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20th Century Fox Records

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  Summary  

20th Century Fox Records, also known as 20th Fox Records and 20th Century Records, was a wholly owned subsidiary of film studio 20th Century Fox. The history of the label actually covers three distinct 20th Century Fox-related operations in the analog era, ranging chronologically from about 1938 to 1981.

  Biography  

It began in 1958 as 20th Fox Records. In 1963, 20th Fox Records became 20th Century-Fox Records. Comedian Dickie Goodman was president of the label in the early 1960s.

The label was dormant from 1970 to 1972 (with ABC Records distributing the label's back catalog during that time) when the label was revived as 20th Century Records in early 1972.

The first three acts signed to the 20th Century label were The DeFranco Family, Maureen McGovern, and Barry White; however, Brighter Side of Darkness gave the newly renamed label their first hit record in 1973 with "Love Jones". The label also had major hits with Carl Douglas (best known for the song "Kung Fu Fighting"), Edwin Starr, Stephanie Mills and the Star Wars soundtrack in 1977.

 Other projects
The company also released the Harry Simeone Chorale's recording of "Little Drummer Boy" and the album on which it was first featured, Sing We Now of Christmas, later reissued as The Little Drummer Boy. It became the best selling Christmas album ever. The rights were later acquired by PolyGram, which released it on CD in 1988, on the Casablanca Records label.

Among the movie soundtrack albums released by 20th Century Fox Records were those of Zorba the Greek, The Bible: In the Beginning, Doctor Dolittle, and Patton, all of them 20th Century Fox films. However, the label did not issue the soundtrack albums of any of the Rodgers and Hammerstein films released by the studio. Instead, the albums made from five of these films were released by Capitol Records (Oklahoma!, Carousel and The King and I) and by RCA Victor . Years later, the Capitol albums reappeared on CD in expanded versions issued by Angel Records. (The film versions of Oklahoma! and South Pacific , although released in roadshow format by the Magna Corporation, were given general release by 20th Century Fox.)

 Later years
In 1966, Fox had a deal with ABC Records for distribution since it cannot distribute releases itself. Until 1970, this partnership enjoyed success. By 1970, with the parent 20th Century Fox in financial trouble , the new output of the record company dropped to zero. Although albums that had been selling were distributed by ABC Records, no new product was forthcoming. 20th Century-Fox shut down its record subsidiary.

It was re-activated in 1972 as 20th Century Records and designed a smart new blue label with a new logo. Russ Regan, a veteran "record man", became the new head until 1976, a move that increased their credibility in the business by a few orders of magnitude. Promotion seemed better, too, as the first two singles issued by the new incarnation both charted. 20th Century-Fox had budgeted a million dollars a year for three years to support the revived label, but it began paying its own way after only six months.

In 1976, Russ Regan left to form his own Millennium label. Barry White made his own label, Unlimited Gold, under CBS, after his contract with Fox expired. It reverted to "20th Century Fox Records," with a new label design featuring the movie company logo.

The label launched a new distribution deal for Carl Davis' Chi Sound Records in 1978 after leaving their deal with United Artists Records. In 1979, RCA Records took over distribution of the label.

 Closure
The label was active until 1981, being sold to PolyGram in early 1982. Oil magnate Marvin Davis, who had acquired 20th Century Fox, was not interested in the record company, hence its sale. All of its catalog and contracts for then-current artists including Stephanie Mills and Carl Carlton had folded into and became part of the Casablanca label, which PolyGram had purchased in 1977.

Universal Music Group now owns the old 20th Century Fox Records catalog with reissues handled by UMG sublabel Mercury Records. Soundtracks which 20th Century Fox owns are controlled by Fox Music.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "20th Century Fox Records", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.