Bell Records

Bell Records

Profile:
In 1952 Arthur Shimkin bought the Bell label from Benny Bell and became President of the company. Head of A&R was Morty Palitz. The musical director was Sy Oliver. In its early stages, Bell recorded popular music and comedy. By 1959, Al Massler was President of Bell. Massler formed Mala Records in 1959 as a subsidiary label to Bell, Mala recorded popular, rock and roll and R&B music. Massler also formed another subsidiary, Amy Records, in 1960. Amy recorded popular, rock and roll, ethnic, comedy and R&B. The original Bell records of the '50s generally tended toward cover versions of popular hits of the times, much as the Tops Records label did, or "generic" non-hit pop. After Massler became president, they concentrated more on albums, much like budget pop labels such as Strand. The orchestral backup was first-rate on many of these, with bands such as Sy Oliver and Burt Bacharach appearing.

But generic pop music was dying out as the '50s closed, and by the turn of the decade, some changes needed to be made if the label was to survive. By 1959, the Bell label itself was almost inactive on the singles side, perhaps partly due to the aforementioned "image" problems. Instead of fighting Bell's established reputation when entering the rock and roll 45 marketplace, Massler shifted primarily to Mala and (later) Amy for singles, and used Bell as an album label. When one of the Amy singles ("The Madison" by Al Brown's Tunetoppers, Amy 804) unexpectedly hit, an album called Madison Dance Party [Amy A-1] was quickly issued. Actually, "The Madison," which made #23 on the Billboard charts nationally, would have been a bigger hit had not Columbia put out a competing song, "Madison Time" by the Ray Bryant Combo, which split sales (the latter made #30). A second Amy album [A-2], was a tie-in with Sick magazine (an early losing competitor to Mad Magazine).

By 1961, the Bell label itself was moribund, with a few albums and no singles being issued. The main activity was with Mala and Amy, each of which continued with about two dozen 45 issues per year, essentially without album issues. The Amy and Mala singles catalog was interesting, with most issues being well-produced stiffs, with an occasional chart single.

Larry Uttal, who was the owner of Madison Records, folded his Madison label and shifted his artists to Amy and Mala near the end of 1961. He purchased Bell/Mala/Amy outright some time between late 1961 and early 1964.

In 1955 the Dutch company ROVA closed an agreement with Bell Records to become their exclusive Dutch distributor. The records were imported directly from the United States and were sold for HFL.1,95, a price much lower than the prices of other records at that time. This explains the fact that so many Bell Records circulate in The Netherlands!

In December 1958 ROVA started releasing their own productions on the Golden Bell label. Dutch songs recorded by Dutch artists like Kobus Robijn, Adri Tuinsma and Jenny Roda.

ROVA continued to sell Bell Records on the Dutch market until the end of the 1950s, after which the company disappeared from the Dutch record market.

Responsible for most of the releases by Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band, Slik, Showaddywaddy, The Sweet etc. during the Glam 70s; other artists included the Partridge Family, David Cassidy, Solomon Burke, Terry Jacks, Barry Manilow, Suzi Quatro, The O'Jays (prior to their Philly Soul superstardom) Tony Orlando And Dawn, Melissa Manchester and The Fifth Dimension. In 1974, it changed its name , to Arista and everything that was then currently on Bell was eventually reissued with the new name (though certain artists' material was still issued on the Bell label until the early 1980s in Britain).

In Europe, Arista/BMG released several titles with the Bell name in the 1990s.
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
US:
Bell Records, a division of Columbia Pictures Industries Inc.
1776 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

UK:
Columbia Pictures Industries Inc.
Bell Records Division
30 Harcourt St.
London W1H 2BE
Sites:
[l25407]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
1 Elise Rhodes / Dottie Evans Elise Rhodes / Dottie Evans - Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) / My Prayer(7", Single) Bell Records 1 US 1956 Sell This Version
1 Various All The Hits On Bell(7", EP) Bell Records 1 France 1958 Sell This Version
1C 006-94 626 CCS The Band Played The Boogie / Hang It On Me(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-94 626 US 1973 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 275 M The Glitter Band Goodbye My Love(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola, Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 275 M Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 282 The Pearls Doctor Love / Pass It On(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-96 282 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 006-96 292 The Drifters Love Games(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 006-96 292 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1 C 006- 96 296 John Henry (18) I Won't Dance(7", Single) Bell Records 1 C 006- 96 296 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 006-96 364 Showaddywaddy Sweet Music(7", Single) Bell Records 1 C 006-96 364 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 366 Hello Games Up(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 366 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 393 Bay City Rollers Bye Bye Baby (Single) 1C 006-96 393 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 476 The Glitter Band The Tears I Cried(7") Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 476 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 512 Barry Blue Devil's Gun / You Make Me Happy (When I'm Blue)(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-96 512 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1 C 006-96 575 M Gary Glitter Love Like You And Me(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 006-96 575 M Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 594 Bay City Rollers Give A Little Love (Single) 1C 006-96 594 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 597 Showaddywaddy Three Steps To Heaven(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-96 597 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1 C 006-96 622 Hello Bend Me, Shape Me(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 006-96 622 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 754 Gary Glitter Doing All Right With The Boys(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-96 754 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 819 The Drifters There Goes My First Love(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 819 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 852 The Glitter Band Love In The Sun(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-96 852 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 898 Hello New York Groove (Single) 1C 006-96 898 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 937 Showaddywaddy Heartbeat(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 937 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-96 977 Barry Blue If I Show You I Can Dance(7") Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-96 977 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 110 Gary Glitter Papa Oom Mow Mow(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 110 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 173 Tony Orlando & Dawn Skybird(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-97 173 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1 C 006-97 178 Showaddywaddy Heavenly (Single) 1 C 006-97 178 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 179 Bay City Rollers Money Honey (Single) 1C 006-97 179 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 180 The Glitter Band Alone Again(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 180 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1 C006-97 222 The Drifters Can I Take You Home Little Girl(7") Bell Records 1 C006-97 222 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 345 Gilly Mason Band Keep It Up(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 345 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 346 Tina Charles One Broken Heart For Sale(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-97 346 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 440 Hello Star Studded Sham(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 440 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 C 006-97 445 Bay City Rollers Saturday Night(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 006-97 445 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 480 The Glitter Band People Like You And People Like Me (Single) 1C 006-97 480 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 C 006-97 504 The Drifters Hello Happiness(7", Single) Bell Records 1 C 006-97 504 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 595 Gary Glitter You Belong To Me(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 595 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 603 Barry Ryan Judy(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 603 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 C 006-97 660 Bay City Rollers Love Me Like I Love You(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 006-97 660 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 697 Showaddywaddy Trocadero(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 697 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 C 006-97 796 G. Band* Don't Make Promises (You Can't Keep)(7", Single) Bell Records 1 C 006-97 796 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 886 Hello Love Stealer(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 886 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-97 942 Firebird (2) Two Wheels(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-97 942 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-98 038 The Monkees Daydream Believer(7", Single) Bell Records 1C 006-98 038 Germany 1972 Sell This Version
1C 006-98 051 Showaddywaddy Take Me In Your Arms(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-98 051 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 006-98 122 The Drifters Every Nite's A Saturday Night With You(7", Single) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 006-98 122 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 C 006-98 176 Bay City Rollers I Only Wanna Be With You (Single) 1 C 006-98 176 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 058-97 206 Various Ride On(LP, Comp) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 058-97 206 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-94 488 Vicki Lawrence The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-94 488 Germany & Switzerland 1973 Sell This Version
1C062-96446 The Drifters Love Games(LP, Album) Bell Records 1C062-96446 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 497 The Glitter Band Rock 'n' Roll Dudes(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-96 497 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 506 Bay City Rollers Once Upon A Star(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-96 506 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 605 Gary Glitter Gary Glitter's Greatest Hits(LP, Comp) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-96 605 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 724 Bay City Rollers Rollin'(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-96 724 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 731 Showaddywaddy Step Two(LP, Album) Bell Records 1C 062-96 731 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 825 Barry Blue Greatest Hits (Hot Shots)(LP, Comp) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-96 825 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1C 062-96 826 David Cassidy David Cassidy's Greatest Hits(LP, Comp) Bell Records 1C 062-96 826 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 062-96 837 Showaddywaddy Showaddywaddy(LP, Album) Bell Records 1 C 062-96 837 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 062-96 838 The Glitter Band Hey!(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 062-96 838 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 062-96 847 Various Super Bells 16 Originals From The Super-Hitcompany Bell(LP, Comp) Bell Records 1 C 062-96 847 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
1C06296854 Terry Jacks Seasons In The Sun(LP, Album) Bell Records 1C06296854 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 C 062-97 117 Gary Glitter G. G.(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1 C 062-97 117 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-97 197 Bay City Rollers Wouldn't You Like It? (Album) 1C 062-97 197 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-97 305 The Drifters There Goes My First Love(LP, Album) Bell Records, EMI Electrola 1C 062-97 305 Germany 1975 Sell This Version
1C 062-97 496 Hello Keeps Us Off The Streets(LP, Album) Bell Records 1C 062-97 496 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 062-97 596 The Glitter Band The Glitter Band's Greatest Hits(LP, Comp) Bell Records, Emi Electrola 1C 062-97 596 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 062-97 664 Showaddywaddy Trocadero (Album) 1C 062-97 664 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 062-98 177 Bay City Rollers Dedication(LP, Album, Gat) Bell Records 1C 062-98 177 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 064-96 724 Bay City Rollers Rollin'(LP, Album, RE) Bell Records, Arista Records 1C 064-96 724 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
1C 064-98 177 Bay City Rollers Dedication(LP, Album) Bell Records, Arista Records 1C 064-98 177 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1C 178-98 229/30 Various Top Pops(2xLP, Comp) EMI Electrola, Bell Records 1C 178-98 229/30 Germany 1976 Sell This Version
1 J 006-92.006 M The Partridge Family I Think I Love You(7", Single) Stateside 1 J 006-92.006 M Spain 1970 Sell This Version
1 J 006-92100 M Dawn (5) Knock Three Times / Home(7", Single) Stateside 1 J 006-92100 M Spain 1971 Sell This Version
1 J 006-92.511 M Johnny Johnson And His Bandwagon* Mr. Tambourine Man(7") Stateside 1 J 006-92.511 M Spain 1971 Sell This Version
1 J 006-92.822 Dawn (5) What Are You Doing Sunday(7", Single) Stateside 1 J 006-92.822 Spain 1971 Sell This Version
1 J 006-96.275 The Glitter Band Goodbye My Love(7") Bell Records, Bell Records 1 J 006-96.275 Spain 1975 Sell This Version
1J 006-96 393 Bay City Rollers Bye Bye Baby(7", Single) Bell Records 1J 006-96 393 Spain 1975 Sell This Version
1 J 006-96.597 Showaddywaddy Tres Pasos Hacia El Cielo = Three Steps To Heaven(7", Single) Bell Records 1 J 006-96.597 Spain 1975 Sell This Version
1 J 006-96754 Gary Glitter Doing All Right With The Boys(7", Single) Bell Records 1 J 006-96754 Spain 1975 Sell This Version
1 J 006-97.179 Bay City Rollers Money Honey(7", Single) Bell Records 1 J 006-97.179 Spain 1976 Sell This Version
1 J-062-90.275 The Box Tops* Super Hits(LP, Comp) Stateside 1 J-062-90.275 Spain 1969 Sell This Version
1J 062-91.983 Johnny Johnson And His Bandwagon* Soul Survivor(LP, Album) Stateside 1J 062-91.983 Spain 1971 Sell This Version
1J 062-96731 Showaddywaddy Step Two(LP, Album) Bell Records 1J 062-96731 Spain 1975 Sell This Version
1J 062-97584 Bay City Rollers Wouldn't You Like It?(LP, Album) Bell Records 1J 062-97584 Spain 1976 Sell This Version
1 M 048-96 972 Barry Blue Dancin' On A Saturday Night - The Best Of Barry Blue(LP, Comp) MFP Super, Bell Records 1 M 048-96 972 Germany 1974 Sell This Version
1 M 048-96974 The 5th Dimension* Dimension Five(LP, Comp) Bell Records, EMI 1 M 048-96974 Germany 1970 Sell This Version
1 M 048-96 975 The Delfonics Let It Be Me(LP, Comp) MFP Super 1 M 048-96 975 Germany 1968 Sell This Version
1 M 048-96 976 The Drifters Save The Last Dance For Me(LP, Album, RE) Music For Pleasure, Bell Records 1 M 048-96 976 Germany 1977 Sell This Version
2 Various All The Hits On Bell(7", EP) Bell Records 2 France 1958 Sell This Version
2C 006-9311 M The Fantastics Something Old, Something New / High And Dry(7") Bell Records 2C 006-9311 M France 1971 Sell This Version
2 C 004 96292 The Drifters Love Games(7", Single) Bell Records 2 C 004 96292 France 1975 Sell This Version
2C 004 96575 Gary Glitter Love Like You And Me(7") Bell Records 2C 004 96575 France 1975 Sell This Version
2C 004-96.754 Gary Glitter Doing All Right With The Boys(7") Bell Records 2C 004-96.754 France 1975 Sell This Version
2C 006-90061 Sam Hutchins* Dang Me(7", Single) Bell Records, Bell Records 2C 006-90061 France Unknown Sell This Version
2 C 006 - 90062 Solomon Burke Up Tight Good Woman(7", Single, RE) Bell Records 2 C 006 - 90062 France Unknown Sell This Version
2 C 006-90063 Smokestack Lightnin' Light In My Window(7", Promo) Bell Records 2 C 006-90063 France Unknown Sell This Version
2 C 006-90096 M Crazy Elephant Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' / Dark Part Of My Mind(7", Single) Bell Records 2 C 006-90096 M France 1969 Sell This Version
2C 006-90136 M Shirley* & The Shirelles Shirley* & The Shirelles - Look What You've Done To My Heart / A Most Unusual Boy(7", Single) Bell Records 2C 006-90136 M France Unknown Sell This Version
2C 006-90189 M The Box Tops* I Shall Be Released(7", Single) Bell Records 2C 006-90189 M France 1969 Sell This Version
2C 006-90.190M Solomon Burke Proud Mary(7") Bell Records 2C 006-90.190M France 1970 Sell This Version
2C 006-90222 Smokestack Lightnin' I Idolize You / Something's Got A Hold On Me(7", Single) Bell Records 2C 006-90222 France 1969 Sell This Version
2C 006-90305M Legend (6) National Gas(7", Single) Bell Records 2C 006-90305M France 1969 Sell This Version

Reviews

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HuggyMan66

HuggyMan66

December 12, 2011
From 1952 until 1975, Bell Records had quite a definitive roster of artists, ranging from The Drifters to Sergio Mendes to Crazy Elephant to The Partridge Family to Tony Orlando & Dawn to The Bay City Rollers. Other acts who've recorded for Bell also include The Fifth Dimension, The Stampeders, Vicki Lawrence & Barry Manilow. Bell's two most distinct labels are the purple & silver label used prior to 1969, with the word "BELL" spelled in the shape of a bell. The label used from 1969 until 1975 consisted of a silver label with black print, featuring a bell with the word "bell" spelled in lower-case letters. At the right of the icons was an arc consisting of five curved lines, which were displayed at the top of the label. Radio stations played promo copies of Bell singles, which consisted of a white label with red print, same style as the silver & black label. The white labels contained the words: "PROMOTIONAL COPY NOT FOR SALE". In 1975, the Bell label was discontinued & became Arista Records. Since that time, the Bell name & logo have been revived. In 1993, wrestler Hulk Hogan featuring Green Jelly recorded a single on Bell titled "I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)". Bell Records will always be fondly remembered by me for its fine lineup of musical acts & their assortment of catchy & memorable songs. Bravo, Bell Records!