MELODISC RECORDS — Sponsored by (This is an addition to our original list currently being researched, please bear with us.)
Location: 12 Earlham Street
Melodisc Records was established by Emil Edward Shalit (24 December 1909 – 23 April 1983) in London from the USA in 1949 as one of the first, and at the time, the largest independent record label. The label, and then its subsidiaries ‘Blue Beat’ and ‘Fab Records’ introduced Afro-Caribbean music to the UK and thus played a key role in the development of popular music. They were also the first labels to cater for the UK’s growing Afro-Caribbean community. This is a long and interesting history – the introduction of calypso, the first R&B recordings, a Blue Beat night at the famous Marquee Club and much else
In the early 1950s Melodisc focused on licensing and releasing American jazz and folk records in the UK, and had a production and distribution arrangement with Decca Records. Trinidadian Rupert Nurse, who became Melodisc's musical director, released rhythm and blues, and West Indian and African recordings including calypso and mento to cater for the growing Afro-Caribbean community. Early Melodisc releases in the UK included 78 rpm and later 45 rpm records, EPs and LPs, by Big Bill Broonzy, Louis Jordan, Josh White, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, and Charlie Parker, among others. In 1966, Melodisc set up a new sub-label, Fab Records, to release rocksteady music. The Melodisc label continued to release LPs through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Artists included Prince Buster, Ambrose Campbell, Ginger Johnson, Ravi Shankar, and Lord Kitchener. Emil Shalit died in Slough in 1983 at the age of 73.
This is an addition to our original list currently being researched, please bear with us.