MGM Records

MGM Records

Profile:
Record label launched by Loew's, Inc. in 1946. Its output was originally soundtrack recordings from MGM movies (featuring the likes of Judy Garland, Jane Powell and Gene Kelly) but quickly included other musical genres. One of the label's earliest stars was Hank Williams (from 1949 until 1953) as MGM had placed some emphasis on country and western music. As the 1950s progressed, MGM had signed a number of major talents including Conway Twitty, Billy Eckstine, Art Mooney, Joni James and Connie Francis (who would be the longest-serving artist on the label, recording from 1957 until 1973 but still releasing albums until the label's demise).

By 1953, MGM Records was considered a major label alongside Columbia, Mercury, Decca, Capitol and Coral. It launched the Cub subsidiary in 1956 and expanded into jazz by buying Verve Records from its founder Norman Granz in December 1960. It became the American distributor for Deutsche Grammophon in 1962 (losing those rights when Polydor opened its US branch in 1969), expanded Verve into rock (The Righteous Brothers, the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention) and folk (Janis Ian, Richie Havens, Tim Hardin) music and became the distributor of Kama Sutra Records.

By the late 1960s, the label was beginning to experience many internal and sales problems (the studio's unrealistic sales goals for the label in spite of large numbers of unsold LPs winding up in the cut-out bins; the colossal failure of the Alan Lorber-created 1968-69 "Bosstown Sound" marketing campaign; contracutal problems with unsuccessful producers; MGM's habitual censoring of music, sitting on finished masters and releasing albums without artist approval didn't help matters). MGM Records president Mike Curb infamously dropped eighteen poor-selling acts from the label, citing pro-drug lyrics in their music. This gave the future Lieutenant Govenor of California a commendation from President Richard M. Nixon for his anti-drug stance. In this area, around 1970, the label was distributed and manufactured by Curb's 'Transcontinental Record Corporation', commonly abridged to TRC (2).

Curb righted the label's fortunes by giving it a more family entertainment-oriented focus, with The Osmonds becoming their biggest stars and by signing Petula Clark, Wayne Newton and Sammy Davis, Jr.; it also delved into the era's bubblegum pop (The Cowsills, Daddy Dewdrop), country (Hank Williams, Jr., Jim Stafford, C.W. McCall, Mel Tillis) and soul music (Lou Rawls, Johnny Bristol).

In May 1972, MGM's then owner, hotel and real estate magnate Kirk Kerkorian, sold the label to PolyGram, including a ten-year lease on the MGM logo and perpetual rights to the MGM Records name. In 1975, MGM Records was de-emphasized and all of the acts still signed to the label were transferred to Polydor, which had by then become its parent label; it soon became an outlet for MGM soundtrack album releases and back catalog reissues until the label was shut down for good in 1982. The reissue rights to the MGM film soundtracks were licensed to CBS Special Products in 1982 and were later passed on to MCA Records in 1986, where its releases of roughly 100 of them were the last vinyl LP versions; the rights to the classic MGM film soundtracks now reside with Rhino Records (2) which has been releasing restored and expanded CD versions on its Rhino Movie Music imprint in association with Turner Classic Movies. The MGM pop and country catalogs are currently managed by The Island/Def Jam Music Group via Polydor, Mercury Records, and Mercury Nashville, respectively.

For much of its history, MGM distributed a number of smaller labels, many of which only lasted a couple of releases. A few exceptions include Kama Sutra (which became a sister label to Buddah Records in 1969); Andy Williams' Barnaby Records (a brief interim deal in 1973 as it was changing distribution from CBS to Janus) and Roy Acuff's Hickory Records (which switched distribution to ABC Records after a three-year period).

During its lifetime, MGM used several format prefixes, label designs and tapefaces that - very roughly - allow for a dating of the releases.
US prefixes:
"K": 7" 45 rpm singles, from 1949 until February 1974.
"M": 7" 45 rpm singles, from February 1974 until 1976.
"X": 7" 45 rpm EPs.
"SK": Special edition Stereo 7" 45 rpm singles from 1959.
"KGC": Golden Circle 7" 45 rpms.

"E": Mono LPs, since 1953 until about 1958.
"E/SE": Reissues with rechanneled - fake - stereo releases, since 1958 (often using the mono jackets with an attached sticker).
"SE": Stereo LPs, since 1959 and until 1974.
1974 and later LP prefixes were M3, MG, MB.
Children records carry CH (mono) and CHS (stereo) prefixes.

Centre label designs:
From the 1940s and until 1959, the label was yellow with a black lion logo and black lettering.
From 1959 to 1968, a black label with a rainbow coloured "M-G-M" in large letters and the classic "movie" MGM lion logo above that, and silver lettering was used.
In 1968, the label became blue and gold/yellowish with the ("modernized Leo") lion logo in black and "MGM Records" in blue, and black lettering.

Until around October 1960 labels stated at the bottom that MGM was a division of Loew's Incorporated (the original parent company of MGM who had to divorce the company from their holdings in 1952 as the result of a Federal antitrust ruling (United States v. Paramount Pictures) stating that the major film studios could no longer own movie theater chains; because of Loew's' elaborate corporate structure, however, Loew's and MGM didn't become officially divorced until 1959).
From October 1960 until around 1971, labels read at the bottom "M-G-M Records - A Division Of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc." (later changed to M.G.M Records - A Division Of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. and then MGM Records - A Division Of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.).
In May 1972 (after the PolyGram takover) this became "Manufactured by MGM Records, Inc., 7165 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Calif. 90046".
From approx. 1976 onwards, the bottom read "Manufactured And Marketed By Polydor Incorporated/810 Seventh Avenue/New York, N.Y. 10019".

Typefaces:
All MGM Records Division pressings carry a typeface from Pace Press, NYC. This is mainly identifiable by using surnames only as songwriter credits (e.g. Burdon), and the publishing info and cat# / label matrix numbers are found towards the lower end of the centre hole. Example .

Other typefaces found stem from:
Southern Plastics, Nashville, TN.: They usually printed the publishing info and cat# centrally around the centre hole and used initials for the songwriter (e.g. E. Burdon). Example .
Monarch Record Mfg. Co., LA. with typeset by Alco Research And Engineering, Co., Los Angeles, CA.: They printed the publishing info and cat# centrally around the centre hole on the labels and also used initials with the surname. Example
H.V. Waddell Co., Burbank, CA.: They pressed for MGM until 1966. Waddell printed the credits, publishing info and cat# analogue to Pace Press but they used a different, more fat "bubble-ish" ink and a broader typeface and the centre labels feature a sunken ring around the centre hole. Example
Reverse Producers Corp.: They always stated the origin on the labels. Example
Midwest Record Pressing, Inc., Chicago, IL.: Their typeface is rather narrow and not bold. Example.
It's not unusual that a single release was pressed by several different pressing plants, e.g. MGM's own Bloomfield plant, H.V. Waddell, Midwest Record Pressings and Reverse Producers Corp.

A note about 78 RPM releases: in the late 1940s-1950s MGM used a proprietary vinyl product called "Metrolite". If record labels indicate they were pressed on Metrolite, these should be entered into the database as "Vinyl, 10", 78 RPM" releases. "Metrolite" should be mentioned in the release notes and not in the format free text field. If labels do not state Metrolite, they are probably shellac pressings. In some cases, both shellac and vinyl pressings of the same catalog numbers exist. These should be entered as separate releases within the same master release.
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
1972-1976:
MGM Records, Inc.
7165 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA. 90046
(long inactive)

Polydor:
Manufactured And Marketed By Polydor Incorporated
810 Seventh Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10019
(as shown on album jackets and some post-1976 pressings)
Sites:
[l33261]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
001 The Cowsills II X II(7", Single, Promo, Dis) MGM Records 001 Brazil 1970 Sell This Version
1E1 Miklos Rozsa* Ben-Hur Deluxe Edition (Album) 1E1 US 1959 Sell This Version
1E2 Miklos Rozsa* King Of Kings / Original Soundtrack(LP, Album, Del) MGM Records 1E2 Italy Unknown Sell This Version
1E3 Laurence Harvey · Karl Boehm* · Jim Backus · Terry-Thomas · Buddy Hackett · Yvette Mimieux · Russ Tamblyn Laurence Harvey · Karl Boehm* · Jim Backus · Terry-Thomas · Buddy Hackett · Yvette Mimieux · Russ Tamblyn - The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm(LP, Album + Box, Dlx) MGM Records, MGM Records 1E3 US 1962 Sell This Version
1E4ST Bronislau Kaper* Mutiny On The Bounty(LP, Album, Dlx + Box) MGM Records, MGM Records 1E4ST US 1962 Sell This Version
1E5 Alfred Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Ken Darby Alfred Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Ken Darby - How The West Was Won, Original Soundtrack(LP, Mono) MGM Records 1E5 US 1963 Sell This Version
1E5ST Alfred Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Ken Darby Alfred Newman, Debbie Reynolds, Ken Darby - How The West Was Won, Original Soundtrack(LP) MGM Records 1E5ST US 1963 Sell This Version
1E-6ST Maurice Jarre Il Dottor Živago (Colonna Sonora Originale) (Album) 1E-6ST Canada 1965 Sell This Version
1 E 7 (D) Debbie Reynolds The Singing Nun(LP) MGM Records, MGM Records 1 E 7 (D) Canada 1966 Sell This Version
1E-7 ST Debbie Reynolds The Singing Nun(LP) MGM Records 1E-7 ST US 1966 Sell This Version
1E-8ST Maurice Jarre Grand Prix (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) 1E-8ST US 1966 Sell This Version
1E-9 OC Various The Original Cast Album Of "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" (Album) 1E-9 OC US Unknown Sell This Version
1 E 10 Various La Conquista Del West - Colonna Sonora Originale Dal Film M.G.M(LP, Comp) MGM Records 1 E 10 Italy Unknown Sell This Version
1E-10 ST Max Steiner Gone With The Wind (Original Soundtrack Album) (Album) 1E-10 ST US 1967 Sell This Version
1E-11ST Richard Rodney Bennett Far From The Madding Crowd: Music From The Original Sound Track (Album) 1E-11ST US 1967 Sell This Version
1 SAM 006 Various Temas De Oro Del Cine(2xLP, Comp) MGM Records 1 SAM 006 Europe 1972 Sell This Version
1SE-6ST Maurice Jarre Doctor Zhivago(LP, Album, RE) MGM Records 1SE-6ST Canada 1973 Sell This Version
1SE9 OC Various The Original Cast Album Of "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown"(LP, Album) MGM Records, MGM Records 1SE9 OC US Unknown Sell This Version
1SE-13 ST Various 2001 - A Space Odyssey (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) 1SE-13 ST US 1968 Sell This Version
1SE-20ST Various Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack "The Magic Garden Of Stanley Sweetheart" 1SE-20ST US 1970 Sell This Version
1SE-21ST Oliver Nelson The Original Motion Picture Score From Zigzag 1SE-21ST US 1970 Sell This Version
1 SE 23 ST Lalo Schifrin Kelly's Heroes - Music From The Original Sound Track(LP, Album, Promo) MGM Records 1 SE 23 ST US 1970 Sell This Version
1 SE-24 ST Jeff Alexander Dirty Dingus Magee(LP, Promo) MGM Records 1 SE-24 ST US 1970 Sell This Version
1SE-28ST Various Brewster McCloud (Original Soundtrack Album) (Album) 1SE-28ST US 1970 Sell This Version
1SE-30ST Jerry Goldsmith The Last Run (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 1SE-30ST US 1971 Sell This Version
1 SE 31 ST Jerry Goldsmith Wild Rovers - Original Music From The Motion Picture(LP, Album) MGM Records 1 SE 31 ST US 1971 Sell This Version
1SE-32ST Peter Maxwell Davies And The Augmented Boy Friend Band* Starring Twiggy (2) Peter Maxwell Davies And The Augmented Boy Friend Band* Starring Twiggy (2) - The Boyfriend (Original Soundtrack) (Album) 1SE-32ST US 1971 Sell This Version
1SE-33ST Hank Williams, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys Hank Williams, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Original Sound Track - The Last Picture Show(LP) MGM Records, MGM Records 1SE-33ST US 1971 Sell This Version
1SE-34 OC Various Grease - The Original Broadway Cast Album (Album) 1SE-34 OC US 1972 Sell This Version
1SE-35ST Solomon Burke Cool Breeze (Album) 1SE-35ST US 1972 Sell This Version
1 SE 36 ST Gordon Parks Shaft's Big Score! - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Album) 1 SE 36 ST US 1972 Sell This Version
1-SE-37 ST Randy Edelman Outside In (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) 1-SE-37 ST US 1972 Sell This Version
1SE-39ST Various The Great Waltz 1SE-39ST US 1972 Sell This Version
1SE-46ST Lou Rawls / Don Costa Lou Rawls / Don Costa - The Soul Of Nigger Charley (Original Soundtrack Album) 1SE-46ST US 1973 Sell This Version
1SE-47-ST Fred Karlin Westworld - The Original Sound Track Album (Album) 1SE-47-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
1-SE-48ST Dov Seltzer Kazablan (The Original Sound Track Album) 1-SE-48ST US 1973 Sell This Version
1SE-4796 The Osmonds Phase III (Album) 1SE-4796 US 1971 Sell This Version
1SE-4820 Donny Osmond Portrait Of Donny(LP, Album) MGM Records, MGM Records, Kolob Records 1SE-4820 Canada 1972 Sell This Version
2-BRS-15008 Everly Brothers The History Of The Everly Brothers(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Barnaby Records 2-BRS-15008 US 1973 Sell This Version
2E4 RP Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II*, Arnold Michaelis Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II*, Arnold Michaelis - A Recorded Portrait(2xLP, Mono) MGM Records 2E4 RP US 1957 Sell This Version
2E5 Maurice Chevalier Yesterday & Today(2xLP, Box) MGM Records 2E5 US Unknown Sell This Version
2E-7 Various A Collection Of Million Sellers For The Entire Family(2xLP, Comp, Mono) MGM Records 2E-7 US Unknown Sell This Version
2E 10 MGM Studio Orchestra Original Sound Tracks And Other Music From Great Movies(2xLP, Comp, Ltd) MGM Records 2E 10 US Unknown Sell This Version
2E 12 Various Original And Authentic Recordings By Great Country & Western Stars(2xLP, Comp, Ltd, Mono) MGM Records 2E 12 US 1964 Sell This Version
2E-13 Various Academy Award Winners And Nominees (Comp, Album) 2E-13 US 1964 Sell This Version
2 JM8 4710 Eric Burdon And War* The Black-Man's Burdon(2x8-Trk, Album) MGM Records 2 JM8 4710 US 1970 Sell This Version
(2) MGM. 805 Arthur ("Guitar Boogie") Smith And His Crackerjacks* Truck Stop Grill / Hi Lo Boogie(7") MGM Records (2) MGM. 805 Norway Unknown Sell This Version
2SE-8 Various Organ And Piano Magic(LP, Comp, Ltd) MGM Records, MGM Records, MGM Records 2SE-8 US Unknown Sell This Version
2SE-9 MGM Studio Orchestra Melodies Of Love - Romantic Favorites(2xLP) MGM Records 2SE-9 US Unknown Sell This Version
2SE-10 Various Original Sound Tracks And Recordings Of Original Music From Great Movies(2xLP, Comp) MGM Records 2SE-10 US Unknown Sell This Version
2SE-11 Various World's Greatest Waltzes(LP, Album) MGM Records 2SE-11 US Unknown Sell This Version
2SE-14ST Various The Strawberry Statement (Album) 2SE-14ST US 1970 Sell This Version
2SE-4826 The Osmonds Live 2SE-4826 US 1972 Sell This Version
2SE 5012 The Osmonds Around The World - Live In Concert(2xLP, Album, Gat) MGM Records 2SE 5012 Canada 1975 Sell This Version
2 SES 15 ST Various The History Of MGM Movie Music - Volume 1 (Comp) 2 SES 15 ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-40-ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Singin' In The Rain And Easter Parade (Comp) 2-SES-40-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-41-ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Seven Brides For Seven Brothers - Rose Marie (Comp) 2-SES-41-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-42-ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun (Comp) 2-SES-42-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-43-ST Various Those Golden MGM Musicals-The Pirate-Pagan Love Song-Hit The Deck (Album) 2-SES-43-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-44-ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - The Band Wagon / Kiss Me Kate(2xLP, RE) MGM Records, MGM Records 2-SES-44-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-45-ST Various Till The Clouds Roll / Three Little Words (Album, Comp) 2-SES-45-ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-49ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Good News / In The Good Old Summertime / Two Weeks With Love 2-SES-49ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-50ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals Lovely To Look At / Brigadoon(2xLP, Album, RE) MGM Records 2-SES-50ST US 1974 Sell This Version
2-SES-51ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals - Silk Stockings / The Barkleys Of Broadway / Les Girls(LP, Gat) MGM Records 2-SES-51ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-52ST Various Those Glorious Mgm Musicals: Summer Stock, Everything I Have Is Yours, I Love Melvin(LP, Comp, Gat) MGM Records 2-SES-52ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-54ST Various Those Glorious MGM Musicals(LP, Comp, Gat) MGM Records 2-SES-54ST US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-4865 Hank Williams / Hank Williams Jr. Hank Williams / Hank Williams Jr. - The Legend Of Hank Williams In Song And Story (Comp) 2-SES-4865 US 1973 Sell This Version
2-SES-4884 Conway Twitty 20 Greatest Hits By Conway Twitty(2xLP, Comp) MGM Records 2-SES-4884 US 1972 Sell This Version
2 SFS 6012 Richie Havens Richie Havens On Stage(2xLP, Album) Stormy Forest 2 SFS 6012 US 1972 Sell This Version
3E1 Sondra Bianca, The Pro-Musica Symphony Orchestra Of Hamburg, George Gershwin Sondra Bianca, The Pro-Musica Symphony Orchestra Of Hamburg, George Gershwin - The Music of George Gerswhin(3xLP) MGM Records 3E1 US Unknown Sell This Version
3E2 Hank Williams 36 Of His Greatest Hits(Box, Album, Comp, RE, 3 x) MGM Records 3E2 US 1960 Sell This Version
3-E2 Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys 36 Of His Greatest Hits(3xLP, Comp, Mono, Box) MGM Records, MGM Records 3-E2 Canada 1957 Sell This Version
3-E4 Hank Williams Hank Williams Sings 36 More Of His Great Hits: Volume 2 (Comp) 3-E4 US 1958 Sell This Version
3E4 Hank Williams Hank Williams Volume II(3xLP, Comp, Box) MGM Records 3E4 US Unknown Sell This Version
3E9 Benny Goodman The Benny Goodman Treasure Chest(4xLP, Mono) MGM Records 3E9 US Unknown Sell This Version
05 Joey Heatherton Lo Siento(7", Single, Promo) MGM Records 05 Mexico 1973 Sell This Version
8T1 5021 Mel Tillis And The Statesiders (2) Mel Tillis And The Statesiders (2) - The Best Of Mel Tillis And The Statesiders(8-Trk, Comp, Club) MGM Records 8T1 5021 US 1976 Sell This Version
8T-2-5303 Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys* 24 Great Hits(8-Trk, Comp) MGM Records, MGM Records 8T-2-5303 US 1977 Sell This Version
8T2 5402 Mel Tillis And The Statesiders (2) Mel Tillis And The Statesiders (2) - 24 Great Hits By Mel Tillis And The Statesiders(8-Trk, Comp, Club) MGM Records 8T2 5402 US Unknown Sell This Version
(13) MGX 4553 Eric Burdon & The Animals Every One Of Us(Reel, Album) MGM Records (13) MGX 4553 US 1968 Sell This Version
21Y-471 Herman's Hermits There's A Kind Of Hush All Over The World(4-Trk) MGM Records, MGM Records 21Y-471 US 1967 Sell This Version
22 Kate Smith (2), Jack Miller (5) Kate Smith (2), Jack Miller (5) - Kate Smith(3xShellac, 10", Album, Mono) MGM Records 22 US Unknown Sell This Version
23MM 0192 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground(LP, Album, RE) MGM Records 23MM 0192 Japan 1982 Sell This Version
23MM 0193 Nico (3) Chelsea Girl(LP, Album, RE) MGM Records 23MM 0193 Japan 1982 Sell This Version
25MM 9029 Jacques Loussier Dark Of The Sun (Music From The Original Soundtrack)(LP, Album, RE) MGM Records 25MM 9029 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
25MM9030 Ron Goodwin Where Eagles Dare(LP) MGM Records 25MM9030 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
25MM 9033 Francesco Lavagnino* The Lost Continent 25MM 9033 Japan 1957 Sell This Version
25MM 9037 Lalo Schifrin The Cincinnati Kid(LP, Album) MGM Records 25MM 9037 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
25mm 9040 Jerry Goldsmith The Last Run (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)(LP) MGM Records, MGM Records 25mm 9040 Japan 1971 Sell This Version
25 MM 9041 Lalo Schifrin Sol Madrid(LP) MGM Records, MGM Records 25 MM 9041 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
28MM 0020 Connie Francis I'm Me Again(LP, Album) MGM Records 28MM 0020 Japan 1981 Sell This Version
28MM 0182 Jerry Goldsmith Poltergeist (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)(LP, Album) MGM Records 28MM 0182 Japan 1982 Sell This Version
30MM9017/8 Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys Hank Williams On Stage(2xLP, Comp, Gat) MGM Records, MGM Records, MGM Records 30MM9017/8 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
35MM0135/6 Eric Burdon And The Animals* Love Is(2xLP, Album, Gat) MGM Records 35MM0135/6 Japan 1969 Sell This Version
39 Harry Horlick And His Orchestra Tangos For Two(4x10", Album) MGM Records 39 US 1949 Sell This Version
45-HK-334 Redd Stewart I Remember(7", Promo) Hickory Records, MGM Records 45-HK-334 US 1974 Sell This Version
45-MGM-102 Jaye P. Morgan My Reputation(7", Single) MGM Records 45-MGM-102 UK 1959 Sell This Version
45-MGM 190 Rev. Kelsey And His The Congregation* Little Boy / Tell Me How Long(7", Single) MGM Records 45-MGM 190 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
45-MGM 192 Marvin Rainwater Whole Lotta Woman(7", Mono) MGM Records 45-MGM 192 Germany 1958 Sell This Version
45-MGM 198 Connie Francis I'll Get By / Fallin'(7", Single) MGM Records 45-MGM 198 Germany 1958 Sell This Version

Reviews

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John_Dunbar

John_Dunbar

March 28, 2015
665 092 = Johnny Tillotson - the best of, MGM, german, 1968, white label PROMO.LP, 12 tacks