|Parent company||Independent (1950-57)
Paramount Pictures (1957-74)
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
Big Machine Label Group (2014- )
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
Universal Music Group (2014- )
|Country of origin||United States|
Dot Records is a historic American record label recently resurrected through a joint venture between Big Machine Label Group and the Republic Records unit of Universal Music Group which owns the original Dot Records catalogue. Announced on March 24, 2014, Dot Records will be run by industry veteran Chris Stacey, who will serve as General Manager of the new label. Dot Records is the fourth imprint added to Big Machine Label Group and is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Randy Wood originally founded Dot Records, which was active between 1950 and 1977.
The early years
The original headquarters of Dot Records were in Gallatin, Tennessee, in fact many of the earliest recordings for the label were recorded right in the on-air production studios of radio station WHIN, which Wood owned at the time. Since WHIN was a daytime only radio station, recording sessions were held at night when the station was off the air. In 1956, the company moved to Hollywood, California.
In its early years, the label specialized in artists from around Tennessee. Then it branched out to include musicians and singers from across the United States. It recorded a variety of country music, rhythm & blues, polkas & waltzes, gospel music, rockabilly, pop music, and early rock & roll. After the move to Hollywood, Dot Records bought up many recordings by small local independent labels and issued them nationally.
In 1957, Wood sold ownership of the label to Paramount Pictures, but he remained the president of the company for another decade. Dot Records then began to release soundtrack albums, including Elmer Bernstein's score for The Ten Commandments (1956), a 2-LP set that played longer than the usual record album.
At Dot a subsidiary label entitled Hamilton Records was founded in 1958, for rockabilly and rhythm & blues and distributed Jeff Barry's Steed Records along with the only two records from the Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss-owned Carnival Records. In addition, Dot Records created two other subsidiary labels: Crystalette Records and Acta Records. In 1967, Dot picked up distribution of the Bob Crewe-owned DynoVoice label from Bell Records and later that year, Randy Wood left to co-found Ranwood Records with Lawrence Welk.
Pat Boone recorded his most popular songs for the label and both his albums and singles were very successful, along with Eddie Fisher who would record some of his later albums for the label. Of these, Eddie Fisher Today was the most popular and included popular standards of the day. Unfortunately however,Fisher had no substantial hit singles during his Dot contract.
Two years after Paramount was purchased by Gulf and Western in 1968, the Dot Records label was rebranded as a country music label under the umbrella of the Famous Music Group. This included the Paramount, Stax (until 1970) and Blue Thumb labels, along with distribution of Sire Records, now owned by Warner Music Group as well as Neighborhood Records, originally owned by singer-songwriter Melanie Safka, which later moved to Arista Records. By 1968, Lawrence Welk had acquired his Dot back catalog and subsequently reissued the material on his own Ranwood label.
Along with the rest of the Famous Music Group, Dot Records was bought by ABC in 1974, which ironically had tried to purchase the label years before, and discontinued the label at the start of 1978. The ABC/Dot headquarters became the Nashville office of ABC Records, a division of the American Broadcasting Company.
ABC Records was then sold to MCA Records in 1979. MCA Records became the foundation for Universal Music Group. The old Dot pop music catalog is managed by Universal Music's Geffen Records unit. The country back catalog is managed by the former Decca and Coral unit, rebranded as MCA Nashville.
Family members report that Randy Wood died at age 94 in his La Jolla, California home on April 9, 2011 from complications after a fall.
Dot Records artists
(** indicates a master purchase/lease from another record company)
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- "The Story of Roy Head and The Traits". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Birmingham, Jed (2006-03-22). "Beat Vinyl: Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker". Realitystudio.org. Supervert. Retrieved 2007-11-14. "The ultimate Beat Generation collectible on vinyl might be Jack Kerouac’s Poetry of the Beat Generation on Dot Records."