A short-lived but notable independent record label out of Houston, Texas begun in 1949 by Saul Kahl who bought an unissued master by another Houston label, Eddie’s Records, by pianist Little Willie Littlefield and paired that with their first – and most important – signee, local guitar hot-shot Goree Carter.

It was Carter who in turn brought an established record star, albeit one down on his luck, in Big Joe Turner to the label for a series of recordings which got him back on the charts and more importantly helped to steer him firmly in the direction of rock ‘n’ roll after years of trying to reach every stylistic niche asked of him by whatever label he was currently cutting a side or two for.

That association also led to the company signing future rock saxophone star Joe Houston to his first contract and they had a few other talented artists like Lonnie Lyons, Jesse Thomas, L.C. Williams and Clarence Samuels, none of whom never quite rose the prominence their talents warranted but which at least gave them a solid roster of potential hit-makers to try and build on, with Conrad Johnson, a strong sax player in his own right, leading the studio band.

Though Kohl ultimately achieved much more success than Eddie Henry had (and it was Henry who encouraged Kohl and helped him get started, essentially allowing him to replace his Eddie’s Records in the area which shut down when Freedom started up) he wasn’t able to fully tap the fertile south Texas talent pool and make it a viable long-term national contender. Maybe it was too close to the thriving New Orleans scene to attract more regionally strong artists, maybe their forays into country and blues meant they didn’t put their full focus on rock, which is what got them their hits, but it was left to Don Robey’s Peacock Records a few years later to make Houston’s name in the recording business.

Kohl shut down operations in 1951, having gotten a few big hits and some groundbreaking records along the way.
FREEDOM RECORDS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

L. C. WILLIAMS (CONNEY’S COMBO): I Don’t Want Your Baby (5) (Freedom 1501; March, 1949)
LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD: Littlefield Boogie (6) (Freedom 1502; March, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: Rock Awhile ★ 10 ★ (Freedom 1506; April, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: Back Home Blues (6) (Freedom 1506; April, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Flychick Bounce (8) (Freedom 1507; May, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Far Away Blues (3) (Freedom 1507; May, 1949)
L. C. WILLIAMS (CONNEY’S COMBO): That’s Alright (4) (Freedom 1510; June, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: I’ll Send You (7) (Freedom 1511; June, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Neat And Sweet (6) (Freedom 1512; June, 1949)
JESSE THOMAS: Let’s Have Some Fun (7) (Freedom 1513; July, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: Hoy Hoy (7) (Freedom 1516; July, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: I Just Thought Of You (4) (Freedom 1516; July, 1949)
L. C. WILLIAMS: Shout Baby Shout (8) (Freedom 1517; August, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: She’s Just Old Fashioned (9) (Freedom 1518; August, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: Is It True (3) (Freedom 1518; August, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Down In The Groovy (8) (Freedom 1519; August, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Helpless (2) (Freedom 1519; August, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: She’s My Best Bet (9) (Freedom 1522; October, 1949)
GOREE CARTER: What A Friend Will Do (6) (Freedom 1522; October, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Sneaky Joe (2) (Freedom 1523; October, 1949)
LONNIE LYONS: Betrayed (4) (Freedom 1523; October, 1949)
L. C. WILLIAMS: Jelly Roll (4) (Freedom 1524; October, 1949)