A short-lived Los Angeles company launched in the spring of 1949 by lyricist John Blackburn whose Moonlight In Vermont was his most renowned composition, a million seller by Margaret Whiting in 1944 and one of the most oft-recorded songs of the 20th Century.

At the time Blackburn started Selective Records he was riding high with Need You, a Top Five hit by Jo Safford and Gordon MacRae. That song spent thirteen weeks on the charts which was nearly as much time as the label itself lasted, not even making a full year in operation before folding.

It’s interesting that Blackburn, whose own songwriting credits were almost exclusively in traditional white pop styles, cultivated an almost exclusively black stable of artists spanning rock, blues and gospel. Though the company wasn’t in operation long they did score a hit with The Great Gates right away but were unable to parlay that into either prolonged interest in his career or to attract enough hopefuls to fill out their roster.

Acclaimed guitarist Teddy Bunn released some typically good sides in his brief time there, his records combining jazz, blues and rock elements without firmly settling on any of them. They also released the first few sides of The Hollywood Flames (as The Flames), one of the longer lasting of the 1950’s vocal groups and a breeding ground for a host of noteworthy vocalists.

But mild historical notoriety for those three names aside like so many independent labels they couldn’t sell enough to keep the company solvent and it was shut down in early 1950.
SELECTIVE RECORDS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

THE GREAT GATES: Late After Hours (6) (Selective 103; June, 1949)
TEDDY BUNN: Irritatin’ Blues (6) (Selective 105; September, 1949)
TEDDY BUNN: One A.M. Blues (3) (Selective 105; September, 1949)
THE GREAT GATES: Race Track Blues (4) (Selective 108; November, 1949)