HISTORY AND DISCOGRAPHY

 

Longtime subsidiary of Savoy Records which never was really given its own identity, nor even its own roster of artists separate from the parent label with which to build a separate image.

Started as an independent company in October 1947 by Fred Mendelsohn, a former jukebox operator, they had an unusual cross-section of artists to start with ranging from pop singer Dolly Dawn to Don Henry’s Harmonica Trio. They scored their first real success with comedian Al Trace’s record “You Call Everybody Darlin”, released in late spring 1948 just before Mendelsohn went into partnership with Savoy’s Herman Lubinsky in June. Savoy was a much more established company operating out of the same region of New Jersey and the deal called for Mendelsohn to remain as President and in total control of the company’s output with Savoy mainly taking on distribution responsibilities.

But a year – almost to day – after Lubinsky came on board he’d announced he’d bought out Mendelsohn entirely and would run Regent himself. Mendelsohn soon wound up at Regal Records, the company that David and Jules Braun, also of New Jersey, started after their DeLuxe label had been bought out by King Records’ Syd Nathan in a similar takeover move to the one Lubinsky perpetrated. Mendelsohn however would eventually return to Savoy and Regent in 1953 after starting Herald Records in between two stints with (ironically) King/DeLuxe. Mendelsohn would spend three years with Savoy in the mid-50’s and then rejoin them in 1961, outliving Lubinsky who died in 1974, and subsequently running the label until it ceased operations in the 1980’s.

As for Regent itself, once established as Savoy subsidiary it seemed to serve little purpose other than as an outlet for overflow product, such as when a prolific artist such as Johnny Otis had far more completed masters than could ever be issued on Savoy at one time and so this enabled them to have new records of their hottest artist on two labels at once. At other times Regent became almost a demotion if an artist’s initial release on Savoy had sold poorly, his subsequent output would get shunted to Regent.

In spite of this the label had some good records by important artists, most of whom were more known for their Savoy output, but they existed for a decade (in both blue and red labels) with a consistent stream of releases that ran the gamut from gospel to rock and despite its connection to Savoy is more than just a minor footnote in their history.
 
 
REGENT RECORDS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

JOHNNY CRAWFORD: Red Cap Shuffle (7) (Regent 1009; December, 1949)
JOHNNY CRAWFORD: Sawbuck (5) (Regent 1009; December, 1949)