|Parent company||Independent (1950-57)
Paramount Pictures (1957-74)
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
|Status||Defunct, absorbed into ABC Records in 1978, catalog now owned by Universal Music Group|
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
|Country of origin||United States|
Dot Records was an American record label and company that was active between 1950 and 1977. It was founded by Randy Wood in Gallatin, Tennessee, where Wood had started a mail order record shop, known for its radio ads on WLAC in Nashville and its R&B (later black gospel) air personality Bill "Hoss" Allen. The label was known to hire artists to record remakes of their previous hits.
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.
A 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, which coincidentally had been bought by Paramount's old theater chain in 1953, the purchase of which helped the network catch up to its rivals CBS and NBC, and had started a good relationship with Paramount's TV division, wherein Paramount produced a number of hit series which played on ABC.
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)
- "demillegenlrelease1.htm". Widescreenmuseum.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1978-01-14. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Unterberger, Richie. "Allmusic.com". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "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."