Dot Records

Dot Records
Dot Records
Parent company Independent (1950-57)
Paramount Pictures (1957-74)
Gulf+Western (1966-74)
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
Founded 1950
Founder Randy Wood
Status Defunct, absorbed into ABC Records in 1978, catalog now owned by Universal Music Group
Distributor(s) Self-distributed (1950-68)
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
Genre Various (early)
Country (later)
Country of origin United States
Location Nashville, Tennessee

Dot Records was an American record label and company that was active between 1950 and 1977. It was founded by Randy Wood. In Gallatin, Tennessee, Wood had earlier started a mail order record shop, known for its radio ads on WLAC in Nashville and its R&B (later black gospel) air personality Bill "Hoss" Allen. The label was known to hire artists to record remakes of their previous hits.



The early years


The original headquarters of Dot Records were in Gallatin, Tennessee, in fact many of the older recording were recorded in radio station WHIN, which Wood owned at the time. WHIN was a daytime only radio station so recording sessions were held at night when the station was off the air.[1] In 1956, the company moved to Hollywood, California.

In its early years, the label specialized in artists from around Tennessee. Then it branched out to include musicians and singers from across the United States. It recorded a variety of country music, rhythm & blues, polkas & waltzes, gospel music, rockabilly, pop music, and early rock & roll. After the move to Hollywood, Dot Records bought up many recordings by small local independent labels and issued them nationally.

Paramount ownership

In 1957, Wood sold ownership of the label to Paramount Pictures, but he remained the president of the company for another decade. Dot Records then began to release soundtrack albums, including Elmer Bernstein's score for The Ten Commandments (1956),[2] a 2-LP set that played longer than the usual record album.

In 1958, Dot Records started a subsidiary label, Hamilton Records, for rockabilly and rhythm & blues. They distributed Jeff Barry's Steed Records and also distributed the only record from Carnival Records. In addition, Dot Records created two other subsidiary labels: Crystalette and Acta. In 1967, Dot Records picked up distribution of Bob Crewe's DynoVoice label from Bell Records. In 1967, Randy Wood left to co-found the Ranwood Records label with Lawrence Welk.

Pat Boone recorded his most popular songs for the label. Both Boone's albums and singles were very successful. Dot recordings were distributed in the United Kingdom on the London label.

Eddie Fisher recorded some of his later albums for the label. Eddie Fisher Today was the most popular and included popular standards of the day, but he did not have a substantial hit single in his time with them.

Later years

In 1968, two years after Paramount was purchased by Gulf and Western, the Dot Records label was rebranded as a country music label under the umbrella of Famous Music Group. This included the Paramount, Stax (until 1970) and Blue Thumb labels, along with distribution of Sire Records (now owned by Warner Music Group) and Melanie Safka's Neighborhood Records (which later moved to Arista Records). By 1968, Lawrence Welk had acquired his Dot catalog which was reissued on his Ranwood Records label.[3]

In 1974, the label (along with the rest of the Famous Music Group) was bought by ABC Records (which ironically had tried to purchase Dot years before) and discontinued the label at the start of 1978.[4] The ABC/Dot headquarters became the Nashville office of ABC Records, a division of the American Broadcasting Company, which coincidentally had been bought by Paramount's old theater chain in 1953 (which helped the network catch up to its rivals CBS and NBC), and had started a good relationship with Paramount's TV division (wherein Paramount produced a number of hit series on ABC).

ABC Records was sold to MCA Records in 1979. The Dot/Paramount catalog is now owned by Universal Music Group, with Geffen Records (which absorbed MCA Records, and was founded by David Geffen, who become a co-founder of Paramount's one-time sister studio DreamWorks) managing the pop/rock back catalog, and MCA Nashville Records managing the country back catalog.

Family members report that Randy Wood died in La Jolla, California on April 9, 2011 after a fall in his home at age 93.

Dot Records artists

  (** indicates a master purchase (or lease) from another record company)      

See also


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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