SOLAR Records

SOLAR Records

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SOLAR Records

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S.O.L.A.R. Records (acronym for Sound of Los Angeles Records) was an American record label founded in 1977 by Dick Griffey, reconstituted out of Soul Train Records only two years after it was founded with Soul Train television show host and creator Don Cornelius. After the success of a few singles and albums on the Soul Train imprint, Griffey and Cornelius decided (amicably) to shut it down as Cornelius wanted to focus his energies on the television show, which was a monster hit and required his full attention to keep it so.

Legalities now taken care of, Griffey reorganized Soul Train Records and folded the company into the newly founded SOLAR label in late 1977, which quickly became one of the most important disco, R&B, and dance music imprints of the late 1970s and 1980s. It even spawned a subsidiary label, Constellation Records, which had somesuccess spinning off its parent's successes.

Griffey and Cornelius remained good friends, and as a result, SOLAR maintained close ties to the Soul Train show.


In 1975, when Soul Train Records was founded, Griffey formed a collective called Shalamar—using a host of session singers to record "Uptown Festival," which was a disco-length medley of early Motown hits. After scoring a hit with the recording, he looked to Cornelius to help him put together an actual group to maintain the impact. In 1977, Soul Train dancers Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel and Gerald Brown (who was eventually replaced by Howard Hewett)...
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