Teasing the Korean

Sales and Distribution of Jazz LPs, circa 1948-1964

105 posts in this topic

Robert Palmer did those notes.

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Yep, Robert Palmer, who apparently was mainly known for writing on rock music.

It struck me as fine writing, especially in terms of illuminating Weston's early years.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Milestones said:

Yep, Robert Palmer, who apparently was mainly known for writing on rock music.

It struck me as fine writing, especially in terms of illuminating Weston's early years.

 

 

He wrote a good book called Deep Blues. He was also in an interesting band called The Insect Trust. 

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Robert Palmer had a lot of interests...

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I was thinking about Fantasy Records signing CCR, and how that changed everything, but I was also thinking about how before CCR, Fantasy had Vince Guaraldi. Not only was "Cast Your Fate" a hit single, but he was also scoring those Peanuts specials.  I wonder how Vince Guaraldi albums in the mid- to late-60s sold, compared to other albums being released by jazz labels.  

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I was thinking about Fantasy Records signing CCR, and how that changed everything, but I was also thinking about how before CCR, Fantasy had Vince Guaraldi. Not only was "Cast Your Fate" a hit single, but he was also scoring those Peanuts specials.  I wonder how Vince Guaraldi albums in the mid- to late-60s sold, compared to other albums being released by jazz labels.  

Spectacularly, I'm sure, but not CCR spectacularly.  BTW, Blue Note had the same situation later with Norah Jones bankrolling all those amazing Conn and RVG reissues.

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9 minutes ago, felser said:

Spectacularly, I'm sure, but not CCR spectacularly.  

That's what I would assume.  

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Getting accurate sales numbers for that Charlie Brown record might be difficult...Fantasy was totally an independent label, really until the sale to Concord  All  I can find for sure is that one day it was certified 4X platinum. How it got there...who knows?

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36 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Getting accurate sales numbers for that Charlie Brown record might be difficult...Fantasy was totally an independent label, really until the sale to Concord  All  I can find for sure is that one day it was certified 4X platinum. How it got there...who knows?

If I had to guess,  I would assume that most of those sales were post-CCR.  But the pre-CCR sales were probably significant.

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Fantasy also had an R&B subsidiary, Galaxy, which had a good number of hit singles, including Little Johnny Taylor's magnificent 'Part time love' which was an R&B #1 while the Vince Guaraldi single was a pop hit, jumping in and out of the Hot 100 over a period of about a year. A long-lasting low hit single can sell a hell of a lot of copies.

MG

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On 03/10/2021 at 10:40 PM, felser said:

The shame is that Fantasy had finally gotten the collation thing right just before they sold out to Concord (Evans Vanguard, Stitt's Bits, the three Coltrane boxes, Miles Quartet box, Monk 1957, Garland Prelude, etc.).  Concord's idea is more like the 34 minute "... Plays for Lovers" CD's

Fantasy did do a pretty decent bunch of boxed sets but did they ever put out any boxes of Gene Ammons? Prestige had access to 18 albums from his best period, between his prison terms, seventeen after the second term, and even 8 jam session albums (which to me are mostly unsatisfactory, but I know some like them very much) from the fifties. And Jug was surely more important to the company than any other musician.   

MG

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In the past ten years or so I would say there's no way that Concord would put out a box set of Jug's Prestige work. But. .. if they did a few Craft Records limited LP releases and got LP buyers who hardly or never have heard of Jug get all excited, and perhaps they would do an overview set as they did of the Evans material recently. That would be the pathway I think that might happen. . . if. . .maybe. . .perhaps, and the possible size and version of an Ammons set.

Edited by jazzbo

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Ammons recorded so much for Prestige that it would make sense to split it into three or more boxes:

- early stuff (but that would overlap with the Stitt box or should be merged with it)

- jam sessions

- quartets with organ or piano 

- last period recordings

As Craft has more of an LP orientation, the messed up albums splitting sessions over several LPs would cause them a problem.

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7 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

Fantasy also had an R&B subsidiary, Galaxy, which had a good number of hit singles, including Little Johnny Taylor's magnificent 'Part time love' which was an R&B #1 

What's funny is that Johnny Taylor almost immediately incorporated that song into his live show, leaving a legacy of audiences who thought that it was HIS record!

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7 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

Fantasy did do a pretty decent bunch of boxed sets but did they ever put out any boxes of Gene Ammons?

Nothing by Ammons by Concord, not even the expected "Gene Ammons Plays for Lovers" 34 minute CD.

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Prestige did those The Gene Ammons Story two-fer LPs that they ported over to CDs (didn't they?). Those were nice, but...

Whoever satisfactorily solves the Gene Ammons Presentation Puzzle gets some kind of Nobel Prize, right?

9 minutes ago, felser said:

Nothing by Ammons by Concord, not even the expected "Gene Ammons Plays for Lovers" 34 minute CD.

Lovers with Gene Ammons know that 34 minutes doesn't even cover initial foreplay...

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8 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Prestige did those The Gene Ammons Story two-fer LPs that they ported over to CDs (didn't they?). Those were nice, but...

Whoever satisfactorily solves the Gene Ammons Presentation Puzzle gets some kind of Nobel Prize, right?

Lovers with Gene Ammons know that 34 minutes doesn't even cover initial foreplay...

Yeah!!!!

One of my favourite Gene Ammons albums is the compilation 'Gentle Jug vol 3'. It's only just over an hour but Bob Porter's selection of material for it is absolutely perfect, but misses a couple of things. He was probably told how long it had to be.

MG

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19 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I was thinking about Fantasy Records signing CCR, and how that changed everything, but I was also thinking about how before CCR, Fantasy had Vince Guaraldi. Not only was "Cast Your Fate" a hit single, but he was also scoring those Peanuts specials.  I wonder how Vince Guaraldi albums in the mid- to late-60s sold, compared to other albums being released by jazz labels.  

I can only speak from my experience.

I occasionally saw copies of the Guaraldi LP entitled Black Orpheus or Cast Your Fate to the Wind.

Maybe two or three Decembers I saw the Charlie Brown Christmas album when it was new.  Then it disappeared, until becoming widely distributed maybe around 1980, and eventually a huge seller.

Guaraldi died in 1976, and I don't think he got to see the Christmas album becoming the hit it did.

I suspect that the most widely distributed and therefore best selling album during his lifetime was his first album for Warner (W7), which was the same Charlie Brown music, but on the harpsichord.

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5 minutes ago, GA Russell said:

I can only speak from my experience.

I occasionally saw copies of the Guaraldi LP entitled Black Orpheus or Cast Your Fate to the Wind.

Maybe two or three Decembers I saw the Charlie Brown Christmas album when it was new.  Then it disappeared, until becoming widely distributed maybe around 1980, and eventually a huge seller.

Guaraldi died in 1976, and I don't think he got to see the Christmas album becoming the hit it did.

I suspect that the most widely distributed and therefore best selling album during his lifetime was his first album for Warner (W7), which was the same Charlie Brown music, but on the harpsichord.

It's kind of surprising that Fantasy/Guaraldi were not able to cash in on that Peanuts music earlier.  Maybe it took several airings of the shows over several years for the music to be engrained in kids' heads?

You would think that a 45 with "Linus and Lucy" on one side and maybe "Christmastime is Here" on the other may have sold reasonably well.   Same with the "Great Pumpkin Waltz."

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1 hour ago, Teasing the Korean said:

It's kind of surprising that Fantasy/Guaraldi were not able to cash in on that Peanuts music earlier.  Maybe it took several airings of the shows over several years for the music to be engrained in kids' heads?

two things - yes, it did take a while for the show to become the tradition that it became. I'm of the age to have watched it the first time, and did indeed watch it the next 5-6 times it came on. The first few times, it was like, oh, cool, they're showing it again. And then gradually it was oh, this is going to be a thing, isn't it! (Sidenote - as a kid in a Christian family, the story resonated with my parents becuase of the message, as well as with the kids becuase it was a cool cartoone).

As for Fantasy...I don't think we'll ever know about the books there. Wasn't it essentially a one-man operation as far as ownership? Not saying that they were any more of less, uh...."crafty" than any other such operation, but if they were having a LOT of sales on any one item,...taxes and royalty checks all stem from paper trails, right?

 

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Wikipedia says that Fantasy was owned by the Weiss brothers until 1967, when it was sold to Saul Zaentz and investors.  

Zaentz had been a salesman for the company since 1955, and it may be that he had better ideas about distribution and sales than the Weiss brothers did.

Even when the Christmas album was new, I didn't see it very often.

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Fantasy was selling records before Zaentz, though...People forget that Brubeck had some pretty popular LPs on that label pre-Columbia. Not saying that any of them were Time Out big, they weren't. But a few of them made some noise, the live college ones. The whole "recorded live on campus" thing, that was due to Brubecks's Fantasy records, they set a trend, they sold well enough to do that.

And "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", the 45, #22 on the Billboard charts. And buttloads of Mongo & Tjader records....somebody was buying those, enough to keep making more...

Th9s does not disqualify that the Charlie Brown Christmas record was not a "slow starter" in terms of sales, maybe it really was. I'm just saying that I'd not at anything that anybody at that label had to say about it (if they said anything at all...) at face value. They were selling something.

 

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Derrick Bang tells some about Guaraldi and the Peanuts music. The rights to the music in the films and the tracks recorded for Fantasy were held by different companies.

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Here's one that I never knew about..an OST to a film that never was released?!?!?!?!

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fwiw...this was the OG Fantasy cover:

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Fantasy kept that one until (if Discogs is to be believed) 1972! So either they knew they had something that could continue to move units in increasing numbers with a facelift, or else they figured they should be able to move some units with a facelift.

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I don't know that Fantasy did this for their other catalog items?

 

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2 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Derrick Bang tells some about Guaraldi and the Peanuts music. The rights to the music in the films and the tracks recorded for Fantasy were held by different companies.

As was often the case back then in the US, "soundtrack" albums were generally re-recorded for contractual reasons.  The albums could be virtually identical to what was heard in the films, or radically different, or anything between the two extremes. 

The A Charlie Brown Christmas LP is a re-rerecord, and there are some tracks in the film that did not make it to the LP.  These include the music heard when Snoopy is decorating his doghouse, and the jazz waltz version of "O Tannenbaum."

A few years ago, someone released the music to Great Pumpkin, but it was taken directly from the film's music and effects reel.  If the sessions were recorded in hi-fi, the original tapes are lost or long gone.  

46 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Here's one that I never knew about..an OST to a film that never was released?!?!?!?!

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I have this.  "The Charlie Brown Theme" on this album is heard during the Christmas play rehearsal in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

This album got a reissue in a boring cover many years later.  I have the original..  

 

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