Michael Jackson
1958 - 2009
Our thoughts and our prayers and our grattitude are with you.





Moby Dick Records

&
"The Moby Dick Sound"



Moby Dick Records was a small and proudly-independent record label that lived and thrived in the heart of the Castro, in San Francisco, California.

This Web site commemorates the lives of so many men who contributed so much to the lasting success of the record label they loved.

"The Moby Dick Sound ", as it was called affectionately back then, was the sound that was always all about you.

~


 

 


MOBY DICK'S LOGO



MOBY DICK RECORDS - 1981-1984

 

OPERATIONS

  Alan Mamber, Marketing
  Bill Motley, The "Moby Dick Sound"
  Craig Black, Sales
  Frank Taramani, Publicity
  Jerry Gillam, Graphic Design
  Dennis Croteau, Promotion
  Keith Mitchell, Mgr. Manufacturing
  Larry Brennan, Chief Financial Officer
  Larry Lustig, Executive Assistant
  Michael Bailey, Artists & Repertoire
  Richard Bonaiuto, Vice President Sales
  Rob Cooper, U.S. Bookings
  Russell Caldway, International Licensing     
  Steve Hassameier, Licensing
  Will Smith, President / Executive Producer

THE PARTNERS

    Bill Motley, Moby Dick's Main Man
    Stan Morriss, General Manager
    Victor Swedosh, Silent Partner   

THE PRODUCERS

Barry Blum
Bill Motley
Craig Morey
Don Miley
Elton Ahi
John Hedges, a.k.a. "Johnny Disco"
Michael Lewis
Patrick Cowley
Steve Algozino

THE ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS

          Craig Morey
          Michael Lewis
          Rob Kimbel
          Trip Ringwald

MOBY DICK RECORDS UK

Marvin Howell

THE ARTISTS

BOYS TOWN GANG

  Bruce Carleton
   Cynthia Manley
   Don Woods
   Jackson Moore
   Keith Stewart
   Robin Charin
   Rubin Gonzales
   Tom Morley

   Jeff Lepie, BTG Road Manger


BEAR ESSENCE
BOYSTOWN GANG
CAROL JIANI
CRYSTAL AND THE TEAM
FRANK LOVERDE
LASER
LISA
LOVE INTERNATIONAL
MARGARET REYNOLDS
MARIANNA
MARY BUFFET
NINA SHILLER
PATRIC COWLEY
PETER GRIFFIN
SPYYCE
STEREO FUN INC.
THE IMMORTALS
THE PARTNERS
THE PASSENGERS
YVONNE ELLIMAN

 THE ARRANGERS

     Denver Smith, Arranger
(Horns and Strings)
     Mike Guess, Arranger 
(Rhythm)



 THE   "WE COULDN'T HAVE
     DONE  IT  WITHOUT THEM"
  GANG

      Daryl Kirk, "House Doctor"
      Dick Collier, Trocadero Transfer
      Jason Sanders,   "The Voice of R
eason"
      Joshua Hamler, Radio Edits
      Marty Blecman,  Megatone Records 
      Nick Giunta, "Fan-Dancer"
      Robbie Leslie, D.J., "Studio 54"
      Roy Thode, D.J., "The Saint"

  THE LABEL THAT INSPIRED US

      Megatone Records, San Francisco
      Marty Blecman & John Hedges

  THE CLUB WE CALLED CHURCH

      Trocadero Transfer 

  THE FOUNDATION WE BUILT ON
 
       The San Francisco Gay Community

 

2
THE BOYS TOWN GANG

Bay Area Reporter
May 27, 1982

MOBY DICK'S HIGH ENERGY

by Allen White

Will Smith, President of Moby Dick Records opens an early May edition of Billboard magazine.  There in the Dance/Disco Top 80 list is not one, but two hit records released by Moby Dick.  In 7th place and its third month on the chart is Jump Shout by Lisa.  In the 46 position completing two months on the chart is (Won't You) Dance With Me/Sooner or Later by Crystal & The Team.  

The records are but two of 16 recordings which have been released by the recording company located above "Statements" on Castro Street.  Their first album, The Boystown Gang's Crusin' The Streets featuring remakes of the Diana Ross hits "Remember Me" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."  achieved hit status throughout the United States and in many other countries in the world.  The record was re-released in April of 1981.  

The feedback Moby Dick Records is receiving is that it is a trend setting company.  They now receive over 300 pieces of promotional articles a week which have appeared in one or another publication.  Smith notes that they are, without question, a Gay recording company.  It wasn't necessarily planned that way, it just evolved.  Their name did, in fact come from the bar of the same name right around the corner.  Their staff is virtually all Gay.

Their success, and they are very successful, is a result of what Smith calls a "Gay sensitivity".   "Our Castro Street home," he says,  " is a place where we can pick up on the attitude on the street and bring it inside."  Smith believes that Moby Dick Records is a product of San Francisco's Gay community.
  

The man responsible for the sound of the product is Bill Motley.  He supervises many of the arrangements and oversees the mix of the records.  The special mix of their recordings has become recognized and acknowledged all over the United States.  The Los Angeles DJ's voted the company the best record company of 1981.  In San Francisco there seems to be a mutual love affair.  Will Smith gives tremendous credit for the company's success to the local disc jockeys.  It was San Francisco D.J.'s who gave Moby Dick records playing time and started them on their way.


Their most recent Boys Town Gang album, Disc Charge, was premiered at Trocadero Transfer.  The record had its East Coast premiere at The Saint in New York.  Personally and professionally, Will Smith said it was a dream come true to be at The Saint, one of the most respected and spectacular discos in the world and hear two full hours of records by the company he heads and have it topped off with the introduction of their latest album.
          

Moby Dick is a direct contra-diction to the statement that "disco is dead".  Smith maintains that dance music is here to stay and will be accepted as long as it is well produced.  He says, "To be successful, Moby Dick must, with consistency, put out a product that meets the feeling of our listeners." 

The staff at Moby Dick believe that people want high energy on the dance floor.  There is a consensus of feeling at the company that many people may, in fact, become frustrated in bars where their music is played.  The reason is simply that many bars are not designed for dancing.  The records get play in these bars but at Moby Dick there seems no question the music is designed for dancing. 

They seem to be on the right track because if you are at Studio 54 or The Saint in New York, The Probe or Studio One in Los Angeles or dance clubs in such remote spots as Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Hong Kong or the Philippines, you're going to be hearing the music which is produced by Moby Dick Records.

 

 

UNIDISC RELEASE - CANADA

 


YVONNE ELLIMAN - GREAT LADY, GREAT VOICE!

Yvonne Elliman lifted everyone's spirits with her magical voice. She's an amazing talent and she has carried lots of record labels, including ours, with her all the way to the top of the charts.

Yvonne was born on December 29, 1951 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She learned to play the piano from her father. While she was in high school she sang in a local group called Yvonne in Jesus Christ Superstar"We Folk." and after her graduation in 1969, Yvonne moved to London to begin her journey in the music business.

She was singing at the Pheasantry folk club, located on Kings Road in Chelsea, where songwriters Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice discovered her. The duo offered her the role of Mary Magdalene in their new rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar"; the role brought her instant fame. When the recording evolved into a stage production Elliman stayed with the part for four years. Eventually playing the Magdalene character in the film version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" as well, for which she won a Golden Globe award; it also gave her a number 28 hit with "I Don't Know How toYvonne Love Him." The hit single became the title of her debut album, which was released on Decca Records in 1972.

In 1974 Yvonne relocated to New York for rehearsals of the Broadway production of "J.C. Superstar." There she met Bill Oakes from Robert Stigwood's office and they were married soon after. Later that year, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Elliman was at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida when Eric Clapton was recording "461 Ocean Boulevard" for RSO Records. He asked her to sing backing vocals on "I Shot The Sheriff," which led to joining the heavyweight guitarist for his fabled comeback tour.

Yvonne & Moby Dick

In 1982 we were in the process of re-releasing remixes of previous hits for our Gold Standard label when one of our editors, D.J. Rob Kimbel brought us the finished "edited" version of "Love Pains." We took it back to the studio, made a couple of corrections before giving it a longer length (7:56).  We released it, made it commercially available and as a bonus, we put the original 12" single version on the B-side. It worked.

The song shot to the top of the club charts and the dance floors were packed, becoming a bigger hit the second time around.LOVE PAINS Ironically the sales for the Moby Dick 12" single surpassed sales of the original album. Moby Dick licensed the 12" abroad and within three months of our initial licensing of the 12" we were competing with our own Dutch & Canadian imports.

Yvonne Elliman was at the top of the charts in Asia, Europe, Mexico, & North America. Moby Dick Records had succeeded in helping to reunite Yvonne Elliman with her fans.   Even today, Yvonne has a wide following and her music is a favorite among DJs who still sample her magical voice.

 

When John Hedges and Barry Blum brought Jump Shout into our Castro St. offices, it didn't take long for any of us to figure out that they had just handed Moby Dick Records a hit record. Jump Shout would become one of our biggest all-time hits. It was Lisa's first Moby Dick releasse and it didn't take long for her first hit to earn a permenant spot at the top of the dance charts.

Within a few short months, everyone knew who Lisa was. I didn't know Lisa's last name until just a few years ago when one of her fans asked me, ...does she have a last name or is she like Prince?"

I said, "You know, I don't know - I'll find out." He said, "That's okay, I like 'Lisa' better anyway."

Lisa was, as I said back then, a fire-cracker. She was petit, full of life, had a great voice and she created a frenzie that was as big as she was popular. It's 2007 and we're still talking about Lisa and all the memories she brings us.

I haven't mentioned Rocket to Your Heart, which is my own personal Lisa all-time favorite. It's a great arrangement and it's pure Lisa.

If you want to see what I'm talking about, go to YouTube and look for "Disco queen Lisa's 1984 music video for "Invisible."



PATRICK COWLEY

The most talented artist to appear on the Moby Dick label, in my humble opinion, was Patrick Cowley, whose brilliant synthesizer arrangements shine as brightly today as they did back then. Although Patrick was responsible for the arrangements on two of Moby Dick's hits, his most notable work would happen at Megatone Records, founded by Patrick and his long-time friend, Marty Blecman.

Patrick Cowley was born in Buffalo in 1950, Patrick Cowley spent most of his youth growing up in northern New York and working in local rock bands. He studied at the University of Buffalo, with a concentration in English. In 1971, after a major relocation to San Francisco College, Patrick began an intensive study of the synthesizer. Shortly after his studies began, Cowley's work was noticed by a local musician, Sylvester, who asked Cowley to join him and his band in the studio. Cowley's synthesizer innovations resulted in the album "Step II." The album made way for the global recognition of Sylvester and gained Patrick a job as a back-up tour musician with the artist and his band. Slowly, Patrick's work on the synthesizer became synonymous with Sylvester's sound, and was important in creating hits like "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," "Dance (Disco Heat)," and "Can't Stop Dancing." Though touring with a band kept him far from home, Cowley remained close to the roots of the San Francisco club scene. In 1980 Cowley found kinship with Marty Blecman, a producer/keyboardist who had worked at Fantasy Records, a predominately disco label that dabbled in rock and jazz. The two formed their own label, Megatone Records, in the summer of 1981. Patrick's first solo hit was the single, "Menegry/I Wanna Take You Home," released on Fusion Records, which hit the disco charts in late October of the same year. In 1982, the first release on Megatone was the single "Megatron Man" and a full-length album of the same name. Cowley found more success in the '80s with several chart-topping hits. At the time he released "Megatron Man," he also teamed up with the San Francisco singer Paul Parker. Both wrote and produced the dance-oriented single "Right on Target," which hit the disco charts at number one. Patrick found even more chart topping success, teaming up with Sylvester once again to produce the single "Do You Wanna Funk" for Megatone. In 1982 Patrick Cowley produced his final album, "Mind Warp," for Megatone. In his brief career 1980-1982 he not only produced the items above, but also produced and worked with Loverde, Jo-Lo (formerly known as The Patrick Cowley Singers), Michelle, Moby Dick Records' Hot Posse, and did his legendary remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." An instrumental contributor to the history of the synthesizer in dance music, Partick Cowley's influence carried far beyond his late-'70s early-'80's prime Artists including Pet Shop Boys and New Order consider Cowley to be a major musical influence on their work. Cowley explored uncharted territories of synthesizer sounds and instrument programming, long before modern-day music conveniences. His work with the band Sylvester gained him fame and would allow Cowley to have his own glory as a producer, writer, and musician.

PATRICK COWLEY
PATRICK COWLEY
PATRICK COWLEY
PATRICK COWLEY
Patrick Cowley

 

The Saint - New York City

 

Keep On Holdin' On
Keep On Holdin' On

 

The Saint - New York City - 19825
Trocadero Transfer - San Francisco - 1982
Jump Shout - by Lisa - Moby Dick Records
The Saint Party
The Palladium
Jackson, Bruce, & Tommy
Disc Charge - Yes, it was lavender - The Boys Town Gang - 1982
Give It To Me All Night Long - The Partners - Moby Dick
My Boyfriend's Back - Lisa - Moby Dick Records - 1983
The Saint's Hemispherical Dome and Planetrium
Crystal and The Team (Nina Shiller) - Moby Dick Records - 1982
The Paladium - New York City - 1984
Trocadero Transfer - San Francisco's Premier Disco
THE SAINT
Patrick Cowley's Hot Posse - Moby Dick Records - 1982
The Saint - NYC
Saint Membership
The Infamous Studio 54 - New York City - 1982

 


Moby Dick Records, San Francisco
Megatone Records, San Francisco


" 1979 - 1989 Top 200 Dance Hits " list.

by Dance Music Report Magazine


Although Moby Dick Records had been in business for only four years, when it released its last recordthe label would earn its most notable distinction, five years after closing its doorsIn 1990 Moby Dick Records, along with our friends at Megatone Records (also headquartered in San Francisco), were recognized for having more hits
on the " 1979 - 1989 Top 200 " list than any other label.   



THE DAN
CE CHARTS

 

Courtesy Time Inc. Show Business

How Artists
Respond to AIDS


By RICHARD CORLISS
Jul. 27, 1987


San Francisco has lost too many lives — the highest proportion of any major U.S. city — in and out of the arts. Moby Dick Records, an independent label with several popular disco disks in the early '80s, folded in 1984 after seven of its ten core employees died of AIDS.

Cover & Excerpt Courtesy Time Inc.

 




 

 

 

 
AIDS QUILT - WASHINGTON, D.C.


we'll  remember  you,   always

 

Alan Mamber

Bill Motley

Craig Black

Daryl Kirk

Dennis Croteau

Dick Collier, Jr.

Don Woods

Frank Taramani

Jason Sanders

Jerry Gillam

Larry Brennan

Larry Lustig

Marty Blecman

Michael Bailey

Michael Lewis

Nick Giunta

Patrick Cowley

Richard Bonaiuto

Rob Cooper

Rob Kimbel

Roy Thode

Russell Caldway

Stan Morriss

Steve Algozino

Steve Hassameier

Tom Morley

Trip Ringwald

Victor Swedosh

&

Gaetan Dugas


MOBY DICK RECORDS
1981 - 1984

 

 



 

 

 

 








The White Party - The Saint







 

 

 


Moby Dick Records 7" Radio Edits

BTG-933
1981
HOT POSSE with PATRICK COWLEY-AN AMERICAN DREAM (MEDLEY)  7"
BTG-233
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-CRUISIN' THE STREETS 7"
BTG-833
1981

LOVE INTERNATIONAL-DANCE ON THE GROOVE 7"
AIRPORT OF LOVE



Moby Dick Records 12" & LP Releases

BTG-231
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-REMEMBER ME/
AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
BTG-232
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-REMEMBER ME
/AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
BTG-234
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-CRUISIN' THE STREETS (REMIX)
BTG-241
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-DISC CHARGE
BTG-242
1981
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-DISCO KICKS (RED VINYL)
BTG-331
1981
NINA SCHILLER-STAY THE NIGHT (ALBUM)
BTG-532
1981
CAROL JIANI-MERCY/THE WOMAN IN ME
BTG-632
1981
PETER GRIFFIN-STEP BY STEP (REMIX)
BTG-732
1981
LASER-HIS NAME IS CHARLIE
BTG-832
1981

LOVE INTERNATIONAL-DANCE ON THE GROOVE (GOLD VINYL)
AIRPORT OF LOVE

BTG-1031
1982
LISA-LISA (ALBUM)
BTG-932
1981
HOT POSSE with PATRICK COWLEY-AN AMERICAN DREAM (MEDLEY)
BTG-241
1982
THE BOYSTOWN GANG-DISC CHARGE (LAVENDAR)
1982
CRYSTAL AND THE TEAM-WON'T YOU DANCE WITH ME
BTG-336
1982
NINA SCHILLER-WITHOUT YOUR LOVE
BTG-1031
1982
LISA-LISA (ALBUM)
BTG-1032
1982
LISA-JUMP SHOUT (GREEN VINYL)
BTG-1034
1982
LISA-ROCKET TO YOUR HEART (REMIX)
BTG-1036
1982
LISA-SEX DANCE/INVISIBLE LOVE
BTG-1132
1982
LOVERDE-DIE HARD LOVER
BTG-1134
1982
LOVERDE-BACKSTREET ROMANCE
BTG-1232
1982
THE PARTNERS-GIVE IT TO ME ALL NIGHT LONG
BTG-1431
1982
MARGARET REYNOLDS-KEEP ON HOLDIN' ON (ALBUM)
BTG-1432
1982
MARGARET REYNOLDS-DAY AFTER DAY (REMIX)
BTG-1434
1982
MARGARET REYNOLDS-KEEP ON HOLDIN' ON (REMIX)
BTG-1532
1982
STEREO FUN INC.-GOT YOU WHERE I WANT YOU BABE
BTG-1632
1982
YVONNE ELLIMAN-LOVE PAINS (REMIX)
BTG-1431
1982
VARIOUS ARTISTS - MIXED COMPILATIONS
BTG-1031
1983
LISA-MANDATORY LOVE/ROCKET TO YOUR HEART
BTG-1632
1983
SPYYCE-MY BABY LOVES LOVIN'
BTG-1632
1983
BEARESSENCE STARRING MARIANNA-THE BIG HURT
BTG-1832
1984
MARY BUFFETT-SO YOUNG/MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK


Moby Dick Records Compilation Album

PEP 1109
1981

BTG-532 CAROL JIANI - MERCY, THE WOMAN IN ME
BTG-732 LASERR - HIS NAME IS CHARLIE
BTG-632 PETER GRIFFIN - STEP BY STEP, DEVIL'S RECEPTION
LASER - LASER



Moby Dick Records 12" Gold Standard

MDR-1201
1981
YVONNE ELLIMAN-LOVE PAINS
MDR-1202
1981
CAROL JIANI - HIT'N RUN LOVER - MDMIX
MDR-1203
1981
HARRY THUMAN - UNDERWATER     (never released)
MDR-1204
1981
WONDER - UP & DOWN      (never released)
MDR-1205
1981
THE IMMORTALS - UNLTIMATE WARLORD, WARLORDS PT2
MDR-1206
1982
THE PASSENGERS - HOT LEATHER





 

 

 


Extended Family


 

 

Links to the AIDS Memorial Quilt

"Our commitment to making The Quilt accessible extends to the web. Our on-line Quilt image database contains images of more than 45,000 individual Quilt panels, searchable by either Quilt block number or by the name as it appears on the panel. "

View The Quilt
Search The Quilt


Trocadero Transfer's "Remember The Party"

Stay in touch with the music, and the times, and the people.

"Remember the Party" Home Page


A Great Link to the Disco Era

If you're interested in learning more about Moby Dick Records and the artists that appeared on our label or your favorite disco & dance music artists or labels, you'll most definitely want to visit this site because everybody's there.

Disco Museum


 


 

Remember the Party Site

 


© Copyright 2006-2008 by Moby Dick Records. Net


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