During his 40 years spent operating in the farthest margins of L.A.’s cutthroat music business, Consolidated Productions founder Mel Alexander penned a total of 73 original songs while running one of the longest running Black-owned independent record conglomerates of the 20th century. Across those same decades, he’d track hundreds of tunes for his Ajax, Angel Town, Car-A-Mel, City Lights, Emanuel, JGEMS, Kris, Libra III, New Breed, Simco, Space, Tyshawn, Us, and Velvet labels.
Between stints spent naming this flurry of newly formed record companies, he’d also try his hand at distribution, setting up the S&M, Soul Record, and BAB outfits at addresses dotting Pico Boulevard, along Los Angeles’s Record Row. He’d log hours as an on-air personality for KORG radio, and establish a host of promotional firms with names like Retail Record Network, World Wide Enterprises, Macro Media Incorporated, Melohank and Roice Promotions, and Associated Talent Development Company. Until well into his seventies, he’d still be busy tinkering with a never-realized public works project: his Watts Blues Walk of Fame.
“The blues is about living, it’s about people, it’s about things,” Mel Alexander told the People’s Tribune in 1991. “If you’ve never lived, you’ve never had the blues.” And Mel still had quite a bit of living to do.
“For a long time we have been pondering over our economic dilemma,” Alexander wrote in a letter to his many associates in 1968. “I feel togetherness is our only way out of this pitfall.” And it would be the only way, after a fashion. Across the next decade, Mel Alexander brought on an untold number of ambitious new partners, co-founding his next label or enterprise year after year, and changing his business address just as frequently. The next big hit seemed forever just around the corner—if only he and his Consolidated Productions cohort could turn up the right slogan, the perfect logo, the correct zip code, or that committed new colleague. All Mel asked was that you believe.
Pre-order: Release date is April 5, 2024 - Begins shipping in late March.
2xLP, Full Color Liner Notes.
- James Foster & The L.A. Untouchables The Time Has Come
- The Del-Reys Don’t You Know
- The L.A Untouchables Money Man
- Spider Walker I'm Mad
- The Del-Reys Walk Proud
- Billy Williams So Called Friend (Oh! What A Friend)
- Ty Karim Lighten Up Baby
- B.B. Carter Cool It Baby
- Marilyn Calloway & The 4-Silvertones My Lover
- Deb Tones & The Del-Reys Knock On Wood
- The De Velles Misery
- Ann Stacy Don’t You Fool Me
- B.B. Carter Leave Me Alone
- Marilyn Calloway & The 4-Silvertones Shut Up (Demo)
- The LA Untouchables Acey Deucey
- Gene Russell’s Trio Doin’ The Snake Hips
- The De Velles Let's Do The Hunch
- Gene Russell’s Trio Jet Set
- Dynamic Duo and The Penguiness Turkey Trot
- Gene Russell’s Trio Foggy Bottom
- Lee Harvey Only True Love
- Lee Harvey Need Of Love
- Lee Jones I Got To See My Baby
- Lee Harvey Prove It
- Lee Harvey and The L.A. Untouchables My Assurance
- Lee Harvey and The L.A. Untouchables If I'm Dreaming
- Lee Harvey False Pride