Various - stompin' 25 - 22 more jump blues obscurities!


Design Records was a division of Pickwick Sales of New York, later Pickwick International. The first albums under the Design imprint came out in 1957, and the last were issued in the early 1970s.

Early Design albums, starting in 1957, were in the Design DLP series in mono only. The first label was black with a thin white stripe across the label through the center hole. Above the white line was the multicolored logo, with "DESIGN RECORDS" and beneath that, in blue lettering with yellow initial letters, "Spectra Sonic Sound". Beneath the white line was the record number, title, artist, and song list, all in silver print. Around the bottom of the label in yellow print was "HI-FIDELITY NON-BREAKABLE PICKWICK SALES CORP., LONG ISLAND CITY 1, . 33 1/3 RPM LONG PLAYING RECORD". The record jacket back, for the first few years, used a similar format. The record number, title, and artist were in capital letters at the top of the jacket back. Under the title was a black bar running horizontally across the album, with the following in white print inside the bar: "A DESIGN *CP LONG PLAYING ALBUM IN SPECTRA-SONIC-SOUND" Beneath the bar to the left were liner notes and a song list, and on some issues a short list of other Design albums. At the right was a vertical grey box running from the top black bar to the bottom of the album. This box had propaganda about Spectra-Sonic-Sound. Just above another horizontal black bar at the bottom of the jacket was an oval logo with "33 1/3 LP LONG PLAY" across a black and white field. The bar at the bottom said, "COPYRIGHT BY DESIGN RECORDS, DIVISION OF PICKWICK SALES, 1957" This legend on the bottom bar was used considerably longer than 1957. It was known to be used into 1959, at least, so the copyright date does not indicate the date of release of the individual record, necessarily.
Oddly enough, some labels of the first mono design were printed with "STEREO SONIC SOUND" instead of "SPECTRA SONIC SOUND," even though the records themselves were mono. Later, in the early 1960s, Design lowered the cost of printing labels by going to a black-and-white version. The records listed in this section of the Design discography were all mono, and for the most part used the first label, above.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail . Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Design, or Pickwick Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (all of which are out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2003 by Mike Callahan.

Nick Wisdom and AstroLogical’s boom-bap boogie project has already been championed hard by the likes of Kaytranada, Nightmares On Wax and Soulection. Reaching album maturity, the Canadian duo paint their broadest picture on Big Luxury, an album that ranges from silky mid-90s west coast hip-hop (“Explosives”) to lavish, jazz-maxed Amp Fiddler style future-soul (“Palmreader”) via wonked-out broken beat bass (“Luv Ya”). Living up to its name in every way, Potatohead People are effectively celebrating everything that’s great about dancefloor music in the last 30 years right here. As a result it will sound great for another 30 years to come.

Ho hum -- another Stompin' compilation, another couple of dozen vintage obscurities from the early days of R&B. Each disc in the series is like unearthing the remains of a lost civilization -- this is rock & roll at its most embryonic, music that's so raw, wide-eyed and uninhibited that contemporary listeners will find it both deeply human and completely alien. Culled mostly from the early 1950s, these pre- Elvis recordings hail largely from small indie labels, meaning an even more primitive and rough-edged sound than the norm -- it's difficult to stress just how far removed this stuff sounds from contemporary urban music, and how vividly alive these so-called "artifacts" are by comparison. Though mastered directly from the original 78s and 45s, and probably of dubious legal origins, each volume in the series is clearly a labor of love, complete with full-color packaging and educated commentary on all 25 tracks. Highlights include Brownie McGhee 's "All Night Party," Big Sheba's "Soft Soapin' Mama," Jimmy Butler 's "Trim Your Tree" and Tasso Zachary's "Louisville KY."

Design Album Discography, Part 1 : DLP- series mono LPs (1957-1965) By Mike Callahan, David Edwards, and Patrice Eyries Last update: December 20, 2003

The Prestige 10000 Series commenced in 1971 when the label was sold to Fantasy Records and the label was moved to San Francisco California [3]

Modern started as a label in 1945, and had many subsidiaries over the years. The story of the label is covered in the Modern Records Story.

Modern began its album series in 1950, with the then-popular 10-inch albums. The earliest albums were various artists compilations just called Modern Records, Volume 1, Modern Records, Volume 2, etc. Some or all of the early albums had a blank back cover. The labels gave the titles as A Collection of Popular Recordings with the volume number. There were 13 scheduled volumes in the 10-inch series, with some of the volumes being single-artist compilations. It is doubtful that 2001, 2002, 2006, and 2011 were actually issued, since we have never seen any information on them and Billboard stated that the first issues were 2003-5 and 2007-10 in 1950. The Just Jazz albums were issued in 1951.

By 1955, 10-inch albums were falling out of favor with record buyers in favor of the longer 12-inch albums, and the Bihari Brothers discontinued the 10-inch series they had last used in 1951 and started the LMP-1200 series of 12-inch albums. The first four albums in the 1200 series were issued in late April, 1956, according to Billboard (see story at right). Most of the records in the 1200 series were jazz records or blues records, but by mid-1956, when the series reached #1210, Modern initially scheduled two rock and roll compilations for #1210 and #1211, A Rock n' Roll Dance Party and Hollywood Rock 'N Roll Record Hop, respectively. At the last minute, after the records were mastered, the Biharis decided to release A Rock n' Roll Dance Party as RPM 3001, and substituted a Hadda Brooks album as Modern LMP-1210.

After LMP-1211 was issued, releases at Modern became a bit unclear. Modern LMP-1212 to 1215 were mastered in 1956 and were set to be released, but it is unclear whether there were actual copies released on Modern with both the Modern jacket and Modern label. In March, 1957, the Bihari brothers announced that Modern and RPM Records would no longer issue albums, and that all the previously issued albums on those labels would be reissued on the Crown label. The Crown albums started with A Rock n' Roll Dance Party , (once scheduled for Modern 1210 but shifted to RPM 3001), then the rest of the Modern albums were reissued with corresponding numbers starting with Modern 1202, which became Crown 5002. Modern 1203 became Crown 5003, and so forth, up to and including 1212-1215, which may or may not have been actually issued on Modern. Modern 1216 and Crown 5016 was the phantom Oscar McLollie and His Honey Jumpers album, which was probably scheduled but unreleased on both Modern and Crown (Modern certainly had enough sides for an album by McLollie). Crown 5017 was the reissue of RPM 3002, and the remaining RPM albums continued in order until RPM 3009/Crown 5024. Crown 5025 was the reissue of Modern 1201.

Singles on Modern and RPM continued until March, 1958, when the singles, too, were halted in favor of the newly formed Kent label. After the first 25 issues on Crown, the label became just another budget label peddling mostly generic pop, polkas, remakes, knockoffs, and elevator music.

By 1961, Crown seemed to be doing well, and the Biharis reconsidered, and started a new series of albums on the Modern label. Unlike the previous series, which were high quality recordings of original jazz, blues, and rock and roll, the "new" modern became a clone of Crown Records, shabby packaging and all. In fact, most of the material issued on the Modern MLP-7000/MST-800 series starting in 1961 were reissues of the generic music put out earlier on the Crown label, with the artists names changed to make it appear that the offerings were new recordings. Even the record labels were lookalikes to the Crown labels.

The MLP-7000/MST-800 series started with 24 initial releases in 1961, followed by an additional sixteen albums released over the next two years. With forty releases on the "new" Modern (=Crown Clone) label, Modern finally decided that one Crown Records was enough, and discontinued the series. Beginning in 1964, they released a short series of three albums by Otto Cesana in the Music By Cesana series featuring gold covers. By the time the third was issued, in 1966, Modern was nearing bankruptcy, although the other Bihari labels like Crown and Kent were doing fine. Modern started another new series in 1966, featuring Little Richard, the Ikettes, and the Mexicali Brass (a Tijuana Brass knockoff that had been selling well for Crown). This, unfortunately, did not put the label back on its feet, so the albums stopped about 1966 and the label ultimately folded. The masters, however, were now owned by Crown, so there was little left of the company by the time bankruptcy set in.


The label on the Modern 10-inch 2000 series (far left) is black with silver print. "Modern" in script above the center hole. "LONG PLAY" on the left side of the label and "33 1/3" on the right. At the bottom of the label is "Microgroove UNBREAKABLE". The label on the 12-inch 1200 series is black with silver print. "MODERN RECORDS" on two lines above the center hole with a stylized "M" between the Modern and Records. At the bottom of the label is "TELESONIC SOUND/ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY/MADE IN HOLLYWOOD, ." Even though the MLP-7000/MST-800 series was released in both monaural and stereo, clearly the emphasis was on the stereo releases. Today you will find far fewer monaural copies. This series was an early attempt by the Bihari Brothers to cash in on the demand for stereo with a low priced line of albums. The label on this series (far left) is black with white printing. "MODERN" with a stylized "M" in red, followed by a yellow "O", blue "D" red "E" green "R" and blue "N'. "HIGH FIDELITY" in yellow on the left side of the label and "LONG PLAYING 33 1/3" in yellow on the right. At the bottom of the label is "STEREO" again in multiple colors. This label design was similar to the Crown label (near left) of the same period, namely, 1961. By 1962, the Bihari Brothers decided their labels were costing too much in full color, and went to a black- on-grey version that didn't cost as much to get printed. The Modern label (far left) and the Crown label (near left) of the first part of 1962 were similar. By late 1962, the Modern label (far left) on the MLP-7000/MST-800 series and the later two series was gray with black printing. "MODERN" with a stylized "M" above the center hole with "HIGH FIDELITY" on the left side of the label and "LONG PLAYING 33 1/3" on the right. The "STEREO" designation was at the right of the center hole. This label was very like the Crown label of the same period, shown at near left.


We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail . Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Modern Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2000, 2010 by Mike Callahan.

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Various - Stompin' 25 - 22 More Jump Blues Obscurities!Various - Stompin' 25 - 22 More Jump Blues Obscurities!Various - Stompin' 25 - 22 More Jump Blues Obscurities!Various - Stompin' 25 - 22 More Jump Blues Obscurities!

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