West Michigan Label Releases

The undisputed heavyweight champion of West Michigan record labels was Fenton Records, which is said to have been responsible for over 100 releases. Below is a list of known releases on the Fenton label and its "subsidiaries."

A lot of songs recorded at the Fenton studios were released on other labels. This was a vanity label, so bands paid to get some studio time and a bunch of their records pressed. Legend has it that if the owner, Dave Kalmbach, didn't think the song was good enough, he'd put it out on one of the subs, such as 4 Count or Buyit. It is also said that the bands were allowed to choose whatever label name they wanted, such as Sound of the Sceen and Vark.

According to one collector, "A lot of the awareness about these labels is guessing on the part of collectors, based on the locations of the bands (Michigan) and the numbering system used. In some cases band members have also said that they cut the single at the Fenton studio but used their own label name (such as the Aardvarks, whose first single was on Vark, then their second was on Fenton)."

There were also some songs recorded at Fenton's Great Lakes Recording Studio in Sparta, Michigan, that were never released on any of the Fenton record labels. Please help me fill in the blanks and weed out the errors...

Dave and The Shadows Faith Fenton 942
Dave and The Shadows Playboy Fenton 942
J.D. and the Dynamics Dragonfly Fenton 943
J.D. and the Dynamics Mozart Mash (D. Kalmbach) Fenton 943
Rhythm Rockers Three Strikes Fenton 944
Rhythm Rockers Surf Around Fenton 944
Renegades IV Greensleeves Fenton 945
Renegades IV Autumn Night Fenton 945
Sue and the Dynamics Go Tell It on the Mountain Fenton 948
Sue and the Dynamics Loving Eyes Fenton 948
Sheffields Nothing I Can Do Fenton 980
Sheffields My Only Wish Fenton 980
Renegades V Wine Wine Wine Duboney 982
Renegades V Love And Fury Duboney 982
Barons Try A Love With Me Jafes 985
Barons Don't Come Back No More Jafes 985
Scavengers Oasis Fenton 987
Scavengers Curfew Fenton 987
Penetrators What Went Wrong Fenton 992
Penetrators Cross the River of Love Fenton 992
Pepettes Rock Fenton 995
Pepettes Flashing Lights Fenton 995
Lloids of Lon-Den You Will Go Fenton 1000
Lloids of Lon-Den Girls Can Really Dance Fenton 1000
Kick Litscher Passing of the Backhouse Fenton 1002
Kick Litscher Hermit of the Shark Tooth Shoals Fenton 1002
Ju Jus You Treat Me Bad Fenton 1004
Ju Jus Hey Little Girl Fenton 1004
Young-Uns Walkin' Down the Line Fenton 2008
Young-Uns Make Me a Grave Fenton 2008
Young-Uns Let's Go A-Sailin' Fenton 2008
Young-Uns Let Me Go Fenton 2008
Chevrons V I Lost You Today Nook 2010
Chevrons V Niat Pat Lavram Nook 2010
Ram Rods You Know I Love You Fenton 2014
Ram Rods I Remember Fenton 2014
Saharas I'm Free Fenton 2016
Saharas This Mornin' Fenton 2016
Plagues Why Can't You Be True Quarantined 2020
Plagues Through This World Quarantined 2020
Bennie Carew Kansas City Fenton 2022
Bennie Carew Bye Bye Blackbird Fenton 2022
Bobby Charles Quartet Oh! Lonesome Me Fenton 2024
Bobby Charles Quartet Saturday Night Fenton 2024
Quests Scream Loud Fenton 2032
Quests Psychic Fenton 2032
Lyn and the Invaders Boy Is Gone Fenton 2040
Lyn and the Invaders Secretly Fenton 2040
Peter and the Prophets Johnny Of Dreams Fenton 2050
Peter and the Prophets Don't Need Your Lovin' Fenton 2050
Jack Wood Born To Wander Lawrence 2052
Jack Wood So Sad Lawrence 2052
Aardvarks I'm Higher Than I'm Down Vark 2058
Aardvarks That's Your Way Vark 2058
Don Hanke and the Echo Men Put a Tiger in My Tank Fenton 2064
Don Hanke and the Echo Men You Are the One Fenton 2064
Chancellors One In A Million Fenton 2066
Chancellors Journey Fenton 2066
Plagues I've Been Through It Before Fenton 2070
Plagues Tears From My Eyes Fenton 2070
Chancellors Dear John Fenton 2072
Chancellors 5 Minus 3 Fenton 2072
Fugitives I'll Hang Around Fenton 2075
Fugitives You Can't Blame That On Me Fenton 2075
Me and Dem Guys Black Cloud Coral Gables 2082
Me and Dem Guys Come On Little Sweetheart Coral Gables 2082
Pentagons Try And Find Pent 2084
Pentagons Before I Go Pent 2084
Quests Shadows In The Night Fenton 2086
Quests I'm Tempted Fenton 2086
Tribe Fickle Little Girl Fenton 2088
Tribe Try Try Fenton 2088
Aardvarks I Don't Believe Fenton 2090
Aardvarks I Don't Need You Fenton 2090
Chevrons What Everyone Wants Fenton 2092
Chevrons Hey Little Teaser Fenton 2092
Pedestrians Think Twice Fenton 2102
Pedestrians Snyder's Swamp Fenton 2102
Pedestrians It's Too Late Fenton 2116
Pedestrians My Little Girl Fenton 2116
Sheffields Blowin' In The Wind Fenton 2118
Sheffields Fool Minus A Heart Fenton 2118
Chentelles Time Fenton 2132
Chentelles Be My Queen Fenton 2132
Jades Confined Congregation Fenton 2134
Jades Please Come Back Fenton 2134
9th Street Market I'm A Baby Fenton 2136
9th Street Market You're Gone Fenton 2136
David and the Diversified Sound Little Boy Blue Fenton 2142
David and the Diversified Sound I Dig Fenton 2142
Beaux Jens She Was Mine Sound of the Sceen 2162
Beaux Jens Trouble Baby Sound of the Sceen 2162
Quests What Can I Do? Fenton 2174
Quests Shadows In The Night Fenton 2174
Tonto and the Renegades Anytime You Want Some Lovin' Sound of the Sceen 2178
Tonto and the Renegades The Easy Way Out Sound of the Sceen 2178
Ray Hummel III Fine Day Fenton 2188
Ray Hummel III Gentle Rain Fenton 2188
Ken Rank Twin City Saucer Fenton 2194
Ken Rank Ken's Thing (By the Jades) Fenton 2194
Blues Company Love Machine Pear 2203
Blues Company B.C. Boogie Pear 2203
Jades Surface World Fenton 2208
Jades We've Got Something Going Fenton 2208
John Brown Trio Walking Through the Night Fenton 2210
John Brown Trio It's Not Unusual Fenton 2210
Tonto and the Renegades I Knew This Thing Would Happen Sound of the Sceen 2212
Tonto and the Renegades Little Boy Blue Sound of the Sceen 2212
Mussies Louie Go Home Fenton 2216
Mussies 12 O'clock July Fenton 2216
Counts of Coventry Somewhere (Someone is Waiting) 4 Count 2222
Counts of Coventry Happy Day 4 Count 2222
Assortment First I Look at the Purse Sound Spot 2224
Assortment Bless Our Hippy Home Sound Spot 2224
Pedestrians You Aren't Going to Say You Know Fenton 2226
Pedestrians The Unpredictable Miss Kinsey Fenton 2226
Cambridge I'm Coming Back Go-T 2244
Cambridge Lonely Lisa Go-T 2244
Pam Busscher Why Is There War Fenton 2502
Pam Busscher Why Can't He Love Me Fenton 2502
Black Watch Left Behind Fenton 2508
Black Watch I Wish I Had The Nerve Fenton 2508
Legends I'm Just A Guy Fenton 2512
Legends I'll Come Again Fenton 2512
Ones You Haven't Seen My Love Fenton 2514
Ones Happy Day Fenton 2514
Country Ramblers Rambler's Bounce Northland 2516
Country Ramblers A Million [...?] Northland 2516
Headhunters Times We Share Fenton 2518
Headhunters Think What You've Done Fenton 2518
4U and Him Backdoor Man Fenton 2522
4U and Him Travelin' Light Fenton 2522
Poor Boy's Pride The Place Swade 2524
Poor Boy's Pride Fall Of A Town Swade 2524
Fyrebirds Can't Get No Ride Great Lakes 2528
Fyrebirds I'm Alive Great Lakes 2528
Soulbenders Hey Joe Phantasm 2530
Soulbenders I Can't Believe In Love Phantasm 2530
New Era Won't You Please Be My Friend Great Lakes 2532
New Era We Ain't Got Time Great Lakes 2532
Blokes All American Girl Dante 2545
Blokes Slander's Child Dante 2545
Pedestrians Think Twice Buyit 2556
Pedestrians It's Too Late Buyit 2556
Soulbenders Petals Phantasm 2568
Soulbenders 7 And 7 Is Phantasm 2568
Bed of Roses Quiet Tea 2577
Bed of Roses I Gotta Fight Tea 2577
Blues Company Experiment In Color Great Lakes 3002
Blues Company She's Gone Great Lakes 3002
Merrie Motor Company Walking Down This Road Scott 3050
Merrie Motor Company Dream of You Scott 3050
Poor Boy Pride But Yes Who Cares Fenton 3060
Poor Boy Pride I'm Here Fenton 3060
Dick Rabbit Love Great Lakes GL-103
Dick Rabbit Trip Great Lakes GL-103
Deborah and Lee Little Boxes Fenton GL942
Deborah and Lee No Place To Go Fenton GL942
Our Generation Baby Boy (written by Dick Wagner) Fenton GL970
Our Generation Chicago Blues Fenton GL970

The following records were released by West Michigan bands or on West Michigan labels but do not follow the "Fenton" numbering system. Whether or not they were recorded at Fenton's Great Lakes studio is unknown.

Aardvarks Cherrie, Can't You Tell Forte 2021
Aardvarks Let's Move Together Forte 2021
Band-X How Good the Rain S.M.F. 98096
Band-X Come Back To Me S.M.F. 98096
The Beech Resorts Springtime Key 18830
The Beech Resorts Distortion Don't Know Key 18830
The Clouds Tomorrow Northland 2042
The Clouds Sandy Castles Northland 2042
Common People ? United ?
The Ethics Crazy Horse Phalanx 1002
The Ethics Hall Of Fame Phalanx 1002
Kalamazoo's Hitch-hikers Makes Me Feel Good Phalanx 1000
Kalamazoo's Hitch-hikers Someday Baby Phalanx 1000
Plagues That'll Never Do Quarantined 41369
Plagues Badlands Quarantined 41369
The Sheffields Do You Still Love Me Destination 621
The Sheffields Nothing I Can Do Destination 621
The Smoke Half Past The End Smoke 1316
The Smoke My Mama Smoke Smoke 1316

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