Capitol Records


CAPITOL RECORDS The Capitol Records Company was founded by songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1942, with the financial help of fellow songwriter and movie producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs (1910–1971), owner of Music City, at the time the biggest record store in Hollywood. Wallichs Music City record store opened in 1940 and was located in Hollywood on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Vine Street. It was the premier music store in Southern California for decades but closed in 1978. Johnny Mercer first suggested the idea of starting a record company while he was golfing with Harold Arlen and Bobby Sherwood. He told them, "I've got this idea of starting a record company. I get so tired of listening to the way everyone treats music. I keep feeling they're selling out. And I don't like the way artists are treated either. Bing Crosby isn't the only one who can make records. I don't know, I think it would be fun." By 1941, Mercer was not only an experienced songwriter, but a singer with a number of records to his name. Mercer next suggested starting a record company to his friend Glenn Wallichs while Mercer was visiting Wallichs' record store. Wallichs responded, "Fine, you run the record company and find the artists,' and Mercer added, "and you run the business." On February 2, 1942, they met with Buddy DeSylva at a Hollywood restaurant to ask if Paramount Pictures would invest in the new record company. On the Paramount deal DeSylva said no, but that he himself would, and he gave them a check for $15,000. On March 27 the three men got a statement notarized that they have applied to incorporate Liberty Records. In May they amended the application to change the name to Capitol Records. Capitol Records opened its first office in a second-floor room south of Sunset Blvd. On the same day, Wallichs presented the first free record to a Los Angeles disc jockey named Peter Potter. Potter was so pleased Wallichs decided to give free records to other DJs, becoming the first in the business to do so. The earliest recording artists included co–owner Johnny Mercer, Margaret Whiting, Jo Stafford, Paul Whitemen, Martha, Ella Mae Morse, Pied Pipers, Martha Tilton and Paul Weston, and His Orchestra. Capitol's first gold single was Morse's "Cow Cow Boogie" in 1942. Capitol's first record album was Capitol Presents Songs By Johnny Mercer, a three 78-rpm record set with recordings by Mercer, Stafford, and the Pied Pipers, all with Paul Weston's Orchestra. In 1949, the Canadian branch was established and Capitol purchased the KHJ Studios on Melrose Avenue next to the Paramount pictures in Hollywood. By the mid-1950s, Capitol had become a huge company, concentrating on popular music. The 1950s roster now included Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, the Andrew Sisters, Jackie Gleason, Jane Froman, Ray Anhony, Andy Griffith, Merle Travis, The Kingston Trio, Dean Martin, The Four Freshman, Al Martino, The Four Freshman, Dinah Shore, and Nancy Wilson. There were also some notable comedy recordings, including several by Stan Fregerg and the Yiddish-dialect parodies of Mickey Katz. The label also began recording rock and roll acts such as Gene Vincent.. The rapid expansion of the company required larger facilities, property located at 1750 North Vine Street, in Hollywood, was purchased. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in September, 1954 for the worlds first circular office building. Eighteen months later, Capitol Records moved it headquarters from Sunset Blvd. and Vine St. to its new thirteen-story Capitol Records Tower. At about the same time, the British record company EMI acquired 96% of Capitol Records. As the British music scene was heating up in 1963, Capitol, being an EMI label had first rights of refusal on all EMI artists. After initial resistance to issuing records by The Beatles who were signed to sister EMI label Parlophone, Capitol exercised its option in November, 1963, and helped usher in Beatlemania in 1964. Capitol also signed or became American distributors of albums by Badfinger, The Band, Pink Floyd, Linda Rondstat, The Beach Boys, If, Glen Campbell, Steve Miller Band, and various solo albums by members of the Beatles.  Other related photos are in the Radio stations category,

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Excavation for Capitol Records Tower
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Excavation for Capitol records Tower on Vine St.
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Excavating for the Capitol Records tower
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Excavation for Capitol Records Tower on Vine St.
Capitol RecordsExcavation for Capitol Records Tower
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1955
Capitol RecordsExcavation for Capitol records Tower on Vine St.
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1955
Capitol RecordsExcavating for the Capitol Records tower
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1954
Capitol RecordsExcavation for Capitol Records Tower on Vine St.
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1955
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Workmen during the construction of the Capitol Records Tower.
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Capitol Records Tower under construction on Vine St.
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Capitol Records Tower on Vine Street
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Capitol Records Tower
Capitol RecordsWorkmen during the construction of the Capitol Records Tower.
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1955
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower under construction on Vine St.
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1955
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower on Vine Street
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1955
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower
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1957
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Capitol Records Tower on Vine St.
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Capitol Records Tower
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CAPITOL RECORDS ON VINE ST.
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Capitol Records Tower under sonstruction
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower on Vine St.
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1958
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower
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1959
Capitol RecordsCAPITOL RECORDS ON VINE ST.
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1959
Capitol RecordsCapitol Records Tower under sonstruction
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1955