Sussex Records was launched in December 1969 by Avant, who had previously set up another mainly black music label, Venture Records for MGM. An offshoot of Buddah records, initially, it was located at 6430 W Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, at the corner of Sunset and Cahuenga Blvds. In 1972, it moved to 6255 W Sunset Blvd, Suite 1902. All records were distributed by Buddah Records until 1974 when Sussex switched until closure to independent distribution. The company folded in July 1975, due to unpaid federal and state taxes amounting to $62,000: the Internal Revenue Service padlocked the offices and auctioned off all assets. Many of the label's master tapes went missing and were presumed destroyed.
Bill Withers was the label's best-selling artist with a string of pop and R&B hits and several successful albums. They included three million-selling singles, "Ain't No Sunshine" (#3 pop, #6 R&B, 1971), the label's only chart-topper, "Lean On Me" (#1 pop and #1 R&B, 1972) and "Use Me" (#2 pop and #2 R&B, 1972). His recordings, many self-written and produced, were later purchased by Columbia Records, when Withers signed for the label in 1975.
In 1971, the label notched another gold disc with Detroit guitarist, Dennis Coffey who reached #6 pop and #9 R&B with disco hit, "Scorpio". The Presidents' vocal group had a major hit for Sussex in 1970 with "5-10-15-20" (#5 R&B, #11 pop), produced by Van McCoy. The group from Washington DC had released the label's first single, "For You", a minor R&B hit, a few months earlier.
After Sussex folded, Avant went on to form another record company, Tabu Records.
Signed to Sussex Records in 1970.
After the move to Sussex, his professional name was changed to simply Rodriguez. Rodriguez recorded two albums with Sussex, Cold Fact in 1970 and Coming from Reality in 1971. But after both sold very few copies in the US, he was quickly dropped from the label.
- The Primo People [The Primo Family]
- Priscilla Coolidge-Jones
- Willie Bobo
- Dennis Coffey
- The Presidents
- Bill Withers
- Wadsworth Mansion
- Eddy Senay
- Zulema Cusseaux
- Faith, Hope & Charity
- The Soul Searchers
- Billy Charne
- Segments of Time
- Creative Source
- Ralph Graham
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