Sunday, June 04, 2017

JUNE 4, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
1945 - Gordon Waller, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and part of the Capitol Records duo Peter and Gordon, is born Gordon Trueman Riviere Waller in Braemar, Scotland
1953 - Jimmy McCulloch, lead guitarist with the band Wings and member of bands including Thunderclap Newman and Stone The Crows, is born in Glasgow, Scotland. Miguel Terol has a tribute page to Jimmy on The Musicians' Olympus website.

ON THIS DAY IN CAPITOL RECORDS HISTORY
75 Years Ago Today In 1942 - It's a Thursday, and with it's name officially changed from Liberty Records, Capitol Records starts business in a small 15’x50’ office with no air conditioning at 1483 Vine Street in Hollywood, California, just south of Sunset Boulevard, next to photographer Gene Lester's studio. The site of Capitol's first office is currently the entrance to the Bank of America parking structure.
The approximate location of Capitol's first office is highlighted in blue.


Capitol Records' first office's storefront entrance.
The company's first employees included chairman Buddy DeSylva, president Johnny Mercer, vice-president Glenn Wallichs, head of A&R Dave Shelley, Pacific Coast sales manager Floyd Bittaker (East Coast sales were initially handled by Modern Music Sales Company's Nat Cohn in New York City), publicity manager Jack Lawson, and the company's first female employee, 17 year old recent graduate of Santa Monica High School Auriel Macfie, who operated the small switchboard and was also the company's receptionist and typist. 

Capitol Records's first female employee, Auriel Macfie, in a photo from 1946

Auriel is in the center of the back row in this photo from 1943.


Also on this day Glenn Wallichs personally brings Hollywood disc jockey Peter Potter, creator and M.C. of  the "Peter Potter's Picks" and “Juke Box Jury” radio shows, a pre-release copy of “Cow-Cow Boogie” probably pressed by Clark Phono Company in Newark, New Jersey, which due to war restrictions, used a proprietary non-shellac material which had better sound reproduction properties.
After seeing Potter's enthusiastic reaction, Wallichs decides, for what would be the first time in the history of the American music industry, to give free copies of releases to disc jockeys and reviewers in order to promote Capitol Records' acts and the sound quality of its recordings. The records are personalized with labels bearing each recipient's name (which would often lead to Capitol's few employees having to stay up to 3:00 A.M. to fill them out). This quickly makes Capitol Records a favorite of disc jockeys across the country and forces the rest of the industry (not for the last time) to follow CapitolSo all those underpaid record company and radio employees, as well as reviewers, that were able to make ends meet over the years by selling their promos to used record stores have Capitol, Glenn Wallichs, Peter Potter, and Freddie Slack and His Orchestra with vocalist Ella Mae Morse to thank.

Peter Potter with Capitol Records artists Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, and Kay Starr

75 Years Ago Today In 1942 - At Capitol Records' sixth recording session Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra (lineup unlisted) record "He Wears A Pair Of Silver Wings" with vocals by Connie Haines, "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" featuring Jenkins on piano, "Paradise", and, with vocals by Martha Tilton and Jenkins again featured on piano, "I'll Remember April" in Los Angeles, California. Capitol Records will issue "He Wears A Pair Of Silver Wings" and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" together as a single (Capitol 106, the last single in Capitol's initial release to retail), "Paradise" (as well as "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" and "I'll Remember April") in the album "Time To Dance With Gordon Jenkins And His Orchestra" (CCF-264), and "I'll Remember April" as a single (Capitol 105) with "The Angels Cried" (recorded April 6, 1942) on the flipside.
1946 - Stan Kenton and His Orchestra (Buddy Childers, Ray Wetzel, Chico Alvarez, John Anderson, Ken Hanna on trumpet; Kai Winding, Miff Sines, Milt Kabak on trombone; Bart Varsalona on bass trombone; Al Anthony, Boots Mussulli on alto saxophone; Vido Musso, Bob Cooper on tenor saxophone; Bob Gioga on baritone saxophone; Stan Kenton on piano; Bob Ahern on guitar; Eddie Safranski on bass; Shelly Manne on drums; June Christy, Gene Howard, Ray Wetzel on vocals), record the Pete Rugolo compositions "Rika Jika Jack" (with vocals by Christy and the band and trombone solo by Kai Winding), "Artistry in Boogie" (with piano solos by Kenton and Pete Rugolo, bass solo by Eddie Safranski, tenor saxophone solo by Vido Musso, trumpet solo by Chico Alvarez, and trombone solo by Kai Winding), "Come Back To Sorrento" (with trumpet solo by Vido Musso) and an incomplete take of "Collaboration" (piano solo by Pete Rugolo) at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California
1949 - Mel Tormé (with orchestra conducted by Pete Rugolo)'s Capitol Records single "Again" is #7 on Billboard's Best Selling Retail Records chart, Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer's Capitol Records single "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is #11, Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae (with Paul Weston and His Orchestra)'s Capitol Records single "'A' You're Adorable" is #12, and Mel Tormé (with orchestra conducted by Pete Rugolo)'s Capitol Records single "Careless Hands" is #16
1955 - Les Baxter and His Orchestra and Chorus' Capitol Records single "Unchained Melody" is #2 on Billboard's Best Selling Retail Records chart, Nat "King" Cole (with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra)'s single "A Blossom Fell" and its flip side "If I May" which also includes The Four Knights is #6, Frank Sinatra (with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra)'s Capitol Records single "Learnin' The Blues" is #10, Tennessee Ernie Ford (with Cliffie Stone's Band)'s "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett" is #11, and Nat "King" Cole (with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra)'s single "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup" is #18
1956 - Capitol Records releases Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps' Capitol Records single "Woman Love", with "Be-Bop-A-Lula" on the flipside and the group, with Vincent on vocals, Cliff Gallup and William Williams on guitar, Jack Neil on bass, and Dickie Harrell on drums, play their first-ever gig at Myrtle Beach.
55 Years Ago Today In 1962 - The Beatles' sign their first contract with Parlophone Records
55 Years Ago Today In 1962 - Capitol Records, as part of Capitol Single Release 841, releases singles by Dinah Shore ("Just A Brief Encounter" with orchestra conducted by Van Alexander), Tex Williams ("You Gotta Have A License" and "Ghost Of A Honky Tonk Slave" with orchestra conducted by Billy Liebert), The Beach Boys ("Surfin' Safari" and "409"), and Art and Dottie Todd ("Sweet Someone" and "Ring-A-Ding")
1969 - The Beatles' single "The Ballad Of John and Yoko", with "Old Brown Shoe" on the flipside, is released by Capitol Records in the U.S.
1973 - Murry Gage Wilson, father of Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson (and uncle to Mike Love) of The Beach Boys, dies of a heart attack at his home in Hawthorne, California at age 56. Murry was at one time co-producer of The Beach Boys, ran the band's publishing company Sea of Tunes, had his own album on Capitol ("The Many Moods Of Murry Wilson), and was manager and producer of the Tower Records band The Sunrays, and their website has a photos of them with Murry.
1973 - Capitol Records Canada releases Edward Bear's album "Close Your Eyes" and Rolf Harris' album "You Name It"
1990 - Members of the International Sawyer Brown Fan Club hold their first meeting at a breakfast with the Capitol Nashville band the day before the Fan Fair 1990 opens in Nashville, Tennessee. Members of the band go to each table to chat and give autographs, and that afternoon there's an auction of Sawyer Brown memorabilia. There's a write up on the fan club's website about the breakfast and the fan fair.
1998 at 9:00 AM eastern - A news item appears announcing that Gary Gersh, president & CEO, Capitol Records, and Glen Ballard, president, Java Records, have signed Lisa Marie Presley to an exclusive recording agreement with Java Records. Java Records was the joint venture between Capitol Records and writer/producer Ballard.
2001 - Diana Krall finished recording her album "The Look Of Love" in The Capitol Tower Studios
2001 - John Hartford, banjo player, triple Grammy Award winner, and composer (best remembered for Glen Campbell's Capitol Records single "Gentle On My Mind") dies at age 63 in a Nashville hospital after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma
2003 - Lisa Marie Presley performs during half-time of the first game of the 2003 NBA finals
2004 - 42 years to the day she started as Capitol Records' first female employee, Auriel Macfie Douglas, died. She is buried at O'ahu Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.
She was born September 22, 1924 and was just seventeen and newly graduated from Santa Monica High School as a journalism major when she started working for Capitol Records.
Her father helped develop tanks and bi-planes during first World War and, unfortunately, died in 1943 while Auriel was working at Capitol the same year as the group photo above. She would go on to write and edit Capitol's monthly promotional magazine "Capitol News" for two years then do promotion work for the Music Hall chain of theaters in Los Angeles, before going to New York City to first work for M-G-M Records and then became chief of NBC Radio's promotional magazine.
She married Russell D. Douglas on November 28, 1952, came back to Los Angeles, worked for various promotional firms as well as handling promotion for Pacific Ocean Park in the early 1960s, had her own promotional business with June Bundy Csida In later years, she also wrote and worked in the publishing industry.
2005 - Capitol Records artists hold the top 3 spots on Billboard's Country charts with Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us" at #1, Trace Adkins' "Songs About Me" at #2, and Dierks Bentley's "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" coming in at #3
2006 -The Rice Brothers (Wayne, Jim and Joe) with guitarist Dale Cooper, bassist Steve Lawrence, and fiddler Tom Cunningham perform during the evening service at Shadow Mountain Community Church (2100 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon, California) at 6:00 p.m. These former members of the band Brush Arbor will be playing and singing together for the first time since their Capitol Records days thirty years ago [1972-1974]. Wayne Rice has put up a homepage for Brush Arbor with a great discography and history.

ON THIS DAY NOT QUITE IN CAPITOL RECORDS HISTORY
1944 - Michelle Phillips, motion picture and television actress, singer with the group The Mamas And The Papas, and mother of SBK Records artist (as part of the group Wilson Phillips) Chynna Phillips, is born vocals Holly Michelle Gilliam in Long Beach, California
1960 - Pianist Randy Weston (with Cecil Payne on baritone saxophone, Ron Carter on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums) records the tracks "Portrait Of Patsy J", "Uncle Nemo", "Cry Me Not", "Honk Honk", "Saucer Eyes", "204", and "C.B. Blues" (all written by Weston), with producer Teddy Reig in New York City, New York for Roulette Records who will only release the track "Saucer Eyes" as part of "The Roulette Jazz CD Sampler" and will all finally be released in 2003 by Mosaic Records on the CD compilation "Mosaic Select: Randy Weston"
1964 - Chris Kavanagh, drummer with the EMI America Records group Sigue Sigue Sputnik as well as Big Audio Dynamite II, is born in England

ON THIS DAY NOT IN CAPITOL RECORDS HISTORY
1965 - The Rolling Stones' single "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", with "The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man" on the filp side, enters Billboard's singles chart where it will peak at #1, the band's first in the U.S.
25 Years Ago Today In 1992 - Harrison Ford leaves his hand and footprints during ceremony #155 at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California

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