Oriole: Realm


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Realm were supposed to be Oriole’s jazz subsidiary. They took over the Savoy Jazz Series of Savoy releases which had previously been EMI. The first release was late in the day for Oriole with a Ray Charles EP (REP 4001) The Young Ray Charles in 1964. Parker’s Mood by The Charlie Parker All Stars (including Miles Davis) was a 1948 recording ‘made by some unofficial means right in the middle of a recording ban’, was first released elsewhere in 1954. This Realm EP is 1964.

As far as we can determine it was all deep back catalogue material. The ORIOLE logo was written large on the rear sleeves. Beverly & Josh White Jnr were licensed live recordings from Sweden, much jazzier than their dad’s name would lead you to expect.

The Realm output was EPs and LPs. The majority came from the Savoy Jazz deal … Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Lester Young. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were also on Realm, but which label weren’t they on? They flooded out in 1963 to 1965.

The second release on LP though was Oriole stalwart Phil Tate with Come Dancing and Clinton Ford was another Oriole artist with a Realm LP. I’m not sure how Life On The Ocean Wave by The Band of H.M. Royal Marines (Portsmouth) fitted the catalogue, let alone The Moana Quartet’s EP of Hawaiian music. The HawaiiEP has a red logo on its striking sleeve.

In 1964, Realm was being used as a mid-price label (22/6, like Pye’s Golden Guinea, rather than 32/6).

Group Beat 63: Realm LP 1964

The LP Group Beat ‘63 was on Realm, released in 1964, and it only contains Oriole artists like Faron’s Flamingoes, and in many ways is like a third volume of Oriole’s This is Merseybeat albums, except they add The Spotniks. ORIOLE is writ large on the back cover.it says ‘high-value recording’ in the notes.

My copy has a neat “10/-“ written on the back, and it looks from the era. If so it was ultra-budget price, and . It mixes existing tracks like Hava Nagila by The Spotniks with This Is Merseybeat spin-off recordings, as on Do You Love Me by Faron’s Flamingos. That’s a cover, as is If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody by Buddy Britten & The Regents, and There’s A Place by Bobby Sansom & The Giants. The Spotniks cover Frank Ifield (!) on Just Listen To My Heart. Almost into Embassy territory, but all are Oriole tracks. According to the sleeve:

Oriole recording manager John Schroeder had a novel idea for creating atmosphere on the Do You Love Me session. Faron works best when there’s a relaxed, loose-tie air in the studio, so John obliged by allowing girl fans to dance while the group tore through the number with fantastic energy. Says Faron: ‘It was fab. Just as free and swinging as doing a show back in Liverpool.’

The question is, why do Do You Love Me? in the first place? The Contours original was on Oriole-American, then you have Faron’s Flamingos on Oriole 45 and yet again on Realm LP, then you have Ray Pilgrim on a third version on Oriole’s Embassy label. The Faron’s Flamingo’s version is more raucous than Brian Poole & The Tremeloes hit cover.

Realm Savoy Jazz

This copy of Blues For Night People must come right after CBS bought Oriole. It retains an Oriole-Realm centre label, but CBS now has a logo on the sleeve:

Blues For Night People: Charlie Byrd, Realm LP 1963

CBS Realm

After they’d taken over Oriole, CBS decided to keep the Realm name in 1966, issuing budget priced albums from the back catalogue.

The Life I;m Living: Carolyn Hester, CBS Realm 1966

Realm Jazz

CBS Realm LPs … click to enlarge