Click here to access a very good website devoted to the Vee-Jay records story, including an interview with A&R man Calvin Carter, the brother of Vee-Jay founder Vivian Carter.

Click here for Vee-Jay's Wikipedia page.

Click here for Vee-Jay founder Vivian Carter's Wikipedia page.

Below are Youtube videos of twenty or so of Vee-Jay's incredible hits catalogue ranging from 1955 to 1966. The below are not in chronological order but are roughly placed within the first and second decades that the label spanned. Apologies for the commercials that precede some of the songs.

I thought I'd start in 1964 (relatively late in the label's lifespan) with Betty Everett's iconic 'Shoop-Shoop Song' ('It's In His Kiss')--arguably Vee-Jay's iconic recording--and then flashback to the label's beginnings. The reason for this is that the record was literally a summation of all the elements that Vee-Jay pioneered in popular music recording--Doo-Wop, R&B, Dance Club music etc. and provides a framework for how the label developed its sound over the decade of its life.

Now let's go back to one of the earliest hits, featuring the 'Doo-Wop' sound that Vee-Jay helped discover and was one of the first labels to promote. This is The Spaniels recording of 'Since I Fell For You'.

This is Dee Clark's hit 'Hey Little Girl'.

Jimmy Reed's early electric blues hit 'Ain't That Lovin' You'.

Another major record from the labels 'Doo-Wop' phase was The Dells 'Oh What A Night.'

John Lee Hooker's 'Boom Boom Boom' was an early hit for the label.

Here's Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield's early hit 'He Will Break Your Heart'.

The record that put the label in the major leagues was the acquisition of the independently produced 'Sherry' by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Click here to listen to the song. When its done, hit your back-button to return to this blog.

Before Ray Charles got to 'What I Say?", Cal Carter (Vivian Carter's brother and Vee-Jay's A&R man) made this instrumental version of it.

Vee-Jay was ahead of the curve in recognizing the commercial viability of Gospel. In addition to early Staple Singers recordings they recorded the Sallie Martin Singers.

An early unexpected monster hit for the label was Gene Chandler's 'Duke Of Earl'.

Another major Four Seasons/Valli record was 'Walk Like A Man'.

Gladys Knight and the Pips made this record--one of their first--for Vee-Jay in 1961.

Little Richard joined the label in 1964 and recorded his hit 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'.

Another fantastic Betty Everett record was 'You're No Good'.

But it was the serendipitous joining of The Beatles and Vee-Jay that cemented Vee-Jay's rep as the most major of indie labels and, ironically, led to the company's eventual downfall.

Hoyt Axton was one of the labels last artists to hold out and not leave the company when it was in trouble.

But the label's days were numbered and another of the last of the faithful, Jerry Butler, tried to help out by remaking one of his (and the labels) earliest hits "For Your Precious Love".

But it was too late. Vee-Jay was a thing of the past by 1966, only a dozen or so years after it had been founded.