Slim Whitman

Adam Faith to Wink Martindale, Ain't Misbehavin' to Zing A Little Zong

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Slim Whitman

Postby platterman69 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:04 pm

Just noticed that Slim Whitman catalogue No is shown as HL 1149 in spreadsheet. Serial No 55-055 relates to this and it should be L 1149
Cheers Ron

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Re: Slim Whitman

Postby kirkm » Thu May 05, 2011 10:28 am

Hi Ron,

This is a bit tricky! You're right - and we're right!

Looks like the first pressings (both 45 and 78) were "L" but were later changed to "HL".
We've got sets of labels showing this. We could perhaps change it to 'L/HL 1149' but ideally that would mean changing all that are like that, but that info hasn't be found (yet ?).

London releases were majorly inportant in the 50s and 60s as they released a wealth of the smaller US labels into the international market.

From London Complete Singles Catalogue
Following the U.S. success of Al Morgan and Jack Teter, it was an
obvious decision by Decca that these American recordings should be released in Britain,
and thus, in October, 1949, the first batch of LONDON records were made available in this
country. They retained the American catalogue numbers, which explains the incomplete numerical
series - the gaps generally corresponded with British Decca recordings issued in
the U.S.A. on the same series. Also, the British releases were chronologically erratic:
Jack Teter's "Johnson Rag" (L 501) was actually the first U.K. London record, issued a
month before Al Morgan's "Jealous Heart" (L 500); the series continued with wild
chronological fluctuations against catalogue number until the introduction of the new HL 8000
series in 1954. Although the British releases normally shared the same catalogue number
as its American counterpart, a few records from the 16000 Country & Western series
were specially allocated numbers on the main numerical series for issue in Britain, e.g. L 629
appeared in the U.S.A. on London 16005; none of the R&B 17000 series were released in the
U.K. The first British release not to have appeared on London in the U.S.A. came in March
1951, with L 1003, "That Old Black Magic" by Billy Daniels, licensed from Apollo. From
hereon, as London's own American roster was run down, British London increasingly issued
records licensed from the growing number of U.S. independent labels. Most of these labels
remained obscure, but an early, notable exception was IMPERIAL, who's first London release
in November, 1952, by Slim Whitman, "Indian Love Call" on L 1149, eventually became a Top
Ten chart success.

Although U.K. London releases had begun on the same numerical series as its American
brother, the increase of licensed material meant a gradual divergence, and it was a
logical decision, in early 1954, to start a new series in Britain. Thus the London HL 8000
series ("HL" for "Home London") was born, which through the next decade was to become the
leading source of contemporary American "pop" recordings in this country (hence the label
title being expanded to LONDON-AMERICAN). A red label, LONDON JAZZ JZ- 21000 singles
series was to be introduced in 1956, but proved still-born; surprisingly, when "pop" releases
were being issued at dual speeds, it was to be 10", 78 r.p.m. only.

The success of London through the second half of the. 1950's depended largely on Rock
'n' Roll, its catalogue drawn from the leading U.S. labels in this field with which London
usually had long-term contracts: SUN, IMPERIAL, CADENCE, CHESS, SPECIALTY, ATLANTIC/ATCO,
DOT, LIBERTY, etc.; the names of the artists speak for themselves in the pages of this
catalogue. The most obvious omission is that of Elvis Presley; in fact, as early as
November, 1954, application had been made to Sun for "Good Rockin' Tonight"/"I Don't Care If
The Sun Don't Shine", Presley's second release, and a 78 copy was received. The decision
not to issue the record on London was hardly surprising in view of the musical trends at
that time. However, almost a year later, "Mystery Train"/"I Forgot To Remember To Forget"
was applied for and a somewhat worn (probably ex-juke-box) 45 was received. It was decided
to release this single on London, but by the time a contract had been requested from Sun,
Elvis Presley and all the Sun recordings had been sold to RCA. (Decca did not lose Presley entirely,
as it later became responsible for the pressing and distribution of RCA records
in Britain.) Many small labels also found their way onto London, often as a result of
being contacted by London's New York office, which kept a close eye on the American Top 100
charts. Apart from the variety of its catalogue, probably all the London pressings were
superior in quality to the original American records, a reflection of the trouble
which was taken in obtaining good master tapes, which often was not easy.

London by no means had the monopoly of American licenses in this country, having to
compete against E.M.I.'s three labels, HMV, COLUMBIA and PARLOPHONE, and from 1958 with
PYE INTERNATIONAL and ill-fated TOP RANK. It did, however, maintain its superiority into
the 1960's, until events in the music business overtook it. The larger American
independents increasingly sought to be issued under their own banner abroad, a move resisisted
by Decca, which with some justification argued that a release on the prestigious London label
helped to sell any record. Concessions were made to some companies like Dot and Atlantic,
who were given their own special London logo, but one by one the American labels moved
elsewhere or were taken-over by larger concerns. The British Beat explosion from 1962
ended U.S. supremacy in the world "pop" markets, and London's chart successes declined
despite artists like Roy Orbison and the Phil Spector productions. London plodded quietly on
into the 1970's with the occasional hit, mainly reissues. Following the take-over of Decca
in 1980, London seemed almost finished, there being only two singles issued in that year.
At the beginning of 1982, the final release did come on the old numerical series, which
had reached number 10582, but the London story had not ended. In July, 1981, a new series
had begun with the release of Funkapolitan's "As The Time Goes By" (LON 001), which
became a minor chart hit. With Decca being relegated to an "oldies" label (including the
reissue of some London records), London has become its main outlet, with both British and
foreign artists being contracted and issued on a "one-off" basis. At the time of writing,
LONDON may once again become a significant force in the U.K. Hit charts.

Paul Pelletier, 1982

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