Federal Records

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Federal Records
Country of originUnited States

Federal Records was an American record label founded in 1950 as a subsidiary of Syd Nathan's King Records and based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was run by famed record producer Ralph Bass and was mainly devoted to Rhythm & Blues releases. The company also released hillbilly and rockabilly recordings from 1951 onward, e.g., "Rockin' and Rollin" by Ramblin' Tommy Scott on Federal 10003.[1] Singles were published on both 45 and 78 rpm speed formats.

Federal issued such classics as The Dominoes' "Sixty Minute Man", and "Have Mercy Baby"[2] as well as Hank Ballard & The Midnighters' "Work With Me, Annie"[3] which was opposed immediately by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) but went on to be an enormous hit.[4]

James Brown was touring with The Famous Flames when they were signed to Federal in 1956. The group's first Federal single, "Please, Please, Please," was a regional hit and eventually sold a million copies.[5]

Between 1962 and 1965 Freddie King, one of the three Blues "kings" (Freddie, B.B. and Albert), released a series of albums, mostly instrumentals, for Federal.

Johnny "Guitar" Watson was another artist on Federal Records.[6]

Selected discography[edit]


Catalog No. Release




Single (A-side, B-side) Artist
12001[7] Dec 1950 6 "Do Something For Me"

b/w "Chicken Blues"

The Dominoes
10003 Mar 1951 "Rockin’ and Rollin'"

b/w "You Done Me Wrong"

Tommy Scott
12022[8] May 1951 17 1 "Sixty Minute Man"

b/w "I Can't Escape From You"

The Dominoes
12055[9] Dec 1951 8 "Ring-A-Ding-Doo"

b/w "The Crying Blues"

Little Esther and Mel with the J. And O. Orchestra
12068 1952 1 "Have Mercy Baby"

b/w "Deep Sea Blues"

The Dominoes
12114 Dec 1952 3 "The Bells" Billy Ward & His Dominoes
4 "Pedal Pushin' Papa"
12169 Apr 1954 1 "Work With Me Annie"

b/w "Until I Die"

The Midnighters
12195 Aug 1954 1 "Annie Had A Baby"

b/w "She's The One"

The Midnighters
12200 Oct 1954 10 Annie's Aunt Fannie

b/w "Crazy Loving (Stay With Me)"

The Midnighters
12265[10] Apr 1956 "I'm Tore Up"

b/w "If I Never Had Known You"

Billy Gayles with Ike Turner's Rhythm Rockers
12258 Mar 1956 6 "Please, Please, Please"

b/w "Why Do You Do Me"

James Brown with the Famous Flames
12283[11] Oct 1956 "What Can It Be"

b/w "Gonna Wait For My Chance"

Jackie Brenston with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm
12284[12] Nov 1956 "Flaming Love"

b/w "My Baby's Tops"

The Gardenias
12297[13] May 1957 "Do You Mean It"

b/w "She Made My Blood Run Cold"

Ike Turner & His Orchestra
12337 Oct 1958 48 1 "Try Me"

b/w "Tell Me What I Did Wrong"

James Brown and the Famous Flames
12370 May 1960 33 7 "Think" James Brown and the Famous Flames
86 14 "You've Got the Power"
12401 Jan 1961 29 5 "Hide Away"

b/w "I Love the Woman"

Freddie King
12524 Jul 1964 "Uncle Willie's Got A Thing Goin' On"

b/w "Our Kind Of Love"

Willie Dixon and the Big Wheels

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Federal". Rockin' Country Style. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  2. ^ Jim Dawson, & Steve Propes (1992). What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record. Boston & London: Faber & Faber. pp. 21–25. ISBN 0-571-12939-0.
  3. ^ "Ralph Bass". rockhall of fame. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  4. ^ Jim Dawson, & Steve Propes (1992). What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record. Boston & London: Faber & Faber. pp. 76–79. ISBN 0-571-12939-0.
  5. ^ "James Brown". history-of-rock. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  6. ^ Edwards, David; Mike Callahan (1998-01-10). "King/Federal/DeLuxe Story". Both Sides Now Pubs. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  7. ^ "Federal Records ad" (PDF). Billboard: 39. December 16, 1950.
  8. ^ "Federal Records ad" (PDF). Billboard: 31. May 12, 1951.
  9. ^ "R&B Records to Watch" (PDF). Billboard: 43. December 8, 1951.
  10. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records" (PDF). Billboard: 60. April 23, 1956.
  11. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records" (PDF). Billboard: 50. November 3, 1956.
  12. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records" (PDF). Billboard: 136. November 10, 1956.
  13. ^ "Reviews of New R&B Records" (PDF). Billboard: 150. May 20, 1957.

External links[edit]