRL 320 Straight No Chaser Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer QuintetReissue of 56043
MRL 321A Taste of Honey Morgana King Reissue of 56015
MRL 322Sings and Swings Organ Gloria Coleman Ltd.
MRL 323David YoungDavid Young
MRL 324 Sonny Red Sonny Red
MRL 325 Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert Dizzy Gillespie
MRL 326Dirty BluesLightnin' HopkinsReissue of Time 1384
MRL 327Stan HopeStan Hope
MRL 328Sun, Moon and Stars LaMont Johnson
MRL 329 Charles McPherson Charles McPherson
MRL 330John WhiteJohn White
MRL 331 Charles Kynard Charles Kynard
MRL 332 Homecoming Art Farmer
MRL 333 Crankin' Curtis Fuller
MRL 334Matrix Michael Longo
MRL 335Strayhorn: A Mitchell-Ruff InterpretationMitchell-Ruff
MRL 336 Awareness Buddy Terry
MRL 337 The Guerilla Band Hal Galper
MRL 338GoldCarmen McRae
MRL 339Chilly Wind Maxine Weldon
MRL 340 A Time in My Life Sarah Vaughan
MRL 341WishboneReggie Moore
MRL 342IapetusHadley Caliman
MRL 343 Vital Blue Blue Mitchell
MRL 344 Choma (Burn) Harold Land
MRL 345 Trees and Grass and Things Charles Williams
MRL 346 Katumbo (Dance) Johnny Coles
MRL 347 Angyumaluma Bongliddleany Nannyany Awhan Yi! Clark TerryReissue of 56066
MRL 348The Night Blooming JazzmenThe Night Blooming Jazzmenfeaturing Kittie Doswell and directed by Leonard Feather
MRL 349 The Loud Minority Frank Foster
MRL 350Get It TogetherVarious ArtistsCharles Kynard, Charles McPherson, Dave Hubbard, Charles Kynard, Dave and the Jay Jay's, Charles Williams and Johnny Coles
MRL 351 Senyah Roy Haynes
MRL 352In PersonCarmen McRaeReissue of Time S/2104
MRL 353White Heat Barry Miles
MRL 354 Wild Bird Hal Galper
MRL 355Cuore di MamaMorgana King
MRL 356 Pure Dynamite Buddy Terry
MRL 357The AwakeningMike Longo
MRL 358 Otra Ves Zoot Sims Reissue of 56013
MRL 359 Dues Maynard FergusonReissue of 56031
MRL 360 A Time for BluesArbee Stidham
MRL 361 Sarah Vaughan with Michel Legrand Sarah Vaughan
MRL 362Alice ClarkAlice Clark
MRL 363Dance of Allegra Pete Yellin
MRL 364YesterdayVarious Artists Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Wardell Gray, Dave Lambert, Benny Green, Allen Eager - Reissue of 56025
MRL 365 Siku Ya Bibi (Day of the Lady) Charles McPherson
MRL 366 Woga Charles Kynard
MRL 367 Damisi Harold Land
MRL 368Driftin'Blues Charles Brown Reissue of 56007
MRL 369Softly Ruth Brown Reissue of 56034
MRL 370 Smokin' Curtis Fuller
MRL 371 Gentle Eyes Art Farmer
MRL 372 Six by Six Maynard FergusonReissue of 56060
MRL 373 Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyet Quintet Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer QuintetReissue of 56086
MRL 374 Blues' Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 375 Mannekind Shelly Manne
MRL 376Family Paul Jeffrey
MRL 377EllerineEllerine Harding
MRL 378A Little Lovin'Mel Dancy
MRL 379 Feelin' Good Sarah Vaughan
MRL 380FuriosoReggie Moore
MRL 381 Stickball Charles Williams
MRL 382ScatbirdBarry Miles
MRL 383Bertha Belle BrowneBertha Belle Browne
MRL 384Bananas Are Not Created Equal Jay Berliner
MRL 385Ups 'n Downs Bud Powell
MRL 386 Daahoud Max Roach and Clifford Brown
MRL 387I Want YouCarmen McRaeCompilation of tracks from 56028, 56044 and 56065
MRL 388Freedom Jazz DanceThe Night Blooming Jazzmen
MRL 389 Your Mama Don't Dance Charles Kynard
MRL 390WatershedPaul Jeffrey
MRL 391 Lean on Him Buddy Terry
MRL 392 The Last Tango = Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 393Our Way (Tahka-Tahka) The Barry Sisters
MRL 394Soul MakossaAfrique
MRL 395 Today's Man Charles McPherson
MRL 396Windows Jack Wilkins
MRL 397It's the Right ThingPete Yellin
MRL 398 Inner Journey Hal Galper
MRL 399March 1936 Andy Kirk and His 12 Clouds of Joy
MRL 400 Graffiti Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 401 Live in Japan Sarah Vaughan
MRL 402 Many Shades of Blue Blue Mitchell
MRL 403 Live & Doin' It Carmen McRae
MRL 404 Sarah Vaughan with the Jimmy Rowles Quintet Sarah Vaughan
MRL 405Low Down Dirty BluesLightnin' Hopkins
MRL 406Paul JeffreyPaul Jeffrey
MRL 407Going Down SlowSonny Terry & Brownie McGhee / Peppermint Harris
MRL 408JazzVarious ArtistsHarold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Blue Mitchell, Joe Sample, Stanley Clarke, Freddy Robinson, Hadley Caliman, Buddy Terry, Woody Shaw, Eddie Henderson
MRL 409Billie Holiday Revisited ByVarious ArtistsSarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Morgana King and Others
MRL 410Guitar PlayersVarious Artists
MRL 411Frank TurbaFrank Turba
MRL 412 Send in the Clowns Sarah Vaughan
MRL 413BootyVarious ArtistsBlue Mitchell, Roy Haynes, Charles Kynard, Charles Williams
MRL 414Dr. Slingshot The Amboy Dukes Compilation of tracks from 56104 and S6112
MRL 415Red LightThe Stroziers
MRL 416The Don Burrows Quartet at the Sydney Opera House Don Burrows
MRL 417Looking Backwards to Tomorrow Jeannie Lewis
MRL 418Black BloodBlack Blood
MRL 419 More Sarah Vaughan Live in Japan Sarah Vaughan
MRL 420The Lonely OneTerry Huff and Special Delivery
MRL 421Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes Ted Nugent and The Amboy DukesCompilation of tracks from S6104, S6112 and S6118

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  1. Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 685. ISBN   1-56159-284-6.
  2. Stewart, Zan (26 July 1991). "Mainstream Returns With 24 CDs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. Edwards, D., Callahan, Eyries, P., Watts, R. & Neely, T. Discography of the Mainstream Label (Preview), accessed October 18, 2014