Roulette Records  

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Roulette Records is a record label which was started in late 1956 by George Goldner, Joe Kolsky, Morris Levy and Phil Khals, but the label was soon sold to Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. Levy was appointed as director.

Some years later Peretti and Creatore sold the Roulette Records to Levy, when the two found Avco Records. Levy grouped Gee, Rama and Tico into Roulette Records. Some years later he also bought Gone Records and End Records from Goldner. In 1958, Roost Records was purchased. In 1971, Roulette took over the catalog of Jubilee Records.

During the early '60s, Roulette scored a number of hits connected to the Twist craze, most notably by releasing "Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee and the Starliters. They also released a rare album of "Twist songs" by Bill Haley & His Comets, "Twistin' Knights at the Roundtable". Another major 1960s hit for the label was "Mony Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells. It was also on the Roulette label that, in 1964, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay first recorded together while in the nine-member A Go Go Singers, house band for the famous Cafe A Go Go in New York.

Although founded by husband and wife Joe and Sylvia Robinson, Morris Levy would be the key financial founder for another project, the rap music label, Sugar Hill Records in 1974. The rap label would create the first Top 40 rap single, "Rapper's Delight," in (1979). In the early 1980s, the Robinsons bought Levy out.

In 1981, Henry Stone turned to Levy to help salvage the demise of TK Records, so they set up Sunnyview Records under the Roulette umbrella. In 1986, Morris was exposed and convicted for extorting money from an FBI wired, small-time music wholesaler named John LaMonte. Levy fled the country while awaiting his appeal and died shortly after. In 1989, Roulette Records was sold to a consortium of EMI and Rhino Records. Rhino has the rights to the pop/R&B catalogue in North America, while EMI has the rights in the rest of the world. EMI has the global rights to the jazz catalogue and the "Roulette" name.

Today, EMI uses the "Roulette" name for the reissue of old Roulette label material. In the United States, Blue Note Records handles the Roulette jazz catalogue for release on the Roulette Jazz label.

Roulette Records artists

To correct this post, George Goldner bowed out of his partnership interest in Roulette, but subsequently sold his labels Tico, Rama, End, Gone and Gee to Morris Levy to cover his gambling debts. Levy controlled Roulette long before Hugo and Luigi formed Avco, and it's doubtful they actually had any financial interest in the label. Hugo and Luigi DID handle much of the early production work for the Roulette imprint.

See also

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