Billboard relates that Dee Gee opened for business on April 7, 1951. According to Gillespie, Dee Gee Records was the result of his desire to control his own recorded output. Dave Usher was a 21-year-old fan and friend of Gillespie.
Dee Gee Records was based in Detroit where Usher lived, and its sessions were held there, in New York City, and in Chicago. Initial response was encouraging, and within a short time Dee Gee began to record artists other than Gillespie. But over time Usher found it difficult to handle the financial matters of the company, and in 1953 Dee Gee closed, with Gillespie returning to established firms to make his recordings.
In 1956 the label and its catalog were acquired by Savoy Records, which has controlled it ever since. Despite Dee Gee’s failure, Gillespie and Usher remained lifelong friends; after a break from music, Usher became a producer with Argo Records and ultimately the head of Marine Pollution Control, which specializes in cleaning up major industrial oil spills.