It was the year 1961. Joe Lee, Bill Keisker, Ed Cooper, and Charles Moyers set up the Variety Recording Studio on 213 East Monroe Street in Jonesboro and created the Alley label. Keisker, who was a retired physician from Jonesboro, built the studio's control board himself. Eventually, Joe Lee became the sole owner of Alley and Variety. Previously, he had recorded and worked as an A&R manager for Fernwoord Records out of Memphis. Lee later also recorded for his label. Apart from Alley, Lee also ran Jon-Ark and the Papa Joe's label. Variety also served as a custom recording service for other musicians who did not recorded for Lee's record labels.
|Billboard review from May 26, 1962|
Others who recorded for Alley were Arkanas rockabilly singer Larry Donn, Kenny Owens, Jimmy Doyle Payne (Trammell's bass player), Ray Coble, the Exquires, and many others. The Folk Swingers, who made a guest appearance on the WSM Grand Ole Opry, had a single on the label as well as the Pacers, who were under contract with Razorback from Newport. Bobby Crafford, owner of Razorback and a member of the Pacers, had leased the masters to Alley. From 1962 on, 146 singles were released on Alley. In the 1990s, the studio burned down and many of the tapes were destroyed. By that time, Alley was already closed down. In 2006, Ram Records issued a compilation with 18 Alley recordings.
A detailed discography can be found on Arkansas 45rpm Records.
Sources: Delta Boogie, Sheree Homer/Ken Burke: "Catch that Rockabilly Fever"