White Whale Records

White Whale Records

White Whale Records is probably best known as the record label of The Turtles. White Whale was started in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lassiff in Los Angeles. The label also released some very early singles by Warren Zevon (as part of the duo Lyme & Cybele), who was also employed as a staff songwriter for the label. They also released the only album by The Clique plus an album by Liz Damon's Orient Express.

When White Whale signed the Turtles, they were known as "The Crossfires"; a surf music band looking to change their style, as surf music was fading. The label encouraged a name change to "The Tyrtles", in the manner of The Beatles and The Byrds. The band accepted the new name, but not the variant spelling. Relations between the label and the band were not always smooth, with White Whale pressuring the band for "more hits", then for singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman to fire the rest of the group, and work instead with hired musicians, to save costs. Kaylan wrote the song "Elenore" as a humorous take on "Happy Together" (the group's biggest hit), which ironically became a hit itself. He and Volman also democratized the group, insisting everyone share in the writing and vocal duties, despite what the label wanted.

When the Turtles disbanded, White Whale lost their big moneymaker, and the label went out of business in the early 1970s. White Whale's assets were sold at auction, including the Turtles's master recordings – whose winners were Kaylan and Volman, making them the owners of their own works.

Three compilations of singles from the label have been released on CD: "Happy Together: The Very Best of White Whale Records," and two volumes of the "Phantom Jukebox" series on Rev-Ola records [http://www.cherryred.co.uk/revola/artists/variousartists.htm] .

In 1966 brother and sister act Nino Tempo and April Stevens recorded All Strung Out (on you) for the label, bringing Tempo's talents as Phil Spector's "right hand man" for so many years to the recording, it mid charted, but is still a powerful, but unheralded teen age symphony.

See also

* List of record labels

External links

* [http://www.bsnpubs.com/la/whitewhale.html White Whale Records]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/jakasso White Whale singles]

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