Times Square Records
The Timetones'" (Here) In My Heart"/"My Love" was released as Times Square #421 in the winter of 1961, followed by the Summits' "Go Back Where You Came From" in early summer. They were new releases with the "old sound," and, as such, commanded considerable airplay in the local market still hungry for good doo-wop. "In My Heart" even hit Billboard's national pop chart on May 8,1961 and rose to #51, enjoying a five week run. The next Timetones' single, "Pretty Pretty Girl' / 'I've Got a Feeling," was leased to Atco for national distribution and eventually hit #106 "bubbling under" the Top 100 on July 31,1961 with some calculated assistance from a now prominent record executive.
Slim promoted his label heavily on his own weekend shows; he bought time on several local AM stations with weak signals. His biggest mistake may have been to alienate Alan Fredericks and to attempt to deejay himself, an embarrassing gaffe which considerably narrowed his audience to the faithful collector cult. (His other major mistake was to lose Jerry Greene, who left Times Square to open - with Jared Weinstein - his own Record Museum in Philadelphia after Slim refused to give him a nominal raise).
As Slim's wider constituency dwindled, he catered more and more to a small, but growing, band of dedicated collectors. He respected their affinity for colored vinyl, and pressed all early Times Square releases (except #421 and #422) on blue, green, red, yellow, and even rainbow vinyl on #35. Slim wanted to draw customers from all over the city so he kept his own records as "exclusives" as long as possible. Until his monopoly was broken by competing dealers (notably Eddie Gries of the Relic Rack in Hackensack, New Jersey) who had issued sought after singles of their own, Slim was able to sell hundreds of each Times Square single over his shop counters. They sold for a dollar each, the price for most group harmony/doo-wop reissues in the early sixties.
As Slim's fame grew, he was approached by many promoters and manufacturers who had masters to sell or lease. Since rock 'n roll 45s were a "here today, gone tomorrow" commodity in the fifties, many label owners were glad to sell all their rights for a nominal sum, particularly for some of the "bombs" only Slim could sell then. Slim leased ground-breaking unissued acappella sides by the Nutmegs, for example, from Marty Kugel[ and Tom Sokira in New Haven. He bought the Jaytones' "Oh Darling," a complete obscurity when it was first released, from ace songwriter Julius ("Lollipop") Dixon's ailing Timely label. "Oh Darling" was backed with the Centuries' "Crying for You" on TS #5; Slim readily discarded flip sides he didn't like and even changed the names of groups according to his whims.
ira blacker has left a new comment - Slim did not rename the Five Sharks from the Florals as he never knew the name nor met the group prior to releasing the record if ever. I found the group as the Florals and produced the record, named the group The Five Sharks and sold the record to Slim. :-)