Mainstream Records
Founded1964 (1964)
FounderBob Shad
Defunct1978 (1978)
Country of originU.S.

Mainstream Records is an American record company and independent record label founded by producer Bob Shad in 1964.

Mainstream's early releases were reissues from Commodore Records. Its catalogue grew to include Bob Brookmeyer, Maynard Ferguson, Jim Hall, Helen Merrill, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Raney, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, and Sarah Vaughan. Janis Joplin, with Big Brother and the Holding Company, first appeared on Mainstream.[1]

In 1978, Mainstream ceased activities. Bob Shad died in 1985. In 1990, the label was restarted by his daughter, Tamara, and Humphrey Walwyn, the former head of BBC Records.[2] It was bought by Legacy Recordings in 1993 and purchased back by the Shad family in the early 2000s. The label is now run by Shad's granddaughter Mia Apatow, with the help of her brother Judd Apatow.


56000/S6000 series (12" LPs)

The Mainstream 56000/S6000 Series commenced in 1964 when the label was established by Bob Shad and ran until 1971 and initially reissued material from Commodore Records and Time Records (an earlier Bob Shad label) in addition to some new jazz recordings, then soundtracks, before branching into psychedelic rock around 1966.[3]

Catalog number Title Artist Notes
56000/S6000 The Commodore Recordings 1939, 1944 Billie Holiday
56001/S6001 Begin the Beguine Eddie Heywood
56002/S6002 Influence of Five Various Artists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Don Byas, Chu Berry
56003/S6003 Dixieland-New Orleans Various Artists Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison & Others
56004/S6004 Town Hall Concert Various Artists Gene Krupa, Charlie Ventura, Bill Coleman, Red Norvo, & Others
56005/S6005 The Soil and the Sea Various Artists Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Peter Hawes, Lee Hays
56006/S6006 I'm Lost Dottie Clark
56007/S6007 Boss of the Blues Charles Brown
56008/S6008 Chairmen of the Board Various Artists Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Joe Bushkin, Mel Powell, Jess Stacy
56009/S6009 52 Street Various Artists Billie Holiday, Ben Webster, and Others
56010/S6010 Dixieland-Chicago Style Various Artists Muggsy Spanier, Russell, & Others
56011/S6011 Era of the Clarinet Various Artists Pee Wee Russell, Edmund Hall, Irving Fazola, Benny Goodman, Tony Parenti, George Lewis
56012/S6012 Lester Young & Kansas City Six Lester Young
56013/S6013 Two Jims and Zoot Jimmy Raney, Zoot Sims & Jim Hall
56014/S6014 The Artistry of Helen Merrill Helen Merrill
56015/S6015 A Taste of Honey Morgana King
56016 The Songs of Kurt Weill Felicia Sanders Reissue of Time 2007
56017/S6017 Era of the Swing Trumpet Various Artists Eldridge, Hackett, Jonah Jones, Page, Williams, & DeParis
56018/S6018 Town Hall Concert Volume 2 Various Artists Krupa & Ventura 3, Stuff Smith, Red Norvo, Wilson, Phillips, Bert, Rogers, Sachs, Palmieri, Stewart, Powell, Krupa, Ventura, & Walthers
56019/S6019 Tenor Hierarchy Various Artists Coleman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Ben Webster, Frank Wess, Phillips, Don Byas
56020/S6020 Jelly Roll Morton Jelly Roll Morton
56021/S6021 Bahutu Chant & Dancers Bahutu Chant & Dancers
56022/S6022 Once Upon a Time Billie Holiday & Teddy Wilson
56023/S6023 Expressions East John Berberian
56024/S6024 Legend Eddie Condon
56025/S6025 Look at Yesterday Various Artists Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Buddy Stewart, Paul Quinichette, Jimmy Raney, Wardell Gray
56026/S6026 Legend Pee Wee Russell
56027/S6027 Legend Willie "The Lion" Smith
56028/S6028 Second to None Carmen McRae
56029/S6029 Riverboat Jazz Juggy's Jazz Band
56030/S6030 August Child Sylvia Copeland
56031/S6031 Color Him Wild Maynard Ferguson
56032/S6032 Organ Out Loud Gene Ludwig
56033/S6033 The Award Winner Frank Wess
56034/S6034 Ruth Brown '65 Ruth Brown
56035/S6035 Ballads My Way Charles Brown
56036/S6036 Corcovado Trumpets Vic Schoen
56037/S6037 Meditations Coleman Hawkins
56038/S6038 Sittin' In Chu Berry
56039/S6039 Legend Bunk Johnson
56040/S6040 The Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Reissue of Time T/7004
56041/S6041 Tiger Tail Stanley Turrentine Reissue of Time 52086
56042/S6042 Now Cleo Bradford
56043/S6043 Tonight Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56044/S6044 Haven't We Met? Carmen McRae
56045/S6045 The Blues Roar Maynard Ferguson
56046/S6046 Yancy Emily Yancy
56047/S6047 Oud Artisty John Berberian
56048/S6048 It's Time We Met Terry Gibbs
56049/S6049 Home Town Blues Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
56050/S6050 Vibrations Jimmy Ricks
56051/S6051 Latin Au Go Go Joe Cain
56052/S6052 Miss Morgana King Morgana King
56053/S6053 The Collector Maurice Jarre Soundtrack to The Collector
56054/S6054 The Power of Positive Swinging Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56055/S6055 We Three Trio We Three Trio
56056/S6056 Baby the Rain Must Fall Elmer Bernstein Soundtrack to Baby the Rain Must Fall
56057/S6057 The Moment of Truth Piero Piccioni Soundtrack to The Moment of Truth
56058/S6058 Wonderful Life Irene Kral
56059/S6059 The Creeper Dennis Budimir
56060/S6060 The Maynard Ferguson Sextet Maynard Ferguson
56061/S6061 King Rat John Barry Soundtrack to King Rat
56062/S6062 Juliet of the Spirits Nino Rota Soundtrack to Juliet of the Spirits
56063/S6063 Great Original Soundtracks & Movie Themes Various Artists
56064/S6064 The Heroes of Telemark Malcolm Arnold Soundtrack to The Heroes of Telemark
56065/S6065 Woman Talk Carmen McRae
56066/S6066 Mumbles Clark Terry
56067/S6067 The Lollipop Cover Ruby Raksin
56068/S6068 A Patch of Blue Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack to A Patch of Blue
56069/S6069 Comic Book Heroes Capes and Masks Orchestra
56070/S6070 The Square Root of Zero Elliot Kaplan
56071/S6071 The 10th Victim Piero Piccioni Soundtrack to The 10th Victim
56072/S6072 That Man in Istanbul Georges Garvarentz| Soundtrack to That Man in Istanbul
56073/S6073 The Trouble with Angels Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack to The Trouble with Angels
56074/S6074 I've Lost My Yo-Yo Brandywine Singers
56075/S6075 Pow! Jeannie Trevor Sings!! Jeannie Trevor
56076/S6076 Award Winning Original Motion Picture Soundtracks & Themes Various Artists
56077/S6077 Stagecoach Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack to Stagecoach
56078/S6078 Harper Johnny Mandel Soundtrack to Harper
56079/S6079 Detectives & the Agents & Great Suspense Motion Picture Themes Various Artists
56080/S6080 Walk Don't Run Quincy Jones Soundtrack to Walk, Don't Run
56081/S6081 The Blue Max Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack to The Blue Max
56082/S6082 The Shop on Main Street Zdeněk Liška Soundtrack to The Shop on Main Street
56083/S6083 Walk on the Wide Side Elmer Bernstein Soundtrack to Walk on the Wild Side
Rerelease of Choreo A4ST
56084/S6084 Alfie Carmen McRae
56085/S6085 Bitter Acid Mauricio Smith
56086/S6086 Gingerbread Men Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Quintet
56087/S6087 Songs of Inspiration Bill Brown
56088/S6088 The Wrong Box John Barry Soundtrack to The Wrong Box
56089/S6089 Chaplin's Art of Comedy Elias Breeskin Soundtrack to Chaplin's Art of Comedy
56090/S6090 Gypsy Girl Milton DeLugg Soundtrack to Gypsy Girl
56091/S6091 In Person in San Francisco Carmen McRae
56092/S6092 Mira! Hugo Montenegro
56093/S6093 Soul of a People Gordon Jenkins Reissue of Time 2050
56094/S6094 A Man and His Movies Elmer Bernstein
56095/S6095 Hey, Listen Baby-Let's Dance David Carroll and His Orchestra
56096/S6096 Wine, Women and Italy Italian Guitars
56097 Thunder Orquesta Los Hombres de España
56098/S6098 Melodies of Love Richard Hayman
56099/S6099 Big Brother and the Holding Company Big Brother and the Holding Company
56100/S6100 A Pot of Flowers Various Artists The Wildflowers, Harbinger Complex, Euphoria and The Other Side
56101/S6101 Music from Camelot Hugo Montenegro
56102/S6102 The Superfine Dandelion The Superfine Dandelion
56103/S6103 Jelly Bean Bandits Jelly Bean Bandits
56104/S6104 The Amboy Dukes The Amboy Dukes
S6105 Tiffany Shade Tiffany Shade
S6106 Bohemian Vendetta Bohemian Vendetta
S6107 The Tangerine Zoo The Tangerine Zoo
S6108 The Growing Concern The Growing Concern
S6109 The Best of Morgana King Morgana King
S6110 Live & Wailing Carmen McRae
S6111 Slaughter on 10th Avenue Hugo Montenegro
S6112 Journey to the Center of the Mind The Amboy Dukes
S6113 The Art of Lovin' The Art of Lovin'
S6114 The Best of Pete Jolly Pete Jolly
S6115 Ellie Pop Ellie Pop
S6116 Outside Looking In The Tangerine Zoo
S6117 The Orient Express The Orient Express
S6118 Migration The Amboy Dukes
S6119 Stone Circus Stone Circus
S6120 Nucleus Nucleus
S6121 A Spoonful of Cathy Young Cathy Young
S6122 Last Nikle Last Nikle
S6123 Totie Fields Live Totie Fields
S6124 Hour World The British Casuals
S6125 The Best of the Original Amboy Dukes The Amboy Dukes
S6126 Drive It Lincoln St. Exit
S6127 Josefus Josefus
S6128 December's Children December's Children
S6129 Electric Holy Man Henry Tree
S6130 Freeport Freeport
S6131 Katmandu Katmandu
S6132 Lacewing Lacewing

300 series (12" LPs)

The Mainstream 300 Series commenced in 1971 as the label focussed more on funk/soul and jazz artists (as well as reissuing jazz LP's originally released on Time Records) before the label folded around 1976.

Catalog number Title Artist Notes
MRL 300 Rated X for Excitement Ron Frangipane & His Orchestra
MRL 301 Motion Pictures: The NOW Generation Joe Scott & His Orchestra
MRL 302 Images Dean Christopher & His Orchestra
MRL 303 Blood, Sweat & Brass The Phoenix Authority
MRL 304 The Music of Laura Nyro Ron Frangipane
MRL 305 Hard Mother Blues Ernie Wilkins & His Orchestra
MRL 306 A 65-Piece Rock Workshop Bob Shad & The Bad Men
MRL 307 A Symphony of Our Time Joe Scott
MRL 308 Hometown Blues Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Reissue of 56049
MRL 309 Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
MRL 310 Ray Charles, Arbee Stidham, Lil Son Jackson, James Wayne Ray Charles, Arbee Stidham, Lil Son Jackson, James Wayne
MRL 311 The Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Reissue of 56040
MRL 312 Charles Williams Charles Williams
MRL 313 Hip Ensemble Roy Haynes
MRL 314 A New Shade of Blue Harold Land
MRL 315 Blue Mitchell Blue Mitchell
MRL 316 Screamin' Blues Maynard Ferguson Reissue of 56045
MRL 317 Dave Hubbard Dave Hubbard
MRL 318 Hadley Caliman Hadley Caliman
MRL 319 Right On Maxine Weldon
MRL 320 Straight No Chaser Clark Terry/Bob Brookmeyer Quintet Reissue of 56043
MRL 321 A Taste of Honey Morgana King Reissue of 56015
MRL 322 Sings and Swings Organ Gloria Coleman Ltd.
MRL 323 David Young David Young
MRL 324 Sonny Red Sonny Red
MRL 325 Dizzy Gillespie and the Mitchell Ruff Duo in Concert Dizzy Gillespie
MRL 326 Dirty Blues Lightnin' Hopkins Reissue of Time 1384
MRL 327 Stan Hope Stan Hope
MRL 328 Sun, Moon and Stars LaMont Johnson
MRL 329 Charles McPherson Charles McPherson
MRL 330 John White John White
MRL 331 Charles Kynard Charles Kynard
MRL 332 Homecoming Art Farmer
MRL 333 Crankin' Curtis Fuller
MRL 334 Matrix Michael Longo
MRL 335 Strayhorn: A Mitchell-Ruff Interpretation Mitchell-Ruff
MRL 336 Awareness Buddy Terry
MRL 337 The Guerilla Band Hal Galper
MRL 338 Gold Carmen McRae
MRL 339 Chilly Wind Maxine Weldon
MRL 340 A Time in My Life Sarah Vaughan
MRL 341 Wishbone Reggie Moore
MRL 342 Iapetus Hadley Caliman
MRL 343 Vital Blue Blue Mitchell
MRL 344 Choma (Burn) Harold Land
MRL 345 Trees and Grass and Things Charles Williams
MRL 346 Katumbo (Dance) Johnny Coles
MRL 347 Angyumaluma Bongliddleany Nannyany Awhan Yi! Clark Terry Reissue of 56066
MRL 348 The Night Blooming Jazzmen The Night Blooming Jazzmen featuring Kittie Doswell and directed by Leonard Feather
MRL 349 The Loud Minority Frank Foster
MRL 350 Get It Together Various Artists Charles Kynard, Charles McPherson, Dave Hubbard, Charles Kynard, Dave and the Jay Jay's, Charles Williams and Johnny Coles
MRL 351 Senyah Roy Haynes
MRL 352 In Person Carmen McRae Reissue of Time S/2104
MRL 353 White Heat Barry Miles
MRL 354 Wild Bird Hal Galper
MRL 355 Cuore di Mama Morgana King
MRL 356 Pure Dynamite Buddy Terry
MRL 357 The Awakening Mike Longo
MRL 358 Otra Ves Zoot Sims Reissue of 56013
MRL 359 Dues Maynard Ferguson Reissue of 56031
MRL 360 A Time for Blues Arbee Stidham
MRL 361 Sarah Vaughan with Michel Legrand Sarah Vaughan
MRL 362 Alice Clark Alice Clark
MRL 363 Dance of Allegra Pete Yellin
MRL 364 Yesterday Various Artists Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Wardell Gray, Dave Lambert, Benny Green, Allen Eager - Reissue of 56025
MRL 365 Siku Ya Bibi (Day of the Lady) Charles McPherson
MRL 366 Woga Charles Kynard
MRL 367 Damisi Harold Land
MRL 368 Driftin'Blues Charles Brown Reissue of 56007
MRL 369 Softly Ruth Brown Reissue of 56034
MRL 370 Smokin' Curtis Fuller
MRL 371 Gentle Eyes Art Farmer
MRL 372 Six by Six Maynard Ferguson Reissue of 56060
MRL 373 Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyet Quintet Clark Terry Bob Brookmeyer Quintet Reissue of 56086
MRL 374 Blues' Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 375 Mannekind Shelly Manne
MRL 376 Family Paul Jeffrey
MRL 377 Ellerine Ellerine Harding
MRL 378 A Little Lovin' Mel Dancy
MRL 379 Feelin' Good Sarah Vaughan
MRL 380 Furioso Reggie Moore
MRL 381 Stickball Charles Williams
MRL 382 Scatbird Barry Miles
MRL 383 Bertha Belle Browne Bertha Belle Browne
MRL 384 Bananas Are Not Created Equal Jay Berliner
MRL 385 Ups 'n Downs Bud Powell
MRL 386 Daahoud Max Roach and Clifford Brown
MRL 387 I Want You Carmen McRae Compilation of tracks from 56028, 56044 and 56065
MRL 388 Freedom Jazz Dance The Night Blooming Jazzmen
MRL 389 Your Mama Don't Dance Charles Kynard
MRL 390 Watershed Paul Jeffrey
MRL 391 Lean on Him Buddy Terry
MRL 392 The Last Tango = Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 393 Our Way (Tahka-Tahka) The Barry Sisters
MRL 394 Soul Makossa Afrique
MRL 395 Today's Man Charles McPherson
MRL 396 Windows Jack Wilkins
MRL 397 It's the Right Thing Pete Yellin
MRL 398 Inner Journey Hal Galper
MRL 399 March 1936 Andy Kirk and His 12 Clouds of Joy
MRL 400 Graffiti Blues Blue Mitchell
MRL 401 Live in Japan Sarah Vaughan
MRL 402 Many Shades of Blue Blue Mitchell
MRL 403 Live & Doin' It Carmen McRae
MRL 404 Sarah Vaughan with the Jimmy Rowles Quintet Sarah Vaughan
MRL 405 Low Down Dirty Blues Lightnin' Hopkins
MRL 406 Paul Jeffrey Paul Jeffrey
MRL 407 Going Down Slow Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee / Peppermint Harris
MRL 408 Jazz Various Artists Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Blue Mitchell, Joe Sample, Stanley Clarke, Freddy Robinson, Hadley Caliman, Buddy Terry, Woody Shaw, Eddie Henderson
MRL 409 Billie Holiday Revisited By Various Artists Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Morgana King and Others
MRL 410 Guitar Players Various Artists
MRL 411 Frank Turba Frank Turba
MRL 412 Send in the Clowns Sarah Vaughan
MRL 413 Booty Various Artists Blue Mitchell, Roy Haynes, Charles Kynard, Charles Williams
MRL 414 Dr. Slingshot The Amboy Dukes Compilation of tracks from 56104 and S6112
MRL 415 Red Light The Stroziers
MRL 416 The Don Burrows Quartet at the Sydney Opera House Don Burrows
MRL 417 Looking Backwards to Tomorrow Jeannie Lewis
MRL 418 Black Blood Black Blood
MRL 419 More Sarah Vaughan Live in Japan Sarah Vaughan
MRL 420 The Lonely One Terry Huff and Special Delivery
MRL 421 Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes Compilation of tracks from S6104, S6112 and S6118


  1. ^ Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 685. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ Stewart, Zan (26 July 1991). "Mainstream Returns With 24 CDs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ Edwards, D., Callahan, Eyries, P., Watts, R. & Neely, T. Discography of the Mainstream Label (Preview), accessed October 18, 2014