Release Date: 07/11/08
The Spar Record Company was formed in Nashville, TN in 1961 by Alan Bubis and William Beasley. They had been involved in several record labels (Tennessee, Republic, Calvert, Kit, Champion) through the 1950s and after those companies folded, had gotten into record distribution at the turn of the new decade. When they found that the demand for 45RPM records was bigger than the labels they distributed could supply, they decided to get back into the record business. The initial idea was that Spar would be their premier label and would be carried in record shops. They would service radio stations and jukebox operators, and do business like any other independent record company of the day. In short, they would try to make hit records on Spar. However, the record business was really booming in the early sixties, and it made good sense to have a budget line of records as well. Giant (and its Kennilworth and Caravelle subsidiaries) was intended to be a budget line for 'bundled' records. In other words, these titles would be put into bins in Kressge, Western Auto, Woolworth's and other dry goods stores, dime stores and drug stores, and sold for thirty nine cents each or three for a dollar. At some stores they would just be wrapped and packaged at three for a dollar. These records were mostly cover versions of popular hits of the day that came to be known as sound alike records. These were in most cases as good as or better than the originals, and sometimes even outsold the original releases. Bobby Russell and Buzz Cason were in charge of the Pop and Rock & Roll recordings of which Bobby would go on to become one of the most successful songwriters of the 1960s with titles like 'Honey' and 'Little Green Apples' to his credit. His songs were recorded by everyone from Elvis to Sinatra. There was a regular group of musicians and singers that recorded these sessions, using their real, or often as not assumed, names or group names. For example, legendary Soul singer Herbert Hunter recorded under his own name, but also as Marty & The Merits, Leroy Jones, Bob Johnson, Johnny Keaton and others. Soul artist Peggy Gaines recorded both under her own name and as Peggy Thompson, Mary Sue, June Richards and Betty White. Bobby and Buzz also assumed other names and recorded various songs following in the tradition of 'whoever was in the studio at the time!' This strategy proved to be very successful, and soon the higher profile Hit label followed. The Giant, Kennilworth and Caravelle imprints were eventually retired as in all cases, the kids that bought the Giant label records had grown up, and younger kids in the 1970s weren't as inclined to buy sound alike records. And most importantly, the crew at Spar (Bobby Russell, Buzz Cason, Herbert Hunter, Peggy Gaines and The Avons) were moving on to bigger and better things
|Label: Yellow Label|
|Run Time: 40 mins|
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