b. Anthony John Hilder. A mysterious and reclusive figure, refusing even to divulge his date of birth, Tony Hilder was an entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California, USA. During the late 50s he worked in an A&R capacity at Modern Records, which helped furnish him with various contacts in the music business. These included Bob Morgan, co-owner of the studio at which the Beach Boys made their first recordings, and Robert Hafner, who co-wrote, performed and produced for Hilder. The rise of surf music inspired Hilder to pursue independent ventures. He formed his first label, CT Records, in 1959, while releases on Del-Fi Records and Challenge Records, among others, bear his name as writer, publisher or orchestra leader. A second company, Impact Records, was established as an outlet for masters Hilder could not place elsewhere. Its output largely consisted of local aspirants, the best of which was Dave Myers And The Surftones. Impact Records also allowed Hilder to air his right-wing political sympathies. Slogans such as ‘Our Country Can Never Go Right By Going Left’ and ‘God Bless America’ were often printed on their labels, and its releases included ‘John Birch American’ by the New Breed, ‘Voice Of Liberty’ by Bob Preston and ‘Our Opinion Of Barry Goldwater - The Next President’ which featured endorsements from Ronald Reagan, Robert Stack and Efrem Zimbalist Jnr. Hilder meanwhile continued to lease masters to a variety of outlets, but the defeat of Goldwater in the 1964 US election, coupled with the demise of surf music, marked then end of his active involvement in the industry. He later became a salesman for freeze-dried foods.
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