years ago, 19-year-old Jac Holzman started a record label called
Elektra in his St. John's College dormitory. What began as a
folk music label in 1950 became one of the most important in
popular music. Along with Tim Buckley, at various times the
roster included Love, the Doors and The MC5, Linda Ronstadt
and Carly Simon, Queen, The Cure and Metallica, Tracy Chapman
and 10,000 Maniacs.
is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an event October
14 at New York's 92nd St. Y with Holzman and former label-mates
Jackson Browne and Natalie Merchant. Interviewing them will
be Patti Smith and unofficial Elektra historian, guitarist
have also opened a stand-alone Elektra60
website, which features extensive samples of the labels
music from 1950 to the present day.
made the mainstream come to them," Kaye told spinner.com,
"as opposed to vice-versa, and so were able to do something
fairly unique in terms of what a record label. They were able
to create their own identity."
stable of major folk talent included Judy Collins, Tim Buckley
and Phil Ochs. "And as folk music grew," Kaye says,
"that's really key to Elektra's thing. They were able
to follow its development into a rock 'n' roll that was based
in art as opposed to the Top 40 ready-mades."
released four albums during his time at Elektra: Tim
Goodbye and Hello (1967), Happy/Sad
(1969) and Lorca