Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great labels- San Francisco bay area

Great BAY AREA labels:

Art Tone (Oakland): This label was started by jazz/ r&b pianist Jimmy McCracklin and was active from approximately 1961-1963.

Autumn (San Francisco). Most famously known as the home of The Beau Brummels and Bobby Freeman, Autumn was owned by DJ Tom Donahue, and many of their singles were produced by Sylvester Stewart (aka Sly Stone). The label was active until around 1968. The white and yellow labels seemed to used at random through 1964 til 1968, and the white label with gold print (as seen on the Bobby Freeman 45) is far less commonly seen.

Boola Boola (Oakland). Most famous for some excellent soul records courtesy of The Natural Four. The label started out around 1968, and after a short stint at ABC records the Natural Four were back on Boola Boola in 1971 for the classic "Hanging On To A Lie".

El Camino, San Francisco. The only release I am aware of from this label is the highly collectable "The real Thing" from San Francisco soul artist Troy Dodds.

Fantasy Records (Berkeley). Started in 1949, Fantasy went on to become world famous in the late '60's with the success of Creedence Clearwater Revival. In the 70's, Fantasy released a number of excellent soul singles as well; the brown label shown is a UK release (domestic releases in the '70's sported the same label but without the center). Offshoot labels of Fantasy -which both began in the mid-'60's- were Scorpio and Galaxy. Galaxy focused on soul/ funk, and Scorpio rock n roll. The highly collectable first Grateful Dead 45 was released on Scorpio, and the Golliwogs (seen here) became Credence Clearwater Revival.

Gedinson's (Oakland). Gedinson's seems to have only been around from 1961-1962; just long enough to release this excellent single from Sugarpie DeSanto!

Goldenway (San Francisco). Only one release on this label (1965), but it's a highly regarded soul record with a great label design. The white label is a radio promo, blue for stock copies.

Loadstone (San Francisco). This label was around from c1962 until 1978. Their most famous release was this debut single from Sly & The Family Stone (1967).

Marquette (Pacifica). Interesting to see a label that was based (for two releases, 1968-69) in Pacifica. Pacifica is a small beach community just south of San Francisco proper.

Music city (Berkeley). Owned by the notorious figure Ray Dobard, the Music City label was active from 1954 until 1976. Dobard also ran a record shop and was a major player in r&b record distribution on the west coast. The red label is the earlies one shown here (1955), the black and silver label from 1956, the green label is from 1960, and the black and multi-color label is from 1973.

Penthouse (San Francisco). Not a great record (although not a bad effort from this SF DJ), the label design is a gorgeous example of 1960's graphic design.

Tymo (Oakland). This soul label released only two records (1976 and 1979); this excellent release is from 1976.

Veltone (Oakland). Active only between 1960-62, and also responsible for another great Sugarpie DeSanto r&b nugget.

1 comment:

  1. Baytown out of Hayward released a handful of 45s from 1967 to 1969.