(Est. 1953) Founded in Gary, Indiana by husband-and-wife team Vivian Carter and James C. Bracken ("V" and "J"), Vee-Jay quickly became a top indie label that regularly turned out superb R&B, urban blues, (and later) jazz, folk and gospel recordings. Vee-Jay was one of the first black-owned and female-owned (Vivian Carter) labels in America and also the first U.S. record company to release any recordings by The Beatles.
The catalog includes over 5,000 master recordings from renowned artists such as Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Betty Everett, Jimmy Reed, Jerry Butler, The Staple Singers, Gene Chandler, and The Dells, among many others. Classic Vee-Jay tracks include Chandler's early '60s #1 hit "Duke of Earl," John Lee Hooker's iconic "Boom Boom," The Staples Singers' "Uncloudy Day," (with a 12-year old Mavis on lead vocal!), Jimmy Reed's inimitable "High and Lonesome," and Betty Everett's "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," to name just a few.