The Little Label With Big Stars
The lion sleeps tonight, but the puppy is wide awake. B.T. Puppy Records is back, and is scratching its way and clawing through the indie world. B.T. Puppy Records, originally the brain child of the world famous Tokens, originators of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, is running rampant in a record industry sworn to keep the indies down. The label was originally formed in the mid 1960s, and was the home of many hit 60s and 70s artists whose songs remain rock and roll classics. The label was responsible for gold record acts like The Happenings (See You In September, I Got Rhythm), and The Tokens (The Lion Sleeps Tonight). In addition The Tokens as producers were responsible for such acts as The Chiffons (He's So Fine, One Fine Day), Randy and The Rainbows (Denise), and Tony Orlando and Dawn (Tie A Yellow Ribbon, Knock Three Times), The label stayed dormant for close to twenty years until the Lion roared its popular head with the release in late 1993 of the Tokens' CD entitled Oldies Are Now. In addition, the re-issue of The Lost Tokens Album Intercourse, has attracted the attention of record collectors, reviewers, and fans worldwide. Several previously unreleased tracks were released on the Unscrewed album in 1999.
Spearheaded by Rusti Wolintz and the Tokens' kid sister, Maxine Margo, B.T. Puppy has expanded to offices on both coasts with Oglio Records handling the pressing and distribution. Noah Margo (a Token child and drummer) is VP in charge of A&R and is the in-house staff writer. Dale Sloat is Creative Director of Graphic Arts, whose Power Macs have given B.T. Puppy products, advertisments and catalogs the professional touch. Ari Margo (Mitch Margo's younger son), is the webmaster. Phil and Mitch Margo, original Tokens and label co-chairs, continue to tour with the band all over the world and they continue to produce new albums for themselves and other artists.
Before anyone could say Wimoweh, B.T. Puppy had records in Tokens' bins all over the United States and Japan, all this before Timon and Pumba sang The Lion Sleeps Tonight in Disney's The Lion King. B.T. Puppy Records is a young company with old soul. It is building itself on big ideas from little resources. The Tokens most recent project is, Unscrewed. Prior to Unscrewed was the Latin Album, titled, Esta Noche El Leon Baila (Tonight, The Lion Dances). This half-Latin, half-English album will plaster a smile on your face and put a song in your step that will be harder to get rid of than the sunshine in southern Spain.
B.T. Puppy Records has re-established itself to promote great music and fill the air waves with sounds from the roots of rock and roll, and the roots yet to grow.