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Jerry Osborne

In syndication since 1986, and now in our 31st year — Over 3,100 questions answered
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FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

DEAR JERRY: The rock and roll era created successful careers for singers, musicians, and others in the recording industry. And, although I can't "prove" it, I'd wager that it also opened doors for many independent and start-up record companies.

How much better did these small labels fare against the majors in 1959 than they did in 1955?
—Jake Woodruff, Pueblo, Colo.

DEAR JAKE: Using just the Billboard Top 10, I have the proof that you seek.

Only 10 records from seven labels, in the Top10 during 1955, were NOT from a major player (RCA; Columbia; Capitol; Decca; M-G-M; Mercury; etc.).

For 1959, over five times (52) as many small label hits reached the Top 10.

From 1955 to the end of the decade, there were 135 hits in the Top 10, from 67 different small labels. Not included in the following list are the more successful smaller companies; those with over 10 tunes in the Top 10 (Dot; ABC/Paramount; Cadence; Imperial; etc.).

A few listed are subsidiaries, but they still qualify for our purpose.

ABBOTT: 1955 "Teach Me Tonight" (The DeCastro Sisters) No. 3
ACE: 1958 "Just a Dream" (Jimmy Clanton and His Rockets) No. 4
ACE: 1959 "Go, Jimmy, Go" (Jimmy Clanton) No. 5
ALADDIN: 1957 "Little Bitty Pretty One" (Thurston Harris) No. 6
APT: 1958 "Little Star" (The Elegants) No. 1
ARGO: 1958 "Book of Love" (The Monotones) No. 6
ARWIN: 1958 "Jennie Lee" (Jan & Arnie) No. 8
ATCO: 1957 "Searchin'" (The Coasters) No. 3
ATCO: 1957 "Young Blood'" (The Coasters) No. 8
ATCO: 1958 "Yakety Yak" (The Coasters) No. 2
ATCO: 1958 "Queen of the Hop" (Bobby Darin) No. 9
ATCO: 1958 "Splish Splash" (Bobby Darin) No. 3
ATCO: 1959 "Along Came Jones" (The Coasters) No. 9
ATCO: 1959 "Charlie Brown" (The Coasters) No. 2
ATCO: 1959 "Poison Ivy" (The Coasters) No. 7
ATCO: 1959 "Dream Lover" (Bobby Darin) No. 2
ATCO: 1959 "Mack the Knife" (Bobby Darin) No. 1
ATLANTIC: 1957 "Mr. Lee" (The Bobbettes) No. 7
ATLANTIC: 1958 "A Lover's Question" (Clyde McPhatter) No. 6
ATLANTIC: 1959 "I Cried a Tear" (LaVern Baker) No. 6
ATLANTIC: 1959 "There Goes My Baby" (The Drifters) No. 2
ATLANTIC: 1959 "What'd I Say" (Ray Charles) No. 6
BIG TOP: 1959 "Lavender Blue" (Sammy Turner) No. 3
BRUNSWICK: 1957 "That'll Be the Day" (The Crickets) No. 1
BRUNSWICK: 1959 "Lonely Teardrops" (Jackie Wilson) No. 7
CAMEO: 1957 "Butterfly" (Charlie Gracie) No. 1
CAMEO: 1957 "Dinner With Drac" (John Zacherle "The Cool Ghoul") No. 8
CAMEO: 1957 "Silhouettes" (The Rays) No. 4
CAMEO: 1959 "We Got Love" (Bobby Rydell) No. 6
CANADIAN AMERICAN: 1959 "Sleep Walk" (Santo & Johnny) No. 1
CARLTON: 1958 "My True Love" (Jack Scott) No. 3
CARLTON: 1959 "Goodbye Baby" (Jack Scott) No. 8
CHALLENGE: 1958 "Tequila" (The Champs) No. 1
CHALLENGE: 1959 "Primrose Lane" (Jerry Wallace) No. 8
CHANCELLOR: 1958 "DeDe Dinah" (Frankie Avalon) No. 9
CHANCELLOR: 1958 "Ginger Bread" (Frankie Avalon) No. 9
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Bobby Sox to Stockings" (Frankie Avalon) No. 8
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Just Ask Your Heart" (Frankie Avalon) No. 7
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Venus" (Frankie Avalon) No. 1
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Why" (Frankie Avalon) No. 1
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Hound Dog Man" (Fabian) No. 9
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Tiger" (Fabian) No. 3
CHANCELLOR: 1959 "Turn Me Loose" (Fabian) No. 9
CHECKER: 1957 "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby" (The Tune Weavers) No. 8
CHESS: 1955 "Maybellene" (Chuck Berry) No. 5
CHESS: 1957 "School Day" (Chuck Berry) No. 3
CHESS: 1957 "Over the Mountain, Across the Sea" (Johnnie & Joe) No. 9
CHESS: 1958 "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry) No. 9
CHESS: 1958 "Rock & Roll Music" (Chuck Berry) No. 9
CHESS: 1958 "Sweet Little Sixteen" (Chuck Berry) No. 2
CLASS: 1958 "Rock-in Robin" (Bobby Day) No. 2
CLOCK: 1959 "The Happy Organ" (Dave 'Baby' Cortez) No. 1
COED: 1959 "16 Candles" (The Crests) No. 2
CRYSTALETTE: 1959 "Pink Shoe Laces" (Dodie Stevens) No. 3
CUB: 1959 "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)" (The Impalas) No. 2
DEL-FI: 1959 "Donna" (Ritchie Valens) No. 2
DEMON: 1958 "Endless Sleep" (Jody Reynolds) No. 5
DEMON: 1958 "Western Movies" (The Olympics) No. 8
DISNEYLAND: 1959 "Tall Paul" (Annette and the Afterbeats) No. 7
DOLPHIN: 1959 "Come Softly to Me" (Fleetwoods) No. 1
DOLTON: 1959 "Mr. Blue" (The Fleetwoods) No. 1
DOOTONE: 1955 "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" (The Penguins) No. 8
DORE: 1958 "To Know Him, Is to Love Him" (The Teddy Bears) No. 1
DORE: 1959 "Baby Talk" (Jan & Dean) No. 10
EMBER: 1958 "Get a Job" (The Silhouettes) No. 2
END: 1958 "Tears on My Pillow" (Little Anthony and the Imperials) No. 4
EPIC: 1955 "(My Baby Don't Love Me) No More" (DeJohn Sisters) No. 8
EPIC: 1955 "Unchained Melody" (Roy Hamilton) No. 6
EPIC: 1955 "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" (Somethin' Smith & the Redheads) No. 7
EPIC: 1957 "Start Movin' (In My Direction)" (Sal Mineo) No. 9
ERA: 1956 "The Wayward Wind" (Gogi Grant) No. 1
FERNWOOD: 1959 "Tragedy" (Thomas Wayne) No. 5
FRATERNITY: 1956 "Ivory Tower" (Cathy Carr) No. 7
FRATERNITY: 1957 "So Rare" (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra) No. 4
FRATERNITY: 1959 "The All American Boy" (Bill Parsons) No. 2
FURY: 1959 "Kansas City" (Wilbert Harrison) No. 1
GEE: 1956 "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon) No. 6
GLORY: 1956 "The Banana Boat Song" (The Tarriers) No. 5
GUARANTEED: 1959 "Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat" (Paul Evans) No. 10
HUNT: 1959 "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" (The Virtues) No. 5
JAMIE: 1958 "Rebel 'Rouser" (Duane Eddy and His Twangy Guitar) No. 6
JAMIE: 1959 "Forty Miles of Bad Road" (Duane Eddy and the Rebels) No. 9
JOSIE: 1958 "Do You Want to Dance" (Bobby Freeman) No. 6
JUBILEE: 1957 "White Silver Sands" (Don Rondo) No. 9
KAPP: 1955 "Autumn Leaves" (Roger Williams) No. 1
KAPP: 1957 "Rainbow" (Russ Hamilton) No. 7
KAPP: 1958 "Near You" (Roger Williams) No. 10
KEEN: 1957 "You Send Me" (Sam Cooke) No. 1
KING: 1955 "Seventeen" (Boyd Bennett and His Rockets) No. 5
KING: 1956 "Honky Tonk" (Bill Doggett) No. 2
LAURIE: 1959 "A Teenager in Love" (Dion & the Belmonts) No. 6
LAURIE: 1959 "Where Or When" (Dion & the Belmonts) No. 3
LAURIE: 1959 "Petite Fleur (Little Flower)" (Chris Barber's Jazz Band) No. 5
LIBERTY: 1955 "Cry Me a River" (Julie London) No. 9
LIBERTY: 1956 "Tonight You Belong to Me" (Patience & Prudence) No. 4
LIBERTY: 1957 "I'm Available" (Margie Rayburn) No. 9
LIBERTY: 1958 "Witch Doctor" (David Seville) No. 1
LIBERTY: 1958 "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran) No. 8
LIBERTY: 1958 "The Chipmunk Song" (The Chipmunks With the Music Of David Seville) No. 1
LIBERTY: 1959 "Alvin's Harmonica" (David Seville and the Chipmunks) No. 3
LIBERTY: 1959 "Quiet Village" (The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny) No. 4
LONDON: 1956 "Rock Island Line" (The Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group) No. 8
LOVE: 1958 "Topsy II" (Cozy Cole) No. 3
LUNIVERSE: "The Flying Saucer" (Buchanan & Goodman) No. 3
MONUMENT: 1959 "Gotta Travel On" (Billy Grammer) No. 4
NASCO: 1958 "Oh Julie" (The Crescendos) No. 6
ORIGINAL SOUND: 1959 "Teen Beat" (Sandy Nelson) No. 4
PALETTE: 1959 "Manhattan Spiritual" (Reg Owen & His Orchestra) No. 10
PHILLIPS: 1957 "Raunchy" (Bill Justis) No. 2
RENDEZVOUS: 1959 "In the Mood" (Ernie Fields' Orchestra) No. 4
ROULETTE: 1957 "Party Doll" (Buddy Knox) No. 1
ROULETTE: 1957 "Hula Love" (Buddy Knox) No. 9
ROULETTE: 1957 "Honeycomb" (Jimmy Rodgers) No. 1
ROULETTE: 1957 "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" (Jimmy Rodgers) No. 3
ROULETTE: 1958 "Secretly" (Jimmy Rodgers) No. 3
ROULETTE: 1958 "Are You Really Mine" (Jimmy Rodgers) No. 10
ROULETTE: 1958 "Beep Beep" (The Playmates) No. 4
SANDY: 1959 "Tell Him No" (Travis & Bob) No. 8
SIGNET: 1959 "The Big Hurt" (Miss Toni Fisher) No. 3
SPECIALITY: 1956 "Long Tall Sally" (Little Richard) No. 6
SPECIALITY: 1957 "Jenny Jenny" (Little Richard) No. 10
SPECIALITY: 1957 "Keep a Knockin'" (Little Richard) No. 8
SPECIALITY: 1957 "Short Fat Fannie" (Larry Williams) No. 5
SUN: 1956 "Blue Suede Shoes" (Carl Perkins) No. 3
SUN: 1957 "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On" (Jerry Lee Lewis) No. 3
SUN: 1958 "Breathless" (Jerry Lee Lewis) No. 9
SUN: 1958 "Great Balls of Fire" (Jerry Lee Lewis) No. 2
SWAN: 1958 "La Dee Dah" (Billy & Lillie) No. 10
SWAN: 1959 "Tallahassee Lassie" (Freddy Cannon) No. 6
SWAN: 1959 "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" (Freddy Cannon) No. 5
TIME: 1959 "I've Had It" (The Bell Notes) No. 6
VERVE: 1957 "A Teenager's Romance" (Ricky Nelson) No. 2
VERVE: 1957 "I'm Walking" (Ricky Nelson) No. 4
WARWICK: 1959 "Red River Rock" (Johnny & the Hurricanes) No. 5
"X": 1955 "Hard to Get" (Gisele MacKenzie) No. 4

IZ ZAT SO? "Come Softly to Me," by "Fleetwoods" (no "The"), was first issued as Dolphin 1, then later as Liberty 55188 (mono) and 77188 (stereo). The Liberty release came about when the Dolphin people opted to change their name to Dolton rather than litigate the matter with someone claiming the Dolphin name. Thus, Dolphin is the only label on the list to have made only one record and a No. 1 hit at that.

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