Dial Records (1964)

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This article is about the New Orleans based record label founded in 1964. For other uses, see Dial Records.

Dial Records was a New Orleans soul label formed by Nashville-based song publisher/plugger/producer Buddy Killen in 1964.

This label was formed specifically so Killen could record perhaps his best-known discovery,[citation needed] soul singer Joe Tex. After a few tries and misses, Tex came up with a song called "Hold What You've Got," a ballad that bridged traditional rhythm and blues with the emerging Southern soul style and also pointed toward a future of rap thanks to Tex's spoken, almost testifying homily midway through the song. (Tex, in fact, was actually nicknamed "The Rapper" in these years.") "Hold What You've Got" got Killen's Dial label a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. Joe Tex was the anchor star of this Dial label (he rolled up almost thirty soul hits, some of which hit the pop charts, especially "Skinny Legs and All" and "I Gotcha") until he all but retired from music in the 1970s and died of a heart attack at age 49.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing owns the Dial Records catalogue today.[1]


Label variations[edit]

Dial Records had the distinction of going through four different distributors:

  • London-distributed label (early 60's, numbered in the 3000's): black and red label, large logo at top
  • Atlantic-distributed label (mid-to-late 60's, 4000's): same label as above
  • Mercury-distributed label (early 70's, 1000's): yellow and orange label, smaller logo at top
  • TK-distributed label (late 70's, 2800's): yellow, blue and green label, small logo at top

See also[edit]