National Recording Corporation

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Early years[edit]

National Recording Corporation was incorporated in Atlanta in 1958. Founders were Bill Lowery, at the time the number one Country Music disc jockey and already a successful music publisher, and Boots Woodall, whose band recorded for Capitol, King, and Bullet Records and performed on Atlanta TV. A group of businessmen headed by Ray Griggers and Chic Thompson, approached Lowery with the query, "How much would it take to set up a real record company?" One million dollars was reportedly the sum proposed. Griggers' group took over stock sales for the company, but by April 27, 1961, according to the US Bankruptcy archives, the company was in bankruptcy. During the first three years NRC was in business, the company included a record pressing plant, a record distributorship, as well as a recording studio, which boasted a studio band that included NRC artists Ray Stevens, Jerry Reed, and Joe South. NRC-affiliated labels included JUDD, JAX, SCOTTIE and WONDER. Country music artists who saw early efforts released on NRC included Sonny James, Dave Dudley and David Houston. In addition to these artists, Woodall either produced or acquired masters for an album line, which included the "White Rain Girl" Edythe Aymes, Dixieland jazz cornetist Sammy Duncan, musician Hank Penny, guitarist Sheldon Bennett, vocalist Darrell Glenn, and the "King of the One-Liners", comedian Henny Youngman. Their most successful albums were "Robbin' The Cradle" by Chicago vocalist Tony Bellus and "Rockin' Little Angel" by Ray Smith, released on the Judd Records label.

A new start[edit]

Bankruptcy archives reveal that the company emerged from bankruptcy in 1962, under the presidency of Frederick G. Storey, head of the Storey Theater chain. According to the files, Storey convinced the court to allow NRC to borrow $38,500 from one of his companies. After a fire, which heavily damaged a part of the studio and office located in the former Brookhaven (Atlanta) Elementary School, NRC moved from this original location at 1214 Fernwood Circle to 2871 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, where it operated under Storey's ownership until c. 1970 as a record pressing plant. As new automated record pressing equipment made the NRC plant outdated, Storey closed the plant around 1970.

Another new start[edit]

In the late 1980s, Georgia broadcast syndicator / record producer Johnny Carter was in the process of incorporating his business, and when the State of Georgia rejected his original name request, he suggested an alternate name, and it was under the name National Recording Corporation that the new company began operation, producing syndicated radio and television programs, and setting up a manufacturing facility in Rome, GA, which now includes a state-of-the-art soundstage/studio, one of the largest in Georgia. NRC's extensive library of vintage music performances led to NRC working with the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in providing video of Georgia-based artists for exhibition at the museum. There was scant reference to NRC at the museum, which led to hours of investigation of governmental agencies attempting to find out who owned the NRC music library. Upon locating the Storey heirs, Carter purchased their rights in the NRC recordings, reuniting the musical history with the name. Many of the master tapes had been destroyed in the fire, but as an avid collector, Carter had collected almost every NRC recording, and was able to digitally re-create the library. In the process, he found that some of the NRC artists had been given their master tapes when Lowery knew the company was going into bankruptcy. There is an international interest in independent labels in rock and roll's early years, as well as the jazz artists who appeared on the NRC albums. Since Carter's acquisition of the rights to the recordings, most of the NRC releases have been remastered and released on CD.

See also[edit]