Company entity behind the label ABKCO - please use ABKCO for the label and ABKCO Records for company roles.
ABKCO = Allen and Betty Klein Co (the label's name is an acronym formed from the first initials of Allen B. Klein and his former wife Betty; Allen Klein himself often jokingly said the acronym meant ANew Kind Of Company). Company founded in 1961 as Allen Klein and Company, an artist management company.
Formed in 1968 by music industry accountant/business manager Allen Klein (who had earlier represented Connie Francis, Bobby Darin and most importantly, Sam Cooke) as ABKCO Music and Records, Inc. once he acquired the remnants of Cameo Parkway Records after that label went bankrupt.
ABKCO was briefly involved with The Beatles's Apple Corps Ltd. in the period just before their 1970 break-up, acting to settle the nearly-insolvent Beatle organization's finances and to represent the group despite Paul McCartney's protests. Klein was later accused of under-reporting the group's earnings, resulting in a decade of legal wrangling. Klein took over management of the Rolling Stones in 1967 from Andrew Loog Oldham (Klein had co-managed the band since 1965; Oldham continued producing their records). After the Stones fired Klein in 1970, he sued and the legal settlement made between the two parties gave ABKCO the rights to their pre-1971 material.
Klein was also involved with John Lennon's Imagine film short, George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and the US distribution of Argentine film director Alejandro Jordowski's cult film El Topo (1971) and production (in association with United Artists) of the Lenny Bruce bio-pic Lenny (1974). ABKCO took over administration of Phil Spector's master recordings and music publishing holdings at his behest after the Wall of Sound creator's lawyer died in 1988. After the 1994 sale of the Spector publishing catalog to EMI Music, ABKCO continued to distribute the Philles Records/Phil Spector International catalog until EMI licensed it to Sony Music Entertainment's Legacy Recordings division for CD releases, vinyl reissues and legal download distribution in 2009.
Allen Klein retired due to ill health in 1995 and died in 2009 from Alzheimer's Disease. The label is still owned by the Klein family, now managed by his son Jody Klein and distributed through Universal Music Group.