Blue Thumb Records

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Blue Thumb Records
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded1968 (1968)
FounderBob Krasnow
Tommy LiPuma
Don Graham
Defunct1978; revived 1995–2005 (1978; revived 1995–2005)
Distributor(s)Hip-O Records
Country of originUnited States

Blue Thumb Records was an American record label founded in 1968 by Bob Krasnow and former A&M Records executives Tommy LiPuma and Don Graham. Blue Thumb's last record was released in 1978. In 1995, the label was revived and remained active until 2005.[1]


Bob Krasnow had been in the record business since the 1950s, working as a promotion man for King Records and also working for Buddah/Kama Sutra Records. Blue Thumb was originally intended by Captain Beefheart to be the name of his backing band. However, Krasnow did not think the name was right for the group. Later Krasnow chose the name for his label.

Other acts that appeared on the label include Phil Upchurch, Ben Sidran, Last Poets,[2] Gerry Rafferty, The Credibility Gap, The Crusaders, Hugh Masekela, Sam Lay, Sylvester, Southwind, Robbie Basho, Tom Rapp, Aynsley Dunbar's Retaliation (licensed from UK Liberty Records), Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Jimmy Smith, Dave Mason, The Pointer Sisters, The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, T. Rex (in its earlier incarnation as Tyrannosaurus Rex, licensed from the UK's Regal Zonophone Records), Ike & Tina Turner, Love, Gábor Szabó, Mark-Almond, Modereko, and National Lampoon (on the Banana label imprint).

Blue Thumb originally used independent distribution, but went to Capitol/EMI for distribution in late 1970. Gulf and Western's Famous Music Group took over distribution in mid-1971, then bought the label outright in 1972. Late in 1974, the Famous Music record labels were sold to ABC Records. ABC kept Blue Thumb active for a time, mostly for albums by the Pointer Sisters and the Crusaders as well as some reissues. In 1979 ABC sold its labels to MCA Records, which discontinued the Blue Thumb imprint altogether.

In the United Kingdom and Europe, Blue Thumb releases were licensed to Harvest Records (also owned by EMI) from 1969 to 1971, and to Island Records thereafter. In 1995, an anthology CD was released, All Day Thumbsucker Revisited: The History of Blue Thumb Records, consisting of recordings from various artists from 1968 to 1974.[3]

The label was revived in 1995 for blues and soft rock releases.[1] This remained so, even after the 1998 merger with parent Universal Music Group and PolyGram and being put under the fold of the Verve Music Group, continuing to be Verve's imprint for non-jazz releases. In early 2005, the Blue Thumb imprint was deactivated and was replaced with Verve Forecast to handle such releases. UMG's reissue arm Hip-O Records has reissued several Blue Thumb recordings, including such acts as the Crusaders, Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks and the Pointer Sisters.


Catalog Year Album Artist Notes
BTS 1 1968 Strictly Personal Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Beefheart was going to name his band “Blue Thumb” but Krasnow felt it worked better as a label name[4]
BTS 2 1968 An Album of Political Pornography Lew Irwin & The Credibility Gap
BTS 3 1968 Original and Authentic Recordings by the Great W.C. Fields W.C. Fields
BTS 4 1968 The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
BTS 5 1969 Outta Season Ike & Tina Turner
BTS 6 1969 Doctor Dunbar's Prescription Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
BTS 7 1969 Unicorn Tyrannosaurus Rex
BTS 8 1969 Truckin' with Albert Collins Albert Collins Reissue of The Cool Sounds of Albert Collins (TCF Hall, 1965)
BTS 9 1970 Coming Home Chicago Blue Stars Personnel includes Charlie Musselwhite, Fred Roulette, Louis Myers, Skip Rose, Jack Myers and Fred Below
BTS 10 1969 Venus in Cancer Robbie Basho
BTS 11 1969 The Hunter Ike & Tina Turner
BTS 12 1969 Sweet Black Angel Earl Hooker
BTS 13 1969 Ready to Ride Southwind
BTS 14 1969 Sam Lay in Bluesland Sam Lay's Bluesband
BTS 15 1969 Clifton Chenier's Very Best Clifton Chenier
BTS 16 1970 To Mum From Aynsley and the Boys Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation
BTS 17 1969 Alegria! Bossa Rio
BTS 18 1970 A Beard of Stars Tyrannosaurus Rex
BTS 19 1970 Alone Together Dave Mason On multi-colored vinyl
BTS 20 1970 Buddy and the Juniors Buddy Guy, Junior Mance & Junior Wells
BTS 21 1970 A Bad Donato João Donato
BTS 22 1970 False Start Love
BTS 23 1970 Magical Connection Gábor Szabó
BTS 24
BTS 25 1971 Dave Mason & Cass Elliot Dave Mason and Cass Elliot
BTS 26 1970 What a Place to Land Southwind
BTS 27 1971 Mark-Almond Mark-Almond
BTS 28 1971 High Contrast Gábor Szabó featuring Bobby Womack
BTS 29 1971 Where's the Money? Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
BTS 30 1971 Recorded Live at Bimbo's, San Francisco Charles Pierce
BTS 31 1971 Naturally Jessie Hill
BTS 32 1972 Mark-Almond II Mark-Almond
BTS 33 1971 How Are Things in Your Town? Ken Nordine 2LP Compilation of material previously released on Dot Records
BTS 34 1972 Headkeeper Dave Mason
BTS 35 1972 Crazed Hipsters Finningan & Wood
BTS 36 1972 Striking It Rich Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
BTS 37 1972 Luis Gasca Luis Gasca aka For Those Who Chant
Banana BTS 38 1972 Radio Dinner National Lampoon
BTS 39 1972 Chastisement The Last Poets
BTS 40 1972 I Lead a Life Ben Sidran
BTS 41 1973 Space Is the Place Sun Ra Released as a quadraphonic LP only, and 8-track
BTS 42 1972 The Barbeque of Deville Hoodoo Rhythm Devils
BTS 43 1972 Private Tonight Arthur Adams
BTS 44 1972 Stardancer Tom Rapp
BTS 45 1973 Sylvester and the Hot Band Sylvester and the Hot Band
BTS 46 1973 Singing/Playing Larry Carlton
BTS 47 1973 Supermellow Paul Humphrey
BTS 48 1973 The Pointer Sisters The Pointer Sisters
BTS 49 1973 The Best of Ike & Tina Turner Ike & Tina Turner Compilation
BTS 50 1973 The Best of Mark-Almond Mark-Almond Compilation
BTS 51 1973 Last Train to Hicksville... The Home of Happy Feet Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
BTS 52 1973 At Last The Last Poets
BTS 53
BTS 54 1973 Dave Mason is Alive! Dave Mason
BTS 55 1973 Puttin' in Time on Planet Earth Ben Sidran
BTS 56 1973 Sunforest Tom Rapp / Pearls Before Swine
BTS 57 1973 What the Kids Want Hoodoo Rhythm Devils
BTS 58 1973 Can I Have My Money Back? Gerry Rafferty Reissue of Transatlantic Records album
BTS 59 1973 Lovin' Feelin' Phil Upchurch
BTS 60 1973 Bazaar Sylvester & The Hot Band
BTS 61 1973 Face to Face Evan Pace
BTS 62 1972 Introducing Hedzoleh Sounds Hugh Masekela
BTS 63 1973 Butts Band Butts Band Featuring Robby Krieger and John Densmore
BTS 64 1974 Aim for the Highest Aim
BTS 65
BTS 66 1974 America, Wake Up Paul Humphrey
BTS 880 1975 Split Coconut Dave Mason
BTS 6000 1969 Memphis Swamp Jam Various Artists Featuring Bukka White, Piano Red, Nathan Beauregard, Sleepy John Estes, Fred McDowell & Johnny Woods, Furry Lewis, R.L. Watson & Josiah Jones
BTS 6001 1972 Crusaders 1 The Crusaders Two record set
BTS 6002
BTS 6003 1973 Home Is Where the Music Is Hugh Masekela Two record set
BTS 6004 1972 Lights Out: San Francisco (Voco Presents The Soul Of The Bay Area) Various Artists Two record set featuring John Lee Hooker, Clifford Coulter, Tower Of Power, Sylvester and The Hot Band, Fadil Shahin and The Casbah Band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks[5]
BTS 6005 1972 Darkess Darkness Phil Upchurch
Banana BTS 6006 1973 Lemmings National Lampoon
BTS 6007 1973 Unsung Heroes The Crusaders
Banana BTS 6008 1974 The Missing White House Tapes National Lampoon
BTS 6009 1974 That's a Plenty The Pointer Sisters
BTS 6010 1974 Scratch The Crusaders
BTS 6011 1974 Italian Graffiti Nick DeCaro
BTS 6012 1974 Don't Let Go Ben Sidran
BTS 6013 1974 The Best of Dave Mason Dave Mason
BTS 6014 1974 Gabor Szabo Live Gábor Szabó
BTS 6015 1974 I Am Not Afraid Hugh Masekela
BTS 6016 1974 The Big Bow-Wow Strain Ken Burgan
BTS 6017
BTSD 6018 1975 Hear and Now Butts Band
BTSD 6019 1975 New Year, New Band, New Company John Mayall
BTSD 6020
BTSD 6021 1975 Steppin' The Pointer Sisters
BTSD 6022 1975 Chain Reaction The Crusaders
BTSD 6023 1977 Having a Party The Pointer Sisters
BTSD 6024 1976 Those Southern Knights The Crusaders
BTSD 6025
BTSY 6026/2 1976 The Best of the Pointer Sisters The Pointer Sisters Two record set
BTS 6027 1976 The Best of the Crusaders The Crusaders Two record set
BTS 6028 1977 Come Into Knowledge RAMP
BT 6029 1977 Free as the Wind The Crusaders
BT 6030 1978 Images The Crusaders
BT 6031 1978 Can I Have My Money Back? Gerry Rafferty Reissue of BTS 58
BT 6032 1978 Very Best of Dave Mason Dave Mason
BTS 7000 1973 The 2nd Crusade The Crusaders Two record set
BTS 7001
BT3 7002 1995 All Day Thumb Sucker Revisited: The History of Blue Thumb Records Various Artists Three record set label sampler – despite the title, this release shares no tracks with the 1970 original
BTS 8001
BTS 8002 1974 Live at the Opera House The Pointer Sisters
BTS 8701
BTS 8702 1970 All Day Thumb Sucker Various Artists Label sampler
BTS 8703
BTS 8704
BTS 8705
BTS 8706 1971 Memphis Swamp Jam Various Artists Reissue of BTS 6000
BTS 8805 1971 Outta Season Ike & Tina Turner Reissue of BTS 5
BTS 8813 1971 Ready to Ride Southwind Reissue of BTS 13
BTS 8817 1971 Alegria! Bossa Rio Reissue of BTS 17
BTS 8818 1971 A Beard of Stars Tyrannosaurus Rex Reissue of BTS 18
BTS 8819 1971 Alone Together Dave Mason Reissue of BTS 19 on standard black vinyl
BTS 8820 1971 Buddy and the Juniors Buddy Guy, Junior Mance & Junior Wells Reissue of BTS 20
BTS 9000 1969 Out Here Love Two record set
BTS 9001 1972 Lenny Lenny Bruce Two record set
BT 9002 1974 Southern Comfort The Crusaders Two record set


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sidran, Ben (September 16, 1995). "Blue Thumb Rides Again" (PDF). Billboard. pp. L-6.
  2. ^ "The Last Poets". May 19, 1968. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Bessman, Jim (September 9, 1995). "Blue Thumb Leaves Its Mark On Box" (PDF). Billboard. p. 9.
  4. ^ a b "Blue Thumb/Banana Album Discography". Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "Various – Lights Out: San Francisco (Voco Presents The Soul Of The Bay Area)". Discogs. Retrieved June 5, 2018.

External links[edit]