Chicago was a haven for independent record labels in the late '50s and early '60s, including two of the most successful independents ever, Chess Records and Vee-Jay Records, both of which provided templates for Mel London when he started up Chief Records in 1957, and he soon added the subsidiaries Age Records and Profile Records to the stable. Profile was officially launched in 1958 with pop crooner Johnny Doray's “One of These Days,” and the imprint scored a national hit in 1960 with Junior Wells' “Little by Little.” Like most independents, Chief and its subsidiaries were plagued by distribution and financial problems, and London was forced to close down both Chief and Profile in 1961 (Profile's last official release was former Sun Records rockabilly artist Hayden Thompson's “Watcha Gonna Do”) while he struggled forward with Age Records until 1964 before closing up shop completely. In all, London's labels issued some 80 singles by close to 40 different artists, 20 of which are collected here in this capsule history. The result is a varied and informative playlist from a golden age of independent record production.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett