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Carnival Records was the name given to at least three record labels.

Carnival was the name of a record label by Wanamaker's department stores. Records produced for the John Wanamaker Carnival label were often 78 rpm records in the jazz genre.

Carnival Records (1961–1962)Edit

In 1961, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss started a short-lived label that was the precursor to A&M Records. They released two singles. "Tell It to the Birds"/"Fallout Shelter" by Dore Alpert was distributed by Dot Records outside California.[1] "Dore Alpert" was the name Herb Alpert used as a vocalist.

The second single, "Love Is Back in Style"/"Peppermint Twist" by Charlie Robinson, featured Herb Alpert on trumpet. But the name was changed to A&M Records in 1962 because another label with the same name already existed.[citation needed]

Carnival Records (1962–1983)Edit

Jazz saxophonist Joe Evans set up Carnival Records label in the early 60s and based it in New York and relocated in Newark, New Jersey, in 1963.[2] Releasing 63 singles and two albums,[3] the label focus was rhythm and blues and soul music. Joe Evans ran the label with a small staff that included his wife. The final record was released in 1983.[3]

Carnival's biggest success was The Manhattans, a band signed in August 1964[4] that had a number of R&B and Hot 100 hits between 1965 and 1967. Their first was "For the Very First Time"/"There Goes a Fool", followed by "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)", which became a pop and R&B hit in the winter of 1965. The follow-up, "Searching for My Baby", was later covered by The Persuasions. The next single, "Follow Your Heart", also appeared on the pop and R&B charts, selling over 500,000 copies. In 1966 and 1976, "Baby I Need You", "When We Are Made As One", and "I Call It Love", appeared on the pop R&B charts. Carnival Records is managed by Westwood Music Group.

The label's roster included Wilbur Bascomb & The Blue Zodiac, Rene Bailey, Barbara Brown, Harry Caldwell, Harold & Connie, Norma Jenkins, Dolores Johnson, Jimmy Jules, Leon & The Metronomes, Little Royal, The Lovettes, The Manhattans, The Metrics, The Pretenders, Kenneth Ruffin, Maurice Simon & The Pie Men, The Symphonies, Phil Terrell, The Topics, The Tren-Teens, The Turner Brothers, and Lee Williams & The Cymbals.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (2009). Waiting for the Sun: A Rock 'n' Roll History of Los Angeles. Backbeat Books. pp. 56–. ISBN 978-0-87930-943-5. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Joe Evans". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Joe Evans Biography Allmusic Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  4. ^ The Manhattans' Group History: Part 1 Retrieved 21 April 2013.


  • Follow Your Heart: Moving with the Giants of Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues by Christopher Brooks and Joe Evans.