Capitol Records continues their 75th Anniversary with more re-issues of some of their landmark recordings on LP. And that's good news for Epi fans since Epiphone instruments can be heard over the entire history of Capitol Records including classic albums by Radiohead, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys. And of course, Epiphone's stellar reputation among jazz guitarists meant that Epiphones archtops were in regular use at Capitol Records' studios in Hollywood. Check out Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours, Nat King Cole's Unforgettable, and of course Les & Mary by Les Paul and Mary Ford to hear those priceless Epiphone archtops in action. Visit your favorite local record store to find out more.
Epiphone's critically acclaimed new Masterbilt Century Collection combines old world craftsmanship and cutting edge pickup technology. They are the very kind of guitars Capitol Recording artist Les Paul would have loved. Visit the website for in-depth photos, artist videos, and a full history of Epiphone archtops.
With all this talk of turning back the clock, it seems like a good time to remind our fans to check out the classic Capitol Records film, Wanna Buy A Record. Capitol was the new kid on the block in the music industry during the post-World War II recession, bravely releasing records in all 3 speeds (78, 45, and 33) on high quality vinyl pressings. The gamble paid off and by the early 50s, Capitol artists included Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dean Martin, Stan Kenton, Merle Travis, and the landmark Birth of Cool sessions with Miles Davis.
Wanna Buy A Record is hosted by Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and all the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and features future Sinatra arranger Billy May as the hobo in-need of a record. Mel takes fans behind the scenes of the first Capitol Records offices near Sunset and Vine (before the Capitol Records Tower was built) and poses as a record buyer for Wallachs Music City, one of the first record super-stores. There Mr. Blanc has a hystrical run-in with Yogi Yorgeson, the Swedish dialect comedian.
But that's only the beginning. Mel not only takes you inside the swank 1950s Capitol Records offices (staffed by future Buck Owens and Merle Haggard producer Ken Nelson) but also gives us a peak at the original Capitol studios on Melrose in the old RKO building to see a Jimmy Wakely session (playing an unknown Epiphone archtop), meet Bozo ("get away from me, you clown") and watch Dean Martin lay down a track.
Epiphone Godfather Les Paul ("Boy, you've been eatin'!") and Mary Ford make a great cameo, too. Les was one of Capitol's biggest stars at the time and had just hit a home run with "How High the Moon" and the release of his first LP. Epiphione, Les, and Capitol Records--were going places.
Mel and his skeptical record buyer ("I won't pay 85 cents for a record. Too much!") even high-tail-it out to Scranton, Pennsylvania to visit the Capitol Records factory which would still be going strong churning out Beatle records well into the 60s. For all of you hipsters out there, the painstaking process of making vinyl records (notice the lack of safety equipment) will both amaze you and wear you out. However, hang on for the punchline in the last minute of the film. You'll never look at a music salesman quite the same way again.