|#||Release title||Total tracks||Type of release is||Imprint date||Label|
Born 12 February, Romania
Died 20 March 2007, Englewood, New Jersey, USA
[b]Weiss[/b] moved with his parents to the Bronx, where he grew up and, after the war, where he returned to work as a furrier and then a bouncer. During the mid 1940s [b]Weiss[/b] then learned the art of shifting music product as a sales distributor for the Modern and [url=http://www.discogs.com/label/Exclusive+(2)]Exclusive[/url] labels, selling to record stores and later to jukebox owners.
By the late 1940s the activities of [b]Weiss[/b] were part of a New York music culture that had really began to hot up in a fusion of diverse styles and clubs, such as [a=Morris Levy]'s 'Birdland' and those of [a=George Goldner], which sprung up to cater for a fan base that would, in turn, provide a record-buying audience. To tap this market in the early 1950s [b]Weiss[/b] and his brother [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Sam+Weiss+(2)]Sam[/url] started the Parody label and recorded [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Danny+Taylor+(2)]Danny Taylor[/url], whilst also aiding distribution of Apollo and [a=Jubilee] labels, helping in the success of [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Orioles,+The]The Orioles[/url].
In July 1953 [b]Weiss[/b] intercepted the Five Crowns, who were about to audition elsewhere, and got them to record 'You Could Be My Love'. This was when the [b]Weiss[/b] brothers moved into what appeared on paper to be a prestige Madison Avenue address at East 125th Street. It was in fact a small office in back of an old theatre, previously occupied by a duplicating company called Old Town Corporation. To cut corners, [b]Weiss[/b] used this company's old stationery stock to launch the Five Crowns on his new label. Thus, [l=Old Town Records] was born.
The label launched a history of popular artists, from R&B to blues and doo wop to pop. One of its first national hits was by [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Fiestas,+The]The Fiestas[/url]. [b]Weiss[/b] also began the distribution house Superior, which came to handle Argo, Cindy, Combo, Lamp, [l=Coed], Tip-Top, [l=End], [url=http://www.discogs.com/label/Gone+Records]Gone[/url], Bullseye, [url=http://www.discogs.com/label/Vee+Jay+Records]Vee-Jay[/url], and [a=John Vincent]'s labels, such as Vin and [url=http://www.discogs.com/label/Ace+Records+(3)]Ace[/url]. He created a publishing company called Maureen Music and initiated other labels, such as Whiz, Paradise (on which he signed [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Harptones,+The]The Harptones[/url]) and [l=Barry]- named after his son, who would later become president of [url=http://www.discogs.com/label/Zomba+Records]Zomba Label Group[/url]. Old Town also enjoyed some success in the UK. By the 1960s [b]Weiss[/b] had begun to wind down his work with the label and briefly worked with [a=Arthur Prysock] at [l=Stax] before selling his publishing interests and Old Town, whose back catalog features on the [l37036] label.
[b]Weiss[/b] died of natural causes, aged 84, leaving three children, four grandchildren and an indelible legend as one of the industry’s great original independent record men and entrepreneurs.