Elektra Records


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Elektra Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group that today operates as a standalone label under the Atlantic Records Group.

Elektra was formed on October 10, 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickholt, who both invested $300. The usual spelling of the Greek mythological heroine Electra was changed, with Holzman famously explaining, “I gave her the ‘K’ that I lacked.” In 2010, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the label created a unique and interactive website – Elektra60. com – that was conceived and curated by Holzman, and presents an innovative, interactive digital experience that tells the stories of the legendary artists, the music, and the culture that have defined the label over the past six decades. Elektra60.com draws on the label’s rich archives to create a unique, ever-evolving experience designed to reward deep and repeated exploration.

The label’s first release came in March 1951 with an album entitled “New Songs by John Gruen.” The jacket copy noted that Elektra “shall continue to offer disks of unusual and worthy musical fare,” a mission statement that came to define the label for decades to come. Through the 1950s, the label released an eclectic mix of traditional folk, ethnic music, blues, and some jazz – with a roster including such influential artists as Josh White, Sonny Terry, and Theodore Bikel. In 1960, Elektra released an unlikely million-selling set of successful “Sound Effects” records that put the label on sound financial footing.

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