The Omega Site

A ReDiscovery Website

Strings Around the World Vol 3
London Pops Orchestra
OSL 60
This release marks a change in the Omegadisk line. No notes, cheap covers, and even cheaper pressings. New owners? New management? We still don't know exactly what happened or when. Another cover design taken from a Broadway LP.
Strings Around the World Vol 4
Broadway Pops Orchestra
OSL 61
The front credits The London Pops, the back says The Broadway Pops. Numbers etched around the label tell us this is a Hallmark lp (HLP 393). But it also appeared on Coronet and other budget labels. The ultimate source was a tape licensed from a Hamburg music producer, the actual performers a 50-piece orchestra under the direction of Heino Reese.
Reissued as an iTunes download by Crownstar.

Red Sails in the Sunset / Maori's Farewell / Blue Hawaii / Hawaiian War Chant / Sweet Leilani / Aloha Oe / Moon of Manakoora / Dark Dawn / Drowsy Waters
Strings Around the World Vol 5
Broadway Pops Orchestra
OSL 62
PLAY
Etched numbers identify this as an album of music from movies, played by Kurt Jensen and his orchestra. The gensis appears to be Hallmark, a short-lived label from the late 1950s that made little impact with their low-budget vinyl, despite a predilection for eye-popping cheescake covers.

The High and the Mighty / When You Wish Upon a Star / The Long, Hot Summer / Unchained Melody / From Out of Nowhere / April Love / Secret Love / A Very Precious Love / Two Hearts in 3/4 Time / September Song / You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
Dixieland
Buck Clayton Sextet
OSL 63
Some Omega listings suggest this duplicates OSL 52, a reasonable conclusion since the front covers are the same. But the contents are completely different. If you trace back through incarnations on Sutton and other labels, you would conclude that the performers are The Empire City Six: Tony Spair, trumpet; Harry DiVito, trombone; Kenny Davern, clarinet; Johnny Varro, piano; Pete Rogers, bass; Phil Failla, drums. The most likely source for the Sutton release was an Empire City Six album on Hallmark 312--but the only track they have in common is the Battle Hymn. Members of the Six say they only made two records (the other was a collection of college football fight songs on ABC Paramound). According to Buck Clayton's Jazz World (by Buck himself) the tracks heard on OSL 52 were recorded in Boston during June 1959. But so were several others not on that earlier LP, and they show up here: Synthetic Blues, When the Saints Go Marching In, Billboard March. Blue Blues is performed by Wild Bill Davison with Abram Lincoln, Joe Rushton, Matty Matlock etc. If we ascribe the Battle Hymn to the Empire City Six, that leaves two tracks unidentified.

Battle Hymn of the Republic / Pee Wee Blues / Synthetic Blues / Ciribiribin / When the Saints Go Marching In / Billboard March / Blue Blues
Music from Silent Films
Mike di Napoli
OSL 64
PLAY
From SSTB 883.
Reissued on CD by Peter Pan.

Poet and Peasant / Charge of the Ulans / William Tell Overture / Toyland / My Hero / My Buddy / A Bird in a Gilded Cage / Curse of an Aching Heart / Hearts and Flowers / Frankie and Johnny / The Villain Theme / Chloe
Honky Tonk in Percussion
OSL 65
Surprise! It's another Synthetics Plastics LP (this time Spin-O-Rama) by Mike di Napoli.

Schubert Serenade / Largo / La Donna e Mobile / Melody in F / Chopin Nocturne / Mozart Sonata / Turkish March / Madame Butterfly / Grieg Piano Concerto / Minuet in G / Toreador Song / etc
The Soul of Spain: Percussion and Castanets
OSL 67
Gotta love the subtitle. Um, castanets are percussion! This is a rebranded Hallmark LP; the disc still has the Hallmark record number (HLPS-382) etched around the label. The Omega branding is in a white box because it was necessary to cover up the Hallmark logo. No artists are identified; these tracks were performed by a Hamburg ensemble under the direction of Heino Reese. Some of these titles appeared on 3HT-20008.

Granada / Espana / Cordoba / Ravel's Bolero / Diva Navarra / Estudiantina / Estrellita / La Paloma / Serenata Espanol / Capriccio Espanol
Schubert: Symphony 7 in e
Ataulfo Argenta / Cento Soli Orchestra of Paris
OSL 69
This is the same music and recording (except for the increasingly cacaphonous vinyl surfaces and generic cover) as OSL 12. Somebody didn't realize that Schubert's 9th used to be counted as his 7th, which is how it was listed on OSL 12. So they put it out again, this time getting the key wrong. Licensed from Club Francais du Disque.
Schubert: Symphony 8 in b "Unfinished"
Ataulfo Argenta / Cento Soli Orchestra of Paris
OSL 70
Sorry, but Ataulfo Argenta never recorded the 8th. The performance is actually by Gunter Wand and the Cologne Gurzenich orchestra.  Another sloppy error that has even found its way into CD booklets. With just one of the two movements on each side of the disc, this is probably the shortest lp ever pressed under the once-noble Omega imprint. Licensed from Club Francias du Disque.
Reissued on CD by Testament.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 4 in f
Rudolf Albert / Paris Radio Defusion Orchestra
OSL 71
Apparently they thought Radiodiffusion was two words. Not that it mattered actually since the ensemble was actually the Cento Soli Orchestra of Paris! Licensed from Club Francias du Disque.
Reissued on CD by Accord.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6 in b "Pathetique"
Rudolf Albert / Paris Radio Defusion Orchestra
OSL 72
As above. Licensed from Club Francias du Disque.
Reissued on CD by Accord.
Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
London Pops Orchestra
OSL 73
PLAY
This recording appeared on multiple budget labels under many different names. It was actually performed by the Hamburg Philharmonia conducted by Hans Jurgens-Walther. The work has only five movements but, just like the Crown LP, whoever produced this record couldn't even get them in the correct order!
From STT 845.
The Sound of Sound
OSL 74
A stereo sound spectacular featuring sounds of jets, boats, trains, sports cars, nature, the magic mechanical orchestra. Also (originally?) appeared on Coronet and Sutton.
Big Band Blaze
Bob Freedman and his Orchestra
OSL 80
Coronet LP (CXS 153). Unconfirmed
Flamenco
Jose Barroso
OSL 91
Unconfirmed
Music from Silent Films
Mike di Napoli
OSL 94
Unconfirmed.
Way Down Yonder on Broadway
OSL 97
PLAY
But the title on the back reads "Say Yonder on Broadway"! By now that's expected from these pseudo-Omega lps. This was a Sutton LP rebranded as an Omega. We traced this one from the etched number (UTS 144); that took us to "Al Price Swinging on Broadway" on Hallmark, Silver Seal etc. But a little more digging revealed that Premier Albums had recycled this record several times before. It began as "Broadway Escapade" on Spin-O-Rama, and later reappared as "Jazz and Swinging Percussion" on Directional Sound (more subsidiaries of Premier). Actual performers: the Bill Berry quartet.

Old Devil Moon / Dream Street / June Is Busting Out All Over / Almost Like Being in Love / Manhattan Blues / Times Square / Broadway by Night / How Do You Speak to an Angel? / Blow Gabriel Blow / The Night Was Made for Love / Broadway and Tenth / Schubert Alley
Congo Percussion
OSL 99
PLAY
This LP certainly traveled the distance to arrive at OSL 99. The front gives a number (SSU-210) belonging to the Sutton label, while a sticker covers up the original imprint to claim it's part of the "Omega Records Hallmark Series". This record did appear on Hallmark (among many other labels), but etched numbers (UTS-139) indicate the pressing is from Silver Seal (one of many Premier Albums imprints) where it was credited to Chief Walataghi and his Afro Drummers. In its many incarnations this record has also been issued as by Chief Bey, Kaino, Cawanda Group, and Sabu the Jungle Boy!

To clear up the confusion somewhat, it all began with "Jungle Beat", a release on the RKO label by Subri Moulin and the Equitorial Rhythm Group. Tops/Mayfair inherited the short-lived RKO catalog, so it went there next. Before long it spread to other labels, but with changes. Only about half of the RKO/Tops version was used; the rest of the tracks are "new" material. They may have been unused songs from the Subri sessions, or music from other performers. On Pirouette this new concoction was credited to Cawanda Group and each track acquired a left-right ping-pong percussion intro. As the migration to multiple supermarket labels continued, somewhere along the line all songs, both from RKO and wherever, were renamed to fool the unwary buyer. Omega's version has the altered names, but at least the tracks themselves are not encumbered by the silly ping-pong intros.

Arabini / Charinde / Eow-Nes / Lesha-Kal / Facii / Aboo / De Voo / Rejagee / Hope / Od Amit
Charlie Everett Sings Jolson
Charlie Everett / Robert Feilding and his Orchestra
OSL 101
This program, actually sung by Norman Brooks with orchestra allegedly conducted by Al Goodman, duplicates a Viking Records LP. The Viking label appears to be something akin to Sutton in its mimicking of Omega's design. In any case, the recordings originated with Synthetic Plastics and its cornucopia of labels (Pirouette, Diplomat, Promenade, Spin-O-Rama etc).

Rosie, You Are My Posie / My Wild Irish Rose / Shine on Harvest Moon/ Honeymoon / Frankie and Johnny / Wait 'Til the Sun Shines Nellie / Cuddle Up a Little Closer / Gee I Wish That I Had a Girl / Ida / When You Were Sweet Sixteen / On the Banks of the Wabash
The Ink Spots
OSL 103
If I Didn't Care / Shine on Harvest Moon / Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall / Maybe / I Love You Truly / It's a Sin to Tell a Lie / I Love Coffee, I Love Tea / It Had to Be You / Gypsy / We'll Meet Again
Tribute to Tommy Dorsey
OSL 111
Only some of these songs have any real connection with Dorsey; most appear to be recycled from previous releases of dubious origin.

Song of India / Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Battle Hymn of the Republic / Low Life / Peasant's Theme / Going Home / Sea Breeze / When Johnny Comes Marching Home / Army Theme / By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Sing Along with Me
OSL 112
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6
Muir Mathieson / Sinfonia of London
OSL 114
This is a recycled Hallmark LP (as can be seen by the number on the label: HG-502) like HLG 511 below, but the front cover is different from the plain text Hallmark original. The sticker covers up the name of whatever label this picture was filched from (possibly Avon). The recording wasn't original with Hallmark either; they licensed it from England's World Record Club.
Pervasive Percussion
OSL 118
PLAY
Don't let the cover fool you. This is a collection of bullfight music, and the etched numbers (CSX-54) identify it as a Coronet record: The Brave Bulls.

La Virgen de la Macarena / España Cani / Toque Torero / Toreador Song / Cielo Andaluzia / El Relicario / Novillero / Gato Montez / Toque / La Sorella / Banderillero / Angelina / Galito / Toque de Merte / Granada
Erotic Percussion
OSL 119
Another Coronet recording, this time a knock-off of drummer Chaino. The Coronet was subtly and cleverly named "Kaino" and his Afro-Percussion Group. But why does the Omega pressing have pipe organ music instead of the listed tracks? Well in addition to OSL 119 we find UTS-139 etched in the grooves. Another Silver Seal? No, this time it's a Celebrity LP, yet another fine product of Premier Albums. And that particular Celebrity record was a concert of pipe organ music by "Charles Rand" (probably aka John Kiley). Didn't anybody listen to these records before releasing them? The provocative cover art is lifted from an LP on the short-lived Hollywood Records label, put out by the same fine folks who produced Hallmark Records.

Aizeica / Dance of the Cockatoo / Spirits of the Night / The Sea of Green / Man and Beast / Jungle Paths / Wild River / Rain Drops / Torrid Drums / To the Sea
Big Band Swings the Classics
Bob Freedman and his Orchestra
OSL 120
The front gives a Plaza number, the back says Omega. The grooves give no hint except for an odd OLSF prefix. These are the same tracks that showed up earlier from "Tex Morgan", so only Bob Freedman knows if he's really the bandleader here, but our guess is: not.

Drigo's Serenade / La Cinquintaine / Polovtsian Dances / Hymn to the Sun / Anvil Chorus / When Johnny Comes Marching Home / By the Water of the Minnetonka / Dark Dawn / When the Saints Go Marching In / Greensleeves
Holiday in Hawaii
OSL 123
No performers are named but the recording itself, like so many of these ersatz Omegadisks, comes from an old Coronet LP, credited to Harry Kaapuni and his Royal Polynesians. The players weren't very Polynesian, however. They were a group of studio musicians who assembled in Boston's Ace Studios (favored by the Synthetics Plastics labels), with Eddie Cunningham on steel guitar.

Red Sails in the Sunset / Harbor Lights / Hawaiian Holiday / Luau Lei / Drowsy Waters / Dance of the Cockatoo / Hawaiian Love Song / Kula Ha / To You Sweetheart Aloha / Hawaiian Starlight / Aloha Oe
Taboo
OSL 127
The front gives a number (PLS-3013) belonging to the Plaza label, and indeed if you peel off the Omega sticker on the cover underneath it says "Plaza". Etched numbers (UTS-139) indicate the record is actually a Silver Seal and it turns out to be OSL 99 all over again.

Aribini / Charinde / Eow-Nes / Lesha-Kal / Facii / Aboo / De Voo / Rejagee / Hope / Od Amit
Swinging Stephen Foster
OSL 129
Beautiful Dreamer / I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair / Nellie Bly / Old Boy Trey / Ring Ring de Banjo / Old Folks at Home / My Old Kentucky Home / Gentle Annie / Oh Susannah / Hard Times / Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming / Camptown Races
Swinging on Broadway
OSL 132
The front gives a number (PLS-3034) belonging to the shadowy Plaza label, but the back and the label give the Omega number. Performers are not identified, but the track titles point to Buck Clayton and friends.

Bugle Call Rag / St James Infirmary / When the Saints Go Marching In / Sweet Sue / Muskrat Ramble / Ballin' the Jack / Synthetic Blues / Billboard
Swinging Sound Tracks
OSL 149
Reissue of OSL 50; the design of the Omega logo suggests a cover design lifted from a Sutton LP.
Salute to Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
OSLF 16
An odd variant of OSL 16: it has that number on the front but OSLF 16 on the back. Side one duplicates OSL 16 with Francis Bay performances. Original contents of side two are replaced by "Tex Morgan" performances of uncertain origin:

Side two: Going Home / Evening Star / When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again / On Brave Old Army Team / Clair de Lune
Francis Bay Big Band Salutes Ted Heath
OSLF 17
As above; this variant replaces Bay tracks with "Tex Morgan" performances of uncertain origin.

Side two: Song of India / Swing Low / Sweet Chariot / Battle Hymn of the Republic / Traumerei / Volga Boatmen
Strings Around the World Vol 1
London Pops Orchestra
OSLF 23
This variant is entirely different from OSL 23, despite borrowing its name and number and slapping on a generic cover used in the later volumes of the series. Side two has been lifted from a Tiara LP where the performances were credited to "Johnny King" (possibly the same person as Johnny Kay). The origin of side one is undetermined.

Gelsomina / Mama, El Baion / Rosa Rosa Nina / Scampolo / Musica Proibita / Estrellita / Arabesque / Plaisir d'Amour / La Copla Fu / Dancing in Castile
Salute to Stan Kenton
OSLF 27
As above; this variant replaces Bay tracks with " Tex Morgan" performances of uncertain origin.
Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice
Vittorio Gui / Florence May Festival Orchestra
HLG 511
This is a curiosity. Hallmark was a product of Paramount Productions, purveyor of budget labels like Hollywood Records. They made a short-lived attempt to make a dent in the stereo market with Hallmark. This is one of their handful of releases, but with an Omega Records sticker plastered on the front. The packaging is otherwise unchanged, from the "Hallmark Stereo Record Index" on the back to the consistent misspelling of composer Paul Dukas's name. The record label says Omega, with the Hallmark HLG 511 number on it. There may have been more of these floating around--Omega LPs only in the label design and pasted-on sticker.

Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice / Sibelius: Finlandia / Sibelius: Valse Triste / Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun / Strauss: Rosenkavalier Waltzes