Tuesday, April 25, 2006

CAPRICORN RECORDS FOUNDER DEAD AT 66

Phil Walden. You probably don't recall his name, but you should recall what he did for popular music.

In 1960 he created a talent agency and signed Otis Redding, a guy from his hometown of Macon, Ga. He then went on to do much bigger things. From Variety:
Walden would also represent Sam and Dave, Joe Tex, Johnny Jenkins and Percy Sledge during the '60s. In 1967, Walden asked Atlantic Records vice president Jerry Wexler to build a studio in his hometown. Wexler instead suggested Atlantic finance a record label based in Macon.

Christened Capricorn, the label quickly signed Jenkins and a then-little-known session guitarist working at Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama, Duane Allman. Within two years, Allman had created the Allman Brothers Band, which released two studio albums with little fanfare. Their third disc, "Live at Fillmore East," was an instant classic, putting Capricorn on the map. The label had its first hit single with Jonathan Edwards' "Sunshine."

By the mid-'70s, with the Allmans leading the Southern rock charge, Capricorn had 27 acts signed to the label including Elvin Bishop, the Marshall Tucker Band, Cowboy and Wet Willie.
To quote Wet Willie: You gotta keep on smilin', just keep on smilin'.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed there was a factual error with referencing Phil Walden as "founder" of Capricorn Records, when, in fact he was co-founder with a man called Frank Fenter.

Could you please revise or if you need verification, please let me know..

notafinga said...

I believe the hippie-jam sensation
Widespread Panic can be added to that famed list of artists.