Amy was started in
1960 by Bell President Al Massler. The first single was the obscure
"Wabba"/"Tossy" by the Hully Gully Babies [Amy 800]. It wasn't long, however, before a surprise hit put
Amy on the map. Their fifth single, Amy 804, was a dance number by the Tunetoppers called "The
Madison" that reached #23 nationally. It featured a dance tune with "calls" by Al Brown, much like a
square dance has "calls." The artwork on the album that followed showed just how stodgy a label
Bell/Amy really was, as the front photo showed a hopelessly un-hip group of 'fifties squares apparently
enjoying themselves to the dance. Belying that unimpressive image was an album of excellent jazzy
sax-and-piano rock from a thoroughly professional band that had been together since 1953. Surprisingly,
the album was issued in stereo, with more than half the cuts being in true stereo.
Further releases on Amy were nondescript until Amy 813, by the Ramrods. That group, a Connecticut- based instrumental quartet (Vincent Lee, Eugene Moore, Richard Lane and Claire Lane) reached #30 in early 1961 with a rocking instrumental version of the old Vaughn Monroe tune "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Other singles in the first three dozen or so included Gabriel & the Angels, the Rondels, and the Sick- Nicks, the latter a tie-in with Sick magazine which also yielded the second Amy album [Amy A-2].
Paul Simon's group, Tico & the Triumphs (with Paul, Mickey Borack, and Howie Beck) scored a minor hit with "Motorcycle" [Amy 835, #99] in early 1962. Simon also recorded for Amy as Jerry Landis, and in early 1963 had a song called "Lone Teen Ranger" also scrape the bottom of the charts [Amy 875, #97]. By the next year, 1964, Simon had reunited with his high school chum Art Garfunkel ["Tom and Jerry"], and the duo had signed with Columbia as Simon & Garfunkel. They recorded a folk album called Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m. for Columbia, but it wasn't selling. Exasperated at six years of only marginal success as an artist, Simon had gone to England for an extended stay, and was playing in coffee houses, when he was notified that Columbia producers had added some electric guitar and drum overdubs to one of the songs on their album, "The Sound of Silence," and it was rocketing up the charts (to #1) as a "folk-rock" song.
Amy also issued singles by Tracey Dey ["Gonna Get Along Without You Now," Amy 901], the Caslons, the Four Jokers, Prince Buster, Kenny Chandler, the Jesters, and Chuck Jackson. "Tiger a-Go-Go" [Amy 924] was by Buzz and Bucky, actually Buzz Cason and Bucky Wilkin (leader of Ronny & the Daytonas), and remains a collectible single. And who can forget Jaywalker & the Pedestrians ["Never Happen"/"Hey Now", Amy 848]? (Just kidding on that last one.) Near the end of 1963, previously-unknown Joey Powers had a Top-10 hit single seemingly out of nowhere, with "Midnight Mary" [Amy 892]. It was the biggest hit to date for the Bell group of labels. Powers couldn't follow up on his success and remains a "one-hit wonder." Although he had no more hits, Powers later became a wrestling instructor at Ohio State University, and actually combined physical fitness with his entertainment background by producing The John Hills Exercise Show on NBC-TV.
Larry Uttal purchased the Bell labels some time between late 1961 and early 1964. He began a new album series on both Amy and Mala in 1964. He began the Amy series by reaching back a few months to Joey Powers' hit and putting out an album called Midnight Mary [Amy 8001], although the version of the title track on the album was a different recording from the hit single. He also signed the future member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Del Shannon, to Amy, and Del immediately had a few hits, including "Handy Man," "Stranger in Town," and "Keep Searchin (I'll Follow the Sun)." Three collectible Del Shannon albums were issued on the label. Uttal also helped Lee Dorsey revive his career with "Ride Your Pony" in June 1965, "Get Out of My Life Woman" in January 1966 and "Working in the Coal Mine" in July 1966. All of these Dorsey records were produced by Allen Toussaint. There were two Lee Dorsey albums released on Amy.
From England, Amy signed rocker Adam Faith, who had a top-40 hit with "It's Alright" at the beginning of 1965, and Amy issued an album of his material, also. Later artists to release singles on Amy included Britisher Cliff Bennett & the Rebelrousers, Clyde McPhatter, Earl King, Little Eva, Christopher Cerf (of National Lampoon), the Kalin Twins, the Guess Who, pro football player Roosevelt Grier, David and Jonathan, Vaughn Monroe (!), Keith Allison (of Paul Revere's Raiders), Len Barry ("4-5- 6," Amy 11026), Mike Stoller (of Lieber and Stoller fame),the Showmen, and a very young Daryl Hall ("The Princess and the Soldier, Parts 1 & 2", Amy 11049). Even with literally an all-star cast, none of these offerings dented the charts.
When Bell started its new LP series in 1966, albums on Amy and Mala were discontinued in favor of all albums being issued on the parent Bell label. By late 1969, with the final single "Give It Up"/"Candy Yam" by Lee Dorsey [Amy 11057], Uttal stopped issuing 45s on Amy, and quietly folded it back into the parent company, Bell.
The early series featured a purple label with silver print. "AMY" is in capital letters at the top of the label
The Amy 8000 series label is dark blue with silver print, with "AMY" in a silver oval above the center hole. The promotional issues had a white label with black print, graphics the same as the standard issue.
We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Amy/Bell Records, which we believe is currently owned by Arista. Should you want to contact Arista, or should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 1999, 2003 by Mike Callahan.
Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] (Chart) Contents
A-1 Stereo - The Tunetoppers at the Madison Dance Party - Tunetoppers with Calls by Al
Brown  Madison Party, Part One (S)/Madison Party, Part Two (S)/Hit It And Go (E)/Scotty
(S)/The Madison (E)//Mo' Madison (E)/Madison, Jr. (S)/Your Call (S)/Madison Jam (S)
A-2 - Sick # 2: Personalities of the World - Will Jordan, Sandy Baron and the Sickniks
 Tie-in album with Sick magazine. The Uncensored Presidential Press Conference/"Pop" Goes
The U.N.//Frankenstein/Wadja Say, Mr. K?/Exodus
8001/8001-S - Midnight Mary - Joey Powers  My Heart Is An Open Book/In The
Morning Gloria/Walk Right In/The Love I'll Never Know/Cindy, Oh Cindy/Midnight Mary//Walk Softly And
Carry A Big Heartache/Just A Ribbon/Mission Bell/High, High Wall/Don't Think Twice/Open Doors And
8002/8002-S - The Authentic Jamaica Ska - Various Artists  30 Pieces Of
Silver/King Of Kings/Tongue Will Tell/The Royal Ska/Something Is Wrong/Time Longer Than Rope//Ska
Ramouche - Carlos Malcolm/They Got To Go - Prince Buster/One-Eyed Jacks - Jimmy Cliff/Without
Love - Richards Brothers/Monkey Man Ska - Carlos Malcolm/Everybody Ska - Prince Buster
8003/8003-S - Handy Man - Del Shannon  Memphis/That's The Way Love Is/Ruby
Baby/I'll Be Lonely Tomorrow/I Can't Fool Around Anymore/Handy Man//Crying/Mary Jane/World
Without Love/I Ran All The Way Home/Give Her Lots of Lovin'/Twist And Shout
8004/8004-S - Del Shannon Sings Hank Williams - Del Shannon  Your Cheatin'
Heart/Kaw-Liga/I Can't Help It/Honky Tonk Blues/(See I Hear) That Lonesome Whistle/You Win
Again//Ramblin' Man/Hey Good Looking/Long Gone Lonesome Blues/I'm So Lonesome I Could
Cry/Cold, Cold Heart
8005/8005-S - Adam Faith - Adam Faith  It's Alright (S)/My Kind Of Girl (S)/I Got A
Woman (S)/What Now (S)/Knocking On Wood (S)/The Wanderer (S)//Message To Martha (Kentucky
Bluebird) (S)/Take Good Care Of My Baby (S)/Ginny Come Lately (S)/We Are In Love (S)/If I Had A
Hammer (S)/Let There Be Love (S)
8006/8006-S - One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-One Seconds with Del Shannon - Del
Shannon  Stranger In Town (S)/She Cried (S)/Needles And Pins (S)/Broken Promises
(S)/Why Don't You Tell Him (S)/Do You Wanna Dance (S)//I Go To Pieces (S)/I'm Gonna Be Strong
(S)/Rag Doll (S)/Over You (S)/Running Scared (S)/Keep Searchin' (S)
8007 - Gertrude Berg in How To Be A Jewish Mother: A Very Lovely Training Manual by Dan
Greenburg - Gertrude Berg  Probably issued in mono only. Introduction/Lesson 1:
The Basic Techniques Of Jewish Motherhood/Lesson 2: The Jewish Mother's Guide To Food
Distribution/Lesson 3: The Jewish Mother's Guide To Entertainment/Lesson 4: The Jewish Mother's
Guide To Relaxation/Lesson 5: The Jewish Mother's Guide To Education//Lesson 6: The Jewish
Mother's Guide To Thrift/Lesson 7: The Jewish Mother's Guide To Sex And Marriage: Introduction To
Sex-The Son (Early Years-Dinner With The Girl Friend-Taking Steps)-The Daughter (What To Do
Before The Date-Dinner With The Boy Friend-The Last Resort)/Lesson 8: How To Be A Jewish
Grandmother/Glossary Of Terms: Final Word
8008/8008-S - Harlem Nocturne - Viscounts  (1-66, #144) Modified reissue of
MA-LP-1001. Harlem Nocturne (E)/Chug A Lug (E)/I Cover The Waterfront (E)/Dig (E)/September Song
(E)/Opus #1 (E)//The Touch (Le Grisbi) (E)/Viscount Rock (E)/Summertime (E)/Along The Navajo Trail
(E)/Sophisticated Lady (E)/When The Saints Go Marching In (E)
8009 - First Visit To the Americas - Pope Paul VI  First Visit to the Americas, Side
1//First Visit to the Americas, Side 2
8010/8010-S - Ride Your Pony-Get Out My Life, Woman - Lee Dorsey  Ride Your
Pony/The Kitty Cat Song/Shortnin' Bread/So Long/People, I Wish You Could See/Work, Work,
Work//Get Out Of My Life Woman/Here Comes The Hurt Again/Hello Mamma/Can You Hear Me/The
8011/8011-S - The New Lee Dorsey - Lee Dorsey  (11-66, #129) Working In The
Mine/Can You Hear Me/The Greatest Love/A Mellow Good Time/Mexico/Get Out Of My Life,
Woman//Ride Your Pony/Confusion/Holy Cow/Don't You Ever (Leave Me)/Neighbor's Daughter/A Little
Dab A Do Ya