Los Angeles based independent record company started by Otis René, one half of Creole brothers from Louisiana who’d made their name as songwriters, panning such classics as “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South”, “When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano” and other huge hits that quickly became standards.

Otis began Excelsior in 1944 and scored immediately with records by Nat “King” Cole’s group, but soon lost Cole to Capitol Records. The easy going Otis, in contrast to his more aggressive brother Leon, never pushed quite as hard to acquire big-name talent or to relentlessly pursue hits and despite featuring a solid stable of names, vocalist Jimmy Rushing, jazz great Charles Mingus and rock legend Johnny Otis, all soon departed for greener pastures.

Unable to withstand the defections and with his record pressing operations curtailed by the growing switch from 78 RPM to 45 RPM Excelsior Records ceased operations in 1951 but the name was revived without René’s participation and having nothing to do with the previous incarnation.
EXCELSIOR RECORDS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

BIG JOE TURNER: I Don’t Dig It (9) (Excelsior 533; December, 1948)
BIG JOE TURNER: Ooo-Ouch-Stop (8) (Excelsior 534; December, 1948)
JOHNNY OTIS: Barrelhouse Stomp (8) (Excelsior 536; December, 1948)
JOHNNY OTIS: Happy New Year Baby (7) (Excelsior 536; December, 1948)
JOHNNY OTIS: Midnight In The Barrelhouse (9) (Excelsior 536 reissue; January, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS: Alimony Boogie (4) (Excelsior 537; February, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS: Hog Jaws (4) (Excelsior 537; February, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS (ft. THE FOUR BLUEBIRDS): My Baby Done Told Me (6) (Excelsior 540; April, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS: Court Room Blues (6) (Excelsior 540; April, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS: The Jelly Roll (4) (Excelsior 541; June, 1949)
JOHNNY OTIS: Pay Day Blues (3) (Excelsior 541; June, 1949)