Archive for June, 2010
Frederator Postcards Series 10.4, mailed June 25, 2010 Limited edition of 200
There isn’t any information that can be found on the internets about Gilt Edge Records, other than Private Cecil Gant recorded for them in the 1940s. And I don’t really know all that much about Cecil other than that he wrote a neat song (”I’m a Good Man But a Poor Man“) I recorded on an obscure blues album in 1974.
But the label design is cool, obscure is fun, and I really loved the song we recorded.
Frederator Postcards Series 10.3, mailed June 18, 2010 Limited edition of 200
Of the five record labels featured in this series I’ve probably had the most constant, long term relationship (as a listener, that is) with Stax Records. Starting with some amazing Sam & Dave and Otis Redding 45rpm singles in my teenage years, I continued scavenging their records (my friends and I loved finding the original Atlantic era “stacks of records” blue labels in the remainder bins years after the Gulf+Western era “finger snapping logo) until they went out of business in 1975. In 1977, I even wrote a 10 page plea to the president of Fantasy Records, Stax’s buyer after a scandalous bankruptcy, making the argument I was the ideal candidate to lead the reissue effort they were undertaking (I didn’t come close to persuading him).
Most importantly, I’m still really happy every time I listen to their music, which I do often. They assembled one of the greatest, most enviable rosters of writing, singing, and instrumental talent in history.
Chess Records was famous in the black community for their blues 78s before Chuck Berry exploded them across America’s consciousness with his mass appeal, seminal rock’n’roll records. But, he was a bluesman first.
You’d have to have lived through my wacky Wednesday to find out. If there was ever a post here labeled “uncategorized” this one would be it. I spent the day with an incredible group of people in Washington at the The Environmental Protection Agency doing some consulting. When the email first arrived from the good folks at PRR in Seattle I thought there must have been a mistake.
“The EPA is responsible for developing the fuel economy labels that you see posted on any car or truck sold in the U.S.” said the letter. “You are thinking – what does this have to do with you? We are in the process of convening a panel of ten innovators. These individuals represent a cross-section of products, services and campaigns that have significantly impacted our culture, behavior and attitudes. The EPA specifically asked that we look to you Mr. Seibert, for insight as a member of this expert panel.”
How much attention do we pay to this label when we’re buying a car?
PRR had put together a group that was highly unlikely: Erikka Arone (a consultant, formerly of Apple and Microsoft) , Stacie Bright (from Unilever), Matt Burchard (Zappos), Tom Conrad (CTO, Pandora), Dr. Cheryl Healton (CEO, Legacy, who do those amazing The Truth ads), Craig Newmark (customer service rep and self described nerd), Ian Rowe (formerly from MTV). I was honored to be considered in their company.
I’m not going to bore you about what a great day we had; a bunch of interesting people in a room, talking about a subject few of us had any direct contact with professionally. Ultimately, we made a number of suggestions, but who knows how a government agency can absorb recommendations from a bunch of private sector know-it-alls? I’m happy with our conclusions, and I’ll share with you my best ideas for the redesign of the sticker below. So if something like it ever shows up on a new car, remember where you saw it first.
It’s probably my age, but I’ve always loved record labels (”records” are old school sound recording platforms, and by “labels” I mean the printed paper in the middle that identified the recording company, the artist, and the song), as anyone who follows our postcard output knows. Occasionally , it’s the graphic designs, sometimes it’s the artists involved, but often, I just like the stories behind the record companies. To subject you to more of my personal whimsy, Series 10 of Frederator postcards is dedicated exclusively to mid-20th century American independent labels’ 45s and 78s (that’s the speed that the vinyl records rotated at. Yes, seriously).
The first one in the series is a record company from my hometown that no one’s ever heard of. “No one” is a bit of an exaggeration, but, I thought I knew every indie label from the vinyl era, but I didn’t know Golden Crest Records, from Huntington Station, Long Island, in my own home town. And clearly, “no one” didn’t include one of the Western world’s coolest reissue labels, Ace Records, because they saw fit to release a 2-CD set of “The Best of Golden Crest.” That might have been influenced by the fact that John Broven, the Ace A&R executive, eventually married the daughter of Golden Crest’s founder, Clark Galehouse. It just goes to show you that I’m not as cool as I’d like to think.
Two partners and I started our own indie label out of Huntington in 1971, and if only we’d known there was a pressing plant right up the street, we would’ve been thrilled to manufacture there, and probably learn a little more about the business more quickly.
It was fitting to me that this series is inaugurated by Golden Crest. Thanks Clark.
More Frederator postcards
It’s a cloudy, humid day in New York, and this morning it seemed like it would be business as usual at Frederator East. Phone calls, meetings, lunch, more calls and meetings. Now, in the cartoon biz, that ain’t bad. We’re skimming oil from the Gulf here.
And then an email arrives from our friend, illustrator/animation director David Cowles, with a link to this trailer.
“Man, those French animation students…” says David.