Fantasy Records

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Fantasy Records_table_infobox_0

Fantasy RecordsFantasy Records_header_cell_0_0_0
Parent companyFantasy Records_header_cell_0_1_0 Concord MusicFantasy Records_cell_0_1_1
FoundedFantasy Records_header_cell_0_2_0 1949 (1949)Fantasy Records_cell_0_2_1
FounderFantasy Records_header_cell_0_3_0 Max Weiss

Sol WeissFantasy Records_cell_0_3_1

Distributor(s)Fantasy Records_header_cell_0_4_0 Universal Music Group (worldwide distribution)

Craft Recordings (reissues)Fantasy Records_cell_0_4_1

GenreFantasy Records_header_cell_0_5_0 Rock, Americana, Alternative, R & B, JazzFantasy Records_cell_0_5_1
Country of originFantasy Records_header_cell_0_6_0 U.S.Fantasy Records_cell_0_6_1
LocationFantasy Records_header_cell_0_7_0 Los Angeles, CaliforniaFantasy Records_cell_0_7_1
Official websiteFantasy Records_header_cell_0_8_0 Fantasy Records_cell_0_8_1

Fantasy Records is an American independent record label company founded by brothers Max and Sol Weiss in 1949. Fantasy Records_sentence_0

The early years of the company were dedicated to issuing recordings by jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, who was also one of its investors, but the label is known more for its recordings of comedian Lenny Bruce, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, and the 1960s rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fantasy Records_sentence_1

Formation Fantasy Records_section_0

In 1949, Jack Sheedy, the owner of a San Francisco-based record label called Coronet, was talked into making the first recording of an octet and a trio featuring Dave Brubeck (This Coronet Records should not be confused with either the Australian Coronet Records or the Coronet Records of the late 1950s that was based in New York City). Fantasy Records_sentence_2

Sheedy's Coronet Records had recorded area Dixieland bands. Fantasy Records_sentence_3

But he was unable to pay his bills, and in 1949 he turned his masters over to a pressing company, the Circle Record Company, which was owned by Max and Sol Weiss. Fantasy Records_sentence_4

The Weiss brothers changed the name of their business to Fantasy Records and met an increasing demand for Brubeck's music by recording and issuing new records. Fantasy Records_sentence_5

Soon the company was shipping 40,000 to 50,000 copies of Brubeck records per quarter. Fantasy Records_sentence_6

When Brubeck signed with Fantasy, he thought he had 50 percent interest in the company. Fantasy Records_sentence_7

He worked as an unofficial artists and repertoire (A&R) assistant, encouraging the Weiss brothers to sign Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Red Norvo. Fantasy Records_sentence_8

When he discovered that all he owned was 50 percent of his own recordings, he signed with Columbia Records. Fantasy Records_sentence_9

Acquisitions Fantasy Records_section_1

In 1955, Saul Zaentz joined the company. Fantasy Records_sentence_10

Jazz musician Charles Mingus gave Debut Records to Zaentz as a wedding gift; at the time, Zaentz was marrying Mingus's ex-wife, Celia, who had helped found Debut with Mingus and musician Max Roach. Fantasy Records_sentence_11

After an unsuccessful attempt by Audio Fidelity Records to buy Fantasy, Zaentz became president in 1967. Fantasy Records_sentence_12

He and a group of investors bought Fantasy from the Weiss brothers that year. Fantasy Records_sentence_13

He then acquired Prestige Records (1971), Riverside (1972), and Milestone (1972). Fantasy Records_sentence_14

Ralph Kaffel, who was vice president of Fantasy since 1971, became president in 1973. Fantasy Records_sentence_15

He continued the policy of acquisitions: Stax Records (1977), Good Time Jazz (1984), Contemporary (1984), Pablo (1986), Specialty (1991), Kicking Mule (1995), and Takoma (1995). Fantasy Records_sentence_16

Fantasy's first subsidiary was Galaxy Records in 1951. Fantasy Records_sentence_17

Years later, it started the short-lived subsidiary Scorpio, which tried to capitalize on the British Invasion. Fantasy Records_sentence_18

Still later, it had a subsidiary named Reality Records that concentrated on hip hop and released the first two albums by Doug E. Fresh. Fantasy Records_sentence_19

Vince Guaraldi Fantasy Records_section_2

Vince Guaraldi proved a stand-out when he joined the company in 1955. Fantasy Records_sentence_20

His most famous contributions to Fantasy were his compositions involved in the film adaptations of the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. Fantasy Records_sentence_21

This association began with Guaraldi's album, Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, which contained music he created for an unsold television documentary of the same name, but became most famous with the hailed soundtrack of the classic Christmas special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the album of which itself has become a perennial Christmas best-seller. Fantasy Records_sentence_22

This success would lead to numerous other Peanuts compositions for the rest of Guaraldi's career, selections of which were subsequently released by Fantasy. Fantasy Records_sentence_23

Guaraldi departed Fantasy in 1966 after the release of Live at El Matador (a collaboration with guitarist Bola Sete). Fantasy Records_sentence_24

The House That Creedence Built Fantasy Records_section_3

Saul Zaentz's acquisitions had been funded in part by the success of the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival, a group that he had managed. Fantasy Records_sentence_25

Creedence was signed by Fantasy Records in 1964 as the Blue Velvets, but the label renamed it the Golliwogs so it would fit in with the bands of the British Invasion. Fantasy Records_sentence_26

After a series of failed releases under that name on the Fantasy and Scorpio labels, the group changed its name to Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fantasy Records_sentence_27

In 1968, it released its first hit record, a cover version of the song "Susie Q". Fantasy Records_sentence_28

In 1971, Fantasy built its headquarters at the corner of Tenth and Parker in Berkeley, California. Fantasy Records_sentence_29

The building was nicknamed "The House That Creedence Built". Fantasy Records_sentence_30

In 2004, Fantasy was sold to a consortium led by American television writer, producer, and activist Norman Lear and merged with Concord Records to create Concord Music Group. Fantasy Records_sentence_31

Although some operations were still located in Berkeley, the label was later headquartered at the Concord location in Beverly Hills, California. Fantasy Records_sentence_32

Shortly after Fantasy was purchased by Concord, John Fogerty, the lead singer and songwriter of Creedence Clearwater Revival, re-signed with the label after leaving it in the mid-1970s after a falling out with Zaentz, who died in 2014. Fantasy Records_sentence_33

Fantasy Studios closed in 2018 with its studios being auctioned off, in response to financial difficulties. Fantasy Records_sentence_34

Current roster Fantasy Records_section_4

Fantasy Records_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Records.