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established 1974
Blues Records Discography, 1943 onwards
  WHO'S WHO OF GROUPS & SOLO ARTISTS ISSUED IN BRITAIN  

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WHO'S WHO OF GROUPS & SOLO ARTISTS ISSUED IN BRITAIN

     As any British record collector from the 1950s onwards will know, in addition to the well-known names there are a large number of records made by obscure groups or solo artists about whom very little is known. Occasionally, some performers re-surfaced with other groups or under different names, or a few became producers, managers or song-writers, but most slipped back into the obscurity from which they had been plucked by the record companies. These companies had little to lose, churning the records out: the cost of recording and pressing vinyl was cheap, retail prices were fixed, advance payments against royalties were rare, and royalties themselves were meagre. In short, the record companies risked little but had a lot to gain if they struck lucky. Even when independent producers, music publishers and a few artists began to lease masters to the record labels in return for a higher sales royalty, or began their own record labels, they still depended on the big companies like EMI, Decca, Pye and Philips for an outlet, and often just added to the flow of "doomed" releases.

     However, all those records by what are now obscure artistes did not get issued entirely unaided. The record companies, or sometimes management, normally issued press releases (publicity sheets) for every new act, containing information about the performers. These press releases are now rarer than the records themselves, but where available they usually provide invaluable biographical and often additional "trivia" type information (Decca, in particular, liked to know a performer's favourite food, likes & dislikes, etc., and in the 1960s heights and weights of individuals were frequently given.)

     This website helps to shed light on those mysterious people, some of whose records have become very sought-after, as well as better known names. The information provided is brief and introductory, usually taken from a press release which was linked to a particular Single, or occasionally EP or LP. The full content of the source material can be provided upon request and payment of a reasonable, mutually agreeable fee - please email. In the case of Decca Group labels, pictures are often available (most companies provided photographs only upon request). Note that the month & year shown for each entry is that given on the information source, which occasionally does not correspond with the actual release month of a linked record.

     A word of caution, it was the job of the Press Offices (which in the 1960s employed the likes of Max Clifford) to "talk up" the groups and solo artists they were publicising, also they were reliant on information supplied by performers or their managers which, for all sorts of reasons, may not have been correct in the first place, particularly when it comes to age and establishing a year of birth. Some stories or "facts" may be anecdotal, embellished, or even entirely fictional in an attempt to promote interest, and thus all press releases must be treated with care in the way they are used.

Paul & Guy Pelletier

Added 04-Aug-2013; Updated 16-Oct-2013

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