Sunday, February 8, 2015

Crying In The Chapel

Hit Parader HP-35
Unknown artist

In 1923, a 24-year-old John Santangelo left Italy to immigrate to the United States.  Initially, he made his living as a bricklayer and masonry contractor. Then, in 1934, he came up with the idea of printing and selling the lyrics to the popular songs of the day. Soon he was making hundreds of dollars of supplemental income.  According to the official history of the Charlton company, Santangelo was blissfully unaware that he was breaking copyright laws until his activities came to the attention of American Society of Composers, Authors and Producers [ASCAP]. He was convicted of copyright infringement and sentenced to a year in the New Haven County jail. In jail he met white-collar criminal and former attorney Edward Levy.   Levy recognized a good idea, and they formed a partnership to legally publish song lyric magazines.  And because they both had infant sons named Charles, they christened their new venture Charlton Publishing. Their first publication was Hit Parader magazine in 1935, and it was published continuously until Charlton Publishing closed shop in 1991.

The company jumped into the field of cover records in 1959. 
Two labels were launched : Hit Parader and Song Hits.  They released six 45s every year (3 of each label) until 1966. The two labels shared numbering systems. Hit Parader were all ODD numbered and Song Hits were all EVEN numbered.  Song Hits and Hit Parader records, were distributed by Capital Distributing Co. of Derby CT,

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