A.R.A. = Crown

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Thanks to Jeff Missinne for pointing out a Bihari label that I missed: ARA, American Recording Artists.  These were boxed sets of Mexicali Brass and other Crown series.  As Jeff writes, “Because ARA albums were sold as boxed sets, they required inner sleeves, which I don’t think Crown ever bothered with otherwise.  The (flimsy) inner sleeves are made of what appears to be waxed paper!  The ones I have were also packed with a white corrugated filler somewhat like an egg carton.”

ImageThe address above is the Bihari factory at Slauson & Normandie familiar to anyone who owns a Crown.  The cheap label is vintage Bihari factory printing.   ARA…another bit of useless info from the Bihari archives.

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3 thoughts on “A.R.A. = Crown

  1. There seems to be another Bihari label associated with 5810 S. Normandie Ave. It’s called Bright Orange records, and the examples I’ve seen have been big band tributes, like the Maxwell Davis series, if not outright reissues of those. I have pics, where can I send those?
    Ken

    1. Hi Ken,
      Yes, I’ve seen the Bright Orange big band tributes though never acquired any. Just another late Bihari label. As I recall, no graphics or photos on the covers. Not sure how they figure into the chronology of releases. You can send any images (of the logo especially) to crownrecordsstory@gmail.com. Thanks!

  2. Of course, ARA, AKA American Recording Artists, was the name of the record company operated in the mid-1940s by noted movie producer (e.g., The Flying Deuces (1939) starring Laurel and Hardy) and double agent Boris Morros. ARA had an impressive artist roster, see, e.g., The Billboard, November 24, 1945, page 20) and even issued the soundtrack to Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945). I’m pretty sure the original ARA was defunct by the time of the second recording ban in 1948. It would be interesting to know how the Bihari brothers acquired rights to revive the label name, and why they did.

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