Design: Despite the psychedelic look of the record, the label design goes right back to the earliest days of label design (compare with the Clarion label of 1906). The label name, which incorporates the generally outdated use of the word 'Record,' follows the outer curve, a treatment abandoned by almost all labels after WWI.
History: The Morrison label was part of a Seattle-based music and dance empire founded by entrepreneur Howell "Morrie" Morrison (1888-1984) and his wife, Alice (1892-1978). Many of the records were pressed in 'splatter' vinyl, making them highly collectible in their own right.To see a Morrison Record on my collecting blog click here
Ken Morrison, the grandson of Morrie Morrison, writes: "I started collecting Morrison Records about five years ago. I grew up with them. My grandmother (Alice Nadine Morrison) was a very talented composer and musician; she had a couple of minor hits in the 1920s. She was also a wonderful woman. My grandfather Morrie was a great guy, but a very disorganized dreamer! Once he started his record company, he'd put anything on disc. If someone's neighbor's brother-in-law wrote a poem, he'd have my grandmother write a melody and they'd record it. As a result, a lot of the records of one-offs never had any sort of distribution.
"Alice died when I was a junior in college and Morrie passed when I was 27. I knew them both very well; Morrie sat in with the band on drums at my wedding.Above: a very young Ken Morrison on maracas with grandfather Morrie on drums.
"I have roughly 50 splatter records and about 50 that are plain black. When I was a kid, we had dozens around the house. Then my mom decided we should make candy dishes out of them as a crafts project when my brother and I were in cub scouts. There went 12 of them. When I was in college, I made a clock out of one of them. My mom loved the idea and made 15 Morrison Record clocks for Christmas that year. Little did I know that 30 years later, I'd be looking searching to find as many as I could afford! At one point there was a storage locker full of this stuff, but unfortunately, a lot of them were sent to the dump. However, I think we kept most of the splatter records (my three siblings also have some). Any way you can think of for me to find more of these records would be much appreciated!"
To learn more about Morrie and Alice Morrison and the history of Morrison Records, click on the links below:
Howell Oakdeane Morrison
Alice Nadine Morrison
Sound recordings from Ken Morrison's collection