The Triumph Records Story

Part 5: After Joe Meek opted out of the company

( hier)


As Joe Meek, much to the annoyance of his business partner William H. Barrington-Coupe, had signed the artists to himself, not to the company, he simply took them along to his new project RGM Sound, while Triumph had to start from scratch after his departure. Barrington-Coupe signed arranger, trombone player and orchestra leader Johnny Keating as successor for Meek. For a short time Keating could fall back on some Meek projects, but then had to develop new projects himself.

John Keating, 1960
(Photo: The Scotsman)



Number Date  Artist Title


RGM 1012 A 60-06 nv Jones, Carol The Boy With The Eyes Of Blue
RGM 1012 B 60-06 nv Jones, Carol Cinderella Jones

This single, a Meek composition, wasn't released but appeared under the same number re-recorded with a new arrangement by Keating and different flip side the following month:

RGM 1012 A 60-07 Jones, Carol The Boy With The Eyes Of Blue
RGM 1012 B 60-07 Jones, Carol I Gave Him Back His Ring



RGM 1013 A 60-06 nv Blackwell, Charles Orchestra Lover And His Lass
RGM 1013 B 60-06 nv Blackwell, Charles Orchestra Lonesome Traveller

This single remained unreleased.



RGM 1022 A 60-07 Fox, Don 'Tain't What You Do
RGM 1022 B 60-07 Fox, Don Out There

The stamp on the label is a revenue stamp of the british "Mechanical Copyright Protection Society". The record company had to buy these revenue stamps and paste them to the label. In case of small print runs from unknown record companies the MCPS insisted in collecting this way the royalties which became due by pressing the record.



RGM 1023 A 60-08 Rex & The Minors Chicken Sax
RGM 1023 B 60-08 Rex & The Minors Snake Eyes

Demo version of the song, provided by the music publishing company (in this case Progressive Music Ltd.) on an acetate disc.

The interpret is usually not mentioned on records like these; often it was the composer himself singing. These records weren't made to be published, they only should catch the attention of music producers and/or record companies to prompt them to produce the song with one of their artists.



RGM 1024 A 60-08 Reader, Pat Ricky
RGM 1024 B 60-08 Reader, Pat Dear Daddy



RGM 1027 A 60-09 Lyon, Barbara My Charlie
RGM 1027 B 60-09 Lyon, Barbara Tell Me



RGM 1030 A 60-10 Lee, Laura Tell Tommy I Miss Him
RGM 1030 A 60-10 Lee, Laura I'm Sending Back Your Roses


Laura's "answer" to Tell Laura I Love Her (sung by John Leyton on Top Rank) ends the story of Triumph Records. The big gaps between the numbers may point to planned projects, but there's nothing known about them.

Triumph Records went into liquidation in spring 1961 without much ado, the remaining stocks were sold off and turned up some years later at some London second-hand record shops.

In 1966, Meek's partner in Triumph Records, William H. Barrington-Coupe, went into prison for tax fraud for one year. After that he returned to the record industry: He bought up several commercially failed classical recordings and re-released them under fantasy orchestra-, conductor- and interpret names on his budget label "Concert Artists". (Still today this is no unknown practice in the classical recording business.) In 2007 his name went through the press when a large-scale fraud was discovered: His wife, the pianist Joyce Hatto who suffered from cancer, allegedly had recorded around 100 CDs within 10 years, but in fact it was only one CD she actually had played herself. For the other ones Barrington-Coupe had combined recordings by 96 pianists and manipulated them by computer in a way that the original pianists couldn't be recognized anymore. (Probably Meek would have taken mischievous pleasure in this music miracle ...)

Meek's business partner Wilfred Alonzo "Major" Banks after leaving RGM Sound Ltd. remained active as entrepreneur and consultant in several branches of trade; his last company was Metalcraft Ltd. Banks passed away on May 29, 1983, in Penryn, Cornwall.

Further information on "Major" Banks and the history of Saga Records is to be found on Garth Banks' blog (here).



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Quellen/Sources: Sammlung/Collection Harald Bluschke, Thomas Meyer and Jörg Richard, Neue Zürcher Zeitung February 2, 2010, Singer, Mark: Fantasia for Piano - Joyce Hatto's incredible career - in: The New Yorker, September 17, 2007,Record Collector 186, Feb. 1995

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© 2006 Jan Reetze

last update: Feb 18, 2010