Larry Newton

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Larry Newton (born Lawrence Newton 7 May 1920 – 30 January 2005, Pompano Beach, Florida) was an American record company entrepreneur, first with several independent labels, then, as a sales manager at the 1955 startup of ABC-Paramount Records, ascending to president in 1965. He oversaw what became a major multimarket, multi-label company, which, for its jazz subsidiary Impulse!, included Ray Charles, Oliver Nelson, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, and John Coltrane.

Career timeline[edit]

  • Newton’s career began in 1938, while still in high school, when he worked in the stockroom of a Columbia distributor in Philadelphia.
  • Salesman for Varsity, Combo, and Rainbow Records[1]
  • WWII – 5 years as a paratrooper in the Army. He enlisted December 1, 1941, and was released November 15, 1945.[2]
  • In March 1949, Newton left B&W to become general manager of Peak Records. Also, around that time, Newton started his own label, Derby Records and turned out a hit by the Eddie Wilcox Orchestra – with Sunny Gale singing “Wheel of Fortune" – and Jaye P. Morgan. He overextended and, in 1953, formed a record Central Records with Lee Magid 1953. Eventually, in 1954, he had to file for bankruptcy. The Derby masters were sold to RCA where Newton became an executive.[3]
  • 1955 –General Manager of Murray Katz's Treat Records, then located at 236 West 55 Street in Manhattan.
  • He joined ABC-Paramount in 1956 as sales manager. In 1959, he became vice president of sales. In 1965, he became president.
  • In 1970, Newton becomes vice-president of ABC Pictures.
  • In 1972, Newton returns to the record business by co-founding and heading GSF Records.[4]


Dorothy (Dolly) and Larry Newton are buried at Star of David Memorial Gardens, North Lauderdale, Florida[5]


  1. ^ Clark to Head AB-PT; Top ABC-Para. Post to Newton, Billboard Magazine, November 21, 1964, Vol. 76, No. 47, pg. 8
  2. ^ US Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, 1850-2010
  3. ^ John Broven, Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers, pg. 440, University of Illinois Press (2009) ISBN 9780252032905; ISBN 9780252077272
  4. ^
  5. ^