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Cameo-Parkway Records

Cameo-Parkway Records

Overview
Cameo-Parkway Records was the parent company of Cameo Records and Parkway Records, which were major American Philadelphia-based record labels from 1956 (for Cameo) and 1958 (for Parkway) to 1967. Among the types of music released were doo-wop
Doo-wop
The name Doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. It emerged from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and...

, dance hits
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

, popular/rock
Pop rock
Pop rock is a music genre which mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its guitar-based rock songs. There are varying definitions of the term, ranging from a slower and mellower form of rock music to a subgenre of pop music...

, rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

, big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

, garage rock
Garage rock
Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name...

, soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 and novelty records
Novelty song
A novelty song is a comical or nonsensical song, performed principally for its comical effect. Humorous songs, or those containing humorous elements, are not necessarily novelty songs. The term arose in Tin Pan Alley to describe one of the major divisions of popular music. The other two divisions...

.

Until 1962 Cameo was also the parent company name for both labels, and Parkway was a subsidiary. In 1962 the parent company was renamed from Cameo to Cameo-Parkway, to give both labels equal status.

In some foreign markets Cameo-Parkway was also a label name, issuing records by artists from both labels.

Today the Cameo-Parkway catalogue is owned by ABKCO Records
ABKCO Records
ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. is a major independent record label, music publisher, and film and video production company. It owns and or administers the rights to music by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway label,...

.

Cameo Records was founded in December 1956
1956 in music
-Events:*January 26 – Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee*Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records*January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released...

 in Philadelphia by Bernie Lowe
Bernie Lowe
Bernie Lowe was an American songwriter / record producer / arranger / pianist and bandleader.Born Bernard Lowenthal in Philadelphia, Lowe started Teen Records and in 1955 was working with Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. He asked Freddie Bell to rewrite the lyrics of "Hound Dog" to appeal to a...

 and Kal Mann
Kal Mann
Kal Mann was an American lyricist. He is best known for penning the words to Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear", plus "Butterfly", a hit for both Charlie Gracie and Andy Williams.-Biography:...

 (it has no connection to a 1920s record label also called Cameo Records
Cameo Records
Cameo was a USA based budget record label, first flourishing in the 1920s, not connected with a later record label of the same name which was active in the 1950s and 1960s.The Cameo Record Company was based in Manhattan, New York...

).
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Encyclopedia
Cameo-Parkway Records was the parent company of Cameo Records and Parkway Records, which were major American Philadelphia-based record labels from 1956 (for Cameo) and 1958 (for Parkway) to 1967. Among the types of music released were doo-wop
Doo-wop
The name Doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. It emerged from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and...

, dance hits
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

, popular/rock
Pop rock
Pop rock is a music genre which mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its guitar-based rock songs. There are varying definitions of the term, ranging from a slower and mellower form of rock music to a subgenre of pop music...

, rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

, big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

, garage rock
Garage rock
Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name...

, soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 and novelty records
Novelty song
A novelty song is a comical or nonsensical song, performed principally for its comical effect. Humorous songs, or those containing humorous elements, are not necessarily novelty songs. The term arose in Tin Pan Alley to describe one of the major divisions of popular music. The other two divisions...

.

Until 1962 Cameo was also the parent company name for both labels, and Parkway was a subsidiary. In 1962 the parent company was renamed from Cameo to Cameo-Parkway, to give both labels equal status.

In some foreign markets Cameo-Parkway was also a label name, issuing records by artists from both labels.

Today the Cameo-Parkway catalogue is owned by ABKCO Records
ABKCO Records
ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. is a major independent record label, music publisher, and film and video production company. It owns and or administers the rights to music by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway label,...

.

History


Cameo Records was founded in December 1956
1956 in music
-Events:*January 26 – Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee*Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records*January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released...

 in Philadelphia by Bernie Lowe
Bernie Lowe
Bernie Lowe was an American songwriter / record producer / arranger / pianist and bandleader.Born Bernard Lowenthal in Philadelphia, Lowe started Teen Records and in 1955 was working with Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. He asked Freddie Bell to rewrite the lyrics of "Hound Dog" to appeal to a...

 and Kal Mann
Kal Mann
Kal Mann was an American lyricist. He is best known for penning the words to Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear", plus "Butterfly", a hit for both Charlie Gracie and Andy Williams.-Biography:...

 (it has no connection to a 1920s record label also called Cameo Records
Cameo Records
Cameo was a USA based budget record label, first flourishing in the 1920s, not connected with a later record label of the same name which was active in the 1950s and 1960s.The Cameo Record Company was based in Manhattan, New York...

). Dave Appell
Dave Appell
Dave Appell Dave (David) Appell Dave (David) Appell (born March 24, 1922, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, worked as an arranger, producer, and musician in Philadelphia, in the 1950s.-Career:...

 joined the label early as A&R
A&R
Artists and repertoire is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label.- Finding talent :...

 director. Mann and Appell also became a songwriting team and wrote many of the labels' hits. Parkway, initially a subsidiary label, was formed in 1958.

The first hit for Cameo was "Butterfly" by Charlie Gracie
Charlie Gracie
Charlie Gracie is an American rock pioneer and singer. He was born the same day as another rock and roll singer, Bobby Darin.His father encouraged him to play the guitar...

, which reached #1 nationally in early 1957; it was also Cameo-Parkway's first of five chart toppers. Throughout the remainder of the decade Cameo continued to have hits by groups like the R&B
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

 group the Rays
The Rays
The Rays was an American group formed in New York in 1955, and active in the 1950s. They first recorded for Chess Records. Their biggest hit single was "Silhouettes," a moderately-slow doo-wop piece of pop music that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957, released on XYZ Records...

, who had a #3 hit with "Silhouettes" later that year. In 1958 the label had further hits with "Dinner With Drac", a novelty record by John Zacherle
John Zacherle
John Zacherle is an American television host, radio personality and voice actor known for his long career as a television horror host broadcasting horror movies in Philadelphia and New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. Best known for his character "Roland/Zacherley," he also did voice work for...

 in the top 10, and "Mexican Hat Rock", an instrumental by The Applejacks
The Applejacks
The Applejacks were a UK pop and beat group of the 1960s. They were the first "Brumbeat" group to reach the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, and were unusual for having a female bass guitarist, Megan Davies....

, in the top 20.

In 1959 Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a so-called "teen idol"...

 scored his first hits with "Kissin' Time" and "We Got Love" on Cameo. From 1960 to 196, Rydell was the label's second largest hit maker after Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist"...

, scoring with such hits as "Wild One" (his biggest hit, peaking at #2), "Swingin' School", "Volare", "The Cha-Cha-Cha", "Forget Him" and others.

Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist"...

 had a minor novelty hit in the summer of 1959 called "The Class", which featured Checker doing comic imitations of singers Fats Domino
Fats Domino
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino, Jr. is an American R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Creole was his first language....

, The Coasters
The Coasters
The Coasters are an American rhythm and blues/rock and roll vocal group that had a string of hits in the late 1950s. Beginning with "Searchin'" and "Young Blood", their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and producing team of Leiber and Stoller...

, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Cozy Cole
Cozy Cole
Cozy Cole was an American jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record "Topsy Part 2". "Topsy" peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at #29 in the UK...

 and the Chipmunks. In 1960 Checker's cover of Hank Ballard
Hank Ballard
Hank Ballard , born John Henry Kendricks, was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and The Midnighters and one of the first proto-rock 'n' roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s...

's "The Twist
The Twist (song)
"The Twist" is a twelve bar blues song that gave birth to the Twistdance craze. The song was written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side but his version was only a moderate 1960 hit, peaking at 28 on the Billboard Hot 100...

" became Parkway's first big hit. Although Ballard's version only reached #16 on the R&B chart in 1958, Checker's version went to #1 in 1960, and again in early 1962. Checker had several hits, including "Pony Time" (his second #1), "Let's Twist Again
Let's Twist Again
"Let's Twist Again" is a song written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, and released as a single by Chubby Checker. One of the biggest hit singles of 1961, it reached number two in the UK and number eight on the U.S. Billboard pop chart. It refers to the Twist dance craze and his 1960 and 1961...

", "The Fly", "Slow Twistin'" (with Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp is an American R&B singer, who began her career recording as a backing vocalist in 1961.-Career:...

), "Limbo Rock", "Popeye (The Hitchhiker)", "Birdland" and others.

Around 1961 the Cameo and Parkway labels began developing some new stars. The vocal group The Dovells
The Dovells
The Dovells were an American music group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name 'The Brooktones'. The members were Arnie Silver, Mark Gordesky, Len Borisoff , Jerry Gross, Mike Freda and Jim Mealey...

, which featured Len Barry
Len Barry
Len Barry is a retired American vocalist, songwriter and record producer.-Career:...

 as the lead singer, released "Bristol Stomp", which reached #2 in late 1961, followed by "Bristol Twistin' Annie," "(Do The New) Continental," "Hully Gully Baby" and other dance-related songs in 1962 and 1963. "You Can't Sit Down," a vocal version of the Phil Upchurch
Phil Upchurch
Phil Upchurch is an American jazz and R&B guitarist and bassist.Upchurch started his career working with The Kool Gents, The Dells, and The Spaniels before going on to work with Curtis Mayfield, Otis Rush and Jimmy Reed. He then returned to Chicago to play and record with Woody Herman, Stan Getz,...

 instrumental hit, was #35 in Cash Box magazine's year end-survey for 1963. The R&B quartet The Orlons
The Orlons
The Orlons are an American R&B group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that formed in 1960. They received gold discs for the million selling achievements of three of their singles...

 released "The Wah-Watusi", which hit #2 in the summer of 1962. They had a few more top 20 hits, including "Don't Hang Up
Don't Hang Up (song)
"Don't Hang Up" is a 1962 hit single produced by Cameo-Parkway Records and performed by the American R&B music group The Orlons. The song is also credited under the Ariola Records label. The song was a number-four hit on the Billboard Pop chart and reached number three on its R&B chart...

", "South Street", "Not Me" and "Crossfire!".

Fifteen-year-old Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp is an American R&B singer, who began her career recording as a backing vocalist in 1961.-Career:...

 had done a duet with Chubby Checker on "Slow Twistin'", and recorded her first solo single, "Mashed Potato Time", on the same day. It went to #2 in the spring of 1962. More dance songs followed, including the follow-up "Gravy" and another dance song, "Ride!"

In the summer of 1963 the #1 hit "So Much in Love
So Much in Love
"So Much in Love" is a popular song sung by The Tymes that was a #1 song in the United States during the year 1963. It was The Tymes first hit single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on August 3, 1963, and remaining there for one week...

" by the smooth R&B group The Tymes
The Tymes
The Tymes are an American soul vocal group, who enjoyed equal success in the United Kingdom as their homeland. They share the distinction of being one of the few acts to have one and only one chart-topper in both the U.S...

 marked the last hit from Cameo-Parkway's peak period.

Decline and shutdown


For the next few years, with the onslaught of the British Invasion
British Invasion
The British Invasion is a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers from the United Kingdom who became popular in the United States during the time period from 1964 through 1966.- Background :...

, the Cameo and Parkway labels were not as successful as before. Artists like Jo Ann Campbell
Jo Ann Campbell
Jo Ann Campbell is an American pop singer.Campbell began attending music school at the age of four, and won many honors as a drum majorette at Fletcher High School...

, Maynard Ferguson
Maynard Ferguson
Maynard Ferguson was a Canadian jazz musician and bandleader. He came to prominence playing in Stan Kenton's orchestra, before forming his own band in 1957...

, Clark Terry
Clark Terry
Clark Terry is an American swing and bop trumpeter, a pioneer of the fluegelhorn in jazz, educator, NEA Jazz Masters inductee, and recipient of the 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award...

, the instrumental group LeRoy & His Rockin' Fellers and stars like Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 and Merv Griffin
Merv Griffin
Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin, Jr. was an American television host, musician, actor, and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in movies and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show on Group W Broadcasting...

 had little success on the label. Artists who later became big, including The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

 and Bob Seger
Bob Seger
Robert Clark "Bob" Seger is an American rock and roll singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s...

, also had unsuccessful records at Cameo and Parkway.

The last major hits for the label were "96 Tears" by Question Mark and the Mysterians, which went to #1 in the fall of 1966, a novelty remake of "Wild Thing" by an impressionist imitating Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 under the name Senator Bobby (1966), and "Beg, Borrow and Steal" by The Ohio Express
The Ohio Express
Ohio Express was a musical recording unit, mainly active from 1967 through 1970, and occasionally since that time.Though marketed as a band, it would be more accurate to say that the name "Ohio Express" served as a brand name used by Jerry Kasenetz's and Jeffrey Katz's Super K Productions to...

 (1967).

In mid-1967 Cameo-Parkway became a subsidiary of MGM Records
MGM Records
MGM Records was a record label started by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio in 1946, for the purpose of releasing soundtrack albums of their musical films. Later it became a pop label, lasting into the 1970s...

 and released four more albums (two on Cameo, one on Parkway and one on Vando) as well as three more singles (one on Parkway and two on Vando). For the first time both label names appeared on the record labels, although either the Cameo or Parkway name was emphasized, and the two series continued to use separate catalogue numbering systems. This suggests that a gradual merger of the two labels was in progress, but it was never completed. By late 1967, after financial problems worsened, the Cameo-Parkway company was sold to Allen Klein
Allen Klein
Allen Klein was an American businessman, talent agent and record label executive. His clients included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.- The accountant :...

 and renamed ABKCO Records
ABKCO Records
ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. is a major independent record label, music publisher, and film and video production company. It owns and or administers the rights to music by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, The Kinks as well as the Cameo Parkway label,...

, with Bell Records
Bell Records
Bell Records was an American record label founded in 1952 by Arthur Shimkin in New York, the owner of children's record label Golden Records, and initially a unit of Pocket Books, after the rights to the name were acquired from Benny Bell who used the Bell name to issue risque novelty records. A...

 acquiring its remaining subsidiary Vando label.

Cameo

  • 1957-1960: Orange label with CAMEO and "cameo" logo, both in black, at top
  • 1960-1966: Red and black label with CAMEO and new "gold cameo locket" logo at left side
  • 1966-1967: Red label with broken orange circle and new CAMEO "CP" logo at top


Cameo albums also used the above label variations, plus:
  • Early mono albums: Black label with silver print, same CAMEO and "cameo" logo as orange label singles
  • Early stereo albums: Black label with gold print, same CAMEO and "cameo" logo as orange label singles
  • 1967 MGM distribution label: Pink and white label with CAMEO in dark blue w/pink outline and "cameo" logo inside the "O"

Parkway

  • 1958-1960: Orange label with PARKWAY in black "jumbled" letters between two lyre logos at top
  • 1960-1966: Orange and yellow label with PARKWAY RECORDS in white letters between two lyre logos at top (Some of these labels do not include the lyres)
  • 1966-1967: Yellow label with broken orange octagon and new PARKWAY "CP" logo at top
  • 1967 MGM distribution label: brown label with new "Parkway" logo at top. The logo includes a large black letter "P" with white arrow inside its perimeter, resembling a highway.

Parkway albums also used all of the above label variations

Subsidiary labels


Wyncote Records was a budget label started in 1964. It released compilation albums of material by Cameo and Parkway artists as well as new albums of soundtrack and easy listening music. These records were mainly distributed in department stores.

Other related labels, mostly independently owned but distributed by Cameo-Parkway, included
  • Chariot, featuring Bob Brady and The Con Chords: at least five singles were released under Chariot's Cameo/Parkway distribution before the label was sold to Amy
    Amy Records
    right|thumb|dj copy of Kinetic Energy 1969 Amy 45Amy Records was a record label formed in 1960 as a subsidiary of Bell Records. Artists who had success on Amy included Al Brown's Tunetoppers with "The Madison" ,a dance tune in 1960, Joey Powers with "Midnight Mary" , Del Shannon's 1964 recordings...

     / Mala
    Mala Records
    Mala Records was a small record label founded as a Bell Records subsidiary in 1959. Beginning in 1967, albums by Mala recording artists were issued on the Bell label instead of Mala...

     / Bell
    Bell Records
    Bell Records was an American record label founded in 1952 by Arthur Shimkin in New York, the owner of children's record label Golden Records, and initially a unit of Pocket Books, after the rights to the name were acquired from Benny Bell who used the Bell name to issue risque novelty records. A...

  • Cheltenham
  • Cotton
  • Fairmount, featuring Lonnie Youngbloodd: At least 27 singles have been released on this label
  • Key-Loc: At least one single was distributed under Cameo/Parkway distribution by Sunny & The Sunliners
  • Lucky Eleven, based in Flint, Michigan, featuring Terry Knight and the Pack
    Terry Knight and the Pack
    Terry Knight and the Pack was, between 1965 and 1967, an American rock band from Flint, Michigan. The band was signed to the Lucky Eleven label throughout its short recording career.-Career:...

    , which eventually transformed into Grand Funk Railroad
    Grand Funk Railroad
    Grand Funk Railroad is an American rock band that was highly popular during the 1970s. Grand Funk Railroad toured constantly to packed arenas worldwide. A popular take on the band during its heyday was that, although the critics hated them, audiences loved them...

  • Sentar: Owned by the families of pop group The New Colony Six (the label's only group), four singles and one album were released under Sentar's Cameo/Parkway distribution
  • Showplace, featuring The Yellow Payges (at least two singles distributed)
  • Tomorrow: Originally distributed by Atco, then by Cameo/Parkway. At least two singles were distributed under C/P
  • Vando: Owned by Van McCoy
    Van McCoy
    Van Allen Clinton McCoy was an accomplished musician, music producer, arranger, songwriter, and orchestra conductor. He is known best for his 1975 internationally successful song "The Hustle", which is still played in dance halls and on radio to this day more than thirty years since his death...

    , five singles and one album were released under the label's C/P distribution, mostly by Chris Bartley
    Chris Bartley
    Chris Bartley was an American R&B singer. Bartley grew up listening to '50s soul and doo wop, and formed his own group in the early 1960s with William Graham, Henry Powell, Sam Nesbitt, and Ronald Marshall...

  • Winchester: Only two singles were released under this label, one by The Tymes
    The Tymes
    The Tymes are an American soul vocal group, who enjoyed equal success in the United Kingdom as their homeland. They share the distinction of being one of the few acts to have one and only one chart-topper in both the U.S...

     and the other by The Spokesmen
    The Spokesmen
    The Spokesmen were an American pop music trio. They scored a hit single in the U.S. in 1965 with the tune "Dawn of Correction", which was a patriotic answer record to Barry McGuire's protest song, "Eve of Destruction". The song was written by the group's members, John Medora, David White and Roy...

  • Windy C: Owned by Curtis Mayfield
    Curtis Mayfield
    Curtis Lee Mayfield was an American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer.He is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Super Fly, Mayfield is highly...

    , eight singles and one album were released on this label, mostly by The Five Stairsteps
    The Five Stairsteps
    The Five Stairsteps, known as "The First Family of Soul", were an American Chicago soul group made up of five of Betty and Clarence Burke Sr.'s six children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis, and Kenneth "Keni", and briefly, Cubie...


Philadelphia connection


Several C/P labels were based on hometown suburbs, highways and landmarks, including...
  • Parkway: Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Fairmount: Fairmount Park; there is also a Fairmount Ave. north of the Philadelphia Art Museum
  • Wyncote: Northern suburb of Philadelphia where C/P founder Bernie Lowe
    Bernie Lowe
    Bernie Lowe was an American songwriter / record producer / arranger / pianist and bandleader.Born Bernard Lowenthal in Philadelphia, Lowe started Teen Records and in 1955 was working with Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. He asked Freddie Bell to rewrite the lyrics of "Hound Dog" to appeal to a...

     resided and set up office for C/P
  • Cheltenham: Cheltenham Avenue; there is also a Cheltenham High School in suburban Wyncote

Reissues


ABKCO reissued Cameo-Parkway recordings in the early 1970s, but allowed them to fall out of print after that time. They were mostly officially unavailable on compact disc
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

 or any other format for many years. In May 2005 ABKCO revived the Cameo-Parkway name for reissues only, and released a multi-CD box set of the labels' most notable output: Cameo-Parkway: 1957-1967. In October 2005 it began to issue various single-artist "best of" CD compilations, including Charlie Gracie
Charlie Gracie
Charlie Gracie is an American rock pioneer and singer. He was born the same day as another rock and roll singer, Bobby Darin.His father encouraged him to play the guitar...

, Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell
Bobby Rydell is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a so-called "teen idol"...

, Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist"...

, Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp
Dee Dee Sharp is an American R&B singer, who began her career recording as a backing vocalist in 1961.-Career:...

, The Dovells
The Dovells
The Dovells were an American music group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name 'The Brooktones'. The members were Arnie Silver, Mark Gordesky, Len Borisoff , Jerry Gross, Mike Freda and Jim Mealey...

, The Orlons
The Orlons
The Orlons are an American R&B group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that formed in 1960. They received gold discs for the million selling achievements of three of their singles...

, The Tymes
The Tymes
The Tymes are an American soul vocal group, who enjoyed equal success in the United Kingdom as their homeland. They share the distinction of being one of the few acts to have one and only one chart-topper in both the U.S...

 and Question Mark & the Mysterians. A various artists CD titled Cameo-Parkway: The Greatest Hits was also issued, as well as two digital-only compilations: Holiday Hits From Cameo Parkway and Original Northern Soul Hits From Cameo Parkway.

ABKCO has also begun to license repertoire out to other labels, allowing Universal Music to license some songs for its Complete Introduction To Northern Soul box set in 2008, and allowing Collectors' Choice Music
Collectors' Choice Music
Collectors' Choice Music is a company primarily in two businesses. They are best known for re-issuing albums originally recorded in LP record form as compact discs...

 to reissue several albums in 2010. Many more obscure songs remain officially unavailable, however.

Cameo-Parkway Publishing is on EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

's "list of missing royaltors" as of 2009.

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