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De-Lite Records, whose formal name was De-Lite Recorded Sound Corporation, was a record label specializing in R&B music from 1969 to 1985; Island Def Jam Music Group now manages the De-Lite catalogue.
De-Lite Records was founded in 1969 by music producer Gene Redd and one of the label's first signings was Kool and the Gang whose self-titled instrumental was their first big R&B hit in that year. Kool and the Gang was the most successful act for the label, scoring many R&B hits for the label.
In the 1970s, Pickwick International took over distribution of the label, and Kool and The Gang's massive pop crossover success began in 1973 with their first Top 40 crossover hit, "Funky Stuff."
Disco pioneers, Crown Heights Affair, were signed to the label in 1975 and promptly released "Dreaming a Dream," reaching #5 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart. They followed with the Top 20 hits, "Every Beat of My Heart," "Foxy Lady", and "Dancin'." The album "Dreaming a Dream" was followed by "Do It Your Way" (1976), "Dream World" (1978), "Dance Lady Dance" (1979), and "Sure Shot" (1980).
After PolyGram later purchased Pickwick in 1977, it took over distribution of the label which maintained the De-Lite imprint for Kool And The Gang's releases. In 1985, De-Lite was absorbed into PolyGram sublabel Mercury Records, Kool and the Gang transferred to. In 1998, Polygram merged with Universal Music Group; their subsidiary Island Def Jam Music Group now manages the De-Lite catalogue.
Other De-Lite Imprints
De-Lite had other imprints as well:
- Gang Records- A label ran by Kool and The Gang. Its only two artists was Kool and The Gang's protégé group The Kay Gees, who would later switch to the parent De-Lite label, and Tomorrow's Edition who put out only two singles, "Be Real" and "Say It Again".
- Vigor Records- A boutique label which is notable for the album Soul On Your Side by The Rhythm Makers, an early incarnation of the disco group GQ, who is best known for their hit "Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)".
- Red Coach Records-Another Gene Redd label that was at one time distributed by Chess Records, but switched distribution to De-Lite. One notable artist was Everyday People, who was the only artist to release an album for the label. In fact, Red Coach was Redd's original label before De-Lite and it also issued Kool and The Gang's first single ("Kool and The Gang"/"Raw Hamburger") before that single was re-released by De-Lite.
- De-Lite Discogs page
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