Mike Biel is correct about Club 99 records. The LPs were reissues of
long-unavailable, more often than not scarce, vocal 78s. I met the woman
"behind" the label, Ellen Lebow, several times. Ben Roth, who posts here
occasionally, worked for her on the production of the LPs. I met him at her home
outside New York City during visits in the 1970s with my late friend Andy
As I recall, Club 99 was begun by Mrs. Lebow's husband Bernard. She
maintained it after his untimely death. He and their friends were keen
collectors of vocal records. They had sizable collections of sought-after or
little-known discs and drew upon them to plan LP reissues. They planned them with
the knowledge of advanced collectors and made every effort to make the
best-sounding transfers they could. They definitely produced superior-sounding
transfers than the sometimes execrable ones on such labels as the
picturesquely-named TAP ("Top Artists Platters"). That might have been another
Edward J. Smith production. (Was it?)
Bernard Lebow had been involved with Period Records in the early- to
mid-1950s. He produced, and might have also narrated, a series of LPs about
various composers. I seem to recall Mrs. Lebow saying that in part or all,
Club 99 was a project to give them some income, because during the McCarthy
witchhunts of the fifties Bernard Lebow's political views were considered too
liberal and he was blackballed from Period and the corporate record
Another LP label of approximately the late '50s to the '80s that did
good work in reissuing long-unavailable, and desirable, 78s was Rococo. It was
a production of Ross, Court and Co., record dealers in Toronto. Transfer
quality levels were usually high and the notes and pressings were usually
On 5/31/12 3:43 PM, Music Hunter wrote:
> This thread reminds me of my old retail chain in NYC, The Record Hunter.
> In those days, the pirates offered their bootleg recordings to us as "
> private label recordings " 1st on LP& then in the '80's on CD. Some of them
> even sold through supposedly legitimate distributors.
> One of these labels, that did fairly well " CLUB 99 " was sold through
> German News on 86 Street.
Club 99 weren't bootlegs. They were pirate reissues of released
1) Bootlegs are ONLY releases of recordings that were not authorized for
release, such as outtakes and concert recordings.
2) Pirates are unauthorized releases of previously released recordings.
3) Counterfeits are meant to be exact copies of previously released
recordings, made so the customers do not know they do not have the
> Boris Rose was his own salesman, lol. Jay Sonin, General Manager
The movie soundtracks he did are also really pirates unless there are
some unused tracks, and then they are bootlegs. Collectors often
confused all of these and called all three types "boots" or "bootlegs".
But the terms have these specific meanings when we get into lawsuits.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]