White Whale Records

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White Whale Records was an American record label, founded in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lassiff in Los Angeles, California, and probably best known as the record label of The Turtles.

White Whale also released Nino Tempo & April Stevens's single "All Strung Out (On You)", a hit single by Rene y Rene titled "Lo Mucho Que Ti Quiero", an album by Liz Damon's Orient Express, and the only album by Texas band The Clique. Warren Zevon was a staff songwriter for the label, and they issued some of his earliest recordings (as part of the duo Lyme & Cybele).

When White Whale signed the Turtles, they were known as "The Crossfires"; a surf music band looking to change their style, as surf music was fading. The label encouraged a name change to "The Tyrtles", in the manner of The Beatles and The Byrds. The band accepted the new name, but not the variant spelling. Relations between the label and the band were not always smooth, with White Whale pressuring the band for "more hits", then for singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman to fire the rest of the group, and work instead with hired musicians, to save costs. Kaylan wrote the song "Elenore" as a humorous take on "Happy Together" (the only #1 hit for both the group and the White Whale label), which ironically became a hit itself. He and Volman also democratized the group, insisting everyone share in the writing and vocal duties, despite what the label wanted.

When the Turtles disbanded in the early 1970s, White Whale lost their big moneymaker, and they went out of business not long after. The label's final releases were the single "1900 Yesterday" by Liz Damon's Orient Express and a self-titled album by the same group; although both charted (the single reaching a respectable #33), it wasn't enough to keep the company going. White Whale's assets were sold at auction, and the winners of the Turtles's master recordings were Kaylan and Volman, making them the owners of their own work.

Three compilations of singles from the label have been released on CD: Happy Together: The Very Best of White Whale Records, and two volumes of the Phantom Jukebox series, on Rev-Ola records. [1][dead link]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

White Whale USA singles discography