The Dimension label was formed by Don Kirshner in 1962 in New York City as a division of Screen
Gems, for which Kirshner was working at the time. Kirshner owned a song publishing company with Al
Nevins called Aldon and a production company, Nevins-Kirshner. Working for them was the talented
husband and wife songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Carole King had started writing
songs for Don Kirshner in 1958 at age 17. By 1962, she and Gerry Goffin had written dozens of hits,
including "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" for the Shirelles, "Take Good Care of My Baby" for Bobby
Vee, and "Her Royal Majesty" for James Darren.
Kirshner decided to form a recording outlet for Goffin and King songs and productions. Reputedly, Goffin and King used their teenage baby-sitter Eva Narcissus Boyd to sing "Loco-Motion," one of the all-time great dance records. The song gave Dimension a number one hit in the summer of 1962 on its first release [Dimension 1000]. Little Eva followed that up with "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" in the fall of 1962 [Dimension 1003, #12].
About the same time in the summer of 1962, Carole King recorded a demo of the new Goffin-King song, "It Might as Well Rain Until September." Kirshner took the acetate of the demo and put it out as a single on a new label, which he called Companion [Companion 2000]. Kirshner quickly discovered that the name was already in use, so he switched the single back to Dimension with the same number [Dimension 2000], leaving Dimension with the odd release sequence of 1000, 2000, 1001, etc. Carole King's demo was a hit, making #22 on the national charts. Not having an actual tape of the song, just an acetate, they took the acetate and recorded it on tape for the master. Years later, when Bob Hyde and Water DeVenne were looking for the master tape, they came across a small box with the "master" tape, surface noise and all. For this reason, the song has always had surface noise when reissued. Always a top songwriting talent, Carole King went on to much greater fame as a singer- songwriter in the early 1970s when she recorded the multi-platinum album "Tapestry" on Ode Records.
The back up singers on "Loco-Motion" were the Cookies: Dorothy Jones, Margaret Ross and Earl-Jean McCrea. The Cookies started out as a backup vocal trio in 1954 with Dorothy Jones, Darlene McCrea, and Beulah Robertson. By 1956, after Margie Hendrix had replaced Robertson, the group still found much work in the music business, especially for Atlantic. When Darlene and Margie left to join Ray Charles' backing group the Raelettes in 1958, Darlene's younger sister Earl-Jean joined along with Margaret Ross. It was this trio that found itself in New York working with Carole King during the early 1960s.
The Cookies had a big hit on Dimension with "Chains" at the end of 1962 [Dimension 1002, #17]. They followed that up with an even bigger hit, "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" in early 1963 [Dimension 1006, #7]. McCrea, just using her first name "Earl-Jean," also recorded the original version of "I'm Into Something Good" on Colpix (another Screen Gems label) in early summer 1964 [Colpix 739, #38], well before Herman's Hermits made the song into a top-15 hit in the closing months of 1964.
Besides Little Eva and the Cookies, and the one hit by Carole King (although she was a driving force as a songwriter), there were precious few other chart records on Dimension. One of the artists signed early was Difosco Ervin, former lead singer of the Pastels and better known as "Big Dee Irwin." Although he put out a number of singles on Dimension, the only top-40 record was "Swingin' on a Star" [Dimension 1010, #38], a remake of the old Bing Crosby song done as a duet with Little Eva which charted in late spring, 1963. The Jewels, a female R&B quartet from Washington, DC, reached #64 with "Opportunity" [Dimension 1034] in late 1964. By 1965, Dimension had issued more than 50 singles, and had maybe a dozen chart hits. Kirshner decided to move on, selling out to Colpix.
There were two albums issued on Dimension Records. The first was by Little Eva, and the second was a fine compilation of Dimension hits with Carole King, the Cookies and Little Eva. Dimension Records continued to issue 45s into 1965, when Kirshner sold the label to Columbia Pictures. Roulette Records acquired the Dimension masters in the 1970s, and Roulette itself was sold to Rhino in the late 1980s. Rhino, in turn, was sold to Warner Bros. Records in the 1990s, so the Dimension masters are now owned by Warner Bros.
|The Dimension label is violet with black printing. "DIMENSION" in white above the center hole. "A DIVISION OF NEVINS-KIRSHNER ASSOC. INC." at the bottom of the label. The Little Eva album was issued in both mono and stereo, while the Dimension Dolls album was mono only, although on the latter there is a stereo banner at the top of the front cover slick that is pasted over on the back.|
Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] (Chart) Contents
DLP/DLPS-6000 - LLLLLoco-Motion - Little Eva  First pressings of
this album do not contain "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby." The version of "Loco-Motion" that appears
on the LP is not the single version, lacking the handclap overdubs but in other respects being the same.
This has resulted in two versions of "Loco-Motion" being available for reissue on other labels, and the
version without handclaps shows up often on compilations. The stereo content is not known, although
"Loco-Motion" is known to be rechanneled. There have been reports that at least one of the songs on
the rest of the album is in true stereo, although the album has also been reported to be all rechanneled
(as are reissues). The only song on this album released later in true stereo is "Where Do I Go." The
Loco-Motion/Some Kind-A Wonderful/I Have A Love/Down Home/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do/Run To
Her//Uptown/Where Do I Go/Up On The Roof/Sharing You/He Is The Boy/Will You Love Me Tomorrow
DLP/DLPS-6000 - LLLLLoco-Motion - Little Eva  (11-62, #97) Second pressing,
including the song "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby," which was added as the last track on side one. The
Loco-Motion (without handclap overdubs)/Some Kind-A Wonderful/I Have A Love/Down Home/Breaking
Up Is Hard To Do/Run To Her/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby//Uptown/Where Do I Go/Up On The
Roof/Sharing You/He Is The Boy/Will You Love Me Tomorrow
DLP-6001 - The Dimension Dolls, Volume 1 - Various Artists  Not believed to have
been issued in stereo, although a stereo banner was included on the front cover (pasted over by the
back slick) that indicates a stereo version was at least contemplated at some point. The hit songs,
however, have never appeared anywhere in true stereo. Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) -
Cookies/Crying In The Rain - Carole King/The Loco-Motion - Little Eva/On Broadway - Cookies/Keep
Your Hands Off My Baby - Little Eva/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Carole King//Foolish Little Girl -
Cookies/It Might As Well Rain Until September - Carole King/Up On The Roof - Little Eva/Chains -
Cookies/Oh! Oh! It Started All Over Again - Carole King/Uptown - Little Eva
ES-12044 - Carole King Plus - Various Artists  Reissue of Dimension Dolls with two tracks deleted. Emus was a subsidiary of Roulette, who owned the Dimension masters in the late 1970s. Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) - Cookies (E)/Crying In The Rain - Carole King (E)/The Loco-Motion - Little Eva (E)/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby - Little Eva (E)/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Carole King (E)//It Might As Well Rain Until September - Carole King (E)/Up On The Roof - Little Eva (E)/Chains - Cookies (E)/Oh! Oh! It Started All Over Again - Carole King (E)/Uptown - Little Eva (E)
MURRAY HILL (US)|
Murray Hill 1279 - The Best of Little Eva - Little Eva  Reissue of Dimension 6000 in mono. The Loco-Motion/Some Kind-A Wonderful/I Have A Love/Down Home/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do/Run To Her/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby//Uptown/Where Do I Go/Up On The Roof/Sharing You/He Is The Boy/Will You Love Me Tomorrow
London/Dimension SHU 8437 - LLLLLoco-Motion - Little Eva  UK issue of the original pressing of DLP-6000, without "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby." The Loco-Motion/Some Kind-A Wonderful/I Have A Love/Down Home/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do/Run To Her//Uptown/Where Do I Go/Up On The Roof/Sharing You/He Is The Boy/Will You Love Me Tomorrow
London/Dimension TAB 44 - Rock Echoes: LLLLLoco-Motion - Little Eva  Reissue
of London SHU 8437 in rechanneled stereo. The Loco-Motion (E)/Some Kind-A Wonderful (E)/I Have A
Love (E)/Down Home (E)/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (E)/Run To Her (E)//Uptown (E)/Where Do I Go
(E)/Up On The Roof (E)/Sharing You (E)/He Is The Boy (E)/Will You Love Me Tomorrow (E)
COL-CD-5407 - The Best of Little Eva - Little Eva  The Loco-Motion (M)/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby (M)/Where Do I Go (S)/Let's Turkey Trot (M)/Swinging On A Star [Big Dee Irwin with Little Eva] (M)/Old Smokey Locomotion (M, slight hiss)/The Christmas Song [Big Dee Irwin] (M)/What I Gotta Do (To Make You Jealous) (M)/The Trouble With Boys (M)/Heigh-Ho [Big Dee Irwin] (M)/Just A Little Girl (M, surface noise)/Please Hurt Me (M)/Makin' With The Magilla (M)/Wake Up John (M)/Get Him (S)
RHINO SPECIAL EDITIONS (US)|
R2 72273 - The Loco-Motion - Little Eva  All tracks mono. The Loco-Motion/Down Home/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby/He Is The Boy/Swingin' On A Star [Big Dee Irwin]/Some Kind-A Wonderful/Let's Start The Party Again/Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do/Uptown
WESM-511 - Another Night with Big Dee Irwin: The Complete Dimension Recordings and More - Big Dee Irwin  All tracks mono. Been So Long/I Can't Help It (I'm Falling In Love)/Rubin Rubin/Let's Try Again/'Tis Farewell/Everybody's Got A Dance With Me/And Heaven Was Here/Swinging On A Star [with Little Eva]/Another Night With The Boys [with Little Eva]/Happy Being Fat/Soul Waltzing/You're My Inspiration/Skeeter/The Christmas Song [with Little Eva]/I Wish You A Merry Christmas [with Little Eva]/Heigh Ho/I Want So Much To Know You/It's My Birthday/(You've Got) Personality/It's Only A Paper Moon/Discotheque/The Sun's Gonna Shine Tomorrow/Are You Really Real/The Mouse/You Can't Stop My Loving You
WESM 512 - LLLLLittle Eva!: The Complete Dimension Recordings - Little Eva 
tracks mono. The Loco-Motion (no handclaps, fades later than the 45)/He Is The Boy/Some Kind Of
Wonderful/I Have A Love/Down Home/Breaking Up Is Hard To Do/Run To Her/Uptown/Where Do I
On The Roof/Sharing You/Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Keep Your Hands Off My Baby/Let's Turkey
Trot/Swinging On A Star [Big Dee Irwin]/Old Smokey Locomotion/Just A Little Girl/The Trouble With
Boys/What I Gotta Do (To Make You Jealous)/Let's Start The Party Again/Please Hurt Me/The
Song [with Big Dee Irwin]/I Wish You A Merry Christmas [with Big Dee Irwin]/Makin' With The
Magilla/Wake Up John/Takin' Back What I Said/Get Him/Another Night With The Boys [Big Dee
Irwin]/Little Eva [The Locomotions, Gone 5142]