was a record label
started in 1949
by Don D.
Robey in Houston, Texas.
Big Mama Thornton
was a bit hit
for Peacock in 1953.
Other significant rhythm & blues artists
on Peacock were Marie Adams
, James Booker
, Memphis Slim
, and former
gospel singer Jackie Verdell
label also dabbled with jazz, releasing albums by vocalist Betty Carter
and saxophonist Sonny Criss
. In 1952, Robey gained control of
the Duke Records
label of Memphis, TN.
Duke/Peacock Records was formed.
For a period of time in the early 1960's Peacock released gospel
music only, issuing singles and albums by some of America's most
famous gospel artists, including The Dixie Hummingbirds
, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy
, The Five Blind Boys Of
, Reverend Cleophus Robinson
The Gospelaires of Dayton, Ohio
Pilgrim Jubilee Singers
, The Loving
and many others.
At the end of 1963 the label launched the gospel subsidiary label
Song Bird Records
and others. In the later
1960's Peacock again began to issue secular soul singles by artists
such as Jackie Verdell, the Inspirations, Little Frankie Lee, Al
TNT Bragg and Bud Harper. This later Peacock label featured a
bright multi-colored peacock tail on an otherwise blue label
background, and it is these later records which are often sought by
The Duke/Peacock family of labels (which also included Back Beat
and Sure Shot) was sold to ABC
of Los Angeles on 23 May 1973
, with label founder Don Robey
staying with ABC as a consultant until
his death in 1975
. The label name was
changed to ABC/Peacock in 1974
After ABC was sold to MCA Records
, MCA briefly operated an
MCA/Songbird label with new signings including Little
(of Little Anthony & The
) and Dan Peek
the group America
), the previous
rosters of both ABC-Peacock and ABC-Songbird having been dropped
(MCA later reissued several Peacock and Song Bird albums at budget
price). MCA briefly revived the Peacock name for a series of CD
reissues ("Peacock Gospel Classics") in the late 1990s. Along with
the MCA back catalog, the Peacock and Song Bird masters are now
controlled by the Geffen Records
of Universal Music
Gart, Galen, and Ames, Roy C., with Funk, Ray; Bowman, Rob; Booth,
David (1990). Duke/Peacock Records: An Illustrated History with
Big Nickel Publications, Milford, New Hampshire.
Hayes, Cedric J., and Laughton, Robert (1992). Gospel Records
1943 – 1969, A Black Music Discography (Volumes One and Two).
Record Information Services, London, England. ISBN 0 907872 28 X
(Volume One), ISBN 0 907872 29 8 (Volume Two).
Whitburn, Joel (2000). Joel Whitburn Presents Top R & B
Singles 1942 – 1999.
Record Research, Menomonee Falls,
Wisconsin. ISBN 0-89820-136-5.