Acta Album Discography
By Mike Callahan and David Edwards
Last update: April 17, 2009

The Acta label was started by Kenny Meyers as a division of Dot Records, established primarily as an outlet for the new "psychedelic" rock that was becoming popular in the 1967-1968 period. Like its parent company, Dot, Acta was apparently not recording material on their own, but rather licensing masters from independent producers. The two main sources for material for Acta were Bill Traut of Dunwich in Chicago, who produced the American Breed, and Golden State Recorders in San Francisco, where the Other Half and Neighb'rhood Childr'n recordings originated.

Randy Holden The first single for the label was "Flight of the Dragon Lady"/"Wonderful Day" by the Other Half (Acta 801). The San Francisco based group was made up of Jeff Knowlen (vocals, harmonica, guitar), Geoff Western (rhythm guitar), Larry Brown (bass), Danny Woods (drums), and Randy Holden (lead guitar). It was Holden's lead guitar that gave the group its psychedelic sound, and after the Other Half split up, Holden moved on to become a mainstay in Blue Cheer. The group had four singles and an album on Acta.

The American Breed The biggest selling group for the label was the American Breed, a Chicago band that had been known as Gary and the Knight Lites. Personnel included Al Ciner (guitar), Chuck Colbert (bass), Lee Graziano (drums), and Gary Loizzo (vocals, guitar). Their first single was Acta 802, "Give Two Young Lovers A Chance"/"I Don't Think You Know," which sold poorly, even in their hometown where they were well known. Their next single, "Step Out Of Your Mind" (Acta 804), made top 10 in Chicago and #24 nationally in the summer of 1967. Surprisingly, their followup ("Don't Forget About Me," Acta 808) only reached #107 nationally, and didn't chart in Chicago at all. But it was their fourth single that really rang the cash registers at Acta: "Bend Me Shape Me" (Acta 811), which made #5 nationally and topped the charts in Chicago in early 1968. The song itself was a remake of a cut on an Outsiders' album from the year before, written by Scott English ("Mandy") and Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy"). Although the American Breed had several more chart singles for Acta, they couldn't repeat their success. They recorded commercials, and added a female singer, Paulette McWilliams. They moved toward a heavier soul sound, and eventually changed names to Ask Rufus. When Ask Rufus signed with ABC in the mid 1970s, Chaka Khan replaced Williams and the band's name was shortened to Rufus. As Rufus, they had several huge pop/soul hits for ABC.

The Peppermint Trolley Company Also signed to Acta in 1967 were Bobby Sansom & the Light Years, the Domestic Help, the Brothers Cain, and the Peppermint Trolley Company. The Peppermint Trolley Company was a Redwood, California, band made up of Jimmie Faragher (bass, guitar, sax), Danny Faragher (keyboards), Casey Cunningham (guitars, flute), and Greg Tornouist (drums). The Faragher Brothers had been in the group Mark Five, and had already got the Peppermint Trolley Company together for a single on the Valiant label when Acta signed them. They released five singles and an album on Acta, their only chart record being "Baby You Come Rollin' Across My Mind" (Acta 815), which reached #59 in the summer of 1968. The band would eventually change their name to Bones, and then the Faragher Brothers.

The Neighb'rhood Childr'n Another California band to record for Acta was the Neighb'rhood Childr'n, made up of Rick Bolz (12 string guitar, tambourine, harmonica, vocals), Ron Raschdorf (guitar, tambourine, vocals, harmonica), W A Farrens (drums, harmonica, tambourine, vocals), Dyan Hoffmann (vocals, organ, tambourine), and for a time George Campbell (guitar). They spent most of their time playing gigs in the San Francisco area, opening for groups like the Beau Brummels, the Who, and Iron Butterfly. When Acta chanced an album of their material, it crashed and burned in the sales column, so the label turned down a second try and the group eventually disbanded.

Other artists on the Acta roster releasing singles included Chicago's Pride & Joy, another of Bill Traut's groups, Blondell Breed & the Imports, and Joe & Al. By the end of 1969, psychedelia was over, and so was Acta. The few remaining artists went to parent labels Dot and Paramount, and that was that.

Although none of the Acta albums are particularly rare, they all command collector interest. Acta used excellent vinyl and pressings and sound quality were top notch. We are not aware of an issue with catalog number 8001/38001. The first American Breed album was released in both mono (A-8002) and stereo (A-38002). The remaining albums were issued commercially in mono and stereo at least as late as A-8006/A-38006.

The Acta label was yellow with black printing. "acta" was vertical to the left of the center hole.

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 Acta/Dot Records, which is currently owned by Universal Music Group. Should you want to contact Universal, 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, 2009 by Mike Callahan.



Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] (Chart) Contents

A-8001/A-38001 - Unissued?

A-8002/A-38002 - The American Breed - American Breed [1967] Step Out Of Your Mind (S)/Knock On Wood (S)/We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (S)/Same Old Thing (S)/Lipstick Traces (S)//Don't Forget About Me (S)/High Heel Sneakers (S)/My Girl (S)/Short Skirts (S)/I Don't Think You Know Me (S)/Up Tight (Everything's Alright) (S)

A-8003/A-38003 - Bend Me Shape Me - American Breed [1968] (2-68, #99) Green Light (S)/Don't It Make You Cry (S)/Mindrocker (S)/Bird (S)/Something You've Got (S)/Don't Make Me Leave You (S)//Bend Me, Shape Me (S)/Before And After (S)/Sometime In The Morning (S)/I've Been Tryin' (S)/No Easy Way Down (S)

A-8004/A-38004 - Other Half - Other Half [1968] Introduction/Feathered Fish/Flight Of The Dragon Lady/Wonderful Day/I Need You/Oz Lee Eaves Drop/Bad Day/Morning Fire/What Can I Do For You: First Half-The Other Half

A-8005/A-38005 - Neighb'rhood Childr'n - Neighb'rhood Childr'n [1968] Feeling Zero/Long Years In Space/Up Down Turn Around World/Changes Brought To Me/Please Leave Me Alone/Hobbit's Dream/Chocolate Angel/Patterns/Happy Child/Happy World Of Captain K/She's Got No Identification/Over The Rainbow

A-8006/A-38006 - Pumpkin, Powder, Scarlet and Green - American Breed [1968] Mono issue may have been issued to radio stations only. Pumpkin (S)/Cool It (We're Not Alone) (S)/Welcome, You're In Love (S)/The Right To Cry (S)/Ready, Willing And Able (S)/Take Me If You Want Me (S)/Powder (S)//Scarlet (S)/Anyway That You Want Me (S)/Master Of My Fate (S)/Music To Think By (S)/Train On A One-Track Mind (S)/I'm Gonna Make You Mine (S)/Green (S)

A-8007/A-38007 - Peppermint Trolley Company - Peppermint Trolley Company [1968] I've Got To Be Going (S)/Baby You Come Rollin' 'Cross My Mind (S)/I Remember Long Ago (S)/Put Your Burden Down (S)/Reflections (S)/Beautiful Sun (S)//Trust (S)/Sunrise (S)/Free (S)/Pat's Song (S)/Fatal Fallacy (S)

A-8008/A-38008 - Lonely Side of the City - American Breed [1968] Always You (S)/Love Is Just A State Of Mind (S)/New Games To Play (S)/Walls (S)/I've Got To Get You Off My Mind (S)/To Put Up With You (S)//Another Bad Morning (S)/What Can You Do When You're Lonely (S)/River Of No Regrets (S)/Partners In Life (S)/Out In The Cold Again (S)


VSD-5493 - Bend Me Shape Me: The Best of the American Breed - American Breed [1994] I Don't Think You Know Me (S)/Step Out Of Your Mind (S)/Don't Forget About Me (S)/Bend Me Shape Me (S)/Don't Make Me Leave You (S)/Green Light (S)/Don't It Make You Cry (S)/Ready Willing And Able (S)/Take Me If You Want Me (S)/Anyway That You Want Me (S)/Master Of My Fate (S)/Train On A One-Track Mind (S)/Keep The Faith (S)/Always You (S)/To Put Up With You (S)/Cool It (We're Not Alone) (S)/Can't Make It Without You (M)

SC 11041 - Long Years in Space - Neighb'rhood Childr'n [1997] Feeling Zero (S)/Long Years In Space (S)/Up Down Turn Around World (S)/Changes Brought To Me (S)/Please Leave Me Alone (S)/Hobbit's Dream (S)/Chocolate Angel (M)/Patterns (M)/Happy Child (M)/Happy World Of Captain K (M)/She's Got No Identification (M)/Can't Buy Me Love (M)/That's What's Happening (S)/Sunday Afternoon (S)/Feeling Zero (S, alternate version)/The Little Black Egg (S, with take announcement)/Tomorrow's Gone (S)/Over The Rainbow (S)/Louie Louie (S)/I Need Love (S, with studio talk)/Yesterday's Thoughts (S, with studio talk)/Woman Think (M)/Long Years In Space (M, alternate version)/Behold The Lillies (M)

Thanks to Ernie Mabrey.

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