Posted by themusicsover on April 9, 2011
March 30, 1917 – April 9, 2011
Randy Wood was a successful music industry executive who is perhaps best remembered for being the man behind Dot Records. Wood had just returned home after serving in World War II when he opened an appliance store in Gallatin, Texas. When he started music – mostly pop and classical albums – young customers began coming in, but asking for the rhythm & blues records they heard on a powerful station from faraway Nashville, Tennessee. Wood quickly realized there was a need for a mail-order record business, and 78RPM was born. By sponsoring a show on that Nashville station, WLAC-AM, spots for Randy’s Record Shop’s mail-order services could be heard clear across the United States and beyond. With the income he was realizing from orders, Wood soon launched Dot Records out of the store. The label quickly turned a profit as Wood figured out that white performers singing watered-down R&B songs was a recipe for success. His artists like Pat Boone were turning songs by Little Richard and Fats Domino into pop hits while helping to further popularize the R&B singers as well. Others he signed to Dot included Lawrence Welk, Tab Hunter, Debbie Reynolds, and the Mills Brothers. The label was one of the most successful independent record companies of its time. In 1968, Wood partnered with Welk to launch Ranwood Records in order to release records by artists mostly associated with the Lawrence Welk Show. Welk purchased the label from Wood in 1979. Randy Wood passed away on April 9, 2011. He was 94.