From the Land of Band Box Records

Tetragrammaton Records

Off the Deep End

So what do the Brits Deep Purple have in common with Carol Burnett the zany comedian and host of her own television show which ran from 1967 until 1978?

Absolutely nothing other than both recording for the record label Tetragrammaton in the 1960’s.  The label was formed in late 1967 with the first releases hitting the market in the Spring of 1968.

The first single released was by “The Fat Albert Orchestra and Chorus”.  The “Fat Albert” debut was appropriate enough since one it’s creators was the fallen Bill Cosby – who debuted the character of “Fat Albert” as far back as 1967 in a stand-up comedy routine.

From there “Fat Albert” appeared in an animation program in 1969 “Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert” but not before the character debuted on Tetragramaton Records.  The record label was also a project headed up by Cosby along with three other owners – one of which was Cosby’s career manager Roy Silver.

The second act introduced by Tetragrammaton was an unlikely pairing with the British group Deep Purple – who at time – were not a ‘heavy metal’ band both more in the genre of ‘progressive’ British rock.

From Roundabouts to Pure Purple

Deep Purple was the brainchild of Liverpool’s Chris Curtis who had previously performed as the drummer for The Searchers.  Curtis did not envision the a steady lineup but instead picking up and dropping musicians of considerable talent – and thus naming them “Roundabout”.  After a short time working as Roundabout – band member Ritchie Blackmore suggested a change to “Deep Purple” a song favored by his grandmother.

Lots of personnel changes before they entered the studio in England where they would cut their first LP which in turn was released in the United States on Tetragrammaton as “Shades of Deep Purple”. The LP would chart at number #24 in the Fall of 1968 and would be followed three additional LP’s released by Tetragrammaton (by the way which translates to ‘the name of God’ in Hebrew).

By the time of the fourth Tetragrammaton Deep Purple LP, the label was in fiscal trouble and therefore the release was not well promoted – and died a quiet death.  Deep Purple would move on – with Warner Bros. picking up the Tetragrammton catalog.  Deep Purple would change during the 1970’s morphing into a heavy metal band and enjoying ample fame.

Best Unfinished Johnny

If you are a collector of all-things Beatles – you probably own a copy of John and Yoko’s “Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins” which by many accounts would have been better off never started!

But at any rate – long story – John and Yoko’s presenting of the LP tracks along with nude cover graphics was not well-received by Capitol Records who distributed Apple releases in the United States – so much so that Capitol flatly refused to distribute it as presented.

A Bad Apple for Capitol

So Tetragrammaton stepped in and took over distribution.  Didn’t matter much – the LP only reached #124 on the Hot 200 dropping off the charts after a short eight week run.  The LP proceeded in the U.K. via it’s normal distribution outlets but did no better – failing to chart altogether.

Here is a partial description of the Lennon/Yoko collaboration from BSN Pubs ” Once the brown paper bag was removed, one was left with a disappointing nude photo of what John Lennon described as “two slightly overweight ex-junkies” and an album whose content is, well… what we actually have here is about a half hour of noise, or I should say noises, of various sorts. At about 10 minutes in, we hear a sound not unlike someone heaving, and rightly so. “

And As for Carol Burnett

Most likely this LP on Tetragrammaton 106 “Together Again for the First Time” (with fellow comedienne Martha Raye) was most likely just fellow comedic travelers finding an outlet with the Cosby enterprise – as were both Murray Roman and Biff Rose – appearing on the label.

Burnett – Boone – Kingstons – Raye

Tetragrammaton Long Play Discography

Tetragrammaton LP – Murray Roman

Tetragrammaton LP – 102 – Deep Purple

Tetragrammaton LP 103 – Biff Rose

Tetragrammaton LP 104 – Ivory

Tetragrammaton LP 105 – Bobby Paris

Tetragrammaton LP 106 – Carol Burnett and Martha Raye

Tetragrammaton LP 107 – Deep Purple

Tetragrammaton LP 110 – The Johnstons

Tetragrammaton LP 111 – Rhetta Hughes

Tetragrammaton LP 112 – Sweet Thursday

Tetragrammaton LP 113 – Tom Ghent

Tetragrammaton LP 114 – Summerhill

Tetragrammaton LP 116 – Biff Rose

Tetragrammaton LP 117 – Elyse

Tetragrammaton LP 118 – Pat Boone

Tetragrammaton LP 119 – Deep Purple

Tetragrammaton LP 120 – Murray Roman

Tetragrammaton LP 123 – The Steve Baron Quartet

Tetragrammaton LP 124 – Gene and Francesca

Tetragrammaton LP 125 – Joshua Fox

Tetragrammaton LP 131 – Deep Purple

Tetragrammaton LP 5002 – Quatrain

Tetragrammaton LP 5003 – Mark Slade

Tetragrammaton LP 5006 – Lalo Schifrin (Movie Soundtrack)

Tetragrammaton LP 5100 – Bill Cosby

Tetragrammaton LP 5101 – The Kingston Trio

Tetragrammaton LP 5101 – John and Yoko Ono

Tetragrammaton LP 5102 – The Great White Hope  – Broadway Play

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