- Imperial Records
:"This article is about the Imperial Records label currently owned by
EMI.":"For the previous record labels called Imperial Records, see Imperial Records (1900)and Imperial Records (1920).":"For the Japanese record label, see Teichiku Records."infobox record label
name = Imperial Records
image_bg = black
founded = 1947
founder = Lew Chudd
Capitol Music Group(In the US)
genre = (historic) various
url = http://www.imperialrecords.com/ http://www.myspace.com/imperialrecords
The independent and Liberty Records years
Imperial was famous for recordings of
rhythm & bluesand early rock & rolllike Fats Dominoand Ricky Nelson. Imperial was licensed to London Recordsin the UK. In 1960 Lew Chudd bought Aladdin Records. Minit Recordswas acquired in 1963.
Later in 1963, after Imperial lost Fats Domino and Ricky Nelson to rival labels, Chudd sold the label to
Liberty Records. Under Liberty's management, the label enjoyed success from such artists as holdover Irma Thomasas well as Johnny Rivers, Jackie DeShannon, Classics IVand Cher.
British Invasionyears, Liberty (whose recordings were distributed by EMI in the UK) licensed artists including The Hollies, Billy J. Kramerwith The Dakotas and The Swinging Blue Jeansfrom EMI for release on the Imperial label. Recordings by Liberty UK act The Bonzo Dog Bandwere issued in the USA on the Imperial label.
By 1970 the label became part of Liberty's merger with United Artists, but was phased out shortly thereafter with its artists being transferred to United Artists. EMI now owns the Imperial Records catalogue.
*Early to mid-50s -- Maroon label, IMPERIAL at top
*Late 50s-1963 -- Black label with stars under IMPERIAL at top
*1964-1966 -- Black, white and magenta label. I-R logo in black box on left side, IMPERIAL shown under logo. Disclaimer at bottom of label shows "A SUBSIDIARY OF LIBERTY RECORDS"
*1966-1969 -- Black and lime green label, I-R logo in red box on left side, IMPERIAL shown under logo, "A PRODUCT OF LIBERTY RECORDS" shown under IMPERIAL. Disclaimer changed to "A DIVISION OF LIBERTY RECORDS"
*1970 -- Black and lime green label, I-R logo in red box on left side, IMPERIAL shown (in slightly larger letters than the previous label) under logo. Disclaimer reads "LIBERTY/UA, INC"
Throughout the 1990s, EMI released various CD compilations of Imperial artists. For nostalgia, the compact discs featured the various Imperial labels.
In June 2006, EMI re-activated the Imperial Records imprint and announced that it will be the full-service Urban Music division of
Caroline Distribution, part of Virgin Records, spearheaded by urban music veteran Neil Levine.
The first signing to the imprint is
Raptivism Records. Fat Joe has signed with Virgin Records and Imperial Records.
The revived Imperial is a full service label group that offers promotions, marketing and digital services for the independent urban music market. Imperial also provides additional resources for developing urban artists within
EMI's major labels including Capitol Recordsand Virgin Records which were merged on January 2007 into the Capitol Music Group.
Imperial Records artists (1947-1970)
*Lee Bedford, Jr.
*Joe Bill (DeAngelo)
The Bonzo Dog Band
Wild Bill Davis
Georgie Fame& The Blue Flames
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
*Ray Harrison Orchestra
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas
*Reginald G. Marshall
Garnet Mimms& The Enchanters
*Bill Mooney and his Cactus Twisters
*Ozzie & Harriet Nelson
Ricky Nelson( Rick Nelson)
Huey "Piano" Smith
The Sunshine Company
The Swinging Blue Jeans
The Teddy Bears
* [http://www.myspace.com/imperialrecords Imperial Records Myspace]
* [http://www.bsnpubs.com/imperial/imperiala.html The Imperial Records Story]
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