38 Facts About Atlantic Records


Atlantic Records founded Jubilee in 1946 but had no interest in its most successful musicians.

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Atlantic Records was incorporated in October 1947 and was run by Abramson and Ertegun .

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Abramson's wife Miriam ran the label's publishing company, Progressive Music, and did most office duties until 1949 when Atlantic Records hired its first employee, bookkeeper Francine Wakschal, who remained with the label for the next 49 years.

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Atlantic Records's was injured in a car accident en route to New York City, but Atlantic supported her for nine months and then signed her.

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Brown recorded more than eighty songs for Atlantic Records, becoming its bestselling, most prolific musician of the period.

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Joe Morris, one of the label's earliest signings, scored a hit with his October 1950 song "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere", the first Atlantic Records record issued in 45rpm format, which the company began pressing in January 1951.

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Atlantic Records initially worked for Atlantic on a freelance basis, but within a few years he had been hired as the label's full-time staff engineer.

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Atlantic Records had more hits than George Martin and Phil Spector combined.

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Atlantic Records was one of the first independent labels to make recordings in stereo: Dowd used a portable stereo recorder which ran simultaneously with the studio's existing mono recorder.

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In 1953 Atlantic Records was the first label to issue commercial LPs recorded in the experimental stereo system called binaural recording.

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In 1951, Atlantic was one of the first independent labels to press records in the 45rpm single format.

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Atlantic Records moved to Germany, where he served in the Army Dental Corps, although he retained his post as president of Atlantic on full pay.

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Wexler's success for Atlantic Records was the result of going outside jazz to sign acts who combined jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues, such as Ray Charles, Joe Turner, and Aretha Franklin.

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Atlantic Records missed an important signing in 1955 when Sun owner Sam Phillips sold Elvis Presley's recording contract in a bidding war between labels.

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Atlantic Records had been living in Los Angeles for several years and had intermittent contact with his younger brother.

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Atlantic Records was credited with improving the production, packaging, and originality of Atlantic's LPs.

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Atlantic Records deleted the old '100' and '400' series of 10" albums and the earlier 12" albums in Atlantic's catalog, starting the '1200' series, which sold for $4.

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The roles of the other executives with Abramson's departure were Wexler as executive vice-president and general manager, Nesuhi Ertegun as executive vice-president in charge of the LP department and Miriam Bienstock as vice-president and president of Atlantic Records's music publishing arm Progressive Music with Wexler as executive vice-president and the Ertegun brothers vice-president of Progressive.

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For five years Atlantic Records "dominated the rhythm and blues chart with its roster of powerhouse artists".

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Atlantic Records began to get recordings distributed in the United Kingdom, first through EMI on a 'one-off' basis.

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Atlantic Records signed with Capitol and moved for Hollywood to attempt a movie career, but hits such as "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and "Things" continued to benefit Atco through 1962.

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Atlantic Records learned his trade at Trey Records, a label in California owned by Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood and distributed by Atlantic.

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Atlantic Records produced "Twist and Shout" for The Top Notes, and it flopped.

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Atlantic Records was doing so well in early 1959 that some scheduled releases were held back, and the company enjoyed two successive months of gross sales of over $1 million that summer, thanks to hits by The Coasters, The Drifters, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, and Clyde McPhatter.

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In 1966 Atlantic Records signed a licensing deal with Polydor which included the band Cream, whose debut album was released by Atco in 1966.

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Sale of Atlantic Records activated a clause in the distribution agreement with Stax Records calling for renegotiation of the distribution deal and at this point, the Stax partners discovered that the deal gave Atlantic ownership of all the Stax recordings Atlantic distributed.

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Atlantic Records continues to hold the rights to Stax recordings it distributed in the 1960s.

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Atlantic Records was alienated from the "rockoid" white acts that were quickly becoming the label's most profitable commodities and dispirited by the rapidly waning fortunes of the black acts he had championed, such as Ben E King and Solomon Burke.

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Atlantic Records gained executive control of the label and influenced the Warner group.

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Atlantic Records signed the band to an exclusive five-year contract, one of the "most substantial" in the label's history Zeppelin recorded for Atlantic Records from 1968 to 1973.

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The signing was complicated by the fact that Nash was still under contract to Epic Records, but Ertegun used his diplomatic prowess to overcome this by arranging a 'swap' – he released former Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay from his Atlantic contract, allowing Furay's new group Poco to sign to Epic, and in exchange Columbia Records allowed Nash to sign to Atlantic.

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In 1978, Atlantic Records finally broke the leading UK progressive group Genesis as a major act in the US.

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Atlantic Records saw something more in there that wasn't coming out before.

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At this same time, Genesis' contract with Atlantic Records was up for renewal, and Collins was yet to sign as a solo artist.

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Atlantic Records had recommended moving the company's multitracks and unreleased recordings to the building after Ertegun had complained about the aforementioned tapes taking up too much space in the company's Manhattan offices in New York.

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Atlantic Records was one of the first labels to record in stereo; many of the tapes that were lost were stereo 'alternates' recorded in the late 1940s and 1950s as well as almost all of the 8-track multitrack masters recorded by Tom Dowd in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Atlantic Records archivists have since rediscovered other 'lost' material including unreleased masters, alternative takes and rehearsal tapes by Ray Charles, Van "Piano Man" Walls, Ornette Coleman, Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz.

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Atlantic Records said it was too early in Blunt's career, and it did not want him to be a one-hit wonder.

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