1957 - 1989
Roulette was a record label formed by Morris Levy, George Goldner, Joe Kolsky and Phil Khals in New York in 1957, with producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore as its A&R men. Goldner sold his part of the label to Levy one year later along with his own Rama, Tico Records, Gone Records, End and Gee labels. Roulette also had a large jazz roster (built up by recording jazz musicians who frequented Levy's Birdland jazz club), which it further expanded in 1958 by buying Roost Records.
Pop chart success came with Buddy Knox, Jimmie Rodgers, The Playmates and Jimmy Bowen in the late 1950s along with best selling LPs by Count Basie and Pearl Bailey. Success continued in the Sixties with Joey Dee and The Starlighters, The Essex, Al Caiola and Tommy James And The Shondells. In the late Sixties, Roulette also released a number of now very collectible psych-rock records. By the late 1970s, the label was very much in limbo and released only some reissues and compilations.
After severe legal problems (Levy was convicted for extortion) Levy sold the label to an EMI/Rhino Records consortium in 1989 which started a series of Roulette-branded reissue CD's.
The Roulette/(Royal) Roost jazz catalog is now managed by Blue Note Records (with recent CD reissues appearing under the Roulette Jazz imprint). The Roulette pop and R&B catalog is now managed by Rhino Records in North America and EMI, which owns the Roulette name and logos, elsewhere.