Harry Balk, who had been doing production for BigTop Records in the early 1960s, started the
label in 1965 in Detroit. Balk also controlled Twirl Records, which reissued some of the Del Shannon
material as well as having a couple of Del Shannon chart records. There was a Del Shannon
Hits album planned for issue on the Twirl label, but apparently it never came out, although cover
were prepared. Balk also was the owner of Inferno Records.
There were 32 singles on the Impact label of Detroit (which is not the same as the earlier West Coast surf-oriented label). The label lasted from 1965 to early 1967. Artists included the Human Beings, Mickey Denton, Jock Mitchell, the Kadoo Strings, Duke Browner, Anthony Raye, the Tartans, the Classmen, Nick & Dino, the Volumes (the group who had "I Love You" on Chex, then moved to Balk's Inferno label, and by this time long gone from the charts), the Sheppards (also long gone from the charts), the Inner Circle, Sincerely Yours, the Lollipops, John Rhys (who also produced the Shades of Blue album), the Sixpence, Patti & Mickey, the Wheels, Rod Riquez, Nabay, and the Shades of Blue. The Shades of Blue were the only artists on the label who had any kind of success.
The Shades of Blue were a vocal quartet from suburban Detroit who had been trying for some time to get a recording contract. Members of the group were Linda Allen, Bob Kerr, Ernie Dernai, and lead singer Nick Marinelli. After being auditioned and turned down at the Golden World label, they kept in touch with Golden World producer John Rhys and recording artist Edwin Starr. Rhys suggested a name change from the Domingos to the Shades of Blue. Starr showed them a song he had written called "Oh How Happy," and the group recorded it in January, 1966, at Golden World Studios. Rhys loved the recording and brought it to Harry Balk, who signed the group immediately.
Their initial single, "Oh How Happy" [Impact 1007] took only a few weeks to make #1 in Detroit, and made #12 nationally. Followups "Lonely Summer" [Impact 1014] and "Happiness" [Impact 1015] only reached the 70s in the national charts, although they fared better in hometown Detroit, making the top-30.
As far as the national charts went, the Shades of Blue were essentially one-hit wonders. The group first entered the national charts in early May, 1966, and by the end of October, they were done. They released a few more singles, but apparently, no one was listening any more outside of Detroit. They broke up in 1970, but did some reuinion concerts years later.
The Impact label was red with black print, with the exploding firecracker logo at the top. Around the bottom of the label it read, "A Harry Balk Enterprise, Detroit Michigan."
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 Impact Records, which is currently out of business. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 1997, 2003 by Mike Callahan.
Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents
|IMS-101 - Happiness Is the Shades of Blue - Shades of Blue [9/17/66] Millionaire (S)/World In His Hands (S)/The Night (S)/With This Ring (S)/Little Orphan Boy (S)/Happiness (S)//Exception To The Rule (S)/A Way To Love You (S)/Lonely Summer (S)/Peace Of Mind (S)/Oh How Happy (S)|
RELATED COMPACT DISC:
|Collectables COL-CD-5751 - The Shades of Blue: A Golden Classics Edition - Shades of Blue  Oh How Happy (E)/Happiness (E)/Lonely Summer (E)/Little Orphan Boy (E)/He's Got The Whole World (In His Hands) (E)/Exception To The Rule (E)/A Way To Love (E)/The Night (E)/With This Ring (E)/You Gave Me Peace Of Mind (E)/Millionaire (E)/Penny Arcade (E)/All I Want Is Love (E)/Funny Kind Of Love (E)|