Eclectic independent record company started in 1946 by Jim Bulleit in Nashville, the label made an immediate impact when local club act Francis Craig hit #1 with Near You, the single biggest selling record of 1947. It was also the first hit to be recorded in Nashville which turned the city into a growing hot-spot for the recording industry.

Though they got another hit with Craig and had a diverse roster of future notables at various times over the years with country stars Chet Atkins and Pee Wee King, soon to be rock legend Wynonie Harris, and blues kingpin Willie Dixon and his Big Three Trio, as well as cutting B.B. King’s first record, Bullet had no consistent direction, identifiable sound or specific market they catered to, dabbling in gospel, blues, rock, pop and country.

Aside from Craig their most consistent seller was Cecil Gant, who always kept one foot in the rock world but never got a national hit with the company.

As with many other indie labels who were unprepared for the financial strain of pressing and distributing an early success, the company soon was taking on debt and Bulleit was forced to sell to his partner C.V. Hitchcock in the winter of 1949.

The Bullet label shut down operations in 1952 after going several years without any noteworthy commercial returns. Jim Bulleit however used his experiences, good and bad, to advise future Tennessee record company heads such as Dot’s Randy Wood and Sun’s Sam Phillips in their early days which helped each of them avoid the pitfalls Bullet Records fell prey to.

CECIL GANT: Cecil’s Jam Session (4) (Bullet 289; October, 1948)
CECIL GANT: Screwy Boogie (2) (Bullet 299; April, 1949)
TUFF GREEN: Let’s Go To The Liquor Store (3) (Bullet 312; September, 1949)