Leo de GarKulka

b. Czechoslovakia. Kulka arrived in California with his family in 1939. He developed an interest in recording techniques while serving in the US Army and in 1957 co-founded Sound Enterprises in Los Angeles.…
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Artist Biography

b. Czechoslovakia. Kulka arrived in California with his family in 1939. He developed an interest in recording techniques while serving in the US Army and in 1957 co-founded Sound Enterprises in Los Angeles. This company was a pioneer in stereo recording and over the ensuing seven years Kulka worked with Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Little Richard and Nat ‘King’ Cole. In 1964 computer expert George Bahrs invited Kulka to move to San Francisco. The partners opened Golden State Records in the city’s warehouse district in September 1965. It quickly attracted custom from local acts and labels, notably Autumn Records, but Autumn’s subsequent collapse briefly put Kulka’s new venture into jeopardy. However, in 1966 Golden State produced its first major hit with the Syndicate Of Sound’s ‘Little Girl’. Other acts attracted to the studio included the Vejtables, Mourning Reign and E-Types. Several groups opted to issue their recordings on Golden State’s self-titled in-house label. Kulka eventually found production partners in Larry Goldberg and Hank Levine, two Los Angeles-based entrepreneurs, who sold finished master tapes to major companies, including Dot, Capitol and Liberty. Mad River was one such group to secure a recording contract in this manner. Kulka’s eminent position waned during the 70s, but he has remained a fixture within San Francisco’s music industry. During the 90s Kulka prepared master tapes and unissued material for release by Britain’s Ace Records.