For all Unofficial / Bootleg releases of this label please use Tamla (2).
American label. (For international imprint see Tamla Motown).
Sublabel of the Motown Record Corporation.
Tamla Records was started on January 12, 1959 by Berry Gordy Jr. using $800 borrowed from his family’s loan fund. He originally wanted to name the label “Tammy”, after the Debbie Reynolds film, but that name was already taken. Later that year, he started his second label, Motown, which became Tamla’s parent label and the cornerstone of Gordy’s musical empire.
Motown and all associated labels, including Tamla, were sold to MCA Records and Boston Ventures in June 1988, which then sold it to PolyGram in 1993. During the PolyGram era and after 10 years in dormancy, Tamla was reactivated in late 1996 under the presidency of Andre Harrell with the intention of becoming a reggae imprint, but was then immediately retired after Harrell was relieved of his position in 1997. Tamla (hereby referred to at this point as Tamla Recordings) was the only classic Motown imprint ever to be reactivated since 1986, and its only artist was Cocoa Tea. As of the acquisition of PolyGram in 1999, Motown and all its properties are now part of the Universal Music Group.

In June 2023, Universal announced that the label would be revived as a contemporary hip-hop label and R&B label, under the Capitol Christian Music Group division.

45 RPM Catalog Number, Date and Label Identification:
100 and 102 (1959): Yellow label with horizontal lines across the top of the label.
5501 (1960): Yellow label with horizontal lines across the top of the label.
54024 through 54043 (1960–1961): Yellow label with horizontal lines across the top of the label.
54044 through 54175 (1961–1968): Yellow label with "globes" logo. Globes may be overlapped or side by side.
54176 and higher (1968 forward): Yellow label, with "box" logo.

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