White Whale Records

Last updated on 8 June 2017

White Whale Records was an American independent record label, founded in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff in Los Angeles, California, and probably best known as the record label of The Turtles and a handful of one-hit wonder bands.

White Whale, in addition to releasing almost all of The Turtles' discography, also released Nino Tempo & April Stevens's single "All Strung Out (On You)", a hit single by Rene y Rene titled "Lo Mucho Que Ti Quiero", an album by Liz Damon's Orient Express, and the only album by Texas band The Clique. Warren Zevon was a staff songwriter for the label, and they issued some of his earliest recordings (as part of the duo Lyme & Cybele). Dobie Gray also recorded for the label but failed to chart any hits.

Three compilations of singles from the label have been released on CD: Happy Together: The Very Best of White Whale Records, and two volumes of the Phantom Jukebox series, on Rev-Ola records. [1]

The Turtles

When White Whale signed the Turtles, they were known as "The Crossfires"; a surf music band looking to change their style, as surf music was fading. The label encouraged a name change to "The Tyrtles", in the manner of The Beatles and The Byrds. The band accepted the new name, but not the variant spelling. Relations between the label and the band were not always smooth, with White Whale pressuring the band for "more hits", then for singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman to fire the rest of the group, and work instead with hired musicians, to save costs. Kaylan wrote the song "Elenore" as a humorous take on "Happy Together" (the only #1 hit for both the group and the White Whale label), which ironically became a hit itself. He and Volman also democratized the group, insisting everyone share in the writing and vocal duties, despite what the label wanted, and recorded a concept album, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (on which "Elenore" was featured).

When the Turtles disbanded in the early 1970s, White Whale lost their big moneymaker; in an act of revenge, and to prevent Kaylan and Volman from continuing their musical careers, White Whale insisted they held the rights to not only the Turtles' name and back catalog, but Kaylan and Volman's individual given names. Kaylan and Volman responded by moving into session work and continuing under a pseudonym, Flo and Eddie; White Whale Records, on the other hand, went out of business not long after. The label's final releases were the single "1900 Yesterday" by Liz Damon's Orient Express and a self-titled album by the same group; although both charted (the single reaching a respectable #33), it wasn't enough to keep the company going. White Whale's assets were sold at auction in 1974, at which point Kaylan and Volman won the rights to the Turtles' master recordings. Kaylan and Volman would not earn the rights to their own names (or the Turtles') again until 1983.

Anthem Records

Feigin and Lasseff folded White Whale in 1971 and created a new label called Anthem Records, which was initially distributed by United Artists. Two White Whale acts were transferred to the new label's roster (Liz Damon's Orient Express and The Dillards), and they are the only artists to have albums issued on the label. The label also provided US distribution for a single by Freddie Mercury under the alias "Larry Lurex". One of Anthem's last signings was the duo of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, whose Buckingham Nicks LP was released via Polydor in 1973 (Polydor issued several albums with credits to "Anthem Productions" after the label lost distribution with UA the previous year.) Anthem Records was officially dissolved that same year.

Current ownership

While Flo & Eddie Inc controls The Turtles' catalog[1], the rest of the White Whale catalog is currently controlled by Varese Sarabande Records.[2]

Chart History

Billboard Top LPs Chart

Catalog # Artist Title Peak Position Peak Date
White Whale WWS-7111 Turtles, The It Ain't Me Babe 98 10/23/1965
White Whale WWS-7114 Turtles, The Happy Together 25 4/29/1967
White Whale WWS-7115 Turtles, The Golden Hits 7 11/18/1967
White Whale WWS-7118 Turtles, The The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands 128 11/16/1968
White Whale WWS-7119 Rene and Rene Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero 129 1/11/1969
White Whale WWS-7124 Turtles, The Turtle Soup 117 11/1/1969
White Whale WWS-7126 Clique, The Clique, The 177 1/17/1970
White Whale WWS-7127 Turtles, The More Golden Hits 146 4/11/1970
White Whale/Makaha MS-5003 Liz Damon's Orient Express Liz Damon's Orient Express 190 3/6/1971

Billboard Hot 100 & Bubbling Under Charts

Catalog # Artist Title Peak Position Peak Date
White Whale 222 Turtles, The It Ain't Me Babe 8 9/18/1965
White Whale 224 Turtles, The Let Me Be 29 11/27/1965
White Whale 227 Turtles, The You Baby 20 3/26/1966
White Whale 228 Lyme and Cybelle Follow Me 65 4/16/1966
White Whale 231 Turtles, The Grim Reaper of Love 81 6/25/1966
White Whale 236 Nino Tempo and April Stevens All Strung Out 26 10/22/1966
White Whale 238 Turtles, The Can I Get To Know You Better 89 11/26/1966
White Whale 239 John's Children Smashed! Blocked! 102 12/31/1966
White Whale 241 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens You'll Be Needing Me Baby 133 1/28/1967
White Whale 244 Turtles, The Happy Together 1 3/25/1967
White Whale 246 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens My Old Flame 101 4/29/1967
White Whale 249 Turtles, The She'd Rather Be with Me 3 6/17/1967
White Whale 252 Nino Tempo and April Stevens I Can't Go On Livin' Baby Without You 86 7/29/1967
White Whale 254 Turtles, The You Know What I Mean 12 9/30/1967
White Whale 257 Committee, The California My Way 110 10/28/1967
White Whale 260 Turtles, The She's My Girl 14 12/23/1967
White Whale 264 Turtles, The Sound Asleep 57 3/30/1968
White Whale 268 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens Let It Be Me 127 5/25/1968
White Whale 273 Turtles, The The Story Of Rock And Roll 48 7/13/1968
White Whale 275 Professor Morrison's Lollipop You Got The Love 88 10/5/1968
White Whale 276 Turtles, The Elenore 6 11/2/1968
White Whale 287 Rene & Rene Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You) 14 1/4/1969
White Whale 289 Malibu's, The A Broken Man 121 2/8/1969
White Whale 292 Turtles, The You Showed Me 6 3/1/1969
White Whale 298 Rene & Rene Las Costas 128 3/22/1969
White Whale 300 Gray, Dobie Rose Garden 119 5/31/1969
White Whale 308 Turtles, The You Don't Have To Walk In The Rain 51 7/12/1969
White Whale 323 Clique, The Sugar On Sunday 22 10/18/1969
White Whale 326 Turtles, The Love In The City 91 10/18/1969
White Whale 333 Clique, The I'll Hold Out My Hand 45 12/13/1969
White Whale 334 Turtles, The Lady-O 78 12/20/1969
White Whale 338 Clique, The Sparkle And Shine 100 2/28/1970
White Whale 353 Feather Friends 79 6/20/1970
White Whale 355 Turtles, The Eve of Destruction 100 6/27/1970
White Whale 360 Reivers, The Revolution In My Soul 112 9/19/1970
White Whale 364 Turtles, The Me About You 105 11/14/1970
White Whale 368 Liz Damon's Orient Express 1900 Yesterday 33 2/13/1971

See also

References

External links

White Whale USA singles discography

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