Riviera Records is another Bihari budget label that played out for 2 short years in the midst of the Crown era, predating Custom Records. Their address was 9317 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA, Crown’s address before moving to Normandie & Slauson.


Riviera’s covers weren’t always all about cheesecake but when they did feature women on the covers they definitely outdid Custom!




Great compilation of early classic blues & R&B originally on early Bihari labels Modern, Flair & RPM. Cover photo speaks for itself.



The story goes that Joe Bihari discovered a teenage Paul Anka and brought him in to record but Jules decided not to pursue Anka because he was white. Refusing to sing blues, Paul Anka left enraged and had a monster hit with Diana elsewhere. Later, Jules released this LP that features the two sides Paul Anka recorded for Joe with the remainder of the tracks being black artists from the Bihari’s vast catalog. Hell, there’s even a raw sounding BB King cut on Anka’s LP.

Paul Anka’s first two recordings: I Confess (done in doo wop style) and the more popish Blau-de-Veest Fontaine. Tight band backing & confident performance. If you want to hear these tracks & other classic Bihari recorded doo wop check out this Ace Records release.



How many banjo LPs can one record company release? Apparently a lot but at least this LP has an outrageous cover photo apparently from mardi gras. Music here is kinda horrendous knee slapping New Orleans banjo with chorus, brass & percussion. The finale is Clementine complete with Nelson Riddle-like orchestration in which you expect later-day Sinatra to step out at any moment and start belting off key.  Cant think of a reason anyone in their right mind would listen to this LP.



More explicit cheesecake than anything on Custom. Mostly acoustic piano, guitar & percussion. Nice background music for a Brazilian meal but it’s not gonna make you want to swing our skirt like the woman on the cover.



This is a disturbing cover that’s no fantasy of mine.  Vinyl holds forth musical dramatizations of old kids’ stories. Not done bad enough to enjoy.



More cheese, less cake! True stereo recording of flamenco with guitar, flute & piano. You could do a lot worse for 99 cents.



Authentic music from Havana decades before Ry Cooder discovered the island.



No offense but I can’t spin another polka record.



One of the more provocative cover photos on a Bihari budget LP. Unfortunately, inside is bad honky tonk piano, sax & drums that you’d expect to hear at a Bar Mitzvah or wedding in the 1950s.



Surprisingly authentic sounding tribal music though no notes or information on where it comes from or who recorded it. Too raw & ethnic folk sounding to be mistaken for Arthur Lyman-style exotica music.




CLP 5027/1957

Using a recycled cover from a Crown early release 10 years earlier, this Riviera releases features surprisingly hip recordings of several beatnik tunes in true stereo.  Haiti Swing & Hong Kong Swing are two top numbers. Great swinging band & a singer with power in the lungs.  No credits anywhere.  Who the hell is this?  Despite what’s scribed on the the model’s leg “Side 2 OK” side 1 has the awesome hits:


ST R005

Mostly public domain performed on a big sounding theater organ though no where on the LP indicates this is an organ LP.


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