1951 - 1957
United Records was a record company and label founded in Chicago by Leonard Allen and Lew Simpkins in 1951.
United issued records by such artists as Tab Smith, Jimmy Forrest, Gene Ammons, Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, the Four Blazes, the Moroccos, Robert Anderson, and the Staple Singers.
In May 1952, United was joined by a sister label, States. United released 116 singles in a series that ran from 101 to 217, skipping 135 and 200. The company also released 2 10-inch LPs, but never got into 12-inch LPs. Tab Smith was United's biggest contributor. He laid down 85 tracks, releasing 24 singles (a fifth of the company's entire output) and United's first LP.
After the company closed, Savoy bought the masters by Gene Ammons and the Staple Singers. The rest of United's output was eventually acquired by Bob Koester of Delmark Records, which has made most of it available through LP and CD reissues.
When both sides were later pressed as a 7-inch single on United Records, United's Nashville-based distributor IRDA inadvertently placed "Sha-La-La" on the A-side of the record's promotional copies.