Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Beatles in 1964 on a far less known VJ Record! A more uncommon look at the Fab Four . A record that would only sell in 1964 as well.

VJ records issued several recordings of the Beatles in their earliest days. The VJ Record Company was a small concern that dealt with more Religious, Rhythm and Blues and Gospel recordings.
It was a black owned company and catered to many styles of music that would have such an audience in the late 1950's. One has to remember that this was an age before Motown. This company brought some really great music to a lot of people starving for it in the 1950's. Most of the recording companies in the 1950's were not at all concerned with the Black market. The name VJ stood for the initials of the founders of the company...Vivian and James. " VJ "

They started expanding in the late 1950's and early 60's to start producing pop and rock recordings that would cater to a more world wide audience.
By the early 1960's they had records by "The Four Seasons", "Little Richard", The Beatles", and many more. By the early 1960's VJ records had become a force to recon with. But they had to deal with all the big boys in the industry. They held their own for a while. For a few short years VJ records had some of the greatest talent in the field of early rock and roll and pop.

This is one of the most famous of all the albums produced by VJ. It was called "Songs, pictures and stories of the fabulous Beatles"

The early and real versions of this recording have the gate cover. What is meant by the term "gate cover" is, that is only covers 3/4's of the front of the record. and opened like a gate to reveal all that was under it.

This is the gate cover piece. It was album 1092.
This album sold quite well. However in the 1970's it was counterfeited and there were several million of these recordings made. Today the counterfeit copies are the ones most seen. They were all produced in albums that looked like the real thing, but they did not have the gate cover. They are all over today and on Ebay, as they were made in numbers never dreamed of by VJ records in 1964.

Here you can see it with the gate cover closed.

This most unique album of the Beatles came out in July of 1964. It had been recorded and pressed originally in 1963. The record had a limited sale and then was repackaged into this format. It was on sale till VJ records was forced to stop marketing it on Oct 15, 1964. This record sold well, but not like the Beatles records that would follow, but it was one of the pioneer discs of this famous and time changing group. The recording itself was made of a mixing of various recordings of the Beatles done since 1962. There was another reissue of this same record in another format by VJ in 1965 and that was basically the same record again.

The record album was numbered VJ 1092. However, it was issued with record VJ 1062 which had been issued in 1963. It was one of the last hurrahs for VJ records. For VJ records went out of business in 1965.

This is the most colorful and informative record ever put out about the Beatles till many years after they broke up.

It had a lot of great music on it too.

The plain basic label that was the original VJ. (note the number of the record) In later months it would have color.. The major copies made in the 1970's are of color labels. If you look on Ebay you will see those labels all over the place. Although there were few color labels done by VJ they were not very common. As you can see with this label, it is as simple as can be. If you think about it, VJ was a small company so their label would look like that of a small company. I have seen several copies of this record with a multi colored label as well. If you find those beware as most of them are just copies made in the 1970's. Of course the back of the album where all the girls could tape their picture next to the Beatle they loved.