Vik Records was a subsidiary of RCA Victor Records[1][2] established in April 1953. In the Billboard issue of the 11th of that month, it was announced that RCA was launching, namelessly, a new label that was the company's first to be distributed independently. Billboard opted to use the name Label "X" for the new company. The name was kept, as the label began to hire a series of staffers and decide on a direction. Label X was officially formed on April 20, 1953. Though wholly owned and operated by RCA, it had its own independent distribution. Joe Carlton was the head of the new company. RCA spent the rest of the year trying to establish an identity for "X", eventually settling on cover records of R&B hits and quasi-R&B sides by artists such as The Three Chuckles, Eddie Fontaine, and Louis Jordan.

Other artists who released material on "X" included Betty Clooney, Terry Fell, Helen Grayco, Gordon Jenkins, Richard Maltby Sr., Norman Petty, and Andy Williams, whose first solo records were issued on this label.[3][4][5]

The label adopted the name Vik on January 1, 1956, reprinting the records that were in print on the label accordingly. Among the acts on Vik were Gisele MacKenzie, Pat Suzuki, Lee Denson[6][7] and, more successfully, the R&B duo Mickey & Sylvia.

Journalist and executive Bob Rolontz, who had been responsible for another RCA subsidiary, Groove Records, and was then put in charge of Vik, later said: "The Vik label was probably the worst collection of talent in the world... There was no way we could pull Vik out of that hole. And after about a year, the RCA people decided to discontinue Vik."[8] The Vik label was closed on November 1, 1958. While some artists had their contracts transferred to the parent company, others, like Brook Benton and Teddy Randazzo, left to respectively join the Mercury and ABC-Paramount labels.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ JC Marion (2005). "Vik Records". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ David Edwards; Mike Callahan; Patrice Eyries (2018). "RCA Discography Part 55" (PDF). Retrieved 14 July 2018. "X"/Vik Label Discography
  3. ^ "... in 1955 on "X" These Great Artists... (advertisement)". Billboard. February 12, 1955. p. 23.
  4. ^ "'X' Label Signs Up New Talent Batch". Billboard. April 24, 1954. p. 30.
  5. ^ Kirby, Michael Jack. "Andy Williams". Way Back Attack. Michael Jack Kirby. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Lee Denson". Discogs. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1 July 1957. p. 61. Retrieved 14 July 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Shaw, Arnold (1978). Honkers and Shouters. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 463–464]. ISBN 0-02-061740-2.