World of Music

Monday, January 16, 2006

The World of Music

The history of our recording business goes back 54 years. The owner of our primary music business was an entertainer for some 15 years pervious to 1952. His names is Bill Lawrence. In the year 2005 Mr. Lawrence sold his Alanna record company. The following, is a portion of the information about his experience in the music world.
The following is a document written by Ed Salamon, Executive Director, Country Music Broadcasting.
About Producer Bill Lawrence
As a twelve -year - old kid from Pittsburgh’s Southside he delivered bread to help support his family. He was offered a dime to sing happy birthday and his vocal abilities were so impressive that he was given voice lessons at a settlement house. He was chosen out of 438 contestants to appear on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour in New Your and won first place on the CBS Radio network show. Later, Bill led his own seventeen piece band.
As the Big Band era faded, Bill was recruited by CBS Records as a Promotion and Sales executive. He was credited with helping to establish artists including Johnnie Ray, Guy Mitchell, Rosemary Clooney, and Tony Bennett. He was then tapped for the fledgling Epic label in Chicago and later in New York, as National Director of Artists Relations. Tried of traveling and corporate politics he returned home to set up Bill Lawrence Distribution, Inc. At that time Pittsburgh was considered America’s hottest "break-out" market with a new hit starting there nearly every week. Many were the results of Bill’s many promotional talents.
Some investors who wanted to start a record company and Bill, because of his reputation as successful distributor, was asked to help organize Calico Records. Talent was solicited in local Pittsburgh newspapers, but the most successful act was to be a local group. The Crescents, managed by a teenager named Joe Rock who worked in Bill’s distributorship had written, with the group, a song about ‘young love lost’. Bill, along with good friend and arranger Lenny Martin took the group to Capital Recording Studio’s in New York and recorded the song "Since I Don’t Have You". Bill named the group The Skyliners and it became one of the greatest hits of the rock era. It was also was the biggest selling record for Bill’s company, which by now was Alanna Records named, in honor of his wife.
In 1959, Bill began Alanna Records and continued to be active in the music business, recording talent for not only Alanna Records, but also for Western World label in the 1970’s, while operating his rack jobbing and one stop operations.
More recently, Bill Lawrence has focused on standard popular classics and has assembled a significant catalog of timeless music from all over the world. Bill has amazed the music industry by achieving airplay and record sales for newly recorded quality music, which is largely ignored by major labels. In particular, Alanna’s success with The Spitfire Band and their Laurie Bower Singers almost single handedly reestablished the market for authentic Big Band music.
Alanna’s achievements over the past 46 years are especially remarkable for an independent label in a business dominated by major corporations. As a fellow Pittsburger and music fan, I continue to be proud of Bill and all that he has accomplished bringing great music to the world.
Ed Salamon
Executive Director
Country Radio Broadcasters
Nashville, TN
Former President
Westwood One Programming
Los Angles, CA
More will follow.