Capitol Records was born out of Johnny Mercer frustration not being able to obtain satisfactory recording conditions for his work, and upon a suggestion from Glenn Wallichs.
Mercer made an initial arrangement in January 1942 with Buddy DeSylva (at that time head of production at Paramount Studios), who will agree to put in a total of $25,000 to help things start.
On February 7, Liberty Records was created. Due to the failure to obtain rights on the name, though, it was changed to Capitol Records, which was effectively created on April 9.
Later in May was held the first recording session of the new label (a Paul Whiteman session), like most of the early recordings, at C.P. MacGregor's Recording Studios (729 S. Western Avenue, Hollywood, CA, USA).
On May 21, Cow-Cow Boogie (the first gold Capitol single) is recorded by Freddie Slack.
Later on, Glenn Wallichs invent the concept of giving away promotional pre-releases to disc-jockeys - soon imitated by other companies, that move was crucial in making Capitol early success - including Cow-Cow Boogie.
On June 4, Capitol officially starts activity in a new office, 1483 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA, USA. Capitol will stay there until 1946. The first batch of employees includes (besides Mercer & Wallichs) Dave Shelly, Floyd Bittaker, and Dave Dexter, Jr. (later on famous for turning off the Beatles twice).
On June 12, Billie Holiday records with Paul Whiteman (Travelin' Light).
Soon after, the first reviews of Capitol records appears in Billboard Magazine.
On July 1, Capitol finally releases a first batch of 9 singles, numbered 101 to 109, soon the be praised and a commercial success.
On July 30, the Petrillo Ban starts, helping in the end of Big Band orchestras.
By the end of the year, Capitol made $195,000, signing Tex Ritter, Martha Tilton, Johnny Mercer, Ella Mae Morse, Freddie Slack, Margaret Whiting and Johnnie Johnston, and hiring Paul Weston as musical director.
Bought by EMI.
Had subsidiaries: SBK, EMI America Records and EMI-Manhattan Records.
Distributed by: Capitol Records (US), Parlophone/EMI Records (UK)
Complicated history, with recent merges including with Priority Records in 2001.
Some of the back catalog reissued by Blue Note.
Also made a career out of messing records.
Capitol Records is a major American record label that is a part of the Capitol Music Group and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. Founded in 1942 by three industry insiders, Capitol Records has recorded and released important material by artists such as The Lettermen, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Kingston Trio, The Beatles, Exodus, and Megadeth, among many others. Eventually acquired by EMI (which merged with UMG in 2012), the label has released records in a variety of music genres and its headquarters building Capitol Records Tower is a recognized landmark.Continue reading at Wikipedia...