Keen/Andex/Famous Labels Album Discography
by David Edwards and Mike Callahan
Last update: March 22, 2017

Because the Keen, Andex, and Famous labels were closely related, we have listed them all together on this page.

The Keen label was founded by brothers John and Alex Siamas in April, 1957 in Los Angeles. John Siamas was a very successful businessman in the aerospace industry, president of Randall Engineering Co. in Culver City, California. He started Keen Records as a side business because he enjoyed music.

At about the same time, across town at Specialty Records, Sam Cooke, the lead singer for the successful gospel group The Soul Stirrers, was recording pop music for the first time. Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, producer for Specialty, had arranged the pop session for Cooke. When Art Rupe, owner of Specialty, found out that Sam Cooke was recording popular music instead of gospel, he was furious and fired Blackwell. As part of the settlement between the two, signed June 17, 1957, Blackwell got the tapes from the session and Sam Cooke's contract. In an incredibly lucky break for the Siamas brothers, Blackwell brought the tapes to the newly-formed Keen Records. Included on the tape was "You Send Me". In September 1957, Keen released "You Send Me"/"Summertime" and the double-sided hit sold 1.7 million copies. Sam Cooke stayed with Keen for three years before moving on to the major RCA-Victor label.

The Siamas Brothers had a verbal agreement with Bob Kuhn/Keane, a clarinet player who had been in big bands. In the early days, Keane seemed to be running the show on the music side, with hopes to become a partner in the business. Keane may have influenced Bumps Blackwell to come to Keen with Sam Cooke. As the months progressed, the relationship between Keane and the Siamas brothers fell apart, and resulted in Keane suing the label for breach of the verbal "contract" [see Billboard, February 3, 1958, page 13]. Keane eventually lost this suit and immediately founded Del-Fi records, whose success with Ritchie Valens helped set up the label as one of the mainstays of the surf genre. For the rest of his life, Keane claimed he "founded" the Keen label, although this is disputed by the Siamas family. Keane recorded an album for Andex in 1957 which was released in January, 1958 under the name The Bob Keene Septet.

In any case, by December 23, 1957, Keane was nowhere to be found on the label's "Season's Greetings" ad in Billboard on page 23. It listed the recording artists for Rex Productions (Andex/Keen's parent production company, owned by the Siamas Brothers with John as President) as: Sam Cooke, Bumps Blackwell, the Valiants, Bonnie Draper, William Preston, the Debs, Jack Rogers, Bob Nolen, the Pilgrim Travelers, Kylo Turner, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Ben Tucker, Dempsey Wright, The Turks, Nicaraguans, Mary Kenney, and Cliff White. The Production staff included: John Siamas, Alex Siamas, Andy Karres, Bumps Blackwell, Rex Oberbeck, Don Clark, Don Gray, and Andy Litschi (Director of Distribution).

Others hired by the Siamas brothers in early 1958 for A&R included Herb Alpert, Lou Adler, and Fred Smith, who honed their production chops under Bumps Blackwell and all went on to greater fame in the 1960s.

After a few years running Keen/Andex, in 1961 John and his brother Alex decided to get out of the record business altogether. According to John Siamas' brother-in-law, Glenn Butterman, Siamas had found out about the bad side of being in the record business very early in the label's life. The original Keen label was plain black with silver print, but these discs were quickly being pirated, so the label design was changed to the rainbow stripes design to discourage counterfeiting. John's daughter, Vicki Siamas, told us, "After only a few years in the music industry, he decided to quit because it was a very corrupt business filled with liars, cheats and dirty dealings. It was a dog-eat-dog industry and in order to survive, you had to stoop to a different level of doing business than my dad was willing to do. He was a very honest man."

In the end, when Siamas was winding down the label in 1961, Bumps Blackwell struck a deal to reissue the material in the Keen/Andex vaults on his own label, Famous.

Keen shared a numbering system with the Andex and Ensign labels on 45s. Keen started releasing albums on the A 2000 series in February, 1958. The series also included an Andex album. Sam Cooke's LP Tribute to the Lady, released in April, 1959, was the only Keen album released in stereo. In 1959 Keen/Andex decided to go to a 6000 (mono)/7000 (stereo) LP series, but to differentiate the labels, added a "2" in front of the 6000 for Andex, making it a 26000 series for mono, 27000 series for stereo, and an "8" in front of the 6000 for Keen, resulting in the 86000 series, where the releases were all in mono. In mid-1959, Keen changed labels to the black label design, and changed the Andex label from red to black.

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 Keen Records. 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 1998, 1999, 2017 by Mike Callahan.


The first Keen label (far left) has multi-colored vertical stripes with the letters KEEN in gray circles going around the top of the label. This label was used on the 2000 series and the start of the 86100 series. The second Keen label (center left) is black with KEEN to the left side of the center hole and a 5 color vertical stripe next to it. This label was used on the last two known albums in the 86100 series. Only one album (S 2004) was known to be issued in stereo. It had a gold label (near left).
Keen issued several stereo singles in 1959, The first two Milton Grayson's "Beggar Boy" (shown far left) and Sam Cooke's "Win Your Love For Me" were issued on blue vinyl. Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen," and "Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha" (center left) were issued on black vinyl. All had a gold label; and all were true stereo. "Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha" had a unique "ping-pong" mix popular in the early days of stereo. "Win Your Love For Me" is missing the backing vocals. Keen issued the stereo singles in a special sleeve (near left).


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

Keen/Andex Consolidated A 2000 Series:

Keen A-2001 - Sam Cooke - Sam Cooke [2/58] (3-58, #16) Issued in mono only. First Keen label (multicolor stripes). You Send Me/The Lonesome Road/Tammy/Ol' Man River/Moonlight In Vermont/Canadian Sunset//Summertime/Around the World/Ain't Misbehavin'/The Bells Of St. Mary's/So Long/Danny Boy/That Lucky Old Sun

Andex A-2002 - Memo To Dancers - Memo Bernabei Orchestra [1958] Issued in mono only. Tonight You Belong To Me/Up Tempo Medley: Lonesome And Sorry-Farewell Blues-When You're Smiling/I Think Of You/Please Be My Sweetheart/Business Man's Medley: Dearie-You Call Everybody Darlin'-Mr. Sandman/Big Mamou//Where You Are/Velvet Glove/Glow Worm/Latin Foxtrot Medley: The Breeze And I-Amapola-Yours/Copenhagen/Waltz Medley: Just A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet- Sweet Violets-When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver

Keen A-2003 - Encore - Sam Cooke [11/58] Issued in mono only. First Keen label (multicolor stripes). Oh Look At Me Now/Someday/Along The Navaho Trail/Running Wild/Accentuate The Positive/Mary Mary Lou//When I Fall In Love/I Cover The Waterfront/My Foolish Heart/Today I Sing The Blues/The Gypsy/It's The Talk Of The Town

Keen A-2004/S-2004 - Tribute to the Lady - Sam Cooke [4/59] Issued in both mono and stereo. Mono copies have the first Keen label (multicolor stripes). Stereo copies have the gold Keen label. God Bless The Child/She's Funny That Way/I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues/Good Morning Heartache/T'Aint Nobody's Bizness (If I Do)//Lover Girl (Man)/Let's Call The Whole Thing Off/Lover Come Back To Me/Solitude/They Can't Take That Away From Me/Crazy In Love With You

Keen 86100 Series:

LP 86101 - Hit Kit - Sam Cooke [1959] Issued in mono only. First Keen label (multicolor stripes). Only Sixteen/All Of My Life/Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha/Blue Moon/Win Your Love For Me/Lonely Island/You Send Me/Love You Most Of All/For Sentimental Reasons/Little Things You Do/Let's Go Steady Again/You Were Made For Me

LP 86102

Note: Label changes to black Keen label.

LP 86103 - I Thank God - Various Artists [1960] Issued in mono only. Second (black) Keen label. I Thank God - Sam Cooke/You Got To Move - Original Blind Boys/Jericho Walls - Gospel Harmonettes/That's Heaven To Me - Sam Cooke/Love Lifted Me - Gospel Harmonettes/Coming Up Through The Years - Original Blind Boys/Steal Away - Sam Cooke/Trust And Obey - Gospel Harmonettes/This Friend Jesus - Original Blind Boys/Deep River - Sam Cooke/God's Goodness - Gospel Harmonettes/Oh Lord Fix It - Original Blind Boys

LP 86104

LP 86105

LP 86106 - Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke - Sam Cooke [1960] Issued in mono only. Second (black) Keen label. Wonderful World/Desire Me/Summertime/Almost In Your Arms/That's Heaven To Me/No One//With You/Blue Moon/Stealing Kisses/You Were Made For Me/There I've Said It Again/I Thank God


Andex was the first of the Siamas Brothers' labels to issue an album, and indeed was the most prolific label in terms of number of releases. They started with the A 5000 series in 1957, which was for gospel releases. A few months later, they started the A 2000 Pop series, the A 3000 Jazz series, and the A 4000 Jazz/Rock Series. All these series used the original red Andex label with black and white print for mono releases, and the gold Andex label with black print for stereo releases. In 1959, the Andex issues were consolidated into the 26100 series, which lasted until 1961 when the company went dormant.

The earliest series, the A 5000 series, used a red label with black and white print (far left). A few months later, the A 3000/S 3000 series was launched, using the same label for mono releases.
Stereo issues in the S 3000 series used the gold label with black print. About 1960, Andex changed their label colors from red/white to black/silver, and some of the later pressings of the A 3000 series used the black label with silver print (near left).
Both the A 4000 series (far left) and the A 9000 series (near left) used the standard early red labels.
Albums in the 26000 series used the black label with silver lettering (far left), while the 27000 stereo issues used the gold label with black print (near left).


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

Andex A 5000 Gospel Series:
Red Andex label.

A 5001 - Look Up! - Pilgrim Travelers [1957] Jesus Met The Woman At The Well/Talk About Jesus/Go Down Moses/Come Home/Motherless Child/He'll Never Let Go Your Hand/Daniel Saw The Stone Part I//Daniel Saw The Stone Part II/Walk Around/The Battle Of Jerico/Poor Pilgrim Of Sorrow/Yes, Indeed/A Soldier's Plea/I Could Do Better Than That/I Remember The Time

Andex/Keen A 2000 Consolidated Series:
Red Andex label.

Andex A-2002 - Memo To Dancers - Memo Bernabei Orchestra [1958] Issued in mono only. Tonight You Belong To Me/Up Tempo Medley: Lonesome And Sorry-Farewell Blues-When You're Smiling/I Think Of You/Please Be My Sweetheart/Business Man's Medley: Dearie-You Call Everybody Darlin'-Mr. Sandman/Big Mamou//Where You Are/Velvet Glove/Glow Worm/Latin Foxtrot Medley: The Breeze And I-Amapola-Yours/Copenhagen/Waltz Medley: Just A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet- Sweet Violets-When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver

Andex A 3000 (mono)/S 3000 (stereo) Jazz Series:
Mono issues first had the red label with black and white print, then later the black label with silver print. Stereo issues had gold label with black print.

A 3001 - Stringing Along: Twilight Jazz with String Percussion - Various Artists [1958] Issued in mono only. Arrangers are listed. Lover Come Back To Me - Bill Holman/Can't Get Out Of This Mood - Jack Montrose/On The Good Ship Lollypop - Jack Montrose/The Nearness Of You - Bill Holman/Barcarolle - Jack Montrose/I'll Take Romance - Jack Montrose//Polka Dots And Moonbeams - Benny Carter/Funiculi-Funicula - Jack Montrose/Lullaby Of The Leaves - Jack Montrose/Calisthenics - Calvin Jackson/They Can't Take That Away From Me - Jack Montrose/The Moon Was Yellow - Jack Montrose/Once In A While - Benny Carter

A 3002 - Mucho Calor (Much Heat): A Presentation in Latin Jazz - Various Artists [1958] Issued in mono only. Recorded April 24, 1958 at the Forum Theater, Los Angeles. Musicians are: Conte Candoli, Jack Costanza, Chuck Flores, Russ Freeman, Mike Pacheko, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, and Ben Tucker. Arrangers are listed. Mucho Calor - Bill Holman/Autumn Leaves - Benny Carter/Mambo De La Pinta - Art Pepper/I'll Remember April - Art Pepper/Vaya Hombre Vaya - Bill Holman//I Love You - Bill Holman/Mambo Jumbo - Conte Candoli/Old Devil Moon - Bill Holman/Pernod - Johnny Mandel/That Old Black Magic - Bill Holman

A 3003 - John Graas Composes an International Premier In Jazz: An International Presentation in Modern Jazz - Various Artists [1958] Issued in mono only. The German Festival Symphony Orchestra recorded in Stuttgart in 1956, and consisted of: Horst Fisher (trumpet), Ernst Mosch (trumpet, mellophone), Werner Baumgart (alto sax), Gerald Weinkoph (tenor sax, flute), Horst Jankowski (piano), Peter Witte (bass), and Hermann Mutschler (drums). German Festival Symphony Orchestra - Jazz Symphony No. 1: Allegro Moderato/Andante/Allegretto/Scherzo//West Coast All Star Ninetet - Jazz Chaconne No. 1: Chaconne, Part I/Chaconne, Part II (Medium Fast)/Chaconne, Partt III (Slow in 6/4)

A 3004/S 3004 - Bill Holman in a Jazz Orbit: A Presentation of Big Band Jazz - Bill Holman Big Band [1958] Issued in mono and stereo. Recorded at Radio Recorders. Kissin`Bug/The Man I Love/Goodbye/You Go To My Head/After You`ve Gone//Far Down Below/No Heat/Theme & Variations #2/Aura

A 3005/S 3005 - Jive for Five - Bill Holman/Mel Lewis Quintet [1959] Issued in mono and stereo. Note the stereo issues (as shown at right) had a slightly different logo box from the mono. The mono box said REX Productions while the stereo box has "IN STEREOPHONIC SOUND" next to the Andex logo. Artists: Bill Holman (tenor sax), Mel Lewis (drums), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Lee Katzman (trumpet), and Wilford Middlebrook (bass). Out Of This World/Mah Lindy Lou/Liza//The Beat Generation/502 Blues Theme/Jive For Five

A 3006/S 3006 - Bill Holman Arranges The Wright Approach - Dempsey Wright [1959] Issued in mono and stereo. Recorded in Hollywood, CA in 1958. Dempsey Wright, jazz guitarist. Something For Lisa/Easy To Love/Thanks For The Memory/9:20 Special//Swingin' The Blues/Indian Summer/Taps Miller

Note: In mid-1959, logo on jacket front changes to a horn.

A 3007/S 3007 - Weather In A Jazz Vane - Jimmy Rowles Septet [1959] Issued in mono and stereo. Recorded December 13, 1958. With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair/The Breeze And I/When The Sun Comes Out/Throwin' Stones At The Sun/Heat Wave//Let It Snow/Winter Weather/Some Other Spring/Too Hot For Words

A 3008/S 3008 - Clarinet Portrait: Blues and Swing - Jerry Fuller Sextet [1959] Issued in mono and stereo. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You/That's A Plenty/Minor Epic/On Green Dolphin Street/Judy//Somebody Loves Me/Making Whoopee/Raz Ma-Tazz/Benny's Idea/Georgia On My Mind

Andex A 4000 (mono)/S 4000 (stereo) Jazz/Rock Series:
Red Andex label.

A 4001 - Solo For Seven: A Presentation in Jazz - Bob Keene Septet [1958] I Won't Dance/There'll Never Be Another You/Soft Winds/Solo/Can't We Be Friends/I Hear Music//Once In Love With Amy/Let's Fall In Love/Anna/A Lonesome Cup Of Coffee/Faces, Places And Things

A 4002/S 4002 - Mucho Rock - Rene Bloch & Orchestra [1958] Raunchy/April Nocturne/Stop-When-Swinging/Magitos/Nature Boy/Ren‚'s Mambo/More Mambo/Wa-Pa-Cha//Frenesi/Sylvia/Cha-Cha In "G"/Paul's Mambo/One More/Harry's At One/Cha-Cha-Stroll

Andex A 9000 Comedy Series:
Red Andex label.

A 9001 - The Reluctant Golf Pupil - Reginald Owen & Joe Novak with Jeanne Carmen [1959] The Reluctant Golf Pupil, Part 1//The Reluctant Golf Pupil, Part 2

Andex 26100 (mono)/27100 (stereo) Series:
Mono had black label, stereo had gold label. Horn logo on front.

LP 26101/S 27101 - The Coolest Mikado - Gilbert & Sullivan Jazz Workshop [1961] The Coolest Mikado/Punishment And Crime, Oooo Baby!/Moonsville/Three Little Chicks/Have Guitar, Will Minstrel/Flowers That Bloom In The Spring, Shoo-Be-Doo//We're Those Mothers From Japan/Kookie Ko-Ko/Here's A Hawdie Dodie/The Tacit Flip/Yit Willownik/The Wedding Bell Bit

LP 26102/S 27102 - Love That Waltz - Memo Bernabei Orchestra [1961] Fascination/When I Lost You/Dreamy Melody/Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland/Come Back To Sorrento/Charmaine//Melody Of Love/I'll Always Be In Love With You/When Lights Are Low/Memories.More Than A Dream/Diane


The Famous label was owned by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell (Famous Enterprises), who was a producer/songwriter at the Andex/Keen labels from 1957-1959. He left to join Mercury Records in mid-1959. By 1961, Keen/Andex was winding down, and Blackwell struck a deal with the Siamas brothers to reissue a number of albums derived from Keen and Andex vaults, including some previously-unreleased material. The Sam Cooke albums on Famous are not direct reissues of Keen albums, but new compilations. Album F-510 is known to be previously-unissued Andex recordings from 1959 when Blackwell was still with the label. A companion album to F-510 was later released on CD on the V.S.O.P. label. It is possible that the unknown F-511 was to be that companion album.

The Famous label was dark blue with silver print.


Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] Contents

Famous F-500 Series:

F-501 - Rockin' Slumber Party - Various Artists [1961] Hully Gully - Herbie Alpert/Beach Party - Lani Kai/We Knew - Billy Storm/Steal Away - Sam Cooke/Dumb Dora - Ral Tones//Summer School - Herbie Albert/Scottish Fling - Marti Barris/Sumpin' Jumpin - Bumps Blackwell/Okay - Turks/Dee-Dee-Di-Oh - Echoes

F-502 - Sam's Songs - Sam Cooke [1961] Little Things You Do/Come Love/Lonesome Road/The Gypsy/That's Heaven To Me/Love You Most Of All/Canadian Sunset/Solitude/I Thank God/Danny Boy

F-503 - God's Goodness - Original Gospel Harmonettes [1961] God's Goodness/Jericho Walls/Trust And Obey/Power Of The Holy Ghost/The World Has Changed//Looking For A Home/Precious Memories/I Have Done/Love Lifted Me/Elijah

F-504 - This Is The Night - Billy Storm and the Valiants [1961] This Is The Night/Temptation Of My Heart/Walkin' Girl/Please Wait My Love/Love Game//Good Golly Miss Molly/Lover Lover/Frieda Frieda/We Knew/Screwdriver

F-505 - Only 16 - Sam Cooke [1961] Only Sixteen/She's Funny That Way/My Foolish Heart/So Long/Mary Mary Lou/So Glamorous/Crazy In Love With You/When I Fall In Love/Good Morning Heartache/Let's Go Steady Again

F-506 - The Velvet Voice Of Milton Grayson - Milton Grayson [1961] Ain't Necessarily So/Beggar Boy/As Long As Life Goes On/Forgive Me/I Love You Much Too Much//Where Are You/There Is No Greater Love/A Part Of Me/I Want You To Know/Lonely Lover

F-507 - The Latin Moods of Rene Block - Rene Block [1961] April Nocturne/Stop When Swinging/Magitos/Rene's Mambo/Wa Pa Cha//Sylvia/Cha Cha In "G"/Paul's Mambo/One More/Harry's At One

F-508 - So Wonderful - Sam Cooke [1961] Wonderful World/Summertime/Almost In Your Arms/Tammy/Talk Of The Town/You Were Made For Me/Along The Navajo Trail/No One/I Cover The Waterfront/Around The World In 80 Days

F-509 - You Send Me - Sam Cooke [1962] You Send Me/Old Man River/Ee-Yi-Ee-Yi-Oh/With You/Accentuate The Positive/Desire Me/Ain't Misbehavin'/Lucky Old Sun/Today I Sing the Blues/Lonely Island

F-510 - Wade in the Water - Gulf Coast Jazz [1962] "The American Jazz Quintet", here called "Gulf Coast Jazz" was a sextet that recorded in New Orleans. The members were Ellis Marsalis, Jr. (Piano), Harold Battiste (tenor sax). Alvin Batiste (clarinet). Ed Blackwell (drums), Richard Payne (bass), and William Swanson (bass). Recorded February 23, 1959, at Cosimo's Studio in New Orleans. Wade In The Water/Lil David/I Got Shoes/When The Saints Go Marching In/Nigeria//Reminiscence/Sinners Don't Let This Harvest Go/Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen/This Little Light Of Mine/Salassi

F-511 - (Unissued?)

F-512 - Every Body Likes To Cha-Cha-Cha - Sam Cooke [1962] Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha/T'Aint Nobody's Bizness/Runnin’ Wild/Deep River/Oh Look At Me Now //Stealin' Kisses/Someday/They Can't Take That Away From Me/Blue Moon/There I've Said It Again

F-513 - Travelin' Along - Pilgrim Travelers [1962] Daniel Saw The Stone/The Battle Of Jericho/I Remember The Time/Poor Pilgrim Of Sorrow/Motherless Child//Go Down Moses/Walk Around/I Could Do Better Than That/Come Home/Talk About Jesus

Thanks to Glenn Butterman, Bob Djukic and Vicki Siamas.

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