Oriole / Embassy group

Oriole spent a decade as Britain’s 5th biggest label. Not only that, but Oriole ONLY produced records. Their four rivals … EMI, Decca, Philips, Pye had their fingers in many pies, and all were hardware manufacturers. You could buy a plane navigation system from Decca, an electric kettle from EMI, watch Pye’s parent company’s TV channel, or luxuriate in an electric blanket from Philips (after an electric Philishave shave, perhaps).

That gives Oriole a certain kudos.

There were two ‘sub-labels’ Oriole-International and Oriole-American. We include Oriole-International under the main label as there were a handful of releases.

Oriole-American gets a section. Only 19 releases, but at least fifteen are highly-collectable.

Realm was mainly jazz and blues.

Embassy, Woolworth’s own label, was the tail that wagged the dog. It dominated Oriole’s pressing facilities with guaranteed priority for Woolworth’s. It has also been catalogued on CD more comprehensively than any other label.

There are several references to Allegro, the budget classical label being related to Oriole. By 1964, it was definitely part of Pickwick International, and even the comprehensive 45cat website lists only post-1964 discs.

This section is the first in the labels area of the site, and was a test template for laying out and designing larger record labels with galleries.

It consists of the following sub-sections:

Oriole
Oriole-American
Oriole: Realm
Embassy