1-CD with 48-page booklet, 30 tracks. Playing time approx. 64 mns.
Rockabilly from the vaults of ABC Records!
In 1949, the venerable movie studio, Paramount Pictures, spun off its theater division. Almost immediately, the president of the new company, Leonard Goldenson, began discussions with a struggling radio chain, ABC, which had itself been spun off by NBC eight years earlier to avoid antitrust action. ABC-Paramount was created in May 1951, although the merger wasn't approved until February 1953. The new company was the only radio-television conglomerate without a record label until Sam Clark was hired to organize ABC-Paramount Records in June 1955.
The first records appeared that November. Clark had served with the US Navy during the war before becoming a radio salesman, a record salesman, and then co-owner of a distributorship, Music Suppliers, in Boston. Music Suppliers handled Savoy, National, Deluxe, and other labels, and Clark was so successful that ABC recruited him to start its new label from scratch. Subsidiary publishing firms, Ampco (ASCAP) and Pamco (BMI), were set up at the same time.
ABC's biggest moneyspinner in its early days was Mickey Mouse Records. Disney's owner, Walt Disney, was the first major studio chief to see the potential of television productions, and had already sold the 'Disneyland' and 'Zorro' series to ABC TV (ABC-Paramount later invested in and underwrote Disney's first amusement park in return for a 34.48% share). It was probably the success of the Davy Crockett episodes of 'Disneyland' that persuaded ABC to enter the record business.
The episodes' hit song, The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, was given to Cadence Records and became a #1 hit. ABC realized that with its own label, it could have grabbed that hit. Around the same time, Paramount Pictures (which by this point had no relationship with ABC-Paramount) entered the record business the easy way by buying Dot Records.
Soon after launching ABC-Paramount Records, Sam Clark hired arranger Don Costa, who proved surprisingly adept at A&R'ing rock 'n' roll sessions, considering that his heart lay elsewhere. Clark also cut deals with smaller labels, purchasing breaking hits, and acquiring labels such as Grand Award/Command in 1959 and Westminster in 1961.
ABC tried to make its record label into a major player with the acquisition of Duke-Peacock Records in 1972 and Gulf+Western's record division, which included Dot, in 1974, but ABC eventually offloaded its record label to MCA in 1979. ABC-Paramount Records was history shortly before its twenty-fifth birthday.
Every CD would be for the most part a 30 song jukebox of the finest Rockabilly ever recorded for all the great labels. We sourced the very best sounding tapes and took them to the best mastering engineers, and then we took the packaging to a new level. We adopted the catchphrase of the first Rockabilly dee-jay, Dewey Phillips, 'That’ll Flat Git It!', and we hired Bill Millar, who'd compiled the still-classic label-oriented Rockabilly LPs in the 1970s and 1980s, to write the notes. We looked for previously unpublished photos, and tried to find all the artists who'd never been found before. The result is a truly definitive Rockabilly series.