Colpix Records

Colpix Records was the first recording company for Columbia PicturesScreen Gems. Colpix got its name from combining Columbia (Col) and Pictures (Pix). CBS, which owned Columbia Records, then sued Columbia Pictures for trademark infringement over the Colpix name.[1]

It was founded by Jonie Taps and Harry Cohn in 1958 and was based in New York City.[2] Paul Wexler headed the label. Stu Phillips was in charge of A&R.[2] Lester Sill later headed the label, after breaking with Philles Records partner Phil Spector.

The label's roster included Lou Christie, James Darren, Paul Petersen, Freddie Scott. Two of the label's best known number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Charts were "Blue Moon" by the Marcels in the spring of 1961[3] (also a number one in the UK, where Colpix was licensed to Pye International),[4] and "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares in the spring of 1962.[5] Bernadette Castro recorded for the label "Get Rid of Him"/"A Girl in Love Forgives" and "His Lips Get in the Way"/"Sportscar Sally". Singer Jo Ann Greer, who dubbed several of the actresses at Columbia Pictures, recorded two albums with the studio's musical director, Morris Stoloff: Soundtracks, Voices and Themes and The Naked City, a film noir musical with James Darren.

Colpix released the first LPs from standup comedians Dick Gregory and Woody Allen, and a soundtrack album of Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It included dialogue by Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie with narration by Daws Butler in the voice of Huckleberry Hound.

In the wake of President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, numerous tribute albums were released the following year. In association with United Press International, Colpix released Four Days That Shocked the World with radio coverage of the President's arrival at Dallas Love Field, the moment of the shooting in Dealey Plaza, and the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald two days later. The album included a booklet with UPI reporter Merriman Smith's account of the assassination.

The label was discontinued in 1966 and replaced by Colgems Records[2], which was primarily used for releases by The Monkees. Before their involvement with the Monkees, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith (under the pseudonym Michael Blessing) had each signed to Colpix Records as solo artists.

Colpix was the first big label for singer and pianist Nina Simone after having made her debut on Bethlehem Records. She recorded albums for the label from 1959 (The Amazing Nina Simone) through 1964 (Folksy Nina). In 1966 Colpix Nina Simone with Strings, an album of left-overs with strings added, when Simone was already signed to Philips Records.

Rhino Records issued a double compact disc compilation, The Colpix-Dimension Story, in 1994, which also included selections from Dimension Records, a related label.

Colpix Records
Parent companyColumbia PicturesScreen Gems
FounderJonie Taps, Harry Cohn
GenrePop, jazz
Country of originU.S.
LocationNew York City

See also

External links


  1. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 19 January 1959. pp. 2–.
  2. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred (2007). Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4 ed.). Watson-Guptil Publications. p. 283. ISBN 0-8230-1556-4.
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard's Hot 100 from 1955 to the Present (5 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 87. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
  4. ^ "Marcels - Blue Moon". Chart Stats. 1961-04-15. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (10th ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 234. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
Blue Moon (The Marcels album)

Blue Moon is the debut studio album by the doo-wop group The Marcels. It was released in 1961 on Colpix Records and included 12 songs. The album was available in mono, catalogue number CP-416. Blue Moon was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips and was recorded in New York at RCA Studios. Blue Moon features a cover version of the Judy Garland hit "Over The Rainbow". Four decades after the group's debut album was released, The Marcels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Broadway Soul

Broadway Soul is an album by saxophonist Sonny Stitt recorded in 1965 and released on the Colpix label.

Folksy Nina

Folksy Nina is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It includes live tracks recorded on Friday, May 12, 1963, at Carnegie Hall. The previous album, Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall (1963) uses songs from the same concert. It was released on Colpix Records.

Forbidden Fruit (Nina Simone album)

Forbidden Fruit is an album by the jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was her second studio album for Colpix. The rhythm section accompanying her is the same trio as on both live albums before and after this release.

Golden Boy (Art Blakey album)

Golden Boy (full title Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Play Selections From the New Musical Golden Boy) is a 1963 album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, performing compositions by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse written for the Broadway musical Golden Boy. The LP was originally released on the Colpix label.

Gone with the Wave

Gone with the Wave is a soundtrack album to the surf film of the same name by Argentine composer, pianist and conductor Lalo Schifrin recorded in 1964 and released on the Colpix label.

Highlife (album)

Highlife (full title Music from the New African Nations featuring the Highlife) is an album by American jazz pianist Randy Weston recorded in 1963 and originally released on the Colpix label. Weston had traveled to Africa for the first time in 1961 for a series of concerts in Lagos, Nigeria, sponsored by the American Society of African Culture, and the album is inspired by the music of the African continent, in particular the highlife genre of West Africa.

Jazz Mission to Moscow

Jazz Mission to Moscow is an album arranged and conducted by Al Cohn featuring Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Bill Crow, Willie Dennis and Mel Lewis in performances recorded in 1962 following the Benny Goodman Band's tour of the Soviet Union which was released on the RCA Victor label.

Lollipops and Roses (album)

Lollipops and Roses is the debut studio pop album by singer and actor Paul Petersen released in 1962 on Colpix Records and included 12 songs. The album was available in both mono and stereo, catalogue numbers CP-429 and SCP-429. Lollipops and Roses was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips and was recorded at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, California.

Nina's Choice

Nina's Choice is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It is a compilation of singles from previous albums at Colpix Records.

Nina Simone Sings Ellington

Nina Simone Sings Ellington is an album by American singer and pianist Nina Simone. The album contains songs that were originally composed and recorded by Duke Ellington. Simone is complemented by the Malcolm Dodds Singers.

Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall

Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall is a 1963 album by jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It is a live album recorded at Simone's first solo appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York City, on April 12, 1963, and was released on Colpix Records.

Nina Simone at Newport

Nina Simone at Newport is an album by jazz singer and musician Nina Simone. It was her second live album for Colpix, recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival on June 30, 1960. All arrangements were written by Nina Simone, and it was produced by Stu Phillips.

Nina Simone at Town Hall

Nina Simone at Town Hall is a 1959 live album by Nina Simone. It was recorded live at The Town Hall, New York, on 15 September 1959 and released as her second album for Colpix Records that same year. Some of the songs were featured in the concert but were re-recorded in a studio for the album. The cover photography was credited to Herb Snitzer.

Nina Simone with Strings

Nina Simone with Strings is an album by Nina Simone. The album was released without her knowing after she had left Colpix Records, and had already made albums for Philips Records. To make the tracks on the album (a hodgepodge of live and studio recordings left over from previous recording sessions) more commercial, strings were added on some of the tracks, occasionally burying Simone's vocals under a wall of sound.Particularly notable is the version of "I Loves You Porgy", Simone's performance being markedly slower than her earlier account. The added strings are required to play abnormally slowly to match the tempo of Simone's delivery. In the UK, this particular version was used in television commercials in 1997 by the mobile telephone operator Orange.Despite (or perhaps: because of) the post-production efforts the album remains one of Simone's least accomplished works, mainly a collection of different songs in terms of subject, style and quality. On later releases of Simone's Colpix years, some of the tracks on this album were remastered (without the strings) and different takes were released attached to the albums that the songs were intended for.

Nina at the Village Gate

Nina Simone at the Village Gate is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was her third live album for Colpix recorded at The Village Gate, a nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York. It is particularly notable for the amount of folk songs and African related songs on the album early in Simone's career. Richard Pryor had one of his first nights as a comedian opening for her.

Teenage Triangle

Teenage Triangle is a joint album by three pop artists, Shelley Fabares, James Darren and Paul Petersen, all who were on The Donna Reed Show. It was released in 1963 on Colpix Records and included 12 tracks with four songs from each of the three singers. At least most of these songs were previously released. The album was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips. It was available in both mono and stereo, catalogue numbers CP-444 and SCP-444.

The Amazing Nina Simone

The Amazing Nina Simone is a 1959 studio album by Nina Simone. It was her first album for Colpix Records, which were followed by eight albums on the same label, before signing with Philips Records in 1964. The album features a variety of material including jazz, gospel, and folk songs. Compared to her debut, which showcased Simone's piano playing ability in addition to her singing, the piano was downplayed on this album in favor of string arrangements.

The Ronettes

The Ronettes () were an American girl group from New York City. One of the most popular groups from the 1960s, they placed nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits. The trio from Spanish Harlem, New York, consisted of lead singer Veronica Bennett (later known as Ronnie Spector), her older sister Estelle Bennett, and their cousin Nedra Talley. Among the Ronettes' most famous songs are "Be My Baby", "Baby, I Love You", "(The Best Part of) Breakin' Up", and "Walking in the Rain", all of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. "Walking in the Rain" won a Grammy Award in 1965, and "Be My Baby" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

The girls had sung together since they were teenagers, then known as "The Darling Sisters". Signed first by Colpix Records in 1961, they moved to Phil Spector's Philles Records in March 1963 and changed their name to "The Ronettes". In late 1964, the group released their only studio album, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica, which entered the Billboard charts at number 96. Rolling Stone ranked it number 422 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The Ronettes were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles.

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