White Whale Records

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White Whale Records was an American independent record label, founded in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff in Los Angeles, California, and probably best known as the record label of The Turtles and a handful of one-hit wonder bands.

White Whale, in addition to releasing almost all of The Turtles' discography, also released Nino Tempo & April Stevens's single "All Strung Out (On You)", a hit single by Rene y Rene titled "Lo Mucho Que Ti Quiero", an album by Liz Damon's Orient Express, and the only album by Texas band The Clique. Warren Zevon was a staff songwriter for the label, and they issued some of his earliest recordings (as part of the duo Lyme & Cybele). Dobie Gray also recorded for the label, recording the first chart version of "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," which later became a much bigger hit for Lynn Anderson.

Three compilations of singles from the label have been released on CD: Happy Together: The Very Best of White Whale Records, and two volumes of the Phantom Jukebox series, on Rev-Ola records. [1]

The Turtles[edit]

When White Whale signed the Turtles, they were known as "The Crossfires"; a surf music band looking to change their style, as surf music was fading. The label encouraged a name change to "The Tyrtles", in the manner of The Beatles and The Byrds. The band accepted the new name, but not the variant spelling. Relations between the label and the band were not always smooth, with White Whale pressuring the band for "more hits", then for singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman to fire the rest of the group, and work instead with hired musicians, in order to save money. Kaylan wrote the song "Elenore" as a humorous take on "Happy Together" (the only #1 hit for both the group and the White Whale label), which ironically became a hit itself. He and Volman also democratized the group, insisting everyone share in the writing and vocal duties, despite what the label wanted, and recorded a concept album, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (on which "Elenore" was featured).

When the Turtles disbanded in the early 1970s, White Whale lost their big moneymaker; in retaliation, and to prevent Kaylan and Volman from continuing their musical careers, White Whale insisted they held the rights to not only the Turtles' name and back catalog, but Kaylan and Volman's individual given names. Kaylan and Volman responded by moving into session work and continuing under a pseudonym, Flo and Eddie; White Whale Records, on the other hand, went out of business not long after. The label's final releases were the single "1900 Yesterday" by Liz Damon's Orient Express and a self-titled album by the same group; although both charted (the single reaching a respectable #33), it wasn't enough to keep the company going. White Whale's assets were sold at auction in 1974, at which point Kaylan and Volman won the rights to the Turtles' master recordings. Kaylan and Volman would not earn the rights to their own names (or the Turtles') again until 1983.

Anthem Records[edit]

Feigin and Lasseff folded White Whale Records in 1971 and created a new label called Anthem Records (not to be confused with the later Canadian label of the same name.) Anthem was initially distributed in the US by United Artists. Two White Whale acts were transferred to Anthem (Liz Damon's Orient Express and The Dillards), and they are the only artists to have albums issued on the label. The label also provided US distribution for a single by Freddie Mercury under the alias "Larry Lurex". One of Anthem's last signings was the duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, whose Buckingham Nicks LP was released via Polydor in 1973. (Polydor issued several albums with credits to "Anthem Record Productions" after the label lost distribution with United Artists the previous year.) Anthem Records was officially dissolved that same year.

Current ownership[edit]

While Flo & Eddie Inc (distributed by The Orchard) controls The Turtles' catalog,[1] the rest of the White Whale catalog is currently controlled by Concord Music's Craft Recordings under Varese Sarabande.[2] Since the '90s, several CD reissues and compilations of White Whale material have been released.[3]

Chart history[edit]

Billboard Top LPs Chart[edit]

Catalog # Artist Title Peak position Peak date
White Whale WWS-7111 Turtles, The It Ain't Me Babe 98 10/23/1965
White Whale WWS-7114 Turtles, The Happy Together 25 4/29/1967
White Whale WWS-7115 Turtles, The Golden Hits 7 11/18/1967
White Whale WWS-7118 Turtles, The The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands 128 11/16/1968
White Whale WWS-7119 Rene and Rene Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero 129 1/11/1969
White Whale WWS-7124 Turtles, The Turtle Soup 117 11/1/1969
White Whale WWS-7126 Clique, The Clique, The 177 1/17/1970
White Whale WWS-7127 Turtles, The More Golden Hits 146 4/11/1970
White Whale/Makaha MS-5003 Liz Damon's Orient Express Liz Damon's Orient Express 190 3/6/1971

Billboard Hot 100 & Bubbling Under Charts[edit]

Catalog # Artist Title Peak position Peak date
White Whale 222 Turtles, The "It Ain't Me Babe" 8 9/18/1965
White Whale 224 Turtles, The "Let Me Be" 29 11/27/1965
White Whale 227 Turtles, The "You Baby" 20 3/26/1966
White Whale 228 Lyme and Cybelle "Follow Me" 65 4/16/1966
White Whale 231 Turtles, The "Grim Reaper of Love" 81 6/25/1966
White Whale 236 Nino Tempo and April Stevens "All Strung Out" 26 10/22/1966
White Whale 238 Turtles, The "Can I Get To Know You Better" 89 11/26/1966
White Whale 239 John's Children "Smashed! Blocked!" 102 12/31/1966
White Whale 241 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens "You'll Be Needing Me Baby" 133 1/28/1967
White Whale 244 Turtles, The "Happy Together" 1 3/25/1967
White Whale 246 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens "My Old Flame" 101 4/29/1967
White Whale 249 Turtles, The "She'd Rather Be with Me" 3 6/17/1967
White Whale 252 Nino Tempo and April Stevens "I Can't Go On Livin' Baby Without You" 86 7/29/1967
White Whale 254 Turtles, The "You Know What I Mean" 12 9/30/1967
White Whale 257 Committee, The "California My Way" 110 10/28/1967
White Whale 260 Turtles, The "She's My Girl" 14 12/23/1967
White Whale 264 Turtles, The "Sound Asleep" 57 3/30/1968
White Whale 268 Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens "Let It Be Me" 127 5/25/1968
White Whale 273 Turtles, The "The Story Of Rock And Roll" 48 7/13/1968
White Whale 275 Professor Morrison's Lollipop "You Got The Love" 88 10/5/1968
White Whale 276 Turtles, The "Elenore" 6 11/2/1968
White Whale 287 Rene & Rene "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You)" 14 1/4/1969
White Whale 289 Malibu's, The "A Broken Man" 121 2/8/1969
White Whale 292 Turtles, The "You Showed Me" 6 3/1/1969
White Whale 298 Rene & Rene "Las Costas" 128 3/22/1969
White Whale 300 Gray, Dobie "Rose Garden" 119 5/31/1969
White Whale 308 Turtles, The "You Don't Have To Walk In The Rain" 51 7/12/1969
White Whale 323 Clique, The "Sugar On Sunday" 22 10/18/1969
White Whale 326 Turtles, The "Love In The City" 91 10/18/1969
White Whale 333 Clique, The "I'll Hold Out My Hand" 45 12/13/1969
White Whale 334 Turtles, The "Lady-O" 78 12/20/1969
White Whale 338 Clique, The "Sparkle And Shine" 100 2/28/1970
White Whale 353 Feather "Friends" 79 6/20/1970
White Whale 355 Turtles, The "Eve of Destruction" 100 6/27/1970
White Whale 360 Reivers, The "Revolution In My Soul" 112 9/19/1970
White Whale 364 Turtles, The "Me About You" 105 11/14/1970
White Whale 368 Liz Damon's Orient Express "1900 Yesterday" 33 2/13/1971

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Happy Together - YouTube". YouTube.
  2. ^ "All Strung Out". YouTube.
  3. ^ "White Whale". Discogs.

External links[edit]