Sonobeat ArtistsCommercial Vinyl Releases (Chronological)
1972-1974: no releases
How Sonobeat catalogued its releases
Sonobeat used a simple alphanumeric cataloging scheme to identify its commercial singles and commercial and demo album releases. Singles used a letter code followed by three numbers, and commercially-released albums used letter codes followed by four numbers. On singles, the catalog number appears in the left central portion of the label.
The first one or two letters indicate the general musical genre of the release:
C = country
G = gospel
P or PS or PV = pop vocal
PF = pop folk
PJ or P-J = pop jazz
R = rock or rhythm & blues
Following the genre code, an "s" or "S" designates a stereo release and "m" or "M", a monaural release. A complete catalog number would appear as, for example, R-s111, indicating a rock or rhythm & blues single in stereo. Plymouth Rock's single Memorandum was miscatalogued as R-s114. Because it was issued only in a monaural mix, it properly should have been R-m114. Sonobeat stopped using the stereo/mono designators in 1975.
Singles released in 1967 were sequentially numbered within a block of numbers assigned to each genre: rock singles were numbered in the 100s, pop vocals in the 400s, and pop jazz in the 500s. For example, R-s101 was the Sweetarts' A Picture of Me (also Sonobeat's first release); Sonobeat's second release was the Lee Arlano Trio's pop jazz instrumental, PJ-s501; Sonobeat's third release was Don Dean's pop vocal, PV-s401; and R-s102, a single by Lavender Hill Express, was simultaneously Sonobeat's fourth 45 RPM release and its second rock release. In 1968, the awkward block numbering system was replaced with a simplified system: while still using the genre prefix, all singles were sequentially numbered, as released, from 103 through 122.
The David Flack Quorum's 1976 album Mindbender broke pattern and was released as DFQS-100, the letters meaning "David Flack Quorum Stereo". Sonobeat's final release, Helmer Dahl's 1976 album Toe-Tapping Tunes, was released as S7976, which seems to be an "out of the blue" catalog number but was actually assigned by the record pressing plant as the next sequential number in its lacquer mastering queue.
Sonobeat's non-commercial album releases – primarily the Sonosong catalog demo albums – used a different cataloging system: the letter codes were either HEC or WEJ, and the numbers followed a system assigned by Sonobeat co-founder Bill Josey Sr. "WEJ" represent Bill Sr.'s initials. Although we're not certain, "HEC" appear to be the initials of the lacquer mastering engineer at Sidney J. Wakefield & Company, which mastered and pressed singles and albums for Sonobeat from 1968 through 1971 and again in 1976.