Since its mid-century formation in San Francisco, CA., FANTASY RECORDS has stood for inspired artistry, fearless vision and fierce independence. Built on a foundation of essential American soul, blues, jazz and rock, Fantasy continues to epitomize an audacious, modern approach to both record making and music marketing. Fantasy is a home for innovative, authentic artists whose music impacts the world.
Our current artist roster includes: James Taylor, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Paul Simon, Prophets Of Rage, Seether, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ry Cooder, Valerie June, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Switchfoot, Gov’t Mule, elbow, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, The Marcus King Band, and Van William.
Fantasy Records: A Legacy:
Founded in 1949 in an alley off San Francisco’s Market Street by brothers Max and Sol Weiss, Fantasy’s initial signing was an Oakland pianist named Dave Brubeck. The iconoclastic label went on to record music and cultural giants such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Odetta, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, as well as comic icon Lenny Bruce, and influential Beat poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Allen Ginsberg.
Fantasy also acquired and breathed new life into legendary soul music label Stax Records, and along with Speciality, Prestige, Riverside, Milestone, Bluesville, Pablo, Takoma and Kicking Mule, amassed the greatest collection of jazz, soul, funk and roots music found anywhere in the world.
Local Boys Make Good:
An El Cerrito, CA garage band called The Blue Velvets, led by a Fantasy shipping clerk John Fogerty, signed with company in 1964. After rechristening themselves, The Golligwogs, and then Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1967, the quartet recorded a string of gold and platinum records and million-selling singles, including “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” “Down on the Corner,” and “Born on the Bayou,” among many others. In 1970, they outsold the Beatles.
And in 1965, Fantasy recording artist, Vince Guaraldi, a local jazz pianist, was contacted to compose the music for a documentary about Charles Schulz and his Peanuts comic strip. Though the documentary was never released, Guaraldi’s musical themes were repurposed for the animated holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas which aired in December of that year spawning a multi-platinum selling, perennial holiday classic.