The Triumph Records Story

Part 4: Triumph productions on other labels / RGM Sound Ltd

( hier)


Joe Meek stopped his collaboration with Triumph Records in June 1960. At that time it had grown more and more obvious that there was a flaw in this company.

What was the reason? First, Triumph ran out of money. Meek's productions were simply too expensive.

Second, Triumph was unable to fulfill the self-formulated claim to open up the teenage market. Practically no Triumph record really fits in this audience, with the exception maybe of Michael Cox.

The third reason in a way was to be expected: Saga was not a "standard" record company, it was a budget label (or "drugstore label", as they are called in the U.S.) and specialized in film music and classical productions at folksy prices. In spite of all their pompous ads and newsletters the company didn't get the hang of the distribution of the Triumph records. Saga delivered only to department stores, so the distribution department had the wrong contacts, the sales reps had no idea of pop music, the records ended up in the wrong shops or departments. Even when Angela Jones entered the charts after good airplay, this 45 could barely be found in the shops, and there was no money left to press further copies. On the other hand a lot of Triumph records were sold off in piles at some department stores just a few weeks after their release.

After leaving Triumph, Meek did the most obvious: With his artists he continued producing recordings on his own and had no choice but returning to door-to-door selling his recordings to record companies. By doing this he was an independent record producer, which meant, he wasn't an employee of a record company, he worked on his own risk and account. He didn't invent this method, it had been common practice in the U.S. for years, but he probably was unaware of that.

Wilfred Alonzo "Major" Banks
(Photo: Collection Garth Banks)

Now, after Meek had some successes in stock, Saga board member Wilfred Alonzo "Major" Banks jumped on the train. He, who once had handed the Triumph project to a colleague, smelled money now. Banks, who had made his first packet by importing artificial christmas trees to England, offered Meek a joint music production company, with the idea to pay Meek a weekly salary of 20 Pounds and to finance a self-owned sound recording studio. There Meek would be able to work without limits of time and money. The company was named "R.G.M. Sound Limited" and officially registered on September 12, 1960:



RGM letterhead


Meek started looking for studio rooms at once. He found them not far from the Saga office: three floors above a leather goods shop at 304 Holloway Road in the London district of Islington. Meek lived and worked in this flat until his death.

More info on the RGM history please see here.

The main customers of RGM were soon top-flight labels like HMV (His Master's Voice), Parlophone, Decca and Pye. Because of the chronological parallelism it is hard to say whether the records listed below are still Triumph or already RGM productions because Triumph wasn't shut down at once after founding RGM. Some of the recordings are remaining productions from Triumph, that's for sure. Although the record releases starting in September 1960 were entirely marked as "RGM sound production", the Meek chroniclers Gene B. Robertson and Roger Dopson in a "Record Collector" article ascribe them to the Triumph era, that's why they are listed here.



Label Number Date  Artist Title


Life NP 6001 A 60-?? Fabulous Fleerakkers Green Jeans
Life NP 6001 B 60-?? Fabulous Fleerakkers You Are My Sunshine

Pressing in green vinyl, released in Norway


Life NP 6002 A 60-?? Jay, Peter & The Blue Men Just Too Late
Life NP 6002 B 60-?? Jay, Peter & The Blue Men Friendship

Pressing in red vinyl, released in Norway


Gazell C 117 60-?? Cox, Michael Angela Jones
Gazell C 117 60-?? Cox, Michael Don't Want To Know

Pressing in blue vinyl with picture sleeve, released in Sweden


Ember EMBS 103 A 60-07 Cox, Michael Angela Jones
Ember EMBS 103 B 60-07 Cox, Michael Don't Want To Know

An english pressing, but only for the export. In the British shops Angela Jones remained hardly available.


Top Rank JAR 426 A 60-08 Leyton, John Tell Laura I Love Her
Top Rank JAR 426 B 60-08 Leyton, John Goodbye To Teenage Love

The actor and singer John Leyton fell flat twice with his cover version of the US hit: It was too late for the planned Triumph release. So the record was released on Top Rank, but shortly after that the label was sold to EMI, and this single has been withdrawn from sale because EMI already carried this tune with a different singer. In fact, Leyton's Tell Laura I Love Her was available only for a very short time, if at all.


Top Rank JAR 431 A 60-08 Fabulous Flee-Rekkers Green Jeans
Top Rank JAR 431 B 60-08 Fabulous Flee-Rekkers You Are My Sunshine

Also this record was available only for a short time, if at all.


Top Rank nv? JAR 432 A 60-08? Wayne, Ricky & Flee-Rekkers Chick-A-Roo
Top Rank nv? JAR 432 B 60-08? Wayne, Ricky & Flee-Rekkers Don't Pick On Me

It's not clear whether this record was manufactured. It never appeared on record fairs, and no scan or photo is known.


Pye 7N 15288 A 60-09 Flee-Rekkers Sunday Date
Pye 7N 15288 B 60-09 Flee-Rekkers Shiftless Sam


Pye 7N 15289 A 60-09 Wayne, Ricky & Off-Beats Make Way Baby
Pye 7N 15289 B 60-09 Wayne, Ricky & Off-Beats Goodness Knows


Pye 7N 15290 A 60-09 Jay, Peter Paradise Garden
Pye 7N 15290 B 60-09 Jay, Peter Who's The Girl


Pye 7N 15292 A 60-09 Chick with Cameron, Ted Group & DJ's Early In The Morning
Pye 7N 15292 B 60-09 Chick with Cameron, Ted Group & DJ's Cool Water


Decca F 11291 A 60-10 Joy & Dave My Very Good Friend The Milkman
Decca F 11291 B 60-10 Joy & Dave Doopey Darling

Single-sided test pressing


HMV POP 789 A 60-10 Cox, Michael Along Came Caroline
HMV POP 789 B 60-10 Cox, Michael Lonely Road

A continuation of Angela Jones, obviously an attempt to pick up the thread of the earlier hit. A practice which can be found still today in pop music.


HMV POP 798 A 60-10 Leyton, John The Girl On The Floor Above
HMV POP 798 B 60-10 Leyton, John Terry Brown's In Love With Mary Dee

Promo copy, not for sale


Decca F 11294 A 60-11 Rivers, Danny Can't You Hear My Heart
Decca F 11294 B 60-11 Rivers, Danny I'm Waiting For Tomorrow


Pye 7N 15295 A 60-11 Gregory, Iain Time Will Tell
Pye 7N 15295 B 60-11 Gregory, Iain The Night You Told A Lie


HMV POP 823 A 61-01 Temple, Gerry No More Tomorrows
HMV POP 823 B 61-01 Temple, Gerry So Nice To Walk You Home


Top Rank JAR 577 A 61-07 Leyton, John Johnny Remember Me
Top Rank JAR 577 B 61-07 Leyton, John There Must Be

This record became Joe Meek's first #1 in the GB charts. Atmospherically an intense death song; on his way through the moor the singer hears the voice of his late darling in the sighing of the wind in the tree tops, calling him. Geoff Goddard wrote this song in just 20 minutes, and still today it's thrilling; it belongs to the best potions Meek ever brewed in his wizard's cauldron. And it's a textbook example for Meek's ability to eliminate all the superfluous bells and whistles, there's nothing left in the recording that could be omitted. Leyton is accompanied by the Outlaws; the song was arranged by Charles Blackwell; especially remarkable is the rhythm guitar which is played very precisely (it's not quite clear who played it; according to what he himself said it was session musician Eric Ford). This track is one of the few recordings in which Meek didn't speed up the vocals; instead, he slightly slowed them down. And the female refrain singing became a legend: It seems to come from a different, an "otherworldly" acoustic source: With all probability, Meek placed singer Lissa Grey (an academically skilled classical singer) in the tiled bathroom for this effect.

The BBC gave to understand that this record wouldn't be played as long as it had the "morbid" lyrics line Goddard wrote originally: "I hear the voice of my darling, the girl I loved who died a year ago." Goddard then changed the lyrics. On the final record "... the girl I loved and lost a year ago" was to be heard. Which made the thing even more mysterious. The BBC blacklisted the record anyways, but Meek managed to place the song in the popular ITV series "Harpers West One". The ban finally - as often in cases like this - turned out to be first-class promotion for the song: Johnny Remember Me climbed up to the #1 spot of the charts, sold 500,000 copies and became "Record of the Year".

More info on this song see also here.


Piccadilly 7N 35018 A 61-12 Taylor, Bryan The Donkey's Tale
Piccadilly 7N 35018 B 61-12 Taylor, Bryan Let It Snow On Christmas Day


HMV POP 977 A 62-01 Blackwell, Charles Orchestra Taboo
HMV POP 977 B 62-01 Blackwell, Charles Orchestra Midnight In Luxembourg

Promo copy, not for sale

Midnight in Luxembourg, of course, means the night program of Radio Luxembourg.


Piccadilly 7N 35077 A 62-09 Reader, Pat Cha Cha On The Moon
Piccadilly 7N 35077 B 62-09 Reader, Pat May Your Heart Stay Young Forever

The Cha Cha On The Moon is immensely catchy and a "very meeky" production. It's a pity that nobody at Pye got the nerves to push through a release on the main label. On Pye's experimental label Piccadilly this Cha Cha had no chance to get public resonance.


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Quellen/Sources: Garth Banks, Sammlung/Collection Harald Bluschke, Thomas Meyer and Jörg Richard, Record Collector 186, Feb. 1995

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© 2006 Jan Reetze

last update: July 27, 2012