Colonial Records

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Colonial Records
FounderOrville Campbell
Distributor(s)ABC-Paramount Records, London Records, Tollie Records
Country of originUS

Colonial Records was a record label located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The records were distributed by ABC-Paramount Records from 1956 until May,1959 when it was distributed by London Records. Tollie Records became the label's final distributor toward the end of Colonial's existence. The label was owned by Orville Campbell, a University of North Carolina Graduate and editor of the local newspaper. Some of Colonial Records artist were Andy Griffith, Bill Craddock, Johnny Dee, and George Hamilton IV. One album, Crash's Greatest Hits by Bill Craddock, was released on the label in 1986,although the label ceased to release new product on a large scale after 1965.This record label is now defunct.

Colonial Records was founded in 1951 off of royalty proceeds from a song called "All The Way Choo Choo" written by Orville Campbell and a partner in 1949 about UNC football star Charlie Justice. The tune was recorded by Johnny Long and his Orchestra and was released on King records, becoming regionally popular especially in North Carolina. Early Colonial releases dabbled in various genres including novelty, popular and bluegrass music.

The label had several large hits. One of the biggest comedy records of all time, and the first release by Andy Griffith, titled "What It Was, Was Football", was first released by the label in 1953. Because the label was too small to handle the success of the record, it sold the master to Capitol,gaining the label enough income to more seriously pursue the record business.

Another hit that the label had major success with was "A Rose and a Baby Ruth", by George Hamilton IV. The label sold about 50,000 copies of the record, and in October 1956, sold the rights to ABC-Paramount. ABC Paramount then sold nearly one million copies of the record.

Some other successful Colonial releases include "Sittin' In The Balcony" by Johnny Dee. It was released in 1957 as John D. Loudermilk's first solo release and reached #38 on the Billboard charts that year. It could have possibly reached higher except that newcomer Eddie Cochran's cover version of the song on the more established Liberty label won out in the competition reaching #18. Doug Franklin and the Bluenotes recording of "Lucky Love" made a good showing in 1958 placing in the Hot 100 at #73. Although not placing in the charts, "Ski King" by E.C. Beatty sold 140,000 copies within the first two weeks after its release in 1961 making it at least a regional hit.

[1] Billboard Magazine 1957-1959. Cashbox Magazine 1959


Allan and the Flames[edit]

  • Till The End of Time/Winter Wonderland (1960)

Cecelia Batten[edit]

  • My Big Brothers Friend/Before (1957)
  • Knock On The Pipes/Lonesome Train (1957)

E.C. Beatty[edit]

  • I'm A Lucky Man/Ski King (1959)
  • Let Her Go Daddy-O/Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! (1960)
  • Little Blue Eyes/Tarzan (1960)

The Bluenotes[edit]

  • Mighty Low/Page One (1957)
  • You're A Tiger/Let Her Know (1958)
  • Never Never Land/I Waited (1958)

Bill Craddock[edit]

  • Birddoggin'/Millionaire (1957)

Johnny Dee[edit]

  • Sittin' In The Balcony/A-Plus In Love (1957)
  • It's Gotta Be You/Teenage Queen (1957)
  • In My Simple Way/1000 Concrete Blocks (1957)
  • They Were Right/Somebody Sweet (1957)

Dizzy Dean[edit]

  • Wabash Cannon Ball/You Don’t Have to Be From the Country (1954)

Jess Duboy[edit]

  • Puppy Love/Echos (1959)

Johnny Ford[edit]

Four Sounds and A Fury[edit]

Virginia Beach Reel/Myrtle Beach Boogie (1956?)

Doug Franklin[edit]

  • My Lucky Love/Drizzlin' Rain (1958)
  • I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now/I Used To Wonder (1958)
  • The New Midnight Special/My Love For You (1958)

Franklin Brothers[edit]

  • So Real/My Little Girl (1959)
  • Wake Up (Little Boy Blue)/Day Dreaming (1959)

The Goldtones[edit]

  • High Dive Into Love/The Oriental Shake (1965)

Deacon Andy Griffith[edit]

  • What It Was, Was Football/Romeo And Juliet (1953)

George Hamilton IV[edit]

Hank Hardy[edit]

  • My Lucky Love/1000 Concrete Blocks (1961)

Doug Harrell[edit]

  • Hospitality Blues/Exsanguination Blues (1956)

Grady Lewis[edit]

  • Runaway Lover/Sad Story (1960)

Melody Masters Quartet[edit]

  • It's Gotta Be All/Singing On The Mountain (1957)

Tom O'Neil[edit]

  • Georgia On My Mind/Who's Sorry Now (1961)
  • Song For Anita/I Get The Blues When It Rains (1961)

Johnny Randal[edit]

  • Do Right/You're Gone But Still In My Heart (1964)
  • How About That/This Is The End (1964)

This record was recorded as Johnny Randall

  • Sweet As Honey/Dreamin' On A Sunday Afternoon (1965)

Hoke Simpson[edit]

Ebe Sneezer and His Epidemics[edit]

  • That's All I've Got (To Remember You By) /Asiatic Flu (1957)

Cile Turner[edit]

  • Drizzlin' Rain/Full Of The Moon (CR 731 - with picture sleeve) (1957)
  • Crap Shootin' Sinner/The Golden Rule (1959)
  • Going Down To Town/Don't Fool Around With The Blues (1960)
  • Joe Sweeny/In Virginia (1960)
  • The Happy Song/The Winds Call It Home (1961)
  • I'm Walking That Lonesome Road/Going Down To Town (1977)

Henry Wilson[edit]

  • Are You Ready/It's Really Love (1958)


Billy "Crash" Craddock (Bill Craddock)[edit]

Labels associated with Colonial Records[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-10-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)