View all BELL RECORDS and related records. The discography is grouped by country, label and record size. Select a record, view the record and sleeve and listen to a sound sample...[read more]

New BEAR FAMILY RECORDS CD: Edna McGriff - Start Movin' In My Direction - Bell recordings

1-CD Digipak (4-plated) with 44-page booklet, 29 tracks, playing time approx. 75 mns. -- The forgotten recordings of a Fifties R&B star! Few ever reissued on CD, most unheard since the 1950s! Includes fabulous R&B versions of pop songs like 'The Fool', 'Born To Be With You', 'Freight Train', and 'I Enjoy Being A Girl' with the cream of New York's R&B session men! First full-length biography by R&B scholar Bill Dahl. -- In 1952, aged just sixteen, Edna McGriff scored her breakthrough hit, 'Heavenly Father'. It would, though, be the only major hit of her career. Her early recordings have been featured on other anthologies. Bear Family picks up the story in 1954 when Edna began a long association with Arthur Shimkin who produced budget records and kiddies' records that he sold through dime stores, book stores, and other places that didn't ordinarily sell records. Shimkin operated under a variety of label names, and Edna McGriff recorded for nearly all of them. To his credit, Shimkin didn't economize on sessions, and Edna's recordings featured the top New York jazz and R&B session guys, as well as glorious arrangements by Sy Oliver, Buddy Lucas, Ray Ellis, and Jimmy Carroll. Edna proved that she could sing much more than R&B, and applied her gloriously supple voice to a wide range of songs, much as Ray Charles would do years later. She did country songs, show tunes, pop songs, rock 'n' roll hits, and some originals. -- In addition to Edna McGriff's recordings for Arthur Shimkin's labels, this set also includes her ultra-rare records for Felsted, Savoy, and Brunswick. Sadly, she died in her thirties, unable to mount a comeback and share her music with us as so many of her contemporaries have done. -- Something rare! Something different! Something great from Bear Family!

BELL RECORDS - chronological information

Read the Bell Records information taken from original 1950's Billboard magazines in chronological order...[read more]


In 1952 Arthur Shimkin bought the Bell label from Benny Bell and became President of the company. Head of A&R was Morty Palitz and the musical director was Sy Oliver. The original Bell records of the '50s generally tended toward cover versions of popular hits of the times. In it's early stages, Bell recorded popular music and comedy. The orchestral backup was first-rate on many of these recordings, with bands such as Sy Oliver and Burt Bacharach appearing. By 1959, Al Massler was President of Bell. Massler formed Mala Records in 1959 as a subsidiary label to Bell, Mala recorded popular, rock and roll and R&B music. Massler also formed another subsidiary, Amy Records, in 1960. Amy recorded popular, rock and roll, ethnic, comedy and R&B. After Massler became president, they concentrated more on albums, much like budget pop labels such as Strand...[read more]


Barry Frank, Ray Eberle, Sy Oliver, Larry Clinton, Bob Crosby, Randy Hughes, Artie Shaw, Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, Betty Johnson, Tom & Jerry and Helen Forrest plus more than 250 other performers recorded for these early BELL RECORDS...[read more]


Throughout the years I have contributed in several Bell Records related projects. I sincerely thank Richard Weize (Bear Family Records), John Broven, ACE Records and Betty Johnson for making these projects possible.