1950 - 1960s
Federal Records was an American record label founded in 1950 as a subsidiary of Syd Nathan's King Records and based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was run by famed record producer Ralph Bass and was mainly devoted to Rhythm & Blues releases. The company also released hillbilly and rockabilly recordings from 1951 onward, e.g., "Rockin' and Rollin" by Ramblin' Tommy Scott on Federal 10003.
Singles were published on both 45 and 78 rpm speed formats. James Brown was touring with The Famous Flames when they were signed to Federal in 1956. The group's first Federal single, "Please, Please, Please," was a regional hit and eventually sold a million copies. Federal also issued such classics as The Dominoes' "Sixty Minute Man", and "Have Mercy Baby" as well as Hank Ballard & The Midnighters' "Work With Me, Annie" which was opposed immediately by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) but went on to be an enormous hit.
Between 1962 and 1965 Freddie King, one of the three Blues "kings" (Freddie, B.B. and Albert), released a series of albums, mostly instrumentals, for Federal.
There has also been a Federal label in the 1920s in Albany, NY.