Okeh Records  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Okeh Records began as an independent record label based in the United States of America in 1918; from the late 1920s on, it was a subsidiary of Columbia Records.

The Okeh label was the first to set up a special race records division in 1921, its "Original Race Records".

Later years

Okeh releases grew infrequent after 1932, although the label continued into 1935. Columbia again revived it in 1940 after they lost the rights to the Vocalion name (by dropping the Brunswick label) and pressed it until 1946. It was revived once again in the 1950s and used sporadically through the 1990s. Epic Records took over management of Okeh in 1965. Among the artists during Okeh's "pop" phase of the 50s and 60s were Johnnie Ray, Little Joe & The Thrillers, and Little Richard. With Soul music coming to the forefront in the 60s, Okeh signed Major Lance, who gave the label two big successes with "The Monkey Time" and "Um Um Um Um Um Um". The success of Okeh in the 1960s was producer Carl Davis and songwriter Curtis Mayfield. After they left the label (due to disputes with Epic/Okeh head Len Levy), Okeh gradually slipped in sales, and was finally deactivated discreetly by CBS Records in 1970.

Sony Music Entertainment today owns the Okeh catalogue with Epic continuing to manage the Okeh material. Blues musician and singer Keb' Mo' records for the Epic group of Sony Music under the Okeh and Red Ink labels.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Okeh Records" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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