Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Nice Latin album, no mention who the artists are, and a very funny record label, Strand Records:

Strand was a New York label that started as a full-priced label distributed by Decca, but soon began specializing in budget issues. They were originally located, in 1959, at 680 Fifth Avenue in New York, but by 1960 had moved to 157 West 57th Street, New York. The vinyl tended toward thick and cheap, with many imperfections. Much of the label's output -- but not all -- was "bargain bin filler." As with many of the other budget labels, the philosophy seemed to be "anything to sell records," and if that meant misleading the buying public, so be it. If that also meant using the tried-and-true industry practice of not paying artists - - or not even telling them their record had been released, then that worked, too. There are plenty of examples below, including putting out a Virtues album titled Guitar Boogie Shuffle, the name of their hit, when the song was not even on the album!

There were a couple of other notable albums, particularly the albums by Larry Hall and a couple of Chris Columbo albums with the minor hit "Summertime," but most of the output was typical bargain-bin dross. They did issue albums with some "name" artists like Bobby Rydell, Brook Benton, Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Memphis Slim, and others, but these were typically tracks recorded early in the artists' career, not examples of their current work. Artists like Don Cherry, Texas Jim Robertson, Joe Zawinul, and Karen Chandler had some hits during their careers, but the Strand albums were not those hits. Journeymen like Billy Mure and Specs Powell added name recognition.

Eventually, the label moved to 905 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia, near their demise around 1965.



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