Today in Music History: June 4, 1942
Regarding musical entertainment and for our listening pleasure any time, anywhere came the advent of sound recording and reproduction. As a result of this arrival evolved phonograph records with advancement in technology carrying recording possibilities to a phenomenal level.
|On this first ever Capitol label, the silver logo on the black label showed the building structure under the word CAPITOL.|
1942 Glenn Wallichs, owner of Wallichs' Music City, launched Capitol Records in the US with the assistance of Johnny Mercer. The label became home to such artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Glen Campbell, Steve Miller, Dr. Hook, Bob Seger, Tina Turner, Heart and countless others. Wallichs was the man who invented the art of record promotion by sending copies of new releases to disc jockeys.A Bit of Record History...
Timeless Tidbit of Trivia...In 1942, the major record labels (Decca, RCA and Columbia) were all located on the East Coast and there wasn’t a label of note on the West Coast. One day, Johnny Mercer and the owner of Glenn Wallichs’ Music City store were discussing their displeasure with the current state of the recording industry. Johnny felt that recording artists were seldom presented at their best, and Glenn voiced his frustration with the out-dated distribution methods. As a result, Johnny and Glenn reached out to Buddy DeSylva, songwriter and producer at Paramount Pictures, for financial backing, and with $25,000 a record label was born. The company was initially known as Liberty Records, but at the suggestion of Johnny’s wife, Ginger, the new label was renamed Capitol.
Source: Capitol Records
Glenn Everett Wallachs, the son of Union Pacific accountant Oscar Wallichs, was born on August 9, 1910 in Grand Island, Nebraska. He became highly interested in both electronics and music. At the age of 10 he built a tiny radio inside of a sewing thimble.
Here are but a few with recordings on the Capitol label. Enjoy!
In 1953, Frank Sinatra’s musical style took a dramatic turn. He signed with Capitol Records and, throughout the next nine years, issued a series of recordings widely regarded as his finest body of work.
Shortly before the release of With the Beatles and the group's fifth single, Capitol bought in. Up until The Beatles, no British artist had ever made it in America. Thus, Capitol's initial reluctance.
By June 1962, The Beach Boys had made a demo tape of songs including 'Surfin Safari', 'Surfer Girl', and '409' that later convinced Capitol Records’ Nick Venet to sign them to a recording contract.
Though Gene Vincent landed his contract with Capitol Records largely because he sounded like Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent quickly established himself as a rockabilly pioneer and the very personification of rock 'n' roll rebellion.
In a recording career lasting 17 years, Bobby Darin spent only three of those years, 1962-1965, signed to Capitol Records. They were busy years for him in the recording studio: he released seven Capitol LPs, five of which made the charts, and 11 Capitol singles, eight of which entered the Billboard Hot 100, two of those, the self-written, country-styled 'You're the Reason I'm Living' and '18 Yellow Roses', reaching the Top Ten.
The majority of Dean Martin's recordings were released on Capitol Records (1948–1961) and later on Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records (1962–1974). Martin had many hit singles during his lifetime, but only two went to No. 1 on the pop charts – 'Memories Are Made of This' in 1956 and 'Everybody Loves Somebody' nearly a decade later.
The song 'Living In The U.S.A.' was also featured as the sole Steve Miller Band track in a promotional-only compilation album issued by Capitol Records entitled "The Greatest Music Ever Sold" (Capitol SPRO-8511/8512), that was distributed to record stores during the 1976 Holiday season as part of Capitol's "Greatest Music Ever Sold" campaign which promoted 15 "Best Of" albums that were released by the record label.
Bob Seger’s career got a boost when he signed to Capitol Records in 1968. His first single for the label was “2+2=?,” an antiwar song that didn’t chart outside Detroit. However, he scored in 1968 with 'Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man'.
Following performances with Chuck Berry and several short tours in the U.S. and Europe, Tina Turner again performed at the Ritz, which resulted in a singles deal with Capitol Records under the insistence of David Bowie. In November 1983, Tina released her cover of Al Green's 'Let's Stay Together', with Capitol.
In 1985, the American rock band Heart released it's self-titled eighth studio album, Heart. Marking the band's Capitol Records debut, it spent 92 weeks on the U.S. Billboard 200 and became the only Heart album so far to hit number one, reaching quintuple platinum status. It also yielded the first number-one single for the band, 'These Dreams', along with four other hit singles: 'If Looks Could Kill', 'What About Love', 'Never', and 'Nothin' at All'. The latter three cuts also made the U.S. top ten.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...