The eternally uncool, unloved Embassy Records was one of the most successful and profitable UK record labels of the 50s & 60s, yet you won’t find any of their best sellers listed in the Official Charts book, and you never heard them on the wireless, either. The reason for their non-appearance in the various UK hit parades was simple; Woolworths were never a Chart Return shop! But the hard fact remains that most Embassy releases sold in their tens – some, in their hundreds – of thousands, and many outsold the actual UK hit versions. Launched in Nov. 1954, after Jacques and Morris Levy, owners of Oriole Records, fought off a rival bid from Planet Records to record and manufacture versions of current songs, to be sold exclusively through Woolworths’ stores. The concept was perfect; two proven contemporary hits, back-to-back, at budget price.
Ironically they’ve now, belatedly, started to become highly ‘collectable’.