Dolton Records was an American pop music record company based in Seattle. It existed from 1959 to 1967.
In 1959, record producer Bob Reisdorff and singer Bonnie Guitar founded the record company Dolphin in Seattle. The occasion was Reisdorff’s commitment to the young singing trio The Fleetwoods, for whom he wanted to create a commercial platform. The colour light blue was chosen for the record labels, and three stylised dolphins (Dolphin) served as the logo. On February 18, 1959 Reisdorff and the Fleetwoods produced the first Dolphin single at Joe Boles Studios in Seattle with the titles Come Softly to Me / I Care So Much. The song Come Softly to Me developed into a top hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 13, 1959. This brought the Dolphin label into the public eye, and record company Laurie came forward to claim the naming rights to Dolphin for its existing subsidiary. As a result, Reisdorff’s company was renamed Dolton Records, and as late as 1959 the third record released was already under the new name(Graduation’s Here / Oh Lord, Let It Be – also featuring the Fleetwoods). The appearance of the record label was only slightly changed, the lettering Dolphin was replaced by Dolton.
Co-owner Bonnie Guitar released only two tracks on her own company, Candy Apple Red / Come to Me, I Love You, each on two different singles (catalog #10 and #19). She was already bound by a recording contract with Dot Records. Initially, the Fleetwoods remained the drawing card, with subsequent records also reaching the Top 40. In 1960, the rock band The Ventures released their first single on Dolton, and their song Walk, Don’t Run reached #2 on the Hot 100 . Until the end of the Dolton label, the Ventures were the most successful performers there. Beginning in 1961, they were joined as solo vocalists by Vic Dana, who also contributed 15 Hot 100 successes. Beyond that, Dolton released little-known performers from the Northwest region of the United States. Only with Peggi Griffith they had a previously successful singer under contract.
Over the course of its existence, Dolton Records changed its record labels several times. In 1961, the Dolton lettering was incorporated into an enlarged dolphin graphic. In 1963, the label logo moved to the left edge, the three dolphins now swimming in the water, with the multicolored company name above. The labels now included the notice that Dolten was a division of Liberty Records. Reinsdorff had sold his record company to Liberty. During 1964, the catalogue numbering was changed, No. 99 was followed by 300. From 1965, the dolphins disappeared from the record label, replaced by a large black and red D with the signature “DOLTON – A PRODUCT OF LIBERTY RECORDS”. Reinsdorf had in the meantime been sent to London by Liberty as head of the British branch.
In 1967 the last Dolton record was released under catalogue number 327, it was the Fleetwoods single Mr. Blue / You Mean Everything to Me. Liberty then liquidated its subsidiary. Only Dolton stars Ventures and Fleetwoods were acquired by Liberty. In its nine years of existence, the Dolton label released over 400 singles and more than 50 long-playing records. Nineteen titles made the Top 50 hit lists, and 19 long-playing records also made the Top 50.
Dolton Records – Top 50
|001||The Fleetwoods||Come Softly To Me||1959||1.|
|The Fleetwoods||Graduation’s Here||1959||39.|
|The Fleetwoods||Mr. Blue||1959||1.|
|015||The Fleetwoods||Outside My Window||1960||28.|
|025||The Ventures||Walk, Don’t Run||1960||2.|
|The Fleetwoods||The Great Imposter||1961||30.|
|048||Vic Dana||Little Altar Boy||1961||45.|
|062||The Fleetwoods||Lovers By Night, Strangers By Day||1962||36.|
|The Fleetwoods||Goodnight My Love||1963||32.|
|096||The Ventures||Walk – Don’t Run ’64||1964||8.|
|300||The Ventures||Slaughter On 10th Avenue||1964||35.|
|304||Vic Dana||Red Roses for a Blue Lady||1965||10.|
|319||Vic Dana||I Love You Drops||1966||30.|
|Stereo long-playing records|
|8003||The Ventures||Walk Don’t Run||1960||11.|
|8006||The Ventures||Another Smash||1961||39.|
|8010||The Ventures||Twist With The Ventures||1962||24.|
|8014||The Ventures||The Ventures’ Twist Party||1962||40.|
|8016||The Ventures||Mashed Potatoes and Gravy||1962||45.|
|8019||The Ventures||The Ventures Play Telstar||1963||8.|
|8022||The Ventures||Surfing With The Ventures||1963||30.|
|8024||The Ventures||Let’s Go||1963||30.|
|8027||The Ventures||The Ventures In Space||1964||27.|
|8029||The Ventures||The Fabulous Ventures||1964||32.|
|8031||The Ventures||Walk Don’t Run (2)||1964||17.|
|8033||The Ventures||The Ventures Knock Me Out||1965||31.|
|8034||Vic Dana||Red Roses For A Blue Lady||1965||13.|
|8035||The Ventures||The Ventures On Stage||1965||27.|
|8037||The Ventures||The Ventures A Go-Go||1965||16.|
|8040||The Ventures||Where The Action Is||1966||33.|
|8042||The Ventures||The Ventures||1966||42.|
|8045||The Ventures||Go With The Ventures||1966||39.|
|8047||The Ventures||Wild Things||1966||33.|