From the Land of Band Box Records

20th Fox – The Curious Label

June 7, 2014

20th Century Records (first known as 20th Fox)was sort of a poor man’s Columbia – releasing many obscure pop singers – few of which managed to to chart.  The label was owned by the motion picture company of the same name.  The label’s two primary mainstays were Diane Renay who managed two hits for 20th (“Navy Blue” and “Kiss Me Sailor”) in the Hot 100 and two “bubbling under” with “Growin’ Up Too Fast” (#124) and “It’s In Your Hands” (#101).  The other big act was The Harry Simeone Chorale who released “The Little Drummer Boy” which first charted for 20th Century in 1958 peaking at #15.  The song would chart again for the next f our successive years entering the Top 20 each time.

Thanks to 45 picture sleeve collector Fred Hoyt for helping me out here as always!

Visit the growing 20th Fox 1950’s and 1960’s label page

20TH 6713 - 12-68 (3)20TH 626 (1) 20TH 590 - 5-65 PS 20TH 403 - 4-63 PS 20TH 306 - 7-62 A 20TH 304 - 6-62 A

One Comment

  1. The first time I heard Al Martino was on the incredibly tender and moving (some would say saccharine and cloying) “A Little Boy, A Little Girl” (20th Fox:237, January, 1961). I confess that even now I get tears in my eyes when I play it (yes, I still have the original 45). It is on YouTube, although not in the highest fidelity dub: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGI12kjVEBY. Your post on your “guilty pleasures” (i.e., sentimental and/or novelty songs that wouldn’t gotten you beaten up in school gave me the courage to come out with this one!)

    20th (Century) Fox was a strange label; they also had a Flamingoes-like doo-wop version of the old chestnut “Because of You” by Rome & Paris (yeah, sure, those names are on their birth certificates!). It was a “double dip,” first tried on 20th Fox 423 in 1963, then reissued on Roulette 4681 in 1966 when it hit #109 on the “bubbling under” chart. Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2OAYIIpBQc. The “water” effect aged quickly, but it’s a pretty decent record overall, produced by Feldman Gottehrer Goldstein, a/k/a The Strangeloves (and also Rome & Paris; from Wikipedia: “Feldman and Goldstein (without Gottehrer) recorded charting hits as Rome & Paris in 1966” – somehow overlooking the original 1963 release).

    The label had a long and varied history, with some surprisingly big names (often doing surprisingly small work): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_Century_Fox_Records (scroll down for a list of artists).

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