Independent Record label started by Herb Abramson in New York City in 1946, intially concieved as a gospel label but which soon got into comedy records.

Abramson had been a producer at National Records, getting the label The Ravens and Billy Eckstine, two of their biggest stars. Deciding go out on his own he started Jubilee and Quality Records with Waxie Maxie Silverman, a Washington D.C. record store owner of some renown.

The labels didn’t work out and Jubilee was sold to Jerry Blaine, a New York record distributor who also struggled initially to make a go of it. Meanwhile Abramson hooked up with Ahmet Ertegun to start Atlantic Records in 1947, which fared no better at first. In time both of the labels would turn around when they were among the first to embrace rock ‘n’ roll.

Jubilee’s entry into rock came via The Orioles, a novice group out of Baltimore who Blaine initially started ANOTHER label to separate them from Jubilee’s main output in other fields. But when “It’s A Natural Records” proved too confusing, and too close to National Records, he switched The Orioles to Jubilee where they’d spend the next half dozen years keeping the company afloat almost singlehandedly as their most prolific and best selling artists.

Finally in the early 1950’s they added some other credible acts, among them a teenaged Edna McGriff, The Marylanders, and they managed to get some hits out of The Four Tunes as well, but by 1954 Blaine formed a subsidiary called Josie Records where most of the subsequent rock acts wound up.

As a result Jubilee never regained the prominence in rock they had after The Orioles heyday but did have some name artists and decent sellers from time to time in the field, most notably Betty Harris and a post-Motown Mary Wells. Otherwise they were mainly a repository for past their prime acts like The Ravens and Dominoes in the mid-1950’s and to a lesser degree The Bobbettes, Joey Dee & The Starliters and The Skyliners in the mid-1960’s all of whom provided recognizable names but no sales.

Despite the lack of genuine hits they did have a couple of historically interesting releases over the years. They were the home of Doug Clark & His Hot Nuts, the notoriously raunchy frat house band that was the inspiration for Otis Day & The Knights in the movie Animal House. More importantly they helped to shape the concept album in rock with their records pitting two groups against one another (each group getting one side of the LP), the most notable of which was The Paragons Meet The Jesters with its gang-scene showdown cover which itself was highly influential in how rock music would be presented.

Aside from The Orioles though their biggest legacy has to be the rarest officially released rock single ever, The Five Sharps 1952 version of “Stormy Weather”, only a handful of which are known to exist making it the most valuable rock record of all-time.

Though never among the upper echelon of independent labels, Jubilee was one of the longer lasting ones, eventually shutting down operations in 1970.
THE ORIOLES: It’s Too Soon To Know (9) (It’s A Natural 5000/Jubilee 5000; July, 1948)
THE ORIOLES: Barbra Lee (3) (It’s A Natural 5000/Jubilee 5000; July, 1948)
THE ORIOLES: (It’s Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas (8) (Jubilee 5001; November, 1948)
THE ORIOLES: To Be To You (3) (Jubilee 5001; November, 1948)
THE ORIOLES: Dare To Dream (3) (Jubilee 5001 reissue; January, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: Please Give My Heart A Break (4) (Jubilee 5002; February, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: It Seems So Long Ago (2) (Jubilee 5002; February, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: Tell Me So (9) (Jubilee 5005; April, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: Deacon Jones (8) (Jubilee 5005; April, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: I Challenge Your Kiss (6) (Jubilee 5008; July, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: A Kiss And A Rose (8) (Jubilee 5009; August, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: It’s A Cold Summer (2) (Jubilee 5009; August, 1949)
RENÉ HALL: Chitling Switch (6) (Jubilee 5015; October, 1949)
RENÉ HALL: Blue Creek Hop (4) (Jubilee 5015; October, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: Forgive and Forget (8) (Jubilee 5016; October, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: So Much (3) (Jubilee 5016; October, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (9) (Jubilee 5017; November, 1949)
THE ORIOLES: Would I Still Be The One In Your Heart (3) (Jubilee 5018; January, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Is My Heart Wasting Time (3) (Jubilee 5018; January, 1950)
RENÉ HALL: René’s Boogie (6) (Jubilee 5020; January, 1950)
RENÉ HALL: Blowing Awhile (4) (Jubilee 5020; January, 1950)
LaVERNE RAY (with ARLENE TALLEY): Rock And Roll (6) (Jubilee 5022; February, 1950)
LaVERNE RAY: Yes He Did (5) (Jubilee 5022; February, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: At Night (9) (Jubilee 5025; March, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Every Dog-Gone Time (4) (Jubilee 5025; March, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Moonlight (2) (Jubilee 5026; April, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: I Wonder When (3) (Jubilee 5026; April, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Everything They Said Came True (2) (Jubilee 5028; June, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: You’re Gone (2) (Jubilee 5028; June, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: I’d Rather Have You Under The Moon (3) (Jubilee 5031; August, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: We’re Supposed To Be Through (4) (Jubilee 5031; August, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: I Need You So (6) (Jubilee 5037; September, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Goodnight Irene (7) (Jubilee 5037; September, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: I Cross My Fingers (5) (Jubilee 5040; October, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Can’t Seem To Laugh Anymore (5) (Jubilee 5040; October, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: Oh Holy Night (7) (Jubilee 5045; November, 1950)
THE ORIOLES: I Miss You So (8) (Jubilee 5051; January, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: You Are My First Love (6) (Jubilee 5051; January, 1951)
THE SULTANS: Lemon Squeezing Daddy (7) (Jubilee 5054; April, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Happy Go Lucky Local Blues (6) (Jubilee 5055; April, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Pal Of Mine (6) (Jubilee 5055; April, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Would I Love You (Love You, Love You) (3) (Jubilee 5057; May, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: When You’re A Long, Long Way From Home (1) (Jubilee 5057; May, 1951)
BUDDY LUCAS: Sopping Molasses (6) (Jubilee 5058; May, 1951)
BUDDY LUCAS: Whopping Blues (5) (Jubilee 5058; May, 1951)
SONNY TIL: My Prayer (6) (Jubilee 5060; August, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Hold Me! Squeeze Me! (7) (Jubilee 5061; August, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: I’m Just A Fool In Love (4) (Jubilee 5061; August, 1951)
EDNA McGRIFF: Come Back (6) (Jubilee 5062; August, 1951)
EDNA McGRIFF: Note Droppin’ Papa (6) (Jubilee 5062; August, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Baby Please Don’t Go (9) (Jubilee 5065; October, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: Don’t Tell Her What’s Happened To Me (4) (Jubilee 5065; October, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: How Blind Can You Be (8) (Jubilee 5071; December, 1951)
THE ORIOLES: When You’re Not Around (7) (Jubilee 5071; December, 1951)
THE ENCHANTERS: How Could You (Break My Heart) (7) (Jubilee 5072; February, 1952)
THE ENCHANTERS: Today Is Your Birthday (1) (Jubilee 5072; February, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF: Heavenly Father (8) (Jubilee 5073; February, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF: I Love You (8) (Jubilee 5073; February, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Trust In Me (4) (Jubilee 5074; February, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Shrimp Boats (7) (Jubilee 5074; February, 1952)
THE SULTANS: Blues At Dawn (8) (Jubilee 5077; February, 1952)
THE SULTANS: Don’t Be Angry (9) (Jubilee 5077; February, 1952)
SONNY TIL: Proud Of You (4) (Jubilee 5076; March, 1952)
THE MARYLANDERS: I’m A Sentimental Fool (6) (Jubilee 5079; April, 1952)
THE MARYLANDERS: Sittin’ By The River (2) (Jubilee 5079; April, 1952)
THE ENCHANTERS: I’ve Lost (3) (Jubilee 5080; April, 1952)
THE ENCHANTERS: Housewife Blues (5) (Jubilee 5080; April, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: It’s Over Because We’re Through (4) (Jubilee 5082; April, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Waiting (7) (Jubilee 5082; April, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Barfly (7) (Jubilee 5084; May, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Gettin’ Tired, Tired, Tired (8) (Jubilee 5084; May, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF: It’s Raining (4) (Jubilee 5087; June, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF: Not Now (2) (Jubilee 5087; June, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF & SONNY TIL: Once In Awhile (2) (Jubilee 5090; July, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF & SONNY TIL: I Only Have Eyes For You (1) (Jubilee 5090; July, 1952)
THE MARYLANDERS: Make Me Thrill Again (8) (Jubilee 5091; August, 1952)
THE MARYLANDERS: Please Love Me (4) (Jubilee 5091; August, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: Don’t Cry Baby (8) (Jubilee 5092; August, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: See See Rider (6) (Jubilee 5092; August, 1952)
LITTLE SYLVIA: Drive Daddy Drive (7) (Jubilee 5093; August, 1952)
LITTLE SYLVIA: I Found Somebody To Love (7) (Jubilee 5093; August, 1952)
VIOLA WATKINS & OTIS BLACKWELL: Really Real (5) (Jubilee 5095; September, 1952)
THE RAY-O-VACS: Start Lovin’ Me (6) (Jubilee 5098; October, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF & SONNY TIL: Good (6) (Jubilee 5099; October, 1952)
EDNA McGRIFF & SONNY TIL: Piccadilly (3) (Jubilee 5099; October, 1952)
LITTLE SYLVIA: A Million Tears (3) (Jubilee 5100; October, 1952)
LITTLE SYLVIA: Don’t Blame My Heart (2) (Jubilee 5100; October, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: You Belong To Me (3) (Jubilee 5102; November, 1952)
THE ORIOLES: I Don’t Want To Take A Chance (3) (Jubilee 5102; November, 1952)
THE FIVE SHARPS: Stormy Weather (5) (Jubilee 5104; December, 1952)
THE FIVE SHARPS: Sleepy Cowboy (5) (Jubilee 5104; December, 1952)