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Dot Records

Dot Records
Parent company Independent (1950-57)
Paramount Pictures (1957-72)
Gulf+Western (1966-74)
Famous Music Group (1972-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
MCA Records (1985-86)
Big Machine Label Group (2014- )
Founded 1950
Founder Randy Wood
Distributor(s) Self-distributed (1950-68)
Famous Music Group (1968-74)
ABC Records (1974-78)
MCA Records (1985-86)
Universal Music Group (2014- )
Genre Various (early)
Country (later)
Country of origin United States
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Official website [2]

Dot Records is a historic American record label, originally an independent label founded by Randy Wood in Gallatin, Tennessee, and active between 1950 and 1979.

The label was reactivated in 2014, through a joint venture between Big Machine Label Group and the Republic Records unit of Universal Music Group (which owns the original Dot Records catalogue). It is based in Nashville, Tennessee and its General Manager is Chris Stacey.


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Paramount ownership 1.2
    • Later years 1.3
    • New era 1.4
  • Artists 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Early years

The original headquarters of Dot Records were in Gallatin, Tennessee. Many of the earliest recordings for the label were recorded right in the on-air production studios of radio station WHIN, which Wood owned at the time. Since WHIN was a daytime only radio station, recording sessions were held at night when the station was off the air.[1] In 1956, the company moved to Hollywood, California.

In its early years, the label specialized in artists from around Tennessee. Then it branched out to include musicians and singers from across the United States. It recorded a variety of country music, rhythm & blues, polkas & waltzes, gospel music, rockabilly, pop music, and early rock & roll. After the move to Hollywood, Dot Records bought up many recordings by small local independent labels and issued them nationally.

Paramount ownership

In 1957, Wood sold ownership of the label to Paramount Pictures, but he remained the president of the company for another decade. Dot Records then began to release soundtrack albums, including Elmer Bernstein's score for The Ten Commandments (1956),[2] a 2-LP set that played longer than the usual record album.

At Dot a subsidiary label entitled Hamilton Records was founded in 1958, for rockabilly and rhythm & blues and distributed Jeff Barry's Steed Records along with the only two records from the Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss-owned Carnival Records. In addition, Dot Records created two other subsidiary labels: Crystalette Records and Acta Records. In 1967, Dot picked up distribution of the Bob Crewe-owned DynoVoice label from Bell Records and later that year, Randy Wood left to co-found Ranwood Records with Lawrence Welk.

Pat Boone recorded his most popular songs for the label and both his albums and singles were very successful, along with Eddie Fisher who would record some of his later albums for the label. Of these, Eddie Fisher Today was the most popular and included popular standards of the day. Unfortunately however,Fisher had no substantial hit singles during his Dot contract.

Dot Records logo after Gulf+Western acquired Paramount Pictures. After Famous Music took over management, the Paramount logo was removed.[3]

Later years

The ABC/Dot Records logo. The logo first read 'ABC/Dot' and the word 'Records' was added later.[4]

Two years after Paramount was purchased by Gulf and Western in 1968, the Dot Records label was rebranded as a country music label under the umbrella of the Famous Music Group which took over management at the end of 1971.[5] This included the Paramount, Stax (until 1970) and Blue Thumb labels, along with distribution of Sire Records (now owned by Warner Music Group), as well as Neighborhood Records, originally owned by singer-songwriter Melanie Safka, which later moved to Arista Records. By 1968, Lawrence Welk had acquired his Dot back catalog and subsequently reissued the material on his own Ranwood label.[6]

Along with the rest of the Famous Music Group, Dot Records was bought by ABC in 1974, which ironically had tried to purchase the label years before, and discontinued the label at the start of 1978.[7] The ABC/Dot headquarters became the Nashville office of ABC Records, a division of the American Broadcasting Company.

ABC Records was then sold to MCA Records in 1979. MCA's Nashville division briefly revived the Dot label in 1985-86, for a series of one-off albums by Country Music artists such as Jan Howard, Jeanne Pruett, Jim Ed Brown and The Browns, Carl Perkins, Billie Jo Spears, Porter Wagoner and Tompall Glaser.[8]

MCA Records became the foundation for Universal Music Group in the 1990's. Today, the old Dot pop music catalog is managed by Universal Music's Geffen Records unit. The country back catalog is managed by the former Decca and Coral unit, rebranded as MCA Nashville.

Randy Wood died at age 94 in his La Jolla, California home on April 9, 2011 from complications after a fall.

New era

Big Machine Records revived the Dot Records name for a new label in March 2014.[9][10] The label's first signees include Maddie and Tae,[11] Drake White,[12] and Steven Tyler.[13]


(** indicates a master purchase/lease from another record company)


See also


  1. ^ "Randy Wood: The Dot Records Story, Part 1". 2003-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  2. ^ "demillegenlrelease1.htm". Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Dot Album Discography, Part 5 (1968-1973)". 2003-11-16. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  4. ^ "Dot Album Discography, Part 6 (1971-1977)". Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Dot Album Discography, Part 5 (1968-1973)". 2003-11-16. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  6. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1968-04-20. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  7. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1978-01-14. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  8. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1985-10-12. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  9. ^ Rau, Nate (24 March 2014). "Big Machine resurrects Dot Records name".  
  10. ^ "Republic Records Revive Legendary Dot Records". Big Machine Label Group. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "". Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  15. ^ "The Story of Roy Head and The Traits". Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  16. ^ Birmingham, Jed (2006-03-22). "Beat Vinyl: Reports from the Bibliographic Bunker". Supervert. Retrieved 2007-11-14. The ultimate Beat Generation collectible on vinyl might be Jack Kerouac’s Poetry of the Beat Generation on Dot Records. 

External links

  • Official site
  • The Dot Records Story
  • Singles discography
  • Velva Darnell Electronics
  • Billy Vaughn & Dot recording stars (interviewed 2.22.1968) on the Pop Chronicles (audio).
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