Probe Album Discography
By David Edwards, Patrice Eyries, and Mike Callahan
Last update: September 2, 2005

Probe was an ABC subsidiary that lasted between 1968 and 1970. It was run out of the Grand Award division of the company. It was established to record and issue the "psychedelic" sounds of the late 1960s, and had such artists as the Soft Machine, Litter, Zephyr, and Rare Bird. The Soft Machine was an experimental rock trio from the UK constiting of Robert Wyatt (vocals, drums), Kevin Ayers (guitar), and Michael Ratledge (organ). Litter was from Minneapolis, and specialized in hard rock. Members included Mark Gallagher (vocals), Ray Melina (guitar), Dan Rinaldi (guitar), J. Worthington Kane (bass), and Tom Murray (drums).

Zephyr, from Denver, had the label's most successful album. The group featured ill-fated Tommy Bolin on guitar (he also did stints with Deep Purple and the James Gang), who died of a drug overdose at age 26 in 1976. Other members were bassist David Givens, his wife Candy Ramey Givens (vocals, who accidentally drowned on January 27, 1984), John Farris (keyboards), and Robbie Chamberlain (drums).

The group Fat City had Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (later Taffy Danoff) amongst their lineup. The Danoffs later backed John Denver, and co-wrote some of his biggest hits. By 1976, they had teamed up with two other singers in the Starland Vocal Band and had a huge hit with "Afternoon Delight" on Denver's Windsong label.

The most successful single on the Probe label was "Sympathy" by Rare Bird, a British group made up of Steve Gould (vocals, bass), David Kaffinetti (keyboards), Graham Field (organ), and Mark Ashton (drums). "Sympathy" proved to be an FM hit in early 1970, the days when FM radio was fighting for an audience with the well-established AM top-40 radio. The FM success didn't translate directly into 45-rpm record sales, however, since the single stalled at #121 on the charts. The Rare Bird album, however, made a respectable chart showing for Probe, as might be expected from the more album-oriented FM listeners. By the time the group's second album was ready several months later, Probe had been abandoned as a label by ABC, and the group signed with Polydor for US distribution.

Interestingly, with the general lack of chart success for the label's offerings in the FM-rock genre, Probe turned to a more soul-oriented look for its last gasp. Dick Jensen's White Hot Soul preceded an album by long-time soul singer Freddie Scott, I Shall Be Released, but with the failure of even this new direction, Probe was shut down in mid-1970.

The label was typical of the late 1960s ABC labels, black with silver print with a colorful Probe logo on the top left and an ABC logo on the top right of the label. Around the bottom of the label it said, in red print, "MFG. By Grand Award Records Co., Inc., a subsidiary and trademark licensee of ABC Records, Inc. New York, N.Y. 10019 - Made in USA."

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Probe Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (all of which are out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2002 by Mike Callahan.


Number - Title - Artist [Release Date] (Chart) Contents

CPLP 4500 - The Soft Machine - Soft Machine [1968] (12-68, #160) Hope For Happiness/Joy Of A Toy/Hope For Happiness (Reprise)/Why Am I So Short?/So Boot If At All/A Certain Kind/Save Yourself //Priscilla/Lullabye Letter/We Did It Again/Plus Belle Qu'une Poubelle/Why Are We Sleeping?/Box 25/4 Lid

CPLP 4501 - The Mystic Number National Bank - The Mystic Number National Bank [1969] Blues Jam/Good Love/It Will Break Your Heart/AC/DC/St. James Infirmary//Beautiful Blues/Umbrellas/Ginger Man/Big Boy/Blues So Bad

CPLP 4502 - The Love Songs Of A. Wilbur Meshel - Billy Meshel [1969] Today Has Been cancelled/If You Could Put That In a Bottle/Shirley Newman's Boyfriend/I Don't Like Liking You/I Blew It/Pleasure/Take a Bow/That's What Sends Men to the Bowery/I Dinn't Come to N.Y. To Meet a girl From My Hometown/I Say Hello/When I'm Leaving/Loserville

CPLP 4503 - Guy and David - Guy & David [1969] Galveston/When I Was 5/Games People Play/Little Green Apples/Brooklyn Roads/100 Pounds/These Are Not My People/Straight Life/Granny/This Guy's In Love/To Put Up With You

CPLP 4504 - Emerge - Litter [1969] (8-69, #175) Journeys/Feeling/Silly People/Blue Ice/For What It's Worth//Little Red Book/Breakfast At Gardenson's/Future Of The Past

* CPLP 4505 - The Soft Machine, Volume 2 - Soft Machine [1969] A Concise British Alphabet (Part I)/A Concise British Alphabet (Part II)/A Door Opens And Closes/As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still/Dada Was Here/Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening/Fire Engine Passing With Bells Clanging/Have You Ever Been Green?/Hibou, Anemore And Bear/Hulloder/Orange Skin Food/Out Of Tunes/Pataphysical Introduction (Part I)/Pataphysical Introduction (Part II)/Pig/10:30 Returns To The Bedroom/Thank You Pierrot Lunaire

CPLP 4506 - Over The Hills/Bastich - Saint Steven [1969] Over the Hills/Animal Hall/Gladacadova/Poor Small/Ayaye-Poe-Day/Grey Skies/Bastich/Voyage to Cleveland/Sun in the Flame/Bright Lights/Louisiana Home

CPLP 4507 - Morgen - Morgen [1969] Welcome To The Void/Of Dreams/Begging Your Pardon (Miss Joan)/Eternity In Between//Purple/She's The Nitetime/Love

CPLP 4508 - Reincarnation - Fat City [1969] Reincarnation/Wall Street/Locked In A Cage/Angeline/Prince Of Peace/Atlantis//You Look Like A Memory/City Cat/Easter Island/Holly Would/Sally Anne/We Don't Live Here Anymore

CPLP 4509 - Rock Slides - Scott Bradford [1969] Samara/Essential Horror/Mid Evil Dance/All Over/Issa/I Will Give You All/Kansas City Mascher

CPLP 4510 - Zephyr - Zephyr [1969] (12-69, #48) Sail On/Sun's A-Risin'/Raindrops/Boom-Ba-Boom/Somebody Listen//Cross The River/St. James Infirmary/Huna Buna/Hard Chargin' Woman

* CPLP 4511 - From Here To There - Frummox [1969] Bosque Country Romance/Daybreak/Jake's Song/Kansas Legend/Lovin' Mind/Man With The Big Hat/Song For Stephen Stills/Texas Trilogy/There You Go/Trainride/Weaving Is The Property Of Few These Days

CPLP 4512 - White Hot Soul - Dick Jensen [1969] Cry On My Shoulder/I'm Good For You/Jealous Feeling/Home Again At Last/That Lucky Old Sun//Hard To Handle/My Elusive Dream/Medley: Try A Little Tenderness-Expressway To Your Heart-I Heard It Though The Grapevine-Yesterday

* CPLP 4513 - The Seven Deadly Sins - Plus [1969] Avarice: Daddy's Thing/Dismal: 20,000 People/Envy: I'm Talking As A Friend/Gloria In Excelsis: Toccata/Gluttony: Something Is Threatening Your Family/Intro: 20,000 People/Lust: Maybe You're The Same/Pride: Pride/Secrets: Devil's Hymn/Sloth: Open Up Your Eyes/Wrath: Gunegomere

CPLP 4514 - Rare Bird - Rare Bird [1970] (3-70, #117) Released in the UK as Charisma CAS 1005. Iceberg/Times/You Went Away/Melanie//Beautiful Scarlet/Sympathy/Natures Fruit/Bird On A Wing/God Of War

CPLP 4515 - The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other - Van Der Graaf Generator [1970] Released in the UK as Charisma CAS 1007. Darkness (11/11)/Refugees/White Hammer//Whatever Would Robert Have Said?/Out Of My Book/After The Flood

CPLP 4516 - Classical Heads - Classical Heads [1970]

CPLP 4517 - I Shall Be Released - Freddie Scott [1970] If Tomorrow Never Comes/I Shall Be Released/Girl I Love You/I'll Be Leaving Her Tomorrow/Learnin' How To Fly/With A Little Help From My Friends/Don't Let Me Fall/Out Of My Mind

Thanks to David Givens and Gene Cothron.

Back to the ABC-Paramount Records Story

Back to the Discography Listings Page

Back to the Both Sides Now Home Page