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American Record Distribution 60`s

Look At Your Box HARRY CROSBY

 
Posted (edited)

There's a really interesting reference to this in the 'Endless Trip' book on US 60s psych/rock releases - will dig it out and scan it!

My Christmas list is growing by the minute here, will have to see if i can get this one too. many thanks for the info :thumbsup:

Edited by SONBERT

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This is a truly superb thread - has gone a long way to restoring my love and faith in Soul Source.

Much appreciation for the depth of knowledge, passion and sense of history of the posters

Genuinely fascinating stuff. Thank you all.

Richard

Well said Richard, this subject is something that has allways puzzled me over the years, due to the sheer size of america itself. How they ever managed to actually put a billboard chart together is beyond me. But by the sounds of things there were as many things in america where big money was involved some very dodgy goings on. :thumbsup:

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If there was a like whole Thread button would press it. Fascinating stuff and I suspect the areas that funded many finds over the years.

Obviously the John M story is now well known, but anyone got more tales of finds in distributors warehouses (or is that another thread).

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Well said Richard, this subject is something that has allways puzzled me over the years, due to the sheer size of america itself. How they ever managed to actually put a billboard chart together is beyond me. But by the sounds of things there were as many things in america where big money was involved some very dodgy goings on. :thumbsup:

It would seem that many aspects of the industry was simply a front for organised crime and criminals, suppose it was a way to legalise other aspects of their "business". I've read of distributors threatened by bigger companies to stop distributing competition or they would lose their business and of course there is payola. I guess it was a real cut-throat business back then. You only have to read Jackie Wilson's biography to read about the influence of the mod over artists......wasn't part of the JW biog removed in later prints?

Anyone got a decent copy of "Stiffed" they want to part with?

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Just wondering if both Vinyl & Styrene were being recycled at the time, or just Vinyl.

Roger I don't know about then but in general terms styrene would have been very easy to recycle as there was usually no paper label to remove.Most of this styrene is G.P.P.S crystal this is general purpose polystyrene used in injection moulding .The scrap is put into a machine called a granulator that reduce's the scrap down to a small fragment.This is known as granulate inside the granulator is a drop grid with loads of holes in it to allow the granulate through when the desired size is achieved after exposure to a rapidly revolving shaft with heavy sharp blades bolted to it.The smaller the granulate the more dust is produced this can't be used for a sensitive moulding like a record as the dust becomes thermal befor the large granules there for resulting in a lumpy and scared product.This is o.k for thing's like plantpots ect.So it has to go through another process called compounding this is an extruder that has heater bands along the shaft to heat the barrel up slowly to stop burning of dust ect as the granuate is squeezed through the barrel via an internal worm screw it melts and get's pushed through a metal gause screen to filter out any imputity's then finally to the die head at the end this is normally refered to as a spaggeti die head as it comes out like spaggeti then it falls in to another machine called a srair step dicer that chop's it in clean usable pellets.P.V.C is done in the same way only the paper has to be removed I know EMI had a machine specially made that the records were placed in and an hydrolic ram would push the whole label through leaving the clean vinyl.That's how it's done now and I don't see any reason why it wasn't done then but with oil being so cheap in the sixties they may have dumped most of the scrap so I supose it would be near enough impossible to know what persentage was recycled regards Simon.

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Roger I don't know about then but in general terms styrene would have been very easy to recycle as there was usually no paper label to remove.Most of this styrene is G.P.P.S crystal this is general purpose polystyrene used in injection moulding .The scrap is put into a machine called a granulator that reduce's the scrap down to a small fragment.This is known as granulate inside the granulator is a drop grid with loads of holes in it to allow the granulate through when the desired size is achieved after exposure to a rapidly revolving shaft with heavy sharp blades bolted to it.The smaller the granulate the more dust is produced this can't be used for a sensitive moulding like a record as the dust becomes thermal befor the large granules there for resulting in a lumpy and scared product.This is o.k for thing's like plantpots ect.So it has to go through another process called compounding this is an extruder that has heater bands along the shaft to heat the barrel up slowly to stop burning of dust ect as the granuate is squeezed through the barrel via an internal worm screw it melts and get's pushed through a metal gause screen to filter out any imputity's then finally to the die head at the end this is normally refered to as a spaggeti die head as it comes out like spaggeti then it falls in to another machine called a srair step dicer that chop's it in clean usable pellets.P.V.C is done in the same way only the paper has to be removed I know EMI had a machine specially made that the records were placed in and an hydrolic ram would push the whole label through leaving the clean vinyl.That's how it's done now and I don't see any reason why it wasn't done then but with oil being so cheap in the sixties they may have dumped most of the scrap so I supose it would be near enough impossible to know what persentage was recycled regards Simon.

Once again another great post on this thread :thumbsup:

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It would seem that many aspects of the industry was simply a front for organised crime and criminals, suppose it was a way to legalise other aspects of their "business". I've read of distributors threatened by bigger companies to stop distributing competition or they would lose their business and of course there is payola. I guess it was a real cut-throat business back then. You only have to read Jackie Wilson's biography to read about the influence of the mod over artists......wasn't part of the JW biog removed in later prints?

Anyone got a decent copy of "Stiffed" they want to part with?

Never read JW`s autobiography, will have to get that one as well, many thanks for the info Chalky :thumbsup:

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Anyone got a decent copy of "Stiffed" they want to part with?

Chalky,

Amazon have a couple really cheap at the minute - be quick.

Regards,

Dave

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Also must highly recommend this brilliant book about the history of Warner Brothers US from a guy who worked there for almost 40 years and tells it exactly as it was! So good, I read it once, then immediately re-read it again!

Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploding-Highs-Heroes-Hustlers-Warner/dp/0380978520

Ian D :D

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Also with the indie labels that had to go through independent distribution it was always necessary to have more records in the pipeline, in order to make sure you got paid for the current ones

Ian D :D

2011 - and things haven't changed a whole lot Ian ....................

Best Regards

Garry

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Here's a scan of a Detroit 45 with the "DR" I referred to earlier. As I say, only ever seen on issues. Anyone got any ideas? There may be a perfectly simple explanation but I can't find out what it's significance is. surely other collectors have 45s with this mark on oris it just me buying too many 'wols'.

Regards,

Dave

Dave,

I've had a few early Motown pieces with thick black marker on like that - but more of a NR than DR (I always assumed it meant No Returns).

Usually they have been Styrene and on the Globes Tamla label - the difference in the letters could be down to someone rushing the job, or even a couple of different people in the returns department being sat marking them - lets be honest, sitting and marking the returns by hand must have been a right ballache.

I reckon they did them by hand as Styrene cracks easy when drilled (ABC did the same with Gold Paint Stars / Blobs).

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Posted (edited)

2011 - and things haven't changed a whole lot Ian ....................

Best Regards

Garry

Only nutcases like us would dream of running record companies LOL. It's an open invitation to be flopped over a desk with legs spread and royally rumped isn't it........? :lol:

Ian D :D

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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Only nutcases like us would dream of running record companies LOL. It's an open invitation to be flopped over a desk with legs spread and royally rumped isn't it........? :lol:

Ian D :D

Perks of the job,I guess .....................

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Dave,

I've had a few early Motown pieces with thick black marker on like that - but more of a NR than DR (I always assumed it meant No Returns).

Usually they have been Styrene and on the Globes Tamla label - the difference in the letters could be down to someone rushing the job, or even a couple of different people in the returns department being sat marking them - lets be honest, sitting and marking the returns by hand must have been a right ballache.

I reckon they did them by hand as Styrene cracks easy when drilled (ABC did the same with Gold Paint Stars / Blobs).

Yep,

I'm beginning to firm up my opinion that these were returned records. Your right, some of the ones I've found look like an OR too. And funnily enough they all seem to be early 60s Detroit 45s.

Regards,

Dave

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Chalky,

Amazon have a couple really cheap at the minute - be quick.

Regards,

Dave

I'll take a look Dave, cheers. Bit wary about those that are advertised as used - good condition?

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Some good info about vinyl/strene and its re-use at the following page, click on the terminology link

http://vinylville.tripod.com/faq.html

some other useful info in there too, how records are made, step by step for instance.

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Roger I don't know about then but in general terms styrene would have been very easy to recycle as there was usually no paper label to remove.Most of this styrene is G.P.P.S crystal this is general purpose polystyrene used in injection moulding .The scrap is put into a machine called a granulator that reduce's the scrap down to a small fragment.This is known as granulate inside the granulator is a drop grid with loads of holes in it to allow the granulate through when the desired size is achieved after exposure to a rapidly revolving shaft with heavy sharp blades bolted to it.The smaller the granulate the more dust is produced this can't be used for a sensitive moulding like a record as the dust becomes thermal befor the large granules there for resulting in a lumpy and scared product.This is o.k for thing's like plantpots ect.So it has to go through another process called compounding this is an extruder that has heater bands along the shaft to heat the barrel up slowly to stop burning of dust ect as the granuate is squeezed through the barrel via an internal worm screw it melts and get's pushed through a metal gause screen to filter out any imputity's then finally to the die head at the end this is normally refered to as a spaggeti die head as it comes out like spaggeti then it falls in to another machine called a srair step dicer that chop's it in clean usable pellets.P.V.C is done in the same way only the paper has to be removed I know EMI had a machine specially made that the records were placed in and an hydrolic ram would push the whole label through leaving the clean vinyl.That's how it's done now and I don't see any reason why it wasn't done then but with oil being so cheap in the sixties they may have dumped most of the scrap so I supose it would be near enough impossible to know what persentage was recycled regards Simon.

Many Thanks Simon.

As you say impossible to know what percentage even if they did recycle back then.

I suppose returns would need to be 100% Vinyl or 100% STYRENE to make this process feesable.

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Posted

Many Thanks Simon.

As you say impossible to know what percentage even if they did recycle back then.

I suppose returns would need to be 100% Vinyl or 100% STYRENE to make this process feesable.

Yes mate the two plasics can not be mixed together as they both melt at different temps and one is really an enjineering material (Styrene) and the vinyl is an extrusion grade material .A small piece of vinyl known as a puck spills from the extruder and is then put on the pressing platform ready for pressing.The styrene is injected into a mold.If you mixed the two materials all you would get is a mess.Styrene is very exspencive in it's natural virgin form and is still 75% more exspencive than vinyl today but it can produce a unit probably twenty times faster than vinyl and it's density makes it probably a quarter of the weight which makes it ironicly cheaper but to be fair styrene are a load of crap and don't last which strangly is what the record company's missed out on repeat pressing's every 3 or 4 years later.Thank God for us they carried on with good old carsinogenic vinyl.One more strange twist Vinyl is latin for flowing wine!!! or something like that regards Simon.

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Many Thanks Simon.

As you say impossible to know what percentage even if they did recycle back then.

I suppose returns would need to be 100% Vinyl or 100% STYRENE to make this process feesable.

They did recycle back then Roger and re-use the excess vinyl. Styrene had better properties for recycling. On vinyl pressings where re-grind/recycled was used you can often hear hiss in apparently mint vinyl pressings.

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This is a truly superb thread - has gone a long way to restoring my love and faith in Soul Source.

Much appreciation for the depth of knowledge, passion and sense of history of the posters

Genuinely fascinating stuff. Thank you all.

Richard

Thread of the year for me easy :thumbsup: many thanks to all contributors

Cheers Paul

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Thread of the year for me easy many thanks to all contributors

Cheers Paul

yes great read,well done to all contributors and to Harry for starting

the thread :thumbsup:

answered a lot

kev

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Some random comments -

Vinyl for records was in the form of an ice hockey puck, which is how it got the term. There were different grades avaliable and naturally the cost increased as they got better, probably the amount of 'regrind' was less in the better pieces - and that's the source of the term 'virgin vinyl'. Someone who had worked at a plant explained to me how they would 'pre heat' the pucks to apparently improve the pressing process. There was a lot of tribal knowledge and experience in pressing. I recently got to see a master acetate/lacquer cut for an LP - the person who did it had 40 years of experience and the equipment he used goes back 50+ years. It was observing a (nearly) lost art, completely fascinating to watch and ask questions about how it's done.

Getting back to distributors - in Cleveland there were a few major players, one of them Seaway and the other Main Line. The Main Line distributor in Cleveland was partially owned by RCA but they handled many different labels. They also handled appliances and appliance parts - the name Main Line representing that they covered the 'main line' aka best/most popular brands. So...here's the punchline(s) with regards to Northern Soul - this is the same operation that ran the Main Line record label that released the Bob Collins and Fabulous Five record. The logo on the label is the same used by the Main Line business overall. The label had some money and (distant) backing by RCA. They had enough clout to hire legendary arranger Dale Warren to overdub on a record by a local Cleveland band, the Selective Service...as well as hire Gordon Neal, the guy behind the Prime record label (David Thomas, Beau Dollar) and the Stone Blue label (Herman Griffin) to produce the 45 (recorded at Cleveland Recording).

One of the biggest distributors in the US must have been All State from Chicago. I've seen their stickers on many records, including some pretty obscure local releases. I wonder what ever happened to their stock?

Back in the 1970s, even late 1960s, the original dealer/collectors of the rock-n-roll era could easily track down distributors, even closed ones (sometimes those were the best) by going through old versions of the Billboard yearly directory of record operations. Even in the 1980s myself and some other collectors 'got lucky' using this process. I never actually got into a closed warehouse but I did get to go through stock. Good times!

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Some random comments -

The Main Line distributor in Cleveland was partially owned by RCA but they handled many different labels. They also handled appliances and appliance parts - the name Main Line representing that they covered the 'main line' aka best/most popular brands. So...here's the punchline(s) with regards to Northern Soul - this is the same operation that ran the Main Line record label that released the Bob Collins and Fabulous Five record. The logo on the label is the same used by the Main Line business overall. The label had some money and (distant) backing by RCA. They had enough clout to hire legendary arranger Dale Warren to overdub on a record by a local Cleveland band, the Selective Service...as well as hire Gordon Neal, the guy behind the Prime record label (David Thomas, Beau Dollar) and the Stone Blue label (Herman Griffin) to produce the 45 (recorded at Cleveland Recording).

I've got the Selective Service 45 with 'Shake' and 'Green Onions' on it - excellent 45! Is that the only one?

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I've got the Selective Service 45 with 'Shake' and 'Green Onions' on it - excellent 45! Is that the only one?

Yes

http://www.buckeyebeat.com/select.html

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Some random comments -

Vinyl for records was in the form of an ice hockey puck, which is how it got the term. There were different grades avaliable and naturally the cost increased as they got better, probably the amount of 'regrind' was less in the better pieces - and that's the source of the term 'virgin vinyl'. Someone who had worked at a plant explained to me how they would 'pre heat' the pucks to apparently improve the pressing process. There was a lot of tribal knowledge and experience in pressing. I recently got to see a master acetate/lacquer cut for an LP - the person who did it had 40 years of experience and the equipment he used goes back 50+ years. It was observing a (nearly) lost art, completely fascinating to watch and ask questions about how it's done.

Getting back to distributors - in Cleveland there were a few major players, one of them Seaway and the other Main Line. The Main Line distributor in Cleveland was partially owned by RCA but they handled many different labels. They also handled appliances and appliance parts - the name Main Line representing that they covered the 'main line' aka best/most popular brands. So...here's the punchline(s) with regards to Northern Soul - this is the same operation that ran the Main Line record label that released the Bob Collins and Fabulous Five record. The logo on the label is the same used by the Main Line business overall. The label had some money and (distant) backing by RCA. They had enough clout to hire legendary arranger Dale Warren to overdub on a record by a local Cleveland band, the Selective Service...as well as hire Gordon Neal, the guy behind the Prime record label (David Thomas, Beau Dollar) and the Stone Blue label (Herman Griffin) to produce the 45 (recorded at Cleveland Recording).

One of the biggest distributors in the US must have been All State from Chicago. I've seen their stickers on many records, including some pretty obscure local releases. I wonder what ever happened to their stock?

Back in the 1970s, even late 1960s, the original dealer/collectors of the rock-n-roll era could easily track down distributors, even closed ones (sometimes those were the best) by going through old versions of the Billboard yearly directory of record operations. Even in the 1980s myself and some other collectors 'got lucky' using this process. I never actually got into a closed warehouse but I did get to go through stock. Good times!

Once again George a very informative post, many thanks for your input in this thread :thumbsup:

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post-16601-0-32949500-1318793577_thumb.jpost-16601-0-82676600-1318793595_thumb.j

The list of labels distributed by Tone in Florida is from about 1975 but is probably the type of labels that a 60s distributor in a major city would carry.

There are the smaller regional labels, labels owned by Tone (which someone has put ''TK'' after) and major indies such as Chess,Brunswick,Stang and Roulette. I went to the Tone warehouse in 75 but gave up after an hour or so as there was just so many records that it would take weeks to go through and there was no 60s stuff just loads of disco. Not quite as bad as House of Sounds,Ian, but not far off.

The other download may not be too clear but is a business card for Music Bag Record Distributors in Chicago but what is of interest is the top line which states ''Where Promotion is a Reality''. I think this is meant to stress that they would actively promote the records they distribute.

Another layer in the distribution of records was the ''Rack Jobber''. I think these would be the small outfits that put overstocks and deleted records in to outlets other than record shops, but maybe George or Rob K could explain further.

Rick

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Did you get the Music Bag card from me, Rick? Or did you tell me before I went?

I went there in '79 on first trip to USA. It was just a small shop [think corner newsagent]. It's a bit hazy now in my memory but I don't think there were records on show. However my over-riding recollection was from my first impression when I walked in as they were selling handguns which were displayed at the front counter.

The guys there gave me Danny Reed, Lost Family and a few other things but obviosly in '79 there was no longer any demand for those 45s. He went in the back for them. Why I didn't ask to go in the back I don't know. May have been the handguns.

At the same time I also met a Rack Jobber who worked out of his house on North Side. He put his 45s in a chain of chemists. Mainly Chicago labels which were probably bulk buy from Mar-V-Lus warehouse but others too. Hard to tell what he may have had at one time as Anderson had got to him before me but I did get a Peoples Choice [Palmer], Velvets [Number One] and James Fountain [luckily mis-filed] amongst others. He didn't handle new product.

As for re-cycling vinyl Alex Jones and I went to Trax in the 90's and they did it on the premises.

ROD

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http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-9977878-52.html

See photo 11 on click to view link half way down page.

Nice thread.

Pete

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Did you get the Music Bag card from me, Rick? Or did you tell me before I went?

I went there in '79 on first trip to USA. It was just a small shop [think corner newsagent]. It's a bit hazy now in my memory but I don't think there were records on show. However my over-riding recollection was from my first impression when I walked in as they were selling handguns which were displayed at the front counter.

The guys there gave me Danny Reed, Lost Family and a few other things but obviosly in '79 there was no longer any demand for those 45s. He went in the back for them. Why I didn't ask to go in the back I don't know. May have been the handguns.

At the same time I also met a Rack Jobber who worked out of his house on North Side. He put his 45s in a chain of chemists. Mainly Chicago labels which were probably bulk buy from Mar-V-Lus warehouse but others too. Hard to tell what he may have had at one time as Anderson had got to him before me but I did get a Peoples Choice [Palmer], Velvets [Number One] and James Fountain [luckily mis-filed] amongst others. He didn't handle new product.

As for re-cycling vinyl Alex Jones and I went to Trax in the 90's and they did it on the premises.

ROD

Thanks for the input Rod, some great stuff on this thread :thumbsup:

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Another layer in the distribution of records was the ''Rack Jobber''. I think these would be the small outfits that put overstocks and deleted records in to outlets other than record shops, but maybe George or Rob K could explain further.

Rick

Rick,

Yes, Rack Jobbers were responsible for setting up and maintaining record sales bins, or racks, in non-record shops, such as department and drug stores. Most of them dealt with new product though. Essentially stores would 'outsource' the operation of their record departments to them. Most RJs carried a very wide but not deep inventory of high charting records. I don't think they would have been sitting on a lot of unsold rare records.

- George

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As the vinyl distributors, Rack Jobbers and Juke Box owners were slowly either consolidated or went out of business it's always amazed me what happened to the stock they carried that was still there.

Example: I was at an open air market in Florida around '83 and stopped at a coffee stall. Wifey spied a pet stall with caged puppies for sale and insisted on going over to look. I duly dragged my complaining arse over there with her and spied a small pile of 45s atop a cardboard box. On inspection the 45s were the usual gubbins and nothing was there. Just by chance I opened the box and to my surprise found 50 mint copies of Patti Austin - Take Away The Pain Stain - Coral Demos! I immediately ,(as you do), asked the owner of the store if she had any more boxes of 45s. Her reply was that she only had that box as it was given to her by a passing shopper in exchange for some mice to feed a snake!

God knows the journey that box had taken on it's journey to it's final destination...The record collectors of East Lancashire at Bank Hall Miners for a pint a copy about 4 years later! :D

Regards,

Dave

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As the vinyl distributors, Rack Jobbers and Juke Box owners were slowly either consolidated or went out of business it's always amazed me what happened to the stock they carried that was still there.

Example: I was at an open air market in Florida around '83 and stopped at a coffee stall. Wifey spied a pet stall with caged puppies for sale and insisted on going over to look. I duly dragged my complaining arse over there with her and spied a small pile of 45s atop a cardboard box. On inspection the 45s were the usual gubbins and nothing was there. Just by chance I opened the box and to my surprise found 50 mint copies of Patti Austin - Take Away The Pain Stain - Coral Demos! I immediately ,(as you do), asked the owner of the store if she had any more boxes of 45s. Her reply was that she only had that box as it was given to her by a passing shopper in exchange for some mice to feed a snake!

God knows the journey that box had taken on it's journey to it's final destination...The record collectors of East Lancashire at Bank Hall Miners for a pint a copy about 4 years later! :D

Regards,

Dave

That was gonna be my next question Dave about the supply to jukeboxes and there stock. See you should allways listen to the wife :lol:

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Did you get the Music Bag card from me, Rick? Or did you tell me before I went?

.

ROD

Rod

I got the Music Bag card with stocks of Danny Reed and Lost Family that I ordered at Global when they were getting played and never went there.I may have given you the address before you went,sorry about that. Your description of Music Bag Distributors shows the range of business set ups in the US from dodgy guys in the backs of shops to huge sheds bigger than a B&Q.

Rick

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top stuff indeed this is what its all about.

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Maybe everyone knows this but I have just had a look at the places in the US I've mentioned above on Google Earth.

Global Records, 2512 North Broad St. Philly is now a Baptist Church but looks the same.

Tone / TK, 495 S E 10th Court, Hialeh Fl 33010, is a restaurant and industrial units but looks a bit run down

Music Bag Distributors,2743 East 79th St Chicago, is now a tiny launderette no bigger than a small corner shop , a bit disappointing .

Has anyone got the original address for'' House of Sounds'' Upper Darby Pa. as it would nice to have a look to see if its the same as other people describe it.

Rick

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Ian, was ' House of Sounds', John Lamont's warehouse,( or was that, house of wax), if so, I am to believe, the sound of soul records, came from there ie EJ Chandler and Sandy Waddy. Schwartz Brothers had a quantity of the following, Hang On- Big Bird, New Breed- Diplomacy, and I Can Do It- Okeh demos, mind you though it was like fort knox, to get in.

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Posted (edited)

Ian, was ' House of Sounds', John Lamont's warehouse,( or was that, house of wax), if so, I am to believe, the sound of soul records, came from there ie EJ Chandler and Sandy Waddy. Schwartz Brothers had a quantity of the following, Hang On- Big Bird, New Breed- Diplomacy, and I Can Do It- Okeh demos, mind you though it was like fort knox, to get in.

I don't think House Of Sounds was John Lamont. I would probably have avoided him as I knew he'd been around the block with Global and John Anderson so there seemed little point in going there.

In fact I wasn't in Philly that long - maybe 2 or 3 days. I actually stayed at Val Shively's whilst I was there and I went to House Of Sounds on day 2. Philly was a bust out compared to L.A. I would have had to stay there months to turn up stuff I reckon. John A had been ploughing Philly for years already so the best bet was to try and get to something where there was a huge turnaround, like House Of Sounds. It didn't take me long to realise I'd have to live there for a year, to do the place seriously. I still think the hit rate would have been sluggish though. Just too many records.......

Ian D :D

Edited by Ian Dewhirst

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I don't think House Of Sounds was John Lamont. I would probably have avoided him as I knew he'd been around the block with Global and John Anderson so there seemed little point in going there.

In fact I wasn't in Philly that long - maybe 2 or 3 days. I actually stayed at Val Shively's whilst I was there and I went to House Of Sounds on day 2. Philly was a bust out compared to L.A. I would have had to stay there months to turn up stuff I reckon. John A had been ploughing Philly for years already so the best bet was to try and get to something where there was a huge turnaround, like House Of Sounds. It didn't take me long to realise I'd have to live there for a year, to do the place seriously. I still think the hit rate would have been sluggish though. Just too many records.......

Ian D :D

This is one thing i can`t even begin to imagine, just how many records were in these places, were the records in any kind of category order? obviously not northern soul etc, or was it just a case of ploughing through everything and taking your chances?

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With regards to large inventories of 45s it eventually got, (for me anyway), too much too wade through as the stock got 'sifted' and passed on it became really difficult for me as I didn't visit the large well known dealers too much, especially once the 'books' were discovered by them. Once dealers started asking $1000 for Ronnie McNier and $300 for Danny Moore's it became a waste of time. Example. I was at a record show in Orlando, mid 90s and the guy on the next stall told me he was retiring and did I fancy buying his stock. He owned a record shop in Jupiter, Fl. I asked the obvious questions, where were the records from , how many, sleeved etc etc. Turns out he had over 1.5 million 45s in two lock ups round the corner from his shop.

I duly turned up at 0845 on Monday ready to take a looksee. By 5pm that day I'd sourced 1 record. Edwin Starr - Agent OO Soul! in VG at best!!

I'd maybe sifted about a third of the boxes and decided it was a waste of time.

Another time a friend in Coral Bay rang me to say that a guy who owned a white goods store had over a million 45s for sale. I of course set off on the 500 mile round trip, arrived at dusk, stayed with my Mate and arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed early doors to start digging. No A/C, 100 degree heat, 120% humidity. Same scenario. All day sifting box after box of crap. Only things I came away with (3 days later), was a dozen Phil Spector Demos, all VG only and a lung full of dustmites! .

So...it's not all a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. :lol:

Regards,

Dave

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So what eventually happened to the stock in these big warehouses eventually were they re-cycled or just scrapped ie landfill etc, also ive heard of people buying thousands of records blind back in the day, any info on that?

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some great info posted, here`s my bit

i have in front of me a client ledger card, filled in by hand from the motown offices it shows that between 13th march and 23rd april 1963, 10,326 copies of "come and get these memories" gordy 7014 were ordered and distributed from RCA plant Indianapolis. the names of the distributers are ARC, FENWAY, JAMES O`BRIEN, BIG TOWN , ALLSTATE. .............father, motown and offices are also listed so possibly they helped with distribution! from the offices as one would imagine, giving a copy to a visiting representative! out of the 10,362 distributed only 100 were dj demo copies and this ledger shows they were given to some guy called MARV HELFER on the 26 th april, among the first batch. anyone know this guy.

to how the breadth of distribution, i also have here a 200 unit distibuters box. on the side is a stamp "S35078" ( gladys knight on soul) motown record corp. detroit. this has a packaging label from a disributer called "the united record distributing company" 1613 st. emanuel , houston texas. it is to be shipped to "the record shop" 612 brazos. austin, texas. it was "cash on delivery" for 4 boxes $360.

DR on records is an early shot at marking records once returned for reasons mentioned DR = dont return, so i was reliably informed. ie. people trying to resubmit after buying them from other warehouses. dont know why but i have generally only seen it on motown/detroit stuff and not around for long until someone ad the productive method of drilling them. gold spots or coloured dots was another and probaby done by collections departments/warehouse.

Edited by turntableterra

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Absolutely the thread of the year - interesting and informative, and still going! Every day's a school day - loving it!

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DR on records is an early shot at marking records once returned for reasons mentioned DR = dont return, so i was reliably informed. ie. people trying to resubmit after buying them from other warehouses. dont know why but i have generally only seen it on motown/detroit stuff and not around for long until someone ad the productive method of drilling them. gold spots or coloured dots was another and probaby done by collections departments/warehouse.

Hi Barry,

I reckon this is exactly what it was. (DR). Lots of Miracle, Anna stuff with it on so may well have been done by someone within the close knit workings of early Motown people. I wonder if the likes of Robert Bateman or Smokey or Jackie Beavers or Johnny Bristol ever sat there marking 45s up? You never know!

Regards,

Dave

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All makes perfect sense to me. Berry Gordy was necessarily a tough businessman which is what you had to be to even be in contention in the independent music biz of the 50's and 60's. He knew exactly how it worked and he would have run all parts of the operation with a rod of steel from top to bottom.

Also, let's not forget that he was a black man from Detroit, so to accomplish what he did was really way against the odds and a monumental task anyway. I think he learnt the business really well with his early experiences with Jackie Wilson (including co-writing "Reet Petite). He learnt some more when he sold Marv Johnson "You Got What It Takes" to United Artists and found out how the majors worked.

I think his key advantage to getting paid by his distributors was that he always had more hot records coming month in month out, so it wasn't worth screwing him over because you'd lose out on the future releases.

His single greatest achievement was in setting up a faultless production line of fantastic records. Once he got that in place then the rest was just about good management. He even brought in Barney Ales to enforce collections which shows you that he knew what he was doing.

So yes. Berry would absolutely have his own system for dealing with returns, which I believe would have been zero.

Ian D

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Absolutely the thread of the year - interesting and informative, and still going! Every day's a school day - loving it!

It`s a great thread paul and hats off to the guys for keeping it going and supply us with some fascinating information concerning the wheels & cogs behind the American record distribution business. Well done folks :thumbsup:

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It`s a great thread paul and hats off to the guys for keeping it going and supply us with some fascinating information concerning the wheels & cogs behind the American record distribution business. Well done folks :thumbsup:

The American record business of the 60's is my passion. I'm absolutely fascinated by the stories and I'm very lucky to be in a position where I've managed to meet many of the serious movers and shakers from that period.

In 2 weeks time Kenny Gamble is rolling into town and has gracefully agreed to do some PR for the Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary. Kenny doesn't really know it yet, but he's going to be doing a filmed in-depth interview where he'll be grilled by Richard Searling on his 60's and early 70's career and Ralph Tee on his mid 70's to present career. Richard and Ralph will be prepping for this interview none stop for the next 2 weeks without a doubt.

I for one can't wait. I'm re-reading "House On Fire: The Rise And Fall Of Philadelphia Soul" by John A. Jackson this weekend, just to make sure we're totally prepped.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Fire-Rise-Fall-Philadelphia/dp/0195149726

Can you imagine Kenny taking us through his early solo career on Arctic and Columbia and then moving on to Neptune, Excel, North Bay, Crimson, Gamble, Huff Puff etc, etc and then how he and Leon set up Philadelphia International?

This is the stuff that dreams are made of!

Ian D :D

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post-16601-0-69976600-1320010776_thumb.j

The list above is a page from a ''House of Sounds'' list of singles they were selling around 1976. The only thing of note is what a load of rubbish it is . So just like going there to sort through the stock the lists had loads of stuff that no one wanted.

They listed the titles that they had in large amounts and still boxed up straight from the record companies. I think shop returns came in all jumbled up so would have been sold as mixed lots.

On one visit there I remember loads of boxes of ''Cashing In'' by Voices of East Harlem , all originals , but as it had been booted about a year before I only got 25 copies.

I had a look though the Billboard archive web pages and searches for House Of Sounds or the owner John La Monte revealed an interesting selection.

In the early 1970s he was placing adverts either wanting or selling records but by the late 70s and early 80s he was making the news for selling fake LPs and getting beat up by the mafia.

A report of a raid by the FBI on his warehouse said that there were so many LPs (many millions) that the feds couldn't

check to see which were genuine and which were fake. Even they were overwhelmed by the quantities of stock.

An advert from the early 70s said they wanted to buy ex juke box records, no quantity too large. I don't know what he would do with ex juke box stock as all the ones I've seen have been trashed and almost unplayable. Maybe they went into packs of 10 or the vinyl was re-cycled. Anyone (George G) got any ideas?

Juke box operators would make another story for this thread as I think in the 1960s it was a big business and again full of dubious practices and infiltrated by the mafia.The John Broven book mentioned by Chalky has some stories about this side of the record business in the late 1950s.

One of the Billboard articles gives the House of Sounds warehouse address as Quarry St and Hamilton Ave, Darby, Pa and a look on Google Earth found a huge warehouse still there but not quite as I remember it, but that's not unusual.

Rick

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Hundreds and hundreds of Rosey Jones on Today at Lamont's place in '79.

ROD

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