Riverside Records

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Riverside Records_table_infobox_0

Riverside RecordsRiverside Records_header_cell_0_0_0
FoundedRiverside Records_header_cell_0_1_0 1953 (1953)Riverside Records_cell_0_1_1
FounderRiverside Records_header_cell_0_2_0 Bill Grauer
Orrin KeepnewsRiverside Records_cell_0_2_1
DefunctRiverside Records_header_cell_0_3_0 1964 (1964)Riverside Records_cell_0_3_1
StatusRiverside Records_header_cell_0_4_0 DefunctRiverside Records_cell_0_4_1
GenreRiverside Records_header_cell_0_5_0 Jazz, blues, folkRiverside Records_cell_0_5_1
Country of originRiverside Records_header_cell_0_6_0 U.S.Riverside Records_cell_0_6_1
LocationRiverside Records_header_cell_0_7_0 New York CityRiverside Records_cell_0_7_1

Riverside Records was an American jazz record company and label. Riverside Records_sentence_0

Founded by Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer under his firm Bill Grauer Productions in 1953, the label played an important role in the jazz record industry for a decade. Riverside Records_sentence_1

Riverside headquarters were located in New York City, at 553 West 51st Street. Riverside Records_sentence_2

History Riverside Records_section_0

Initially the company was dedicated to reissuing early jazz material licensed from the Chicago-based Paramount Records label and Gennett Records. Riverside Records_sentence_3

Reissued artists included Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Ma Rainey, and James P. Johnson, but the label began issuing its own contemporary jazz recordings in April 1954, beginning with pianist Randy Weston. Riverside Records_sentence_4

In 1955 the Prestige Records contract of Thelonious Monk was bought out and Monk was signed by Riverside, where he remained for the next five years. Riverside Records_sentence_5

During the next few years, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Charlie Byrd, Johnny Griffin, Bob Corwin and Wes Montgomery made substantial contributions to Riverside's catalog. Riverside Records_sentence_6

Most new records were produced by Keepnews, who served as creative head of the label and several subsidiaries, such as Jazzland Records, with Grauer directing the company's sales and business operations. Riverside Records_sentence_7

Riverside offered an extensive folk catalog, including traditional performers like Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Obray Ramsey, and George Pegram and Walter Parham; and folk interpreters like Ewan MacColl, Jean Ritchie, Paul Clayton, Billy Faier, Oscar Brand, Cynthia Gooding and Bob Gibson. Riverside Records_sentence_8

In 1956 Bill Grauer recorded, produced and edited the racing sounds of the Florida International Twelve-Hour Grand Prix of Endurance, Riverside Records RLP 5001. Riverside Records_sentence_9

The record also contains interviews with Stirling Moss, Juan Manual Fangio and other racing drivers. Riverside Records_sentence_10

Living Legends Riverside Records_section_1

In 1960–61 Riverside produced an acclaimed series of albums featuring jazz and blues veterans such as Jim Robinson, Sweet Emma Barrett and Alberta Hunter. Riverside Records_sentence_11

The objective was to record musicians before their artistry was lost forever. Riverside Records_sentence_12

Many were no longer active and their union memberships had expired. Riverside Records_sentence_13

Recognizing the importance of the project, the American Federation of Musicians suspended the rules. Riverside Records_sentence_14

This "Living Legends" series was initially recorded in New Orleans. Riverside Records_sentence_15

Later sessions were recorded in Chicago. Riverside Records_sentence_16

The sessions took place at Societé des Jeunes Amis Hall, built in the 1800s. Riverside Records_sentence_17

According to the producer, Chris Albertson, the hall was a "Creole fraternal headquarters and it proved to have every advantage over a studio; apart from its live sound, it gave the performers familiar surroundings... Riverside Records_sentence_18

The hall's acoustical sound was exactly what I wanted to recapture: the same kind of ambience that lent such character to Bill Russell's 1940s American Music recordings from San Jacinto Hall." Riverside Records_sentence_19

One of the musicians invited to participate was Louis Cottrell, Jr. Cottrell organized a trio comprising McNeal Breaux, Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau with Emmanuel Sayles sitting in playing guitar and banjo. Riverside Records_sentence_20

The band was so well received that they continued to play together. Riverside Records_sentence_21

The music on this album has been described as "more polite and subtle than the city's 'downtown' music... an intimate, low-key delight." Riverside Records_sentence_22

Cottrell's playing has also been well received: Riverside Records_sentence_23

Riverside Wonderland Riverside Records_section_2

Under the subsidiary label Riverside Wonderland, the company also produced a series of children's albums, including two Alec Templeton albums, an album of Martyn Green reading from the Arabian Nights, a Christmas fantasy, Grandpa Magic's Toyshop starring Ed Wynn, Edith Evans narrating the story of the first Christmas, and a six-record album set of the complete Alice in Wonderland, narrated by Cyril Ritchard, a rarity in the LP era when books were seldom recorded complete. Riverside Records_sentence_24

An album of excerpts from the book was also issued, and the six records in the complete set were also issued as separate volumes. Riverside Records_sentence_25

End Riverside Records_section_3

Grauer died, following a sudden heart attack, in December 1963, and the company filed for voluntary bankruptcy in July 1964. Riverside Records_sentence_26

The catalogue was taken over by ABC Records, which reissued some of it, but virtually all Riverside masters were acquired by Fantasy Records in 1972. Riverside Records_sentence_27

The majority of this material was subsequently reissued on CD as part of the owners' Original Jazz Classics series and remains available today from current Fantasy catalogue owner Concord Records. Riverside Records_sentence_28

Discography Riverside Records_section_4

Main article: Riverside Records discography Riverside Records_sentence_29


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverside Records.