PopBopRocktilUDrop

From the Land of Band Box Records

Columbia Records was the furthest thing from a funky, independent record label.  Owned by powerhouse CBS the label was the sentinel at the door guarding against the intrusion of both rhythm and blues and rock and roll.  There were some minor ventures out even in the 1950’s (Carl Perkins, Ronnie Self) but those were the exceptions.

Mitch Miller led the way but met with little resistance at Columbia.  According to Sean Wilentz in his well-researched “360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story” songwriter Gloria Parker in a 1957 Columbia stockholder’s meeting pushed the investors hard to avoid the devil’s music stating “this rock and roll junk (which) is creating juvenile delinquency”.  Miller told disk jockeys in a national convention a year later “…the juvenile stuff pumped over the airways these days hardly qualifies as music.”  And he held the line as long as he possibly could.

This section of PopBopRocktilUDrop presents the eventual breaking down of Miller’s Great Wall.  Here are many of the groups and slightly off-beat artists who eventually found their way onto the Columbia 45 label (keeping in mind that Columbia Records always based it’s strength on it’s LP market).  I’m not documenting the hit records here as on other 45 pages, but a glimpse at a diverse range parading through the Columbia hallowed halls.

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Columbia 1960

The Cinderellas – Columbia 41540 – January, 1960

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John D. Loudermilk – Columbia 41562 – January, 1960

The Nashville Teens from England would escort this song into the Hot 100 in 1964

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Johnny Horton – Columbia 41568 – January, 1960 – “Sink The Bismark” Charted March, 1960 #3

Well before Columbia ventured wholeheartedly into Rock and Roll – they entered into the Country arena signing dozens of artists.  Horton proved to be a great “cross over” act for the label.  He died in a automobile accident.

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Big Teddy & The Ramblers – Columbia 41581 – February, 1961

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Marty Robbins – Columbia 41589 – February, 1960 – “Big Iron” Charted March, 1960 – #26

Robbins would prove to be a huge Country and cross over hit artist – probably only surpassed by Johnny Cash on Columbia.  Robbins died in November of 1982.

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Crash Craddock – Columbia 41619 – March, 1960

Billy “Crash Craddock” fashioned himself initially as a Rockabilly singer before migrating toward the Country Market.  His earliest music venture as with his teenage brothers as The Rebels.  He only charted once for Columbia records in 1959 with a minimally successful release.

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Kitty Kallen – Columbia 41622 – March, 1960

Kallen was a survivor of the Big Band era – having performed as vocalist with Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Artie Shaw and others.  She landed in the Top Ten many times scoring four number one hits with one of her most memorable being “Little Things Mean A Log” in 1953.  Oddly she scored a big hit on the R&B charts in 1944 with “When They Ask About You” recorded with Jimmy Dorsey.  She resurfaced in 1961 with a Top 20 hit “My Coloring Book”.

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Carl Perkins – Columbia 41651 – April, 1960

Perkins would never regain his earlier Sun Success but remained a Rock and Roll icon in Great Britain where he was always enthusiastically received.  And of course the Fab Four covered “Match Box”, “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” and “Honey Don’t”.

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The Three G’s – Columbia 41678 – May, 1960

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The Four Voices – Columbia 41699 – May, 1960

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The Echoes (Ed & George) – Columbia 41709 – June, 1960

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The Four Tops – Columbia 41755 – July, 1960

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 41774 – August, 1960

Real name Reese Francis Clifford (Buzz was an excellent choice) – Clifford would be a “One Hit Wonder” as far as recording went with his “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” in 1961.  He would compose hits for other artists including Clyde McPhatter, Freddie King, Lou Rawls, Petula Clark and others.  Later in the 1960’s he would become a member of a band called Carp which included actor Gary Bussey.  Then would briefly join Hamilton Streetcar.

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The Del Reys – Columbia 41784 – August, 1960

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Johnny Janis – Columbia 41797 – September, 1960

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The Arena Twins – Columbia 41801 – September, 1960

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Rob and Roy – Columbia 41812 – October, 1960

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The Nutty Squirrels – Columbia 41818 – October, 1960

The Squirrels heyday was behind them – They had earlier charted briefly on the Hanover label with “Uh Oh Part 1” and promptly followed that monster hit up with “Uh Oh Part 2” (#14 and #45 respectively).  But the not so nutty Chipmunks beat them to the punch and would persevere.

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Charlie Hoss & The Ponies – Columbia 41855 – October, 1960

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The Secrets – Columbia 41861 – b/w “Quien Sabe” – November, 1960

These were not the “Boy Next Door” Secrets of the mid 1960’s

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Mike Clifford – Columbia 41862 – November, 1960

Clifford would on away from Columbia and sign with United Artists where his “Close to Kathy” would peak at #14 in 1962.  He would manage two more entries into the Hot 100.  He later appeared in a Broadway production of “Grease”.

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The Three G’s – Columbia 41868 – November, 1962

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The Carlisles – Columbia 41873 – November, 1960

They had their Country run on the King label and then Mercury from 1946 until 1954 but no success with Columbia

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 41876 – November, 1960

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Mandrake – Columbia 41928 – December, 1960

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The Valiants – Columbia 41931 – December, 1960

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Columbia 1961

Marty Hill – Columbia 41936 – January, 1961

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Limmie B. Good – Columbia 41939 – January, 1961

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Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats – Columbia 41967 – March, 1961

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 41979 – March, 1961 – Charted April, 1961 – #102 – 4 Weeks

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The Caterpillars – Columbia 41982 – March, 1961

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DeVol – Columbia 41987 – April, 1961

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Sascha Burland – Columbia 42009 – May, 1961

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 42019 – May, 1961

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Mike Clifford – Columbia 42029 – May, 1961

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Inman & Ira – Columbia 42030 – May, 1961

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The Allisons – Columbia 42034 – May, 1961

The Allisons were from England – the brothers Bob and John

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The Petites – Columbia 42053 – June, 1961

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Miles Davis & His Sextet – Columbia 42057 – July, 1971

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Don Covay & The Goodtimers – Columbia 42058 – July, 1961

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Junior Lewis – Columbia 41129 – August, 1961

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 42177 – September, 1961

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The Runabouts – Columbia 42200 – October, 1961

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The Screwballs – Columbia 42209 – b/w “Screwball March” – October, 1961

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Mike Clifford – Columbia 42226 – November, 1961

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Dick & Jack & The Settlers – Columbia 42230 – November, 1961

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The Brothers Four – Columbia 42235 – November, 1961

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Kenny Karen – Columbia 42264 – December, 1961

Canadian Karen would finally have a minor hit record in 1973 on Big Tree records with “That’s Why You Remember” (#82).

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Columbia 1962

Aretha Franklin – Columbia 42266 – January, 1962

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The Companions – Columbia 42279 – January, 1962

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Buzz Clifford – Columbia 42290 – January, 1962

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Carmen McRae – Columbia 42292 – January, 1962

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Johnny Cash – Columbia 42301 – February, 1962 – Charted March, 1962 – #24 C&W – 3 Weeks

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The Four Evers – Columbia 42303 – February, 1962

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Mike Clifford – Columbia 42335 – b/w “Mary, Mary” – February, 1962

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Buzz & Al – Columbia 42355 – March, 1962

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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Joey Brooks – Columbia 42392 – March, 1962

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Carl Perkins – Columbia 42405 – April, 1962

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Sandy Selsie – Columbia 42418 – April, 1962

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Terry Day – Columbia 42427 – May, 1962

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Duke Ellington & Count Basie – Columbia 42440 – May, 1962

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Kenny Karen – Columbia 42452 – May, 1962

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Aretha Franklin – Columbia 42456 – June, 1962

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Tammy Grimes – Columbia 57151 Promo Release – June, 1962

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The Le Vons – Columbia 42506 – July, 1962

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Gene Montgomery – Columbia 42510 – July, 1962

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Carl Perkins – Columbia 42514 – July, 1962

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Aretha Franklin – Columbia 42520 – August, 1962

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The Fisher Brothers – Columbia 42522 – August, 1962

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Debbie & the Darnells – Columbia 42530 – August, 1962

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Bill Doggett & His Combo – Columbia 42531

Doggett would never chart on the Columbia label .  His final chart record for King came in 1959 “Yocky Dock Part 1” – #30.

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Buzz & Al – Columbia 42532 – September, 1962

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Jerry Reed & The Hully Girlies – Columbia 42533 – September, 1962

Reed would not experience any success until 1967 when he signed with RCA – Then he enjoyed a steady string of hits on the C&W charts for 17 years – crossing over on several occasions to the Hot 100.

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Carol Hall – Columbia 42580 – September, 1962

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The Buttons – Columbia 42618 – October, 1962

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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Amos ‘n’ Andy – Columbia 42623 – b/w “Little Bitty Baby” – November, 1962

In the early days this duo on radio were portrayed by white actors.  Later on Television black actors would assume the roles.

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt! – This sleeve carriers the Catalog Number 48002 – Great Sleeve!

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Wendy Burton – Columbia 42624 – November, 1962

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Kenny Karen – Columbia 42638 – November, 1962

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Marion Worth – Columbia 42640 – November, 1962 – “Shake Me I Rattle” Charted February, 1963 #42 Hot 100 – #14 C&W charts.  Marion passed away in 1999 at the age of 69.

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Eddie Hodges – Columbia 42649 – November, 1962

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Bob Dylan – Columbia 42656 – b/w Corrina, Corrina – December, 1962

Bob’s first hit record for Columbia would not come until 1965

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The Dutones – Columbia 42657 – b/w “Don Got Over It” – December, 1962

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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Dion – Columbia 42662 – December, 1962 – “Ruby Baby” Charted January, 1963 – 13 Weeks – Peaks at #2 (2 Weeks)

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Columbia 1963

Terry Day – Columbia 42678 – January, 1963

This is Doris Day’s son artist name Terry Melcher of Bruce and Terry duo

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The Rip Chords – Columbia 42687 – January, 1963

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Bill Doggett & His Combo – Columbia 42689 – January, 1963

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Eddie Hodges – Columbia 42697 – March, 1963

Eddie’s “Gonna Knock on Your Door” (#12 – 1961) and “Made To Love” (#14 – 1962) were long gone.  He would not chart on the Columbia label and would move on to obscurity.  He did make inroads to Hollywood as a child actor.

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Carol Sloane – Columbia 42772 – April, 1963

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Rock Romano – Columbia 42786 – April, 1963

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The Blue Sonnets – Columbia 42793 – May, 1963

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Aretha Franklin – Columbia 42796 – May, 1963

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The Del Satins – Columbia 42802 – May, 1963

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The Golden Chords – Columbia 75038 – Promo Release – June, 1963

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Paul Reed & Chorus – Columbia 76341 – June 1963 Special Promo Release

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Neil Diamond – Columbia 42809 – July, 1963

It was just a tad too early for Neil – He would break into the performing spotlight after years spent as a writer of hits – in 1966 on Bang Records (Solitary Man, Cherry Cherry, Kentucky Woman and more)

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Dion – Columbia 42810 – July, 1963

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Eddie Hodges – Columbia 42811 – July, 1963

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The Rip Chords – Columbia 42812 – July, 1963

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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The Dreamlovers – Columbia 42842 – August, 1963

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Bob Dylan – Columbia 42856 – August, 1963

A couple of Dylan’s most significant releases but neither one charting for him

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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Titus Turner – Columbia 42873 – September, 1963

Titus had last charted in 1961 with a minor hit on the Jamie Label with “Sound Off”.  Titus died young in 1984 at the age of 51

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Aretha Franklin – Columbus 42874 – September, 1963

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

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The Atlantics – Columbia 42877 – b/w “Greensleeves” – September, 1963

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Kenny Rankin – Columbia 42881 – October, 1963

Rankin enjoyed a long career as an entertainer and a composer well into the 1970’s

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Sandy Selsie – Columbia 42883 – October, 1963

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Sally & The Roses – Columbia 42895 – October, 1963

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The Orchids – Columbia 42913 – November, 1963

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The Rip Chords – Columbia 42921 – November, 1963 – “Hey Little Cobra” Charted December, 1963 #4

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The Storytellers – Columbia 42930 – November, 1963

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Pete Seeger – Columbia 42940 – December, 1963 – “Little Boxes” Charted December, 1963 – #70

Pete’s condescending little number was his only solo appearance on the Hot 100.  He started off his career with Woody Guthrie in the Almanac Singers and then formed The Weavers.

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Bruce & Terry – Columbia 42956 – December, 1963 – “Custom Machine” – Charted February, 1964 – #85

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Claude King – Columbia 42959 – November, 1964

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Dion – Columbia 42977 – November, 1964

Dion started off okay on Columbia hitting it big with “Ruby Baby” in early 1963.  He  had several singles such as this one that drifted but made little impact.

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The Surfer Girls – Columbia 43001 – March, 1964

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The Day Brothers – Columbia 43006 – March, 1964

This would mark one of Columbia’s earliest adventures covering a Beatle song and a Rolling Stone hit.

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Cassius Clay – Columbia 43007 – March, 1964

Both sides charted on the Bubbling Under charts (#102/#113) – and “Stand by Me” hit number 47 on the R&B charts.

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Paul Revere & The Raiders – Columbia 43008 – March, 1964

The Raiders wouldn’t hit pay dirt until “Steppin Out” hit the charts in September of 1965.

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Aretha Franklin – Columbia 43009 – March, 1964

Aretha was with Columbia for a lengthy period of time from early 1961 until January of 1965 but it would take a switch to Atlantic to propel her to the top.

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The J’s With Jamie – Columbia 43017 – March, 1964

They were sometimes confused with The Jamies (“Summertime, Summertime”) but this is a different group.

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The Oddballs – Columbia 43024 – March, 1964

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Big Al Downing – Columbia 43028 – April, 1964

Big Al only managed to chart twice during his career – a double sided hit “I’ll Be Holding On” b/w “Baby Let’s Talk It Over”‘ – both on the R&B charts (#’s 31/68 in 1974/75).

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The Rip Chords – Columbia 43035 – April, 1964

These guys were basically Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnston (future Beach Boy) but had lots of support from the Surf and Hot Rod Crowd – including Roger Christian (The Rogues), Jan Berry and others.

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The Improbables – Columbia 43041 – April, 1964

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April Young – Columbia 43046 – May, 1964

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Bruce & Terry – Columbia 43055 – June, 1964

This minor hit “Summer Means Fun” was written by the recording team of  P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri who recorded as The Fantastic Baggies.  Sloan also joined in the Protest Song movement with “Sins of a Family”.

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Linda Lloyd – Columbia 43057 – May, 1964

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The Five Kings – Columbia 43060 – June, 1964

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The Orchids – Columbia 43066 – June, 1964

Lor Crane was a member and driving force.

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The Romeos – Columbia 43074 – June, 1964

Another Lor Crane inspired group

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Sandy & The Sophomores – Columbia 43089 – July, 1974

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Dion Di Muci – Columbia 43096 – July, 1964

Now he was using his full name – “Johnny B. Goode”  was a minor hit (#71) in August of 1964.

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Freddie Scott – Columbia 43112 – August, 1964

Freddie was another Columbia signing to capture the R&B market attention to no avail.  He would soon depart to sign with Shout Records where he would enjoy a return to the charts.

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Paul Revere & The Raiders – Columbia 43114 – August, 1964

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Billy Walker – Columbia 43120 – August, 1964

WALKER BILLY BRAZOS ADD PS

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Buddy Lee & The Satellites – Columbia 43125 – September, 1964

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Kenny Gamble – Columbia 43132 – September, 1964

Yes – THE Kenny Gamble who would go on to fame as part of the writing/composing R&B duo Gamble and Huff

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Randy Sparks – Columbia 43138 – September, 1964

Sparks founded the Columbia folk group The New Christy Minstrels and would also form The Back Porch Majority.

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Jenny Clay – Columbia 43144 – September, 1964

A Columbia C&W artist

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Susan Wayne – Columbia 43148 – October, 1964

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Liz Verdi – Columbia 43154 – November, 1964

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Rene & Rene – Columbia 43163 – November, 1964

They had experienced a chart success earlier on Columbia with “Angelito” in July peaking at number 43 – Their biggest success would come on White Whale with “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero” at #14 in 1968.  They were from Laredo, Texas

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The Orchids – Columbia 43175 – November, 1964

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Woodstock Jesuit Singers – Columbia 43182 – November, 1964 (b/w “Is The World Still As Fine As It Was?’

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The Glad Singers – Columbia 43186 – November, 1964 b/w “Mazel Tov”

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Maureen Evans – Columbia 43189 – November, 1964

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The Rogues – Columbia 43190 – November, 1964

Another studio group again in the persona of Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher

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Columbia 1965

Dion Di Muchi – Columbia 43213 – January, 1965

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Johnny and Jonie Mosby – Columbia 43218 – February, 1965

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The Ripchords – Columbia 43221 – February, 1965

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The Harden Trio – Columbia 43229 – February, 1965

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Frank D’Rone with the Quinto Sisters – Columbia 43223 – February, 1965

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Bruce & Terry – Columbia 43238 – March, 1965

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Bob Dylan – Columbia 43242 – March, 1965 – “Subterranean Homesick Blues” Charted April, 1965 – #39 – 8 Weeks

A very difficult sleeve to locate and quite costly!

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Len & Glen – Columbia 43246 – March, 1965

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The Fugitives – Columbia 43261 – March, 1965

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Keith & The Lonely Men – Columbia 43268 – April, 1964

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The Byrds – Columbia 43271 – April, 1965

A pre-commercial release of their first big hit

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The Pussycats – Columbia 43272 – April, 1965

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Paul Revere & The Raiders – Columbia 43273 – April, 1965

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The Kimberlys – Columbia 43287 – May, 1965

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Tony And Tyrone – Columbia 43292 – May, 1965

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Dion – Columbia 43293 – b/w “Spoonful” – May, 1965

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The Denims – Columbia 43313 – b/w “I’m Your Man” – June, 1965

COL 43312 - 6-65 A

Emilia And Her Brazilians – Columbia 43321 – June, 1965

COL 43321 - 6-65 A COL 43321 - 6-65 B

The Duprees – Columbia 43336 – June, 1965

Of  “You Belong to Me” and “Have Your Heard” fame

COL 43336 - 6-65 A COL 43336 - 6-65 B

Len & Glen – Columbia 43350 – July, 1965

COL 43350 - 8-65 A

 

 

The Liverpool Set – Columbia 43351 – July, 1965

COL 43351 - 7-65 A COL 43351 - 7-65 B

Johnny & The Canadians – Columbia 43353 – July, 1965

COL 43353 - 7-65 A COL 43353 - 7-65 B

The Four Tops – Columbia 43356 – July, 1965 – “Ain’t That Love” Charted in July, 1965 – #93

This song was actually released first in 1960 on Columbia 41755 in their pre-Motown days and is quite rare.  Columbia was attempting to cash in what little collateral they had with The Tops.

COL 43356 - 7-65 A COL 43356 - 7-65 B

The Denims – Columbia 43367 – August, 1965

COL 43367 - 8-65 A COL 43367 - 8-65 B

Dr. Feelgood & The Interns – Columbia 43372 – August, 1965

COL 43372 - 8-65 A COL 43372 - 8-65 B

Bruce & Terry – Columbia 43378 – August, 1965

COL 43378 - 8-65 A COL 43378 - 8-65 B

The Spellbinders – Columbia 43384 – August, 1965

COL 43384 - 8-65 A COL 43384 - 8-65 B

Van McCoy – Columbia 43413 – September, 1965

Van would go on to Disco fame with his smash hit “The Hustle” in 1975 – a song which topped the charts.  Van died at a very young 39 years in 1979 of a heart attack

COL 43415 - 9-65 PS

Sonny Oceans – Columbia 43422 – October, 1965

COL 43422 - 10-65 PS COL 43422 - 10-65 PSB

Dion and the Wanderers – Columbia 43423 – October, 1965

Dion started off in the late 1950’s recording a song backed by The Timberlanes.  They weren’t his style and so he put together The Belmonts and went on to score many hit records.  Not sure who this one-off back-up group was

COL 43423 - 10-65 PS

The Ten Tuff Guitars – Columbia 43426 – November, 1965

COL 43426 - 11-65 A COL 43426 - 11-65 B

The Magicians – Columbia 43435 – November, 1965

COL 43435 - 11-65 A COL 43435 - 11-65 B

The Sneakers – Columbia 43438 – November, 1965

COL 43438 - 11-65 PS COL 43438 - 11-65 PSB

Moe, Adrian & The Sculptures – Columbia 43445 – November, 1965

Picture Sleeve contributed by Sleeve Collector Extraordinaire Fred Hoyt!

COL 43445 - 11-65 PS

COL 43445 - 11-65 A COL 43445 - 11-65 B

The Druids – Columbia 43450 – November, 1965

COL 43450 - 11-65 PS COL 43450 - 11-65 PSB

Bob Morrison – Columbia 43451 – November, 1965

COL 43451 - 11-65 PS

Debbie Lori Kaye – Columbia 43454 – November, 1965

COL 43454 - 11-65 PS

Dey and Knight – Columbia 43466 – December, 1965

COL 43466 - 12-65 A COL 43466 - 12-65 B

Carolyn Binkley – Columbia 43468 – December, 1965

A Big Little Hit by a four year old.

COL 43468 - 12-65 PS COL 43468 - 12-65 PSB

Bruce & Terry – Columbia 43479 – b/w “Thank You Baby” – December, 1965

COL 43479 - 12-65 A

 

 

 

11 Comments

  1. Pingback: Columbia Records: The Other Side | PopBopRocktilUDrop

  2. Pingback: Columbia Heavy – 1960-1965 | PopBopRocktilUDrop

  3. Craig, I will be forwarding you some scans of picture sleeves for a few of these — don’t know if you already have them or not? Great job on the early Columbia releases.
    Fred

  4. Pingback: Columbia Rarities! | PopBopRocktilUDrop

  5. Some real treats here (I just discovered this post at this late date). Just a few random notes to go with your random labels:

    This is the original recording of John D. Loudermilk’s “Tobacco Road” – also my favorite, although he cut a similar-sounding version for RCA.later.

    The Four Voices’ “sealed with a Kiss” is the original version. They were an old-line close-harmony group (think the Four Lads/Aces/Coins/etc.) who were working hard at reinventing themselves. Their biggest hit, “Lovely One,” on Columbia, was re-cut later for Mr. Peacock/Mr. Peeke in a more modern (1963 or so) version. (Mr. Peacock had to change its name because Don Robey who owned Peacock complained. Or so I was told long ago.)

    Mandrake (Vinnie Rogers) was a studio musician; the litlte bit of info on him was that he died young. Kenny Young mentioned him in an article on Spectropop, but that article seems to have gone missing.

    Dion was into his folk and blues (and heroin) stage on Columbia. Nonetheless, he wrote and sang some great songs, including the unexpected “{No One Is Waiting for Me” and a song that he did but Kenny Rankin did better, “Knowing I Won’t Go Back There,” still an all time favorite (from 1964).

    I love that you used “condescending” to describe Pete Seeger on “Little Boxes.” I’ve been looking for a word for years to describe his apparent attitude, even though I know he didn’t mean to be condescending, it was just how he talked.He was someone I appreciated and really tried to like, but we share that reaction.

    Thanks for the information on Buzz Clifford. I know that “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” pigeonholed him as a novelty act, but he had a lot more going on – I just didn’t know what. Also interesting that Mike Clifford was on the label at the same time; it must have been confusing for their promo men. I’ve never heard any of Mike’s Columbia output, but the follow-up to “Close to Cathy,” “What to Do with Laurie,” both on UA, is a gorgeous melody weighed down by terminally-cute lyrics!

    Interesting assemblage of tracks; thanks Craig. On another pass-through, I could walk through their catalog – you could, too – and come up with a totally different and just as interesting list, which attests to the willingness they had post-Mitch Miller (and even during his later days) to try something unusual. (Look for Michael Wesley’s “Magic Lover,” Johnny Humbird’s “Ghost of Misery,” Jack Judge’s “Yay de a Hey,” The Inconceivables’ “Hamburger Patti” and a host of others. Cool stuff!

    • Thanks Paul – I have added your comments to the Columbia page – I eagerly invite you to send my way any musical memories – recollections – etc., and I will post them as Blog Entries – Great informative reading!

  6. Would like more info on Columbia’s label color changes during 1963-64. I’ve seen releases on orange, yellow, green, pink and red. Some even had a sketch of the artist to the right of the spindle hole. Just wondering why so many colors, and was there a period with each color, or did it depend on each release. Very confusing.

    • Good question – It doesn’t appear to me that there was a science behind it. In 1963 most of the 45’s initially released were either simply promos on the white label or when pressed in greater numbers were orange in color – Interestingly the shades of orange varied from lighter to darker – Then in May of 1963 Eydie Gorme and Andy Williams both appeared on a yellow and green label both with face likenesses – But the orange releases continued as well. Soon other colors appeared without the likenesses and with them and on it goes.

      You may have seen the massive size book “360 Sound – Columbia Records Story” by Sean Wilentz somewhere along the way – I don’t own it and I suspect that if focuses on long plays – but who knows? I have seen it on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

      Maybe a more informed collector will give us some help.

      • I believe there was a Dion DiMucci face label as well, and it may have been pink (I don’t recall exactly). It seems as though they were trying to create some kind of distinction among releases in hat time period.

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