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"One for the Road:" Vee-Jay Records

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on May 23, 2011 9:30PM

We mentioned this morning that Jimmy Bracken, the "Jay" in Vee-Jay Records, was born on this date in 1908. Bracken's wife Vivian Carter and he started the label in Gary, IN in 1953 and the label quickly housed a stable of recording artists such as John Lee Hooker, the Dells, Jimmy Reed and Memphis Slim. Vee-Jay later became a noted soul label with such acts as Gene Chandler, Betty Everett, Jerry Butler and were the first label to nationally release a single by the Pips with a then-unbilled Gladys Knight.

What Vee-Lay was most noted for was releasing some early Beatles recordings, in a licensing deal with EMI. Here's one of those songs, "Thank You Girl," in glorious mono.