Friday, August 31, 2012
Diamond Records was a record label, based in New York City, which was founded in 1961 by former Roulette Records executive Joe Kolsky. Another Roulette exec Phil Kahl joined Kolsky in the venture the following year.
Success for the label was slow but they got their first big hit in 1962 with "Loop De Loop" by Johnny Thunder. That record led to a distribution deal with EMI to distribute Diamond recordings on Stateside Records in the UK. Diamond recordings were issued in Canada by Apex Records. The only consistent hit maker for the label was Ronnie Dove who had a string of hits for Diamond from 1964 to 1969.
Kolsky and Kahl sold their interest in Diamond Records in 1968 to the Edwin H. Morris Corporation which sold it in 1970 to Certron Corporation. The label folded by 1972. The fate of the Diamond catalog is unknown, but Ronnie Dove's recordings are widely available on CD, mostly from Collectables Records.
The label released a total of eight albums in its entire history. The first album was by Johnny Thunder and the remaining albums were all by Ronnie Dove.
In 1987 Dove revived the label to release a couple of singles. He claims ownership of his own recordings made for the label.
Decca Records began as a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934; however, owing to World War II, the link with the British company was broken for several decades.
In 1934, Jack Kapp established a country & western line for the new Decca label by signing Frank Luther, Sons of the Pioneers, Stuart Hamblen, The Ranch Boys, and other popular acts based in both New York and Los Angeles. Louisiana singer/composer Jimmie Davis began recording for Decca the same year, joined by western vocalists Jimmy Wakely and Roy Rogers in 1940. From the late 1940s on, the US arm of Decca had a sizeable roster of Country artists, including Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright, Ernest Tubb, Webb Pierce, Wilburn Brothers, Bobbejaan Schoepen, and Red Foley. In the late 1950s, Patsy Cline was signed to the US Decca label from 4 Star Records. As part of a leasing deal, Patsy's contract was owned by 4 Star; though she recorded for Decca as part of this deal, she recorded an album but saw little money. In 1960, she signed with Decca outright and released two more albums and numerous singles while she was alive and several more albums and singles produced after her untimely death in a 1963 plane crash. The Wilburn Brothers were ultimately signed to a lifetime contract with Decca. Doyle Wilburn of the Wilburn Brothers obtained a recording contract for Loretta Lynn who signed to Decca in the early 1960s and remained with the label for the next several decades. Loretta was also known as the "Decca Doll" till she was more known as the Coal Miner's Daughter. Owen Bradley was the A&R man for all of these artists. Decca quickly became the main rival of RCA Records as the top label for American country music by the early 1950s and remained so for decades.