Santo Records was a record label based in Memphis, Tennessee. It was one of these small companies that popped up after Sun hit with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and other rockabilly singers. It was started in the early 1960s by singer Wayne McGinnis. McGinnis was originially from Mississippi County, Arkansas, and moved to Memphis around 1953. There he performed in a band with guitarist Billy Joe Miller, playing a mixture between jazz and country. He later joined Slim Wallace's Dixie Ramblers along with Billy Lee Riley, Jack Clement, Bob Deckelman, and Ramon Maupin.
When Wallace set up his label Fernwood Records in 1956, McGinnis was amongst those who recorded a couple of songs in Wallace's garage studio, which remained unissued. He then unsuccessfully auditioned at Sun Records before finally signing with Lester Bihari's Meteor record label, also based in Memphis. There he formed the Swing Teens with Billy Joe Miller on lead guitar and Curley Wilson on bass, recording "Rock, Roll and Rhythm" b/w "Lonesome Rhythm Blues."
Santo had also a sublabel called San Wayne Records.
Wayne McGinnis also had other business interests and eventually concentrated on his work as a business man, retiring from performing. What has happened to Santo and McGinnis? Well, one of those many questions in rockabilly history. The last known release on Santo was by David Wilson in 1964 or 1965. Discographical info came mostly from here. Note that this site states that Santo was a subsidiary of Fernwood. In fact, McGinnis bought Fernwood Records after the label's home on North Main Street was destroyed in 1968. Eventually, he sold the Fernwood and Santo master tapes to Dave Travis, owner of the reisssue label Stomper Time Records. Concerning Santo recording artist Darrell Tatum and the label itself, Larry Manuel said:
I've checked all my sources here in Memphis and have come up with almost nothing. Stan Kessler remembers a Santo label but never heard of Darrell Tatum.
(from Dead Wax blog, thanks to Bob)
|"Moderate Sales Potential", review in Billboard July 3, 1961|
Billboard ad from December 5, 1970.
|Billboard ad from April 7, 1962|
500: Holidays (feat. Darrell Tatum's guitar) - Dark Valley / Desperate (1961)
501: Darrell Tatum - Battle Hymn of the Republic / Dixie (1961)
502: Sylvia Mobley - All By Myself / If I Had You Again (1962)
503: Ace Cannon - Sugar Blues / 38 Special (1962)
504: Eddie Carroll - I'm Sorry / Wait Eternally (1962)
506: Ace Cannon - Rest / Big Shot
750: Eddie Lanehart - Georgia Sun / Bad Weed
9001: Larry Wayne - Tag-a-Long / Dialing Your Number
9005: Harold Dorman - There on Yonder Hill / In an Instant (1962)
9006: Red West Combo - My Babe / Bossa Nova Bomsa (1963)
9007: Red Williams - With the Wind / ?
9008: Anita Wood - Two Young Fools in Love / Memories of You
9009-9049: [possibly there were no records released with these numbers]
9050: Red Williams - I Can't Believe (This Has Happened to Me) / Love's Not Worth It
9051: Harold Dorman - Ain't Gonna Change / What Comes Next (1963)
9052: Bobby Lee Trammell - Hi-O Silver / Don't You Know (I Love You) (1964))
9053: Thomas Wayne - Stop the River / 8th Wonder of the World (1964)
9054: Anita Wood - Dream Baby / This Has Happened Before
9058: David Wilson - Jamie / With All My Heart
Sources: Adam Komorowski, Rockin' Country Style, Santo Records discography, Bob