Hi recorded popular, country and western, soul, and rhythm and blues. The origin of the company belongs to Ray Harris, who had two singles on the Sun label. Harris felt he could produce records and wanted to start a record company. In order to issue the record, they needed some financing, so they went to Joe Cuoghi who owned the Poplar Tunes Record store in Memphis.
Cuoghi formed a partnership to establish Hi records. There were shares of the company and each of the partners received 30 shares. Cantrell was initially appointed President, but before any records were released, Cuoghi bought out three of the other investors, became the majority shareholder, and took over as President. McVoy secured an appearance on Dick Clark's Saturday night national TV show, and Hi received many orders for the record -- but few payments for it.
Using the money they received from Phillips, Cuoghi and partners rented an old theater at South Lauderdale and installed recording equipment. This theater became the Hi Recording Studio. The first sixteen records issued on Hi from were by an array of obscure performers, most likely local artists, some of whom were heard from later.
By the summer of , Hi had put out 16 unsuccessful singles, and was going broke. Then Bill Black showed up. Black, of course, was Elvis Presley's original bass player on his Sun recordings and personal appearances.
Black had had a falling out with Presley and had decided to make it on his own by starting his own band, and signed with Hi. At that time, Hi had just signed Jay B. London Records distributed Hi Records until The recording was terrific, a sure hit, but the cash-strapped company didn't have enough money to pay the session fees. Cuoghi offered shares in the tune to the musicians in lieu of payment, and most of them quickly agreed. The latter had 10 of the 12 songs that were on Smokie , but also included the new single, "White Silver Sands.
For the next few years, the Bill Black Combo would be the prime movers for Hi Records, being featured on most of their singles and garnering all of their chart hits. The song had a long history. Willie Mitchell was signed to the label in , although he was associated with the musicians of Hi for years.
Mitchell was a trumpet player with classical music training, and he had long been a performer in the Memphis music scene, having his own band since Looking Straight Ahead.
Darryl Carter. Gene Anderson. Back for a Taste of Your Love. If I Could Reach Out. Phillip Mitchell. Erma Coffee. Let's Get Married. L-O-V-E Love. Let Yourself Go. Hi Rhythm Section. I Still Love You. Veniece Starks. Fried Chicken. Cunningham, Jr. Rufus Thomas. Love and Happiness. Into Something Can't Shake Loose. Precious, Precious. I Don't Do Windows.
The Crawl Willie Mitchell. Soul in de Hole Ben Branch. Doin' the Mustang Don Bryant. That Driving Beat Willie Mitchell. Stop Arguing over Me Lucky Carter. Walk Away Oliver Sain. Part Time Love Clay Hammond. I Pity the Fool Deadric Malone. The Letter Wayne Carson. Tired of Being Alone Al Green.
Aretha, Sing One for Me J. When Epic dropped classical music, the roster and catalogue was moved to Columbia Masterworks Records. Columbia released its first pop stereo albums in the summer of All of the first dozen or so were stereo versions of albums already available in mono.
Mono records sold to the general public were subsequently discontinued in To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the LP, in Columbia initiated the "Adventures in Sound" series that showcased music from around the world.
As far as the catalog numbering system went, there was no correlation between mono and stereo versions for the first few years. Columbia started a new CS series for pop stereo releases, and figuring the stereo releases as some sort of specialty niche records, didn't bother to link the mono and stereo numbers for two years.
From that point, the stereo numbers on pop albums were exactly higher than the mono; stereo classical albums were the mono number plus ; and showtunes releases were the mono number MINUS Only the last two digits in the respective catalog series' matched. Pop stereo LPs got into the high s by , when CBS Records revamped and unified its catalog numbering system across all its labels. Masterworks classical albums were in the s, while showtunes stayed in the low s. By the latter half of , Columbia started using pressing plants with newer equipment.
The "deep groove" pressings were made on older pressing machines, where the groove was an artifact of the metal stamper being affixed to a round center "block" to assure the resulting record would be centered. Newer machines used parts with a slightly different geometry, that only left a small "ledge" where the deep groove used to be. This changeover did not happen all at once, as different plants replaced machines at different times, leaving the possibility that both deep groove and ledge varieties could be original pressings.
The changeover took place starting in late This was the result of legal maneuvers which led to the creation of EMI in the early s. While this happened, starting in late , both the mono and the stereo labels of domestic Columbia releases started carrying a small "CBS" at the top of the label. This was not something that changed at a certain date, but rather, pressing plants were told to use up the stock of old pre-CBS labels first, resulting in a mixture of labels for some given releases.
Some are known with the CBS text on mono albums, and not on stereo of the same album, and vice versa; diggings brought up pressings with the CBS text on one side and not on the other. Many, but certainly not all, of the early numbers with the "ledge" variation i. In CBS took over its distributor in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Record Company founded in including Coronet Records , one of the leading Australian independent recording and distribution companies of the day.
ARC continued trading under that name until the late s when it formally changed its business name to CBS Australia. It was here that Hammond first met Bob Dylan , whom he signed to the label, initially as a harmonica player. Over the course of the s, Dylan achieved a prominent position in Columbia.
The Byrds achieved their pop breakthrough with a version of Dylan's " Mr. Tambourine Man ". In , Dylan's controversial decision to 'go electric' and work with rock musicians divided his audience but catapulted him to greater commercial success with his hit single " Like a Rolling Stone ". Following his withdrawal from touring in , Dylan recorded a large group of songs with his backing group The Band which reached other artists as 'demo recordings'.
Columbia's engineering department developed a process for emulating stereo from a mono source. They called this process "Electronically Rechanneled for Stereo". Columbia's rechanneling process involved a slight time delay and some bass-treble separation between channels. RCA Victor and Capitol " Duophonic " used similar processes, but the relatively large delay between channels resulted in a sound that has been described by collectors as "messy" Duophonic or "garbage can echo" RCA Victor.
Columbia's rechanneling resulted in a sound similar to reverb, though some found it annoying. The song reached No. Melcher and Bruce Johnston discovered and brought to Columbia The Rip Chords , a vocal group consisting of Ernie Bringas and Phil Stewart, and turned it into a rock group through production techniques. Columbia saw the two recordings as a start to getting into rock and roll.
When Mitch Miller retired in ,  Columbia was at a turning point. In , Brooklyn-born lawyer Clive Davis became president of Columbia.
Sales of Broadway soundtracks and Mitch Miller's singalong series were waning. Joplin led the way for several generations of female rock and rollers. She released her first solo album on Columbia in and remains with the label to this day. Additionally, the label kept Miles Davis on the roster, and his late s recordings, In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew , pioneered a fusion of jazz and rock music.
As a way of introducing them to the world with a splash, they released their debut album , along with five singles from the album, all on the same day, June 6, , 23 years following D-Day.
The album hit made 24 on the Billboard , but the singles barely made a dent in the charts, the best performer being "Omaha," which lasted a mere three weeks on the Hot reaching only No.
The other charter, "Hey Grandma," only reached the Bubbling Under chart and faded within a week. Also, there were some complaints about the obscene gesture made to the American flag on the front cover that had to be edited out on the second pressing, not to mention that the group started to decline in sales after that. The return on all the promotional budget for the singles realized nothing.
Although the group made two more albums, this particular publicity stunt was never again attempted by Columbia or any other major label. The duo scored a surprise No. Indeed, the duo had already broken up some months earlier, discouraged by the poor sales of their debut LP, and Paul Simon had relocated to the UK, where he famously only found out about the single being a hit via the music press. The dramatic success of the song prompted Simon to return to the US; the duo reformed, and they soon became one of the flagship acts of the folk-rock boom of the mids.
The duo subsequently had a Top 20 single, " A Hazy Shade of Winter ", but progress slowed during as Simon struggled with writer's block and the demands of constant touring. They shot back to the top in after Simon agreed to write songs for the Mike Nichols film The Graduate. The resulting single, " Mrs.
Robinson ", became a smash hit. Simon and Garfunkel's fifth and final studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water , reached number one in the US album charts in January and became one of the most successful albums of all time.
Davis lured artists Hoyt Axton and Tom Rush to Columbia in , and both were given what was known as "the pop treatment" by the label. By the time he joined Columbia, he had mixed successful pop songs like " Greenback Dollar ," with hard rock songs for Steppenwolf , such as " The Pusher ", which was used in the film Easy Rider in the same year.
When he landed at Columbia, his album My Griffin Is Gone was described as "the poster child for 'overproduced,' full of all kinds of instruments and even strings".
Axton eventually became a country singer, and founded his own record label, Jeremiah. Tom Rush had always been the "storyteller" or "balladeer" type of folk artist, before and after his stint with Columbia, to which Rush was lured from Elektra. As with Axton, Rush was given "the treatment" on his self-titled Columbia debut. The multitude of instruments added to his usual solo guitar were all done "tastefully", of course, but was not really on par with Rush's audience expectations. He commented to record label historian Mike Callahan:.
Well, when you're in the studio, they bring out all these "sweeteners" and things they have, and while you're there, you say, yeah, that sounds good. But then you get the album home and you almost can't hear yourself under all that. Eventually, Rush returned to his usual sound which he applied to his next three albums for Columbia and has been playing to appreciative audiences ever since.
This presented a catalog numbering system challenge as Columbia had used a four-digit catalog number for 13 years, and CS seemed cumbersome. Columbia decided to start issuing albums at CS instead, preserving the four-digit catalog number.
However, this resulted in the reuse of numbers previously used in —58, although the prefix was now different. The prefix letter G was also used for two album sets—or the number of records in the set after the label letter, such as KC2. Chronologically, Columbia issued at least one album in this series in August, but by that time, the CBS Consolidated series, which started issuing albums in July with the new label design, was well underway, having issued nearly albums.
The system was later expanded with even more prefix letters, which continued until In September , under the guidance of Clive Davis , Columbia Records entered the West Coast rock market, opening a state-of-the art recording studio which was located at Folsom St.
The recording studio operated under CBS until During the early s, Columbia began recording in a four-channel process called quadraphonic , using the "SQ" Stereo Quadraphonic standard that used an electronic encoding process that could be decoded by special amplifiers and then played through four speakers, with each speaker placed in the corner of a room. Remarkably, RCA countered with another quadraphonic process that required a special cartridge to play the "discrete" recordings for four-channel playback.
Both Columbia and RCA's quadraphonic records could be played on conventional stereo equipment. Although the Columbia process required less equipment and was quite effective, many were confused by the competing systems and sales of both Columbia's matrix recordings and RCA's discrete recordings were disappointing.
A few other companies also issued some matrix recordings for a few years. Columbia even released a soundtrack album of the movie version of Funny Girl in quadraphonic. Many of these recordings were later remastered and released in Dolby surround sound on CD. At this point, according to music historian Frederic Dannen, the shy and introverted Yetnikoff began to transform his personality, becoming in Asher's words "wild, menacing, crude, and above all, very loud". Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5.
Preview this item Preview this item. Subjects Rhythm and blues music. Popular music. African Americans -- Music. View all subjects More like this Similar Items. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Includes rhythm and blues hits previously released on the Hi Records label from Produced under license from Hi Records. Compact discs. Liner notes by Robert Gordon, and discography  p.
Performer s : Various artists. Contents: Disc one. Disc two. Disc three.
Hi Times: The Hi Records R&B Years by Various Artists - CD () for $ from halfcelltitegodfeperarinlelasag.xyzinfo R&B / Soul - Order by Phone Price: $