|Parent company||Concord Music|
|Distributor(s)||Universal Music Group (worldwide distribution)
Craft Recordings (reissues)
|Genre||Rock, Americana, Alternative, R & B, Jazz|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
Fantasy Records is an American independent record label company founded by brothers Max and Sol Weiss in 1949.
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.
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).
Sheedy's Coronet Records had recorded area Dixieland bands.
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.
Soon the company was shipping 40,000 to 50,000 copies of Brubeck records per quarter.
When Brubeck signed with Fantasy, he thought he had 50 percent interest in the company.
When he discovered that all he owned was 50 percent of his own recordings, he signed with Columbia Records.
In 1955, Saul Zaentz joined the company.
After an unsuccessful attempt by Audio Fidelity Records to buy Fantasy, Zaentz became president in 1967.
He and a group of investors bought Fantasy from the Weiss brothers that year.
Ralph Kaffel, who was vice president of Fantasy since 1971, became president in 1973.
Fantasy's first subsidiary was Galaxy Records in 1951.
Years later, it started the short-lived subsidiary Scorpio, which tried to capitalize on the British Invasion.
Still later, it had a subsidiary named Reality Records that concentrated on hip hop and released the first two albums by Doug E. Fresh.
Vince Guaraldi proved a stand-out when he joined the company in 1955.
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.
This success would lead to numerous other Peanuts compositions for the rest of Guaraldi's career, selections of which were subsequently released by Fantasy.
The House That Creedence Built
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.
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.
After a series of failed releases under that name on the Fantasy and Scorpio labels, the group changed its name to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
In 1968, it released its first hit record, a cover version of the song "Susie Q".
In 1971, Fantasy built its headquarters at the corner of Tenth and Parker in Berkeley, California.
The building was nicknamed "The House That Creedence Built".
Although some operations were still located in Berkeley, the label was later headquartered at the Concord location in Beverly Hills, California.
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 Studios closed in 2018 with its studios being auctioned off, in response to financial difficulties.
- Ry Cooder
- Valerie June
- Avi Kaplan
- The Marcus King Band
- Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
- Gov't Mule
- Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
- Steve Perry
- Grace Potter
- Prophets of Rage
- Steve Perry
- James Taylor
- Tedeschi Trucks Band
- Tanya Tucker
- Van William
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy Records.