Essex Album Discography
By Mike Callahan, David Edwards, and Patrice Eyries
Last update: January 24, 2008

Essex was part of Miller International Company of Media, Pennsylvania. The Essex Record Label was started in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by David L. Miller in 1951. The output of the label was popular, country & western, rhythm & blues, jazz and gospel. Promotion manager was Jack Howard. The label was active into 1956.

Essex had little commercial success; their one top-10 chart record was a late 1953/early 1954 single called "Oh, Mein Papa" by British trumpeter Eddie Calvert backed by the Norrie Paramor Orchestra. It went to #6 nationally, but Essex couldn't follow up with any success here in the U.S., and Calvert became a "one-hit wonder." Meanwhile, Calvert racked up a series of chart hits in England in the mid-1950s. In the summer of 1953, Monte Kelly and His Orchestra charted with "Tropicana" [Essex 325, #19], and followed that in the fall with "Three O'Clock in the Morning" [Essex 328, #21].

Bill Haley Essex's real claim to fame, however, is the release of the early recordings of Bill Haley and the Comets. Haley's first big hit, "Crazy Man, Crazy" was in May of 1953 [Essex 321, #12 nationally], was followed by two lower chart hits, "Fractured" [Essex 327, #24 in late summer, 1953], and "Live It Up" [Essex 332, #25 in autumn, 1953]. This success brought Haley to the attention of Decca Records, who signed him to a contract. Haley went on to major fame on the Decca label. After losing it's only real star, Essex tried to capitalize on Haley's fame by issuing LP 202 by Haley, which contains his Essex work.

The early 10-inch LP series was typical of budget labels of the time. The collection of almost a dozen record jackets in this series was a wonder of cheesecake photography, featuring women in various "inviting" and sometimes semi-clothed poses, no doubt hoping the record jackets would sell the records if the music inside could not. The photography was credited to Silver Studios of New York City.

After the Essex label, Miller started the Trans-World label. Many, if not most of the Essex 12 inch LP's were reissued on Trans-World. The Trans-World label did not last long either; it was followed by the Somerset/Stereo Fidelity budget labels which also reissued much of the Essex recorded material. Somerset and Stereo Fidelity were interchangeable; the Somerset releases were monaural while the Stereo Fidelity releases used the same number but were in stereo. These budget labels lasted into 1967.

The Essex label was orange with back print.

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 Essex 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.


100 Series (10 Inch LPs):


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

ESLP-101 - Jay White Plays Alto Moods (A Tribute to Freddy Gardner) - Jay White [1954] On The Trail/Torcelli Serenade/Over The Rainbow/Deep Purple/Claire De Lune/Down Memory Lane/Estrellita/Because

ESLP 102 - I Love - Norrie Paramor [1954] April In Portugal/Callahan's Monkey/Luxemburg Polka/Pennywhistle Song/Moulin Rouge/Melodia/Wedding Day/My First Romance

ESLP 103 - I Love - Ray Charles Chorus [1954] Long Ago And Far Away/Bewitched/Sweet And Lovely/Walk With The Wind/How High The Moon/My Funny Valentine/Our Serenade/The Night Is Young

ESLP 104 - I Love - Jay White [1954] Laura/On The Trail/Tosselli's Serenade//Claire De Lune/Deep Purple/Estrellita/Over The Rainbow

ESLP 105 - I Love - Ray Martin [1954] 14th Variation/Ecstasy/Tango Waltz/Hi-lili Hi- lo/Veradero/Begorah!/Swedish Rhapsody/Carnivalito

ESLP 106 - I Love - Monty Kelly [1954] Granada/Tropicana/Cubamba/Life In New York/Three O'clock In The Morning/Doreen/Snow, Snow/Crosswinds

ESLP 107 - I Love - Eddie Calvert [7/54] Mystery Street/Paris In The Rain/Cry My Heart/Midnight/Caress/I Speak To The Stars/I'll Be Waiting For You/Oh Mein Papa

ESLP 108 - Monty Kelly Takes Me To Far Away Places - Monty Kelly [1955] Neapolitan Nights/Monte Carlo/Cuban Love Song/Ball In The Balearics//Shangri La/Glocca-Morra/Bali Hai/Under Paris Skies

ESLP 109 - The Alto Sax of Jay White Takes Me To Far Away Places - Jay White [1955] Street Scene/Harlem Nocturne/In A Persian Market/Autumn In Rome//Paris In The Spring/A Night In Vienna/Paradise/Sleepy Lagoon

ESLP 110 - The Ray Charles Chorus Takes Me To Far Away Places - Ray Charles Chorus [1955] Far Away Places/Moon Of Manakoora/Foggy Day In London/Moon Over Miami/April In Paris/It Happened In Monterey/Beyond The Sea/Slow Boat To China

ESLP 111 - Billy Butterfield Takes Me To Far Away Places - Billy Butterfield [1955] Street Of Dreams/Cote D'azur/Moonlight On The Ganges/South Sea Island Magic//Last Time I Saw Paris/I Cover The Waterfront/Costa Del Oro/East Of The Sun

200 Series (12 inch LPs):


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

ESLP-201 - For Hi-Fi Bugs - Demonstration Record [1955]

ESLP-202 - Rock with Bill Haley and His Comets - Bill Haley & His Comets [1955] Rock The Joint/Rockin' Chair On The Moon/Farewell So Long Goodbye/Real Rock Drive/Fractured/Stop Beatin' Around The Mulberry Bush//Crazy Man Crazy/Pat-A- Cake/Live It Up/Watcha Gonna Do/I'll Be True To You/Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stockin')

ESLP-203 - Tropicana - Monte Kelly & His Orchestra [1955] Granada/Tropicana/Cubamba/Life In New York/Neapolitan Nites Mambo/Monte Carlo//Three O'clock In the Morning/Glocca-Moora/Bali Hai/Under Paris Skies/Shangri La/Doreen

ESLP-204 - April in Paris - Ray Charles Chorus [1955] How High The Moon/Walk With The Wind/Our Serenade/others

ESLP-205 - Street Scene - Jay White [1955] Laura, Part 1/Laura, Part 2/On The Trail/Tosselli's Serenade/Claire De Lune/Deep Purple//Street Scene/Harlem Nocturne/Estrellita/Over The Rainbow/Paris In The Spring/Sleepy Lagoon

ESLP-206 - A Kiss in the Dark - Mulcays with Monte Kelly Chorus [1955] Harbor Lights/others

ESLP-207 - Billy's Best - Billy Butterfield [1955] Blue Coast/Gold Coast/others

ESLP-208 - Let's Dig Bert (Eddie, That Is) - Eddie Bert [1955] I'm Through With Love/Blue Beatte...Original/In A Meditating Mood/Father Time/Good School Days/Pennies From Heaven/Home Cookin'/Speedster

ESLP-209 - Happy Days Are Here Again - Ferko String Band [1956] Happy Days Are Here Again/Hello Hello Hello/Golden Slippers/Deep In The Heart Of Texas/Sing A Little Melody/Alabama Jubilee/Four Leaf Clover/You Are My Sunshine/There's Something Nice/Ma She's Makin' Eyes At Me

400 Series (12 inch LPs):


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

ESLP-401 - Billy Butterfield at Princeton - Billy Butterfield & Essex Five [1955]

ESLP-402 - Billy Butterfield Goes to N.Y.U. - Billy Butterfield & Essex Five [1955] Just You, Just Me/I Only Have Eyes For You/When The Saints Come Marching In/West End Blues

ESLP-403 - Billy Butterfield at Amherst - Billy Butterfield & Essex Five [1955] Douglas Hop/Dancing On The Ceiling/What's New/Love Me Or Leave Me

ESLP-404 - Billy Butterfield at Rutgers - Billy Butterfield & Essex Five [1955]

Thanks to Robert L. Snyder.

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