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Tops Records was a Los Angeles-based record label owned by Tops Music Enterprises, both founded in 1947 by Carl L. Doshay and Sam Dickerman. After a prolific and profitable run, Tops merged with PRI Records in 1958, which in turn, sold to a group of investors in 1960, then went bankrupt in about 1962. Its assets — which included a huge library of recordings — were sold to Pickwick Records, a label that had been its main competitor throughout the 1950s.Pickwick's assets were purchased by PolyGram Records in the late 1970s. In 1990, Tom Ficara and Combined Artists acquired the Tops / PRI catalog.
Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes.
Motown Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. Its name, a portmanteau of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered.
Chess Records was an American record company, founded in 1950 in Chicago and specializing in blues and rhythm and blues. Over time it expanded into soul music, gospel music, early rock and roll, and occasional jazz and comedy recordings, released on the Chess label and on its subsidiary labels Checker, Argo/Cadet and Cadet Concept. The entire Chess catalogue is currently owned by Universal Music Group and managed by Geffen Records.
Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961 and shared its operations with Volt Records, a sister label created to avoid the impression of favoritism among radio stations playing their records.
PolyGram N.V. was a Dutch entertainment company and major music record label. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disk gramophone, Emil Berliner.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club was Charles Dickens's first novel. Because of his success with of Sketches by Boz published in 1836 Dickens was asked by the publisher Chapman & Hall to supply descriptions to explain a series of comic "cockney sporting plates" by illustrator Robert Seymour, and to connect them into a novel. The book became Britain's the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise.
Rounder Records is an independent record label founded in 1970 in Somerville, Massachusetts by Marian Leighton Levy, Ken Irwin, and Bill Nowlin. Focused on American roots music, Rounder's catalogue of more than 3000 titles includes records by Alison Krauss and Union Station, George Thorogood, Tony Rice, and Béla Fleck, in addition to re-releases of seminal albums by artists such as the Carter Family, Jelly Roll Morton, Lead Belly, and Woody Guthrie. "Championing and preserving the music of artists whose music falls outside of the mainstream," Rounder releases have won 54 Grammy Awards representing diverse genres, from bluegrasss, folk, reggae, and gospel to pop, rock, Americana, polka and world music. Acquired by Concord 2010, Rounder is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Herbert C. Abramson was an American record company executive, record producer, and co-founder of Atlantic Records.
Pickwick Records was an American record label and British distributor known for its budget album releases of sound-alike recordings, bargain bin reissues and repackagings under the brands Design, Bravo, Hurrah, Grand Prix, and children's records on the Cricket and Happy Time labels.
Simitar Entertainment, Inc. was an American media company that sold music, videos, DVDs, and computer software. They had specialized in compilation albums, special interest video, and urban media. Simitar distributed its own label.
Carl Lindström A.G. was a global record company founded in 1893 and based in Berlin, Germany. Founded by Carl Lindström (1869–1932), a Swedish inventor living in Berlin, it originally produced phonographs or gramophones with the brand names "Parlograph" and "Parlophon" and eventually began producing records as well. It became the holding company for Odeon Records, Parlophone Records, Beka Records, Okeh Records, Fonotipia Records, Lyrophon, Homophon, and other labels. Lindström sold the company to Max Straus, but Lindström remained with the company as an engineer and inventor.
King Records was an American leading independent record company and label founded in 1943 by Syd Nathan in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The label owned several divisions, including Federal Records, which launched the career of James Brown, it operated until 1975, and now operates as a reissue label.
Autumn Records was a 1960s San Francisco-based pop record label. Among the notable acts on its roster was The Beau Brummels, a band who released a pair of top 20 singles, "Laugh, Laugh" and "Just a Little".
De-Lite Records, whose formal name was De-Lite Recorded Sound Corporation, was a record label specializing in R&B music from 1969 to 1985; Island Records now manages the De-Lite catalog.
Budget albums were low-priced vinyl LPs of popular and classical music released during the 1950s to 1970s consisting either of previously released material or material recorded especially for the line. Prices ranged from as low as 59 U.S. cents to $2.98. In the UK Pickwick Records' Top of the Pops record series, which operated between 1968 and 1985, was the most successful budget album range.
Hallmark Records is a British record label.
Top of the Pops is the name of a series of records issued by Pickwick Records on their Hallmark label, which contain anonymous cover versions of recent and current hit singles. The recordings were intended to replicate the sound of the original hits as closely as possible. The albums were recorded by a studio group comprising session musicians and singers who remained uncredited, although they included Tina Charles and Elton John before they became famous in their own right.
Quinton M. Claunch is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and record label owner, who was responsible with others for setting up Hi Records in the 1950s and Goldwax Records in the 1960s.
PRI Records was an American, Los Angeles-based record label, founded as a division of Precision Radiation Instruments Inc., a Geiger counter manufacturer founded in the 1950s that had expanded into radio manufacturing, marginally profitable, and ultimately the record business by merging with Tops Records in 1958. In 1960, PRI, Tops Records, and its other associated labels were sold to a group of investors and Bob Blythe became the manager. By 1962, the company was bankrupt and sold to Pickwick Records.
Bob Blythe was a ball point pen manufacturer and owner of BB pens. Later he was president of a record company, Tops Records, as well as founder of budget record label Sutton Records.