Interesting news :
The Verse Music Group has recently acquired the rights to “Salsoul Records” (Through attaining the “Bethlehem Music Company”) and “West End Records”. West End Records was co-founded by Mel Cheren and Ed Kushins in 1976 and Salsoul Records was a New York City based record label founded by brothers Joseph Cayre, Kenneth Cayre, and Stanley Cayre (the Cayre brothers). Both were your “go-to” labels for the very best of 70’s dance and each label was responsible for some ridiculous releases. Westend and Salsoul had been defunct for sometime, with Salsoul making a bit of a resurgence in the early 90’s (We should now give thanks to their release of Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations”… ugh). That said, both labels were simply thee most prominent in the grand era of NY Disco.
Verse Music Group was established as an acquisition platform to purchase music-related intellectual property rights and other assets. The Company seeks to acquire thematically similar music “catalogues” consisting of music publishing rights, master copyrights, writer royalty streams and other related assets. Specifically, Verse is focused on a variety of Pop and R&B classics, standards, and contemporary music publishing copyrights spanning from the 1950s through the 1990s.
I began to notice more activity in both facebook related groups that I support. Each Monday they are the forum for Music trivia with the winner walking away with a free t-shirt (Westend or Salsoul). I had also noticed the occassional post asking the group members to reply with suggestions as to “What We Would Like To See… ” coming from Westend and Salsoul in the near (or not so) future.
Verse has offered hope that many of the signature tracks from Westend & Salsoul may become available via digital or analogue medium. There is also a great chance that unreleased gems they now own would become available. The idea here is that with some imagination ( and with a little money and interest ) all things are possible. Personally, I would love to see both Westend and Salsoul get their due as the underground music culture began with both labels feeding the Discoteques internationally. Sounclouders would have a heyday with unreleased Larry Levan rmx’s popping up or perhaps a tribute to Loletta Holloway (rip)…. perhaps sampler ep’s featuring the Peech Boys (“Don’t make me wait … another night… tonight I’m gonna love you”). Jesus, my boa is waving at me from the closet.
With “Nu-Disco” as a categorically popular genre and funk/ boogie re-edits popping up everywhere, Disco is continuing its forge forward and I am happy to be a Queen along for the ride. Next note will be a Top 10 of the NU Disco sounds that I am really feeling …