Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gary Lewis and the Playboys - Golden Greats, on Liberty Records

On Liberty Records, this is Gary Lewis and the Playboys - Golden Greats.  Since we talked recently about Gary Lewis, this will be about the label.  Liberty Records was a United States-based record label.  It was started by chairman Simon Waronker in 1955 with Al Bennett as president and Theodore Keep as chief engineer.   Record producer Lenny Waronker is Simon's son.   The label was reactivated in 2001 in the United Kingdom and had two previous revivals.  Other major signings included Johnny Burnette, Eugene McDaniels, Del Shannon, and our feature artists today - Gary Lewis and The Playboys.   In 1963, Liberty Records was sold to Avnetan electronics corporation.  Avnet also bought Blue Note Records (Joe L. are you seeing this?), Imperial Records, Dolton Records, Aladdin Records, and Minit Records.  After two years of financial losses, Avnet sold the labels back to Al Bennett for $8 million.  In 1966, a reissue label, Sunset Records, was started in order to deal with the previously issued records from the new labels.  Back to Liberty, - their recordings were first distributed in England by Decca Records on London Records, then by EMI, which released the recordings on the Liberty label.  Liberty established a branch office in London, which signed The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation.  He would later join Journey.  Liberty also signed The Searchers for a short time in the late sixties.  And Ron Kass, onetime president of Liberty Records, later became the head of the Beatles' record label, Apple Records, and Ron Bledsoe, assistant to Al Bennett, was picked by Clive Davis to run the Nashville arm of Columbia Records.   In 1966, singer (and Imperial artist) Johnny Rivers started another Liberty subsidiary, Soul City Records.  The following year, Liberty discontinued the Dolton label and moved its artists to the parent label.


  1. Liberty's purchase of Blue Note is the source of endless despair by jazz record lovers.

  2. figured you know...thanks joe...thanks for reading...


Thanks for commenting!