So why am I interested in Artie Ripp's, short-lived, Los Angeles-based Family Productions label?   True, the 

label released Billy Joel's 1972 debut "Cold Spring Harbor" (though they managed to screw up the master tapes

leaving Joel sounding like a member of Alvin & the Chipmunks).  However that's not the reason for my interest.  

The label also interesting for released an album with an eye catching and, for the mid-1970s, extremely risque 

cover - Mama Lion's "Preserve Wildlife".  


Though the Lynn Carey cover would alone be a good reason to check out the Family catalog, my interest 

stems from the fact Family Productions appears to have been a 'feeder' label for Morris Levy's infamous 

Tiger Lily tax scam label.  Family only released about 15 albums, but at least four of those titles

subsequently reappeared on the Tiger Lily imprint.  There's also a James Newton Howard solo album that

was recorded for Family, but never released.  The resulting tapes showed up as a Tiger Lily album - 

"James Newton Howard" (catalog number TL-14026).  Admittedly that's not a gigantic number, but its still 

statistically significant and probably something more than a fluke.  The fact that Ripp had an industry 

reputation for taking advantage of acts he signed (Billly Joel was reportedly pressured into signing away all 

publishing rights, copyrights, and royalties for a 15 year period), would seem to lend some degree of 

credence to a backroom deal between the two parties.  So why weren't all of the Family albums reissued 

on Tiger Lily?  This is nothing more than speculation on my part, but by the time Tiger Lily started releasing 

material in the 1976-1977 timeframe, an act like Billy Joel had already become a known quantity on the 

market and would have attracted way too much attention for a label like Tiger Lily which was looking to avoid 

the spotlight and sales.  Ditto for an act like Lynn Carey and Mama Lion, or Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.  

Not top-40 superstar acts, but well known enough to undermine the tax scam concept.  Also worth pointing 

out is the fact there are still some major gaps in the Tiger Lily discography (15 by my count), so we don't really 

known the full extent of the the Family - Tiger Lily relationship. For what it's worth, you can see the cross-label 

relationships below.


Recent additions:



June 30 2011 - added in-depth review of Spooner Oldham LP

April 14 2011 - added review for "Brown Dust"



March 8th 2014 - added a review of "Bloody Mary"



January 20th 2016 - added photo of Jim Mandell "Metamorphosis" LP





LP cover Artist   LP Title Label catalog  Year Tiger Lily cover

Tiger Lily title

Tiger Lily catalog

Billy Joel Cold Spring Harbor Family FPS-2700 1972 none none none

Brown Dust Brown Dust Family FPS-2701 1972 none none none

Mama Lion Preserve Wildlife Family FPS-2702 1972 none none none

Spooner Oldham Pot Luck Family FPS-2703 1972 none none none

Velvet Turner Group Velvet Turner Group Family FPS-2704 1972 Velvet Turner Group TL-14030

Peter Andress Peter Andress Family FPS-2705 1972 Peter Anders TL-14064

Heavy Cruiser Heavy Cruiser Family FPS 2706 1972 VG+ cover / VG+ LP  


Bloody Mary Bloody Mary Family FPS-2707 1972 VG+ cover / VG+ LP none SOLD $70.00

Sleepy Hollow Sleepy Hollow Family FPS-2708 1972 Billay TL-14033

      FPS-2709 1972      

      FPS-2710 1972      

Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods Special Someone  Family FPS- 2011 1973 none none none

Heavy Cruiser Lucky Dog Family FPS-2712 1973 none none none

Mama Lion Give It Everything I've Got Family FPS-2713 1973 none none none

Tidbits Welcome To Jamaica Family FPS-2714 1973 none none none

Mandell, Jim Metamor- phosis Family FPS-2715 1973 none none none