Label from Knoxville, Tennessee. Active in the 1950s and 1960s.
(Box 10033, Kingston Pike, Knoxville)
Bullet Records was an US Independent label, founded in March 1946 by Jim Bulleit at 423 Broad Street, Nashville, Tennessee.
The label was active until 1953.
White gospel: 100 Series
R&B/Blues: 200/300 Series
Hillbilly: 600/700 series (over 150 singles)
Pop: 1000 Series
U.S. record label produced between 1924 and 1930.
Records were originally produced by the Starr Piano Company (Gennett Records) for James D. Vaughan, a gospel songbook published based in Lawrenceburg, TN. The label was primarily devoted to fundamentalist religious material and Ku Klux Klan songs. This material was commissioned from the Starr Piano Company and did not appear on other labels.
During the last year or so, production of this label was taken over by The New York Recording Laboratories (Paramount).
Duke Records was an American record label, started in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1952 by David James Mattis (WDIA program director and DJ) and Bill Fitzgerald, owners of Tri-State Recording Company. Their first release was Roscoe Gordon singing “Hey Fat Girl”, issued on Duke R-1, later amended to R-101.
After forming a partnership with Mattis in the summer of 1952, Don Robey (founder of Houston’s Peacock Records) took control of Duke. Both labels then headquartered at his Bronze Peacock club at 2809 Erastus Street in Houston, focusing on R&B and gospel music. Robey started a subsidiary, Back Beat Records, in 1957 and this later specialised in soul music, along with Sure Shot Records, whilst Peacock specialised in gospel recordings.
Duke’s leading artist was Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland who stayed with the label for many years until its demise, mostly recording successfully with arranger/band leader Joe Scott. Johnny Ace was a major R&B artist in the early years of the label before his untimely death at a young age, with a string of R&B top 10 hits including three that went to #1. Junior Parker was another important presence on Duke, recording a long string of singles for the label between 1953 and 1966, scoring seven top-twenty Billboard hits during his tenure.
Robey sold his labels to ABC Dunhill Records on 23 May 1973. The Duke labels were soon closed down with the imprints retained by ABC in their catalog, with only Bobby Bland being retained by the new parent label.