Liberty Records

A History of the Recording Company and Its Stars, 1955–1971

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About the Book

The birth of rock ’n’ roll brought with it the formation of many small, independent record labels. These labels helped the fledgling music gain mainstream acceptance. One of the most prominent was Liberty Records.
The interviews with artists, producers, engineers, arrangers, executives, and composers presented herein are fascinating: Jan and Dean, Bobby Vee, the Ventures, and many more. A complete discography of the label’s releases (both 45s and LPs) as well as those of its Dolton and Imperial subsidiaries are provided.

About the Author(s)

Michael Bryan “Doc Rock” Kelly lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Michael “Doc Rock” Kelly
Format: softcover (6 x 9 in 2 vols.)
Pages: 798
Bibliographic Info: 218 photos, appendices, discography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1993]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9472-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Foreword xiii

Preface xv

Part one: Anatomy of a Record Label

1. Rock ‘n’ Roll Record Labels 3


2. Liberty in the Beginning 7

3. 1955 The Liberty Girl, Julie London 13

4. 1956 The Little Liberty Girls, Patience and Prudence 19

5. 1957 Eddie Cochran, Snuff Garrett, Sharon Sheeley, and Margie Rayburn 23

6. 1958 “Witch Doctor” and the Chipmunks 43

7. 1959 Martin Denny, Bobby Vee, Dolphin Records, the Fleetwoods, the Frantics, and Little Bill and the Blue Notes 52

8. 1960 Johnny Burnette, Buddy Knox, Ernie Freeman, and the Ventures 77

9. 1961 Avnet, Gene McDaniels, Timi Yuro, Vic Dana, Troy Shondell, and Dick and DeeDee 101

10. 1962 The Crickets, Jan & Dean, the Marketts, the Rivingtons, Danny and Gwen, Walter Drennan, Jackie DeShannon, Willie Nelson, and Vikki Carr 131

11. 1963 Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino, and More from Bobby Vee, Jan & Dean, Jackie De Shannon, the Fleetwoods, and the Crickets 164

12. 1964 Matt Monro, Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas, the Searchers, the Beatles, Irma Thomas, Johnny Rivers, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and the Hollies 199

13. 1965 Gary Lewis and the Playboys, P.J. Proby, T-Bones, Hal Blaine, O’Jays, Jimmy McCracklin, and Cher 222

14. Liberty Stereo Little LPs, EPs, 78s, and Picture Sleeves 261

15. 1966 Bob Lind and Del Shannon 267

16. Liberty Acquisitions, Special Series, and Subsidiaries 282

17. 1967 Nitty Gritty Birt Band, Bikki Carr, Hardtimes, Love Generation, Sunshine Company, Classics IV, and the Fifth Dimension 313

18. 1968 Canned Heat and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, and Tich 326

19. 1969 The Fifth Dimension and Also-Rans 332

20. 1970 Ike and Tina Turner and Sugarloaf 334

21. 1971 Liberty in the End 336

Part Two: Making Liberty Hit Records

22. Music Publishing —Metric Music 341

23. Record Producing 348

24. Recording Music 356

25. Engineering a Hit 363

26. Picturing Music 375

27. Promoting Records 378

28. Publicity 396

29. Selling Records 399

30. Distributing Records 402

31. Merchandising Records 405

32. Radio Airplay 407

Part Three: Four Liberty Superstars

33. Bobby Vee 415

34. The Ventures 442

35. Jackie DeShannon 457

36. Jan & Dean 470

Part Four: The End of Liberty

37. Selling Liberty… and Selling It and Selling It 515

38. Life After Liberty 522

39. Overview 526

40. Epilogue: Where Did They Go? 528


Appendices

1. #1 Hits 551

2. Artists in the Top 200 553

3. Liberty, Dolton, Imperial, and Soul City Top Rankings 554

4. The Top Liberty, Dolton, and Imperial Hit Makers 556

5. The Top Twenty Liberty Family Artists 558

6. Percentage of Success 559

7. Chronological Hit Lists 560

8. Graphs of Hits Per Year 565

9. Top 100 Hits by Artists 568

10. Top 100 Hits Listed by Month and Year 589

11. Singles Discography 603

12. Liberty LP and EP Discography 726

13. Liberty Family 45 Sleeves and Libels 750

Index 757

Book Reviews & Awards

“a thoroughly fascinating account”—Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal; “features an amazing amount of research”—Goldmine.