Keen (2)

Keen (2)

Profile:
Short-lived (1957-60) record label launched by the ill-fated partnership of aerospace businessman John Siamas and Bob Keane that introduced recording star Sam Cooke with its inaugural release, Sam Cooke - You Send Me.

Extended Story
Keen/Andex/Famous Labels Album Discography
by David Edwards and Mike Callahan
Last update: March 22, 2017

Because the Keen, Andex, and Famous labels were closely related, we have listed them all together on this page.

The Keen label was founded by brothers John and Alex Siamas in April, 1957 in Los Angeles. John Siamas was a very successful businessman in the aerospace industry, president of Randall Engineering Co. in Culver City, California. He started Keen Records as a side business because he enjoyed music.

At about the same time, across town at Specialty Records, Sam Cooke, the lead singer for the successful gospel group The Soul Stirrers, was recording pop music for the first time. Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, producer for Specialty, had arranged the pop session for Cooke. When Art Rupe, owner of Specialty, found out that Sam Cooke was recording popular music instead of gospel, he was furious and fired Blackwell. As part of the settlement between the two, signed June 17, 1957, Blackwell got the tapes from the session and Sam Cooke's contract. In an incredibly lucky break for the Siamas brothers, Blackwell brought the tapes to the newly-formed Keen Records. Included on the tape was "You Send Me". In September 1957, Keen released "You Send Me"/"Summertime" and the double-sided hit sold 1.7 million copies. Sam Cooke stayed with Keen for three years before moving on to the major RCA-Victor label.

The Siamas Brothers had a verbal agreement with Bob Kuhn/Keane, a clarinet player who had been in big bands. In the early days, Keane seemed to be running the show on the music side, with hopes to become a partner in the business. Keane may have influenced Bumps Blackwell to come to Keen with Sam Cooke. As the months progressed, the relationship between Keane and the Siamas brothers fell apart, and resulted in Keane suing the label for breach of the verbal "contract" [see Billboard, February 3, 1958, page 13]. Keane eventually lost this suit and immediately founded Del-Fi records, whose success with Ritchie Valens helped set up the label as one of the mainstays of the surf genre. For the rest of his life, Keane claimed he "founded" the Keen label, although this is disputed by the Siamas family. Keane recorded an album for Andex in 1957 which was released in January, 1958 under the name The Bob Keene Septet.

In any case, by December 23, 1957, Keane was nowhere to be found on the label's "Season's Greetings" ad in Billboard on page 23. It listed the recording artists for Rex Productions (Andex/Keen's parent production company, owned by the Siamas Brothers with John as President) as: Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell, the Valiants, Bonnie Draper, William Preston, the Debs, Jack Rogers, Bob Nolen, the Pilgrim Travelers, Kylo Turner, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Ben Tucker, Dempsey Wright, The Turks, Nicaraguans, Mary Kenney, and Cliff White. The Production staff included: John Siamas, Alex Siamas, Andy Karres, Bumps Blackwell, Rex Oberbeck, Don Clark, Don Gray, and Andy Litschi (Director of Distribution).

Others hired by the Siamas brothers in early 1958 for A&R included Herb Alpert, Lou Adler, and Fred Smith, who honed their production chops under Bumps Blackwell and all went on to greater fame in the 1960s.

After a few years running Keen/Andex, in 1961 John and his brother Alex decided to get out of the record business altogether. According to John Siamas' brother-in-law, Glenn Butterman, Siamas had found out about the bad side of being in the record business very early in the label's life. The original Keen label was plain black with silver print, but these discs were quickly being pirated, so the label design was changed to the rainbow stripes design to discourage counterfeiting. John's daughter, Vicki Siamas, told us, "After only a few years in the music industry, he decided to quit because it was a very corrupt business filled with liars, cheats and dirty dealings. It was a dog-eat-dog industry and in order to survive, you had to stoop to a different level of doing business than my dad was willing to do. He was a very honest man."

In the end, when Siamas was winding down the label in 1961, Bumps Blackwell struck a deal to reissue the material in the Keen/Andex vaults on his own label, Famous.

Keen shared a numbering system with the Andex and Ensign labels on 45s. Keen started releasing albums on the A 2000 series in February, 1958. The series also included an Andex album. Sam Cooke's LP Tribute to the Lady, released in April, 1959, was the only Keen album released in stereo. In 1959 Keen/Andex decided to go to a 6000 (mono)/7000 (stereo) LP series, but to differentiate the labels, added a "2" in front of the 6000 for Andex, making it a 26000 series for mono, 27000 series for stereo, and an "8" in front of the 6000 for Keen, resulting in the 86000 series, where the releases were all in mono. In mid-1959, Keen changed labels to the black label design, and changed the Andex label from red to black.
This story and discography are copyright 1998, 1999, 2017 by Mike Callahan. http://www.bsnpubs.com/la/keen/keen.html
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Contact Info:
8479 Higuera Road
Culver City, California
Sites:
[l96218]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
45-K. 32003 Scotish Fling / My First Love  album cover Marti Barris Scotish Fling / My First Love(7", Single) Keen (2) 45-K. 32003 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
45-K.32006 Win Your Love For Me  album cover Sam Cooke Win Your Love For Me(7", Single) Keen (2) 45-K.32006 Canada 1958 Sell This Version
45-K.34002 For Sentimental Reasons  album cover Sam Cooke For Sentimental Reasons(7", Single) Keen (2) 45-K.34002 Canada 1957 Sell This Version
45-K. 34009 You Were Made For Me / Lonely Island   album cover Sam Cooke You Were Made For Me / Lonely Island (7", Single) Keen (2) 45-K. 34009 Canada 1958 Sell This Version
45-K.34013 You Send Me / Summertime  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me / Summertime(7", Single) Keen (2) 45-K.34013 Canada 1957 Sell This Version
2050 Twistin' The Night Away  album cover Sam Cooke Twistin' The Night Away(7", Single) Keen (2) 2050 US Unknown Sell This Version
2101 Sam Cooke Sam Cooke(7") Keen (2) 2101 US Unknown Sell This Version
8319X Love You Most Of All  album cover Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell & His Orchestra* Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell & His Orchestra* - Love You Most Of All(7", Single) Reo 8319X Canada 1958 Sell This Version
8337X Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do  album cover Sam Cooke Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do(7", Single) Reo 8337X Canada 1959 Sell This Version
1-2014 Roberta Linn / Bumps Blackwell Orchestra Roberta Linn / Bumps Blackwell Orchestra - Willow In The Wind / Jump For Joy 1-2014 US 1959 Sell This Version
1-2016 Sweet Talk / You're My Thrill  album cover Marti Barris Sweet Talk / You're My Thrill(7", Promo) Keen (2) 1-2016 US 1959 Sell This Version
1-2017 Zombie / The Things I Love  album cover The Salmas Brothers* Zombie / The Things I Love(7", Promo) Keen (2) 1-2017 US 1959 Sell This Version
1-2018 Sam Cooke Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do (Single) 1-2018 US 1959 Sell This Version
1-2022 Let's Go Steady Again / Only Sixteen  album cover Sam Cooke Let's Go Steady Again / Only Sixteen(7", Single, Promo) Keen (2) 1-2022 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2001 Mississippi Mud  album cover Champ Butler Mississippi Mud (Single) 3-2001 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2002 Earthquake In My Heart / Circle Rock  album cover Salmas Bros.* Earthquake In My Heart / Circle Rock(7") Keen (2) 3-2002 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2003 Scottish Fling / My First Love  album cover Marti Barris Scottish Fling / My First Love (Single) 3-2003 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2004 Auctioneer Lover / Lucky Lucky Love  album cover Wendy Powers Auctioneer Lover / Lucky Lucky Love(7") Keen (2) 3-2004 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2005 Stealing Kisses / All Of My Life  album cover Sam Cooke Stealing Kisses / All Of My Life 3-2005 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2006 Win Your Love For Me  album cover Sam Cooke Win Your Love For Me (Single) 3-2006 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2007 Beggar Boy / As Long As Life Goes On  album cover Milton Grayson Beggar Boy / As Long As Life Goes On(7", Single) Keen (2) 3-2007 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2008 Blue Moon / Love You Most Of All  album cover Sam Cooke Blue Moon / Love You Most Of All (Single) 3-2008 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2010 I Love You Much Too Much / No Greater Love  album cover Milton Grayson I Love You Much Too Much / No Greater Love(7", Single, Promo) Keen (2) 3-2010 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-2016 Sweet Talk / You're My Thrill  album cover Marti Barris Sweet Talk / You're My Thrill(7", Single) Keen (2) 3-2016 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2017 Zombie / The Things I Love  album cover The Salmas Brothers* Zombie / The Things I Love(7", Single, Mono) Keen (2) 3-2017 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2018 Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do  album cover Sam Cooke Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do (Single) 3-2018 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2020 I Want You To Know / Lonely Lover  album cover Milton Grayson I Want You To Know / Lonely Lover (Single) 3-2020 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2021 Jack Rogers Never Want For More / Frankie And Johnny(7") Keen (2) 3-2021 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2022 Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again  album cover Sam Cooke Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again (Single) 3-2022 US 1959 Sell This Version
3-2023 Little Brown Gal (Cha Cha Cha)  album cover Lani Kai Little Brown Gal (Cha Cha Cha) (Single) 3-2023 US 1959 Sell This Version
34001 Hey Team! / You'll Never Know  album cover Jack Rogers Hey Team! / You'll Never Know(7", Single, Mono) Keen (2) 34001 US 1957 Sell This Version
3-4002 Desire Me / (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons   album cover Sam Cooke Desire Me / (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (Single) 3-4002 US 1957 Sell This Version
34002 (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons  album cover Sam Cooke (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons(7", Single) Keen (2) 34002 US 1957 Sell This Version
3-4003 Doom-A-Roca / Johnnie Darling  album cover The Debs Doom-A-Roca / Johnnie Darling(7") Keen (2) 3-4003 US 1958 Sell This Version
34004 This Is The Nite / Good Golly Miss Molly  album cover The Valiants This Is The Nite / Good Golly Miss Molly (Single) 34004 US 1957 Sell This Version
3-4005 One Room Country Shack / Gangster Of Love  album cover Johnny "Guitar" Watson* One Room Country Shack / Gangster Of Love 3-4005 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4007 Lover Lover / Walkin' Girl  album cover The Valiants Lover Lover / Walkin' Girl (Single) 3-4007 US 1958 Sell This Version
34008 Temptation Of My Heart / Frieda-Frieda  album cover The Valiants Temptation Of My Heart / Frieda-Frieda(7", Single) Keen (2) 34008 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4009 You Were Made For Me  album cover Sam Cooke You Were Made For Me (Single) 3-4009 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4010 Sumpin' Jumpin' / MS & DB  album cover Bumps Blackwell Orch.* Sumpin' Jumpin' / MS & DB (Single) 3-4010 US 1958 Sell This Version
34013 You Send Me / Summertime  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me / Summertime (Single) 34013 US 1957 Sell This Version
3-4016 Okay / Fathertime  album cover The Turks Okay / Fathertime(7", Single) Keen (2) 3-4016 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4018 Ahbe Casabe / Can't You Read Between The Lines  album cover Marti Barris Ahbe Casabe / Can't You Read Between The Lines(7", Single) Keen (2) 3-4018 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4020 Oh Johnny!  album cover Sparkley Betty Barkley Oh Johnny!(7") Keen (2) 3-4020 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4023 Honey / Deana Baby  album cover Johnny Guitar Watson Honey / Deana Baby(7", Single) Keen (2) 3-4023 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4026 Please Wait My Love / Frieda, Frieda  album cover The Valiants Please Wait My Love / Frieda, Frieda (Single) 3-4026 US 1958 Sell This Version
3-4029 Golden Spur / Summer Lightning  album cover Jackie Gotroe Golden Spur / Summer Lightning(7", Single, Promo) Keen (2) 3-4029 US 1958 Sell This Version
4-2006 Win Your Love For Me / Love Song From "Houseboat"  album cover Sam Cooke Win Your Love For Me / Love Song From "Houseboat"(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 4-2006 US 1958 Sell This Version
4-2008 Blue Moon  album cover Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell & His Orch.* Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell & His Orch.* - Blue Moon(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 4-2008 US 1958 Sell This Version
4-2022 Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again  album cover Sam Cooke Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 4-2022 US 1959 Sell This Version
4-4002 (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons / Desire Me  album cover Sam Cooke (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons / Desire Me(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 4-4002 US 1958 Sell This Version
4-4009 You Were Made For Me / Lonely Island  album cover Sam Cooke You Were Made For Me / Lonely Island(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 4-4009 US 1958 Sell This Version
4-4013 You Send Me / Summertime  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me / Summertime 4-4013 US 1957 Sell This Version
44103 You Send Me  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) 44103 US 1957 Sell This Version
5-2006 Win Your Love For Me  album cover Sam Cooke Win Your Love For Me(7", Single) Keen (2) 5-2006 US 1958 Sell This Version
5-2018 Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do  album cover Sam Cooke Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do(7") Keen (2) 5-2018 US 1959 Sell This Version
5-2022 Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again  album cover Sam Cooke Only Sixteen / Let's Go Steady Again(7", Single) Keen (2) 5-2022 US 1959 Sell This Version
8-1001 You Send Me / Love You Most Of All  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me / Love You Most Of All(7", Single, RE) Keen (2) 8-1001 US 1960 Sell This Version
8-1003 Sam Cooke Stealing Kisses/For Sentimental Reasons(7") Keen (2) 8-1003 US Unknown Sell This Version
8-2101 Summertime (Part 1)  album cover Sam Cooke Summertime (Part 1) (Single) 8-2101 US 1959 Sell This Version
8-2102 It Ain't Necessarily So / You're A Part Of Me  album cover Milton Grayson It Ain't Necessarily So / You're A Part Of Me (Single) 8-2102 US 1959 Sell This Version
8-2103 Batik  album cover Lani Kai Batik (Single) 8-2103 1959 Sell This Version
82104 Baby Sittin' / Come Back Baby  album cover Myron Lee Baby Sittin' / Come Back Baby(7") Keen (2) 82104 US 1959 Sell This Version
8-2105 There, I've Said It Again  album cover Sam Cooke There, I've Said It Again (Single) 8-2105 US 1959 Sell This Version
82106 Yeah Baby / Where Did I Goof?  album cover Elroy "Shadow" Peace* Yeah Baby / Where Did I Goof? (Single) 82106 US 1959 Sell This Version
82111 'T Aint Nobody's Bizness (If I Do)  album cover Sam Cooke 'T Aint Nobody's Bizness (If I Do) (Single) 82111 US 1960 Sell This Version
82112 Wonderful World / Along The Navajo Trail  album cover Sam Cooke Wonderful World / Along The Navajo Trail (Single) 82112 US 1960 Sell This Version
82113 Sleep On The Porch / Yum Yum Yum /   album cover Stewart Brothers (2) Sleep On The Porch / Yum Yum Yum / (7") Keen (2) 82113 US 1960 Sell This Version
82117 I Thank God / With You  album cover Sam Cooke I Thank God / With You (Single) 82117 US 1960 Sell This Version
82118 Steal Away  album cover Sam Cooke And The Stars Sam Cooke And The Stars - Steal Away 82118 US 1960 Sell This Version
82120 Valients Walkin' Girl(7", Single) Keen (2) 82120 US Unknown Sell This Version
82121 Just You / Dream  album cover Dee & Di Just You / Dream(7", Promo) Keen (2) 82121 US 1960 Sell This Version
82122 Mary, Mary Lou  album cover Sam Cooke Mary, Mary Lou 82122 US 1960 Sell This Version
82123 (That Little) Angel / There's One Thing I Want  album cover Billy Keen (That Little) Angel / There's One Thing I Want (Single) 82123 US 1960 Sell This Version
86101 Hit Kit  album cover Sam Cooke Hit Kit (Comp) 86101 US 1959 Sell This Version
86103 I Thank God  album cover Sam Cooke And The Original Blind Boys* And The Gospel Harmonettes* Sam Cooke And The Original Blind Boys* And The Gospel Harmonettes* - I Thank God(LP, Comp, Mono) Keen (2) 86103 US 1960 Sell This Version
86106 The Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke  album cover Sam Cooke The Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke(LP) Keen (2) 86106 US 1960 Sell This Version
469 168-2 The Hitsound Of Levi's 501  album cover Various The Hitsound Of Levi's 501(CD, Comp) Magnum 469 168-2 Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
A 2001 Songs By Sam Cooke  album cover Sam Cooke / Bumps Blackwell Orchestra Sam Cooke / Bumps Blackwell Orchestra - Songs By Sam Cooke (Album) A 2001 US 1957 Sell This Version
A 2003 Encore  album cover Sam Cooke Encore (Album) A 2003 US 1958 Sell This Version
A 2004 Tribute To The Lady  album cover Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady (Album) A 2004 US 1959 Sell This Version
A-2004, P-2004 Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady(LP, Mono, Promo) Keen (2) A-2004, P-2004 US 1959 Sell This Version
B-2001 Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 1  album cover Sam Cooke Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 1(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2001 US 1958 Sell This Version
B-2002 Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 2  album cover Sam Cooke Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 2(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2002 US 1958 Sell This Version
B-2003 Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 3  album cover Sam Cooke Songs By Sam Cooke Vol. 3(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2003 US 1958 Sell This Version
B-2006 Encore  album cover Sam Cooke Encore(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2006 US 1958 Sell This Version
B-2007 Sam Cooke Encore Vol. 2 (7", EP) Keen (2) B-2007 US 1958 Sell This Version
B-2008 Encore Vol. 3  album cover Sam Cooke Encore Vol. 3(7", EP) Keen (2), Keen (2) B-2008 US 1958 Sell This Version
B 2010 Sam Cooke Sings His Hits  album cover Sam Cooke Sam Cooke Sings His Hits (EP) B 2010 US 1959 Sell This Version
B-2012 Tribute To The Lady Vol. 1  album cover Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady Vol. 1(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2012 US 1959 Sell This Version
B-2013 Tribute To The Lady Vol. 2  album cover Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady Vol. 2(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2013 US 1959 Sell This Version
B-2014 Tribute To The Lady Vol. 3  album cover Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady Vol. 3(7", EP) Keen (2) B-2014 US 1959 Sell This Version
CD-2003 Encore  album cover Sam Cooke Encore (Album) CD-2003 Switzerland 1989 Sell This Version
CD 2004 Tribute To The Lady  album cover Sam Cooke Tribute To The Lady(CD, Album, RE) Keen (2) CD 2004 Switzerland 1993 Sell This Version
E 21 262 Only Sixteen  album cover Sam Cooke Only Sixteen(7") Electrola, Electrola E 21 262 Germany 1959 Sell This Version
J 30002x45 For Sentimental Reasons / Desire Me  album cover Sam Cooke For Sentimental Reasons / Desire Me(7", Single) Jolly Hi-Fi Records J 30002x45 Italy 1958 Sell This Version
J 30003x45 Lonely Island   album cover Sam Cooke Lonely Island (7", Single) Jolly Hi-Fi Records J 30003x45 Italy 1958 Sell This Version
K-1000 The Best Of The Valiants Featuring Bill Storm  album cover The Valiants featuring Bill Storm The Valiants featuring Bill Storm - The Best Of The Valiants Featuring Bill Storm(LP, Comp, Mono) Keen (2) K-1000 US Unknown Sell This Version
K.34013 You Send Me / Summertime  album cover Sam Cooke You Send Me / Summertime(Shellac, 10") Keen (2) K.34013 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
P 82101 Summertime (Part 1)  album cover Sam Cooke Summertime (Part 1)(7", Promo) Keen (2) P 82101 US 1959 Sell This Version