Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Plastic Products


The Plastic Products pressing plant on Chelsea Avenue, Memphis
Many independend record labels from 1955 on used such big custom pressing services as Rite from Cincinnati or RCA's pressing plant from New Jersey. One of the smaller independent pressing plants was Buster Williams' Plastic Products from Memphis, who served the whole south in the early 1950s. Among the now famous record labels which pressed records at Plastic Products were Sun, Meteor, Hi, Fernwood, and many others.

Robert E. "Buster" Williams was an experienced business man when he set up Plastic Products in 1949. He had worked as a distributor for Wurlitzer in the Memphis area and by the end of World War II, he had founded Music Sales together with Clarence Camp on 680 Union Avenue in Memphis. Soon after its founding, the company began distributing for many independent labels, including Gild-Edge, Mercury, Excelsior, Exclusive, National, Sterling, and many others. An office in New Orleans was organized and Music Sales became a succesful record distributor in the South and South-West.

Billboard ad from its March 9, 1957, issue. "Shipments made from PLASTIC PRODUCTS, Memphis, and SOUTHERN PLASTICS, Nashville.
A talented entrepreneur, Williams sensed that there was a gap in the market and founded his pressing plant "Plastic Products Incorporated" in Memphis on 746 Chelsea Avenue. Later, Lester Bihari's Meteor record label would be based just down the street. Plastic Products soon became the favorite plant among many labels in the South. When Sam Phillips founded Sun Records, he began using Buster Williams' plant as well as Music Sales for distribution. Hi, Fernwood, Meteor, Stax, Holiday Inn, and other labels pressed their records there, too.

By 1971, Plastic Products was still in business but I don't know when it finally folded. Any more info is appreciated.

6 comments:

Uncle Gil said...

Howdy my friend, this is pure coincidence... I posted this night a "Plastic Products" item and the invoice... "When great spirits...." !!!

Mellow said...

Saw your post today, crazy! I heard of that record, always thought it was a repro. But it's from the 1970s, right?

Uncle Gil said...

Right! It was pressed in 1975 as the invoice said...

Mellow said...

Strange thing, two Memphis 1950s rockers on a 1970s incarnation of the Erwin label...

Tanya jha said...

I had visited your website which was really good Plastic Manufacturer

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