Saturday, April 23, 2016
Ork Records New York, New York & Show # 600
Ork Records was originally started in 1975 to release Television’s first single “Little Johnny Jewel”. The song, said to be about Iggy Pop was a longer track and had to be split into two parts to fit onto a 45 single. This rough early version of Television before they would release their cleaner and wonderfully crafted Marquee Moon is an example of what you would find on Ork Records. Ork documented a scene with sounds that at the time were not defined and featured bands that you may not have even heard of. It documented the early New York new wave and punk scene.
Terry Ork, which the label would be named after, first arrived in New York in the 1960s and became, according to the Numero Group’s website “fugitive of Andy Warhol’s Factory”. He didn’t make a connection with the New York underground CBGB’s scene until he started working as a manager at Cinemabilla, a bookstore with a film literature slant. Here he met Richard Hell and Richard Lloyd and would eventually become the manager of Television. Charles Ball would also help guide the label and help to acquire the likes of Alex Chilton, who would release several singles for Ork. The label also captured music from other bands such as The Feelies, Cheetah Chrome, Lester Bangs and lesser-known bands such as Marbles, Chris Stamey and the dBs, The Idols and numerous others. Ork Records would stop in 1980, but not before they released a collection of bands that documented the New York CBGB’s scene, an alternative to the music released by Ramones, Television and Blondie.
Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley of The Numero Group set about collecting all the known releases by Ork Records and would eventually release Ork Records: New York, New York. This is the complete discography of all the singles/music released by Ork Records and features a 190-page book in addition to several songs that were intended to be released by Ork, but never were due to financial constraints. The set was released in a variety of formats in October 2015. In the lyrics to Television’s “Little Johnny Jewel” Tom Verlaine sings “He’s just trying to tell a vision/Some Thought this was sad/Others thought it mad”. This can be applied to the Ork Records philosophy. Said to be the first punk label, Ork never really made a lot of money, but was a very influential label. They set out showing a different side of music in 1975. Whether the music was rough sounding, or in the realm of punk, new wave or power pop, the label and the music had something different to say. The songs were energetic, sometimes on the more literate side and sometimes strange, but this is what drew people to the music of Ork and that time period. And for many people, it still does.
Numero Group Website: Ork Records: New York, New York
Playlist For Episode 600:
1. The Coathangers - Perfume
2. Art Bergmann - Mirage
3. Babeours - Shoelace
4. Sightlines - Idea Of The North
5. Ramones - I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement
6. Pow Wows - No Thirteen
7. The Gruesomes - Hey!
8. The Gories - Telepathic
9. The Painted Ship - And She Said Yes
10. This Machine Kills Robots - Sea Fairies
11. Cellos - Sea Legs
12. Mike & The Melvins - Annalisa
13. Prince - Partyman
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Take Me With U
15. Patti Smith - When Doves Cry
16. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Alphabet Street
17. Richard Hell - (I Belong To The) Blank Generation
18. The Feelies - Fa Ce La
19. Alex Chilton - Take Me Home
20. Minutemen - Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
21. Minutemen - One Chapter In The Book
22. Teenanger - Dawn (Demo)
23. The Scenics - I Killed Marx
24. Magazine - Touch And Go
25. Buzzcocks - What Do I Get (Demo)
26. Siouxsie And The Banshees - Hong Kong Garden
27. Johnny Thunders - Endless Party
28. The Waldos - Golden Days
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 23. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.