Ah, Tiger Lily - the king of tax scam labels. Yeah, Morris Levy's Roulette-affiliated Tiger Lily seems to be

the tax scam label that attracts the most attention.  It certainly gets my vote for having the most interesting 

catalog, though like all of the tax scam labels, there's plenty of chaff mixed in with the good stuff.  

 

                     

 

So here's the Wikipedia entry on the label: "Tiger Lily Records was a record label that was run by roulette

Records founder Morris Levy.  Purportedly it was a tax scam created by Levy and was never intended to 

make a profit. Tiger Lily's modus operandi was to acquire demo tapes from artists and then release them 

without the artists consent and sometimes without even the artist's knowledge. The most prominent artist 

to have a record released by Tiger Lily was Richard Pryor whose album "L.A. Jail" was released by Tiger 

Lily in 1976."

So like most things in life, it turns out that's somewhat of an oversimplification.  Acquiring demos tapes and

releasing them without the artist's knowledge, or consent was definitely one of the gambits Tiger Lily used, 

but there were other schemes.  In some instances the company seems to have legitimately acquired rights

to material.  Check out Dr, Barry Fields describing the band Airborne's relationship with Tiger Lily.  Tiger Lily

also seems to have had a relationship with Joel Ross' Fat Chance Productions, with a number of albums

deriving from material recorded for Ross (Steven Hines Band, C.M. Lord, Walrus).  Tiger Lily also had some

sort of corporate relationship with Artie Ripp's Family Records with a number of 1972 Family releases 

reappearing on Tiger Lily (Velvert Turner Group, Peter Anders, Billay, and 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).  

 

All that said, Tiger Lily's history remains largely unknown, though it's widely accepted that the label was set 

up as an attempt to capitalize on mid-1970s tax law loopholes that allowed a company to take substantial tax 

write offs for investment expenses such as recording costs that failed to generate profits and to offset profits 

that were made by a legitimate label such as Roulette.  The fact that Tiger Lily invested little or nothing in 

signing artists and recording material doesn't seem to have been a ethical problem for the owners.  The label 

only seems to have been operational for a short period (1976-1977), releasing a series of 58 known 

albums, though their are significant gaps in the catalog indicating there may have been quite a few more that 

are simply unknown.  Some of the Tiger Lily catalog is common and easy to obtain (Richard Pryor's "L.A. Jail"), 

other releases are extremely rare with suitably high prices - try finding a copy of "Daddy Warbucks 1", or 

"Dakota".

 

An added irony is found in the fact some of the Tiger Lily catalog has been reissued by Japanese labels - 

bootleggers bootlegging the bootlegger ...  A couple of the rarer and more expensive Tiger Lily releases such

as The Jackson Sisters and Stonewall are now widely available as vinyl reissues.

 

Here's an interesting tidbit I pulled off of an eBay ad for a Tiger Lily LP:

"In 1988 I visited a woman who worked for Tiger Lily Records-she had been the total staff! They consisted 

of one room, a desk, a chair, a phone and a door with their name on it."

 

For all his flaws, Morris Levy is a fascinating character, but as far as I can tell, there's never been a biography on

the guy.  About the closest thing I've come across is Frederick Dannen's book Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast 

Money Inside the Music Business.  There's a chapter largely devoted to Levy, providing extensive information on 

his background and music business career.  Not exactly he most inspirational story you've ever read ...

 

My site's far from complete, but as far as I can tell, it has the most comprehensive collection of Tiger Lily

album covers (including a couple of images I've never seen on the net), and has a fairly extensive write up 

for those Tiger Lily albums that I own or have heard.  For what it's worth, I've never seen other on-line 

descriptions for such rarities as "Airborne", Scott Berry's "Morning Glory", or "Woodstock Revival".

 

Recent additions to my Tiger Lily discography include:

- Dr. Barry Fields talking about his band Airborne.

- Richard Billay talking about the band Billay.  

- August 2010 saw an email from Ellen Shipley asking for information with respect to the Fields and Shipley Tiger Lily 

release.  Ms. Shipley was apparently unaware of the fact the LP had been released and was interested in tracking down 

a copy, as well as information on the releasing label.

- March 2012  I heard from Tom Saviano who was surprised to discover that Tiger Lily had released an album by his 

'70s band Odyssey 

 

Some of these LPs are for sale with set prices.  The rest reflect an estimated value based on past sales, or 

just pure speculation on my uninformed part.  Yeah, some of these are clearly big ticket items !!!

 

Interesting tidbit from James Baird: "I found out recently that the Vadim label out of France reissued Bobby Boyd on 

CD and vinyl.   http://www.vadimmusic.com/"   Wonder how they got the rights to this rarity ...

 

 

As always, if you've got something to add, feel free to send me an email at: RDTEN1@aol.com

 

 

Recent additions:

 

2010

August 18 2010 - added information on catalog number TL-14063 (Steven Soles)

September 14 2010 - received and email from Steve Sherman with contact information and an interest in talking 

                                     about his Tiger Lily experience

October 23 1010 - added write-up and image of Richard Grasso's "Season of Grace"

November 21 2010 - finally got around to adding a review of Steve Sherman's "It Is What It Is ..."

December 15 2010 - added a picture of the Shipley and Fields LP (thanks to Jay Ferchuad for the photo)

December 20 2010 - added a picture of The Calliope LP and a brief review of the album

December 29 2010 - added a picture of the Dobie Gray LP and an interesting Tiger Lily related snippet I pulled  off an eBay listing.

 

2011

August 12, 2011 - added photo of the rare Onion "Made from Plate" LP courtesy of Ken Hagelthorn

August 12, 2011 - increased the size of the LP images to 144 x 144 

August 24, 2011 - added review of Onion "Made from Plate" LP

May 12, 2012 - added photos of Odyssey and Daddy Warbucks LPs

 

2012

May 15, 2012 - added review of Odyssey LP

May 25, 2012 - added photo of Bill Rinehart LP

August 9, 2012 - added review of Glenn Faria LP

October 24, 2012 - added a photo of the Fields and Shipley LP

December 10, 2012 - added a photo of Too Smooth LP

December 14, 2012 - added a photo of Frankie Carr LP

December 24, 2012 - added a review of "Shields & Foley" LP

 

2013

May 12, 2013 - added email received from Dan Chapman, one of the writers on The "Onion" LP.  See the write-up for that LP for

the full email.

August 27, 2013 - added email received from Steve Fields of the Shipley and Felds LP

October 12, 2013 - added photo of Steven Soles LP courtesy of Michael Kucharski (thanks Mike)

 

2014

Feb 18, 2014 - added a review for the Tim Rose "Unfinished Song" LP

Mar 14, 2014 - Thanks to Frank Marcski for providing information on TL 14041 Jim Armstrong "Feels Like Spiders"  Here's what 

Frank had to say about the LP itself: 

 

I found the record here in the UK at a flea market for 50c , it seems well produced crediting Mick Guzowski  (Guzauski ? ) as 

engineer and mentions House of Guitars , so I'm guessing it has connections with the New York area [actually Rochester, 

New York].   I  have drawn a blank on info about Jim Armstrong , and the music publishing company Whazoo .  

 

May 22, 2014 - Frank Marcski did some additional research on TL 14041 Jim Armstrong "Feels Like Spiders": 

 

Hi Scott , 

I've done a bit more digging on Jim Armstrong , and think he could be the same guy that played with the Irish band Them , 

he was based in the States and formed a couple of bands in the late 60,s early 70,s. The guitar playing is the highlight ( Jims forte ) ,

and there is very good production ( jJms good connections ), but the vocals are not for everyone , OK for an indie label , but not  

a chart topper for a major , or a radio play winner .   I can send you a couple of complete sound files via Divshare if you are 

interested , I would appreciate your comments.

Frank M 

 

 

July 24, 2014 - Added photo of the Charlie Starr LP

Nov 09, 2014 - Added photo of previously unknown Breeze "Soft Wind & Summer Night" LP

 

 

2015

Jan 03, 2015 - Added picture of Adam Taylor's "Adam Taylor" LP

Jan 03, 2015 - Added picture of Chopper "Live In New York" LP

Jan 30, 2015 - Added a phoyo of Tata Vega "Tata Vega and Friends" LP

 

2016:

Nov 18, 2016 - Added review of Libby Titus LP

 

Based on the catalog numbering (by no means a safe bet), assuming there were 71 releases in the Tiger Lily catalog, I've not found

photos for 59 of the releases.   There are four known releases where I haven't been able to locate a photo of the LP.  That leaves 98

gaps in the catalog.  Getting there.

 

 

 

 

 

LP cover Artist   LP Title Label Catalog Year Grading

Price


To see a brief album description and track listing, be sure to click on the 'Artist'  name.  

Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels: Live I Tiger Lily TL-14001 1977 VG+ cover / VG+ LP FOR SALE $150.00

Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels Jerry Corbitt and Charlie Daniels: Live II Tiger Lily TL-14002 1976 country-rock est. $300 - $400

Titus, Libby Libby Titus Tiger Lily TL 14003 1976 VG+ cover / VG+ LP FOR SALE $60.00

Darius Brubeck & Friends Darius Brubeck & Friends Tiger Lily TL-14004 1976 jazz FOR SALE $50.00

Berry, Scott Morning Glory Tiger Lily TL-14005 1976 VG+ / VG+; small cut out hole top right corner

FOR SALE $350.00


Dakota Dakota Tiger Lily TL-14006 1976   est. $300 - $350

Daddy Warbucks 1 Tiger Lily TL-14007 1976   est. $4,000

Gordon, Jon Jon Gordon Tiger Lily TL 14008 1976 NM / NM; still in shrink wrap (opened0 FOR SALE $350.00

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14009 1976    

various artists Reading Festival Featuring Rod Stewart Tiger Lily TL-14010 1976 rock FOR SALE $100.00

Lewis, David Just Mollie and Me Tiger Lily TL 14011 1976 VG / VG; cut out hole top right corner; minor ring wear FOR SALE $200.00

Starr, Charlie Charlie Starr Tiger Lily TL-14012 1976   est. $150 - $200

Stonewall Stonewall Tiger Lily TL-14013 1976 rock est. $1,500

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14014 1976    

Breeze Soft Wind & Summer Night Tiger Lily TL-14015 1976 pop  

Too Smooth Too Smooth Tiger Lily TL-14016 1976    

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14017 1976    

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14018 1976    

Tata Tega Tata Vega and Friends Tiger Lily TL-14019 1976 soul  

Bill Rinehart Dynamite Tiger Lily TL-14020 1976 pop est. $1,000.00

Steven Hines Band It Takes So Long, But It's Worth Waiting for Tiger Lily TL-14021 1976 rock FOR SALE $200.00

Gray, Dobie Dobie Gray Tiger Lily TL-14022 1976 soul FOR SALE $60.00

Pryor, Richard L.A. Jail Tiger Lily TL-14023 1976 comedy est. $20 - $40

Taylor, Adam Adam Taylor Tiger Lily TL-14024 1976   est. $200 - $250

Keane, Calvin Calvin Keane Tiger Lily TL 14025 1976 VG+ / VG+; minor discoloration on sleeve edges  SOLD  $350.00

Howard, James Newton James Newton Howard Tiger Lily TL-14026 1976 progressive  est. $100 - $150

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14027 1976    

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14028 1976    

Hobo Grin Star Arisen' Tiger Lily TL-14029 1976    

Velvert Turner Group Velvert Turner Group Tiger Lily TL-14030 1976   est. $200 - $250

Odyssey Electric One Tiger Lily TL 14031 1976 VG+ / VG+ FOR SALE $500.00

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14032 1976    

Billay Sleepy Hollow Tiger Lily TL 14033 1977 VG+ / VG+; cut out hole top right corner

SOLD  $175.00


Heavy Cruiser Heavy Cruiser Tiger Lily TL-14034 1976   est. $400 - $450

Clarke, Linda Yes, Indeed! Tiger Lily TL-14035 1976 soul FOR SALE $100.00

Sherman, Steve It Is What It Is ... Tiger Lily TL-14036 1976 VG+ / VG+; still in shrink wrap (opened) FOR SALE $175.00

King, Clydie Rushing To Meet You Tiger Lily TL-14037 1976 soul est. $400 - $500

Walrus, Oliver Me, Myself & I Tiger Lily TL-14038 1976   est. $300 - $350

Gordon, Alan The ExtraGordonary Band Tigre Lily TL-14039 1976   $1,500 - $1,600

Onion Made from Plate Tiger Lily TL 14040 1976 VG+ / VG+; small cut out hole top right corner FOR SALE $900.00

Jim Anderson Feels Like Spiders Tiger Lily TL-14041 1976 progressive unknown

T'Songo T'Songo Tiger Lily TL-14042 1976 jazz-rock est. $150 - $200

James Cahoon Lindsay Band Kinky Mersey Tiger Lily TL 14043 1976 rock for sale $100.00

Carr, Frankie Frankie Carr Tiger Lily TL-14044 1976   est. $200 - $300

Airborne Airborne Tiger Lily TL 14045 1976 VG+ / VG+

SOLD $150.00


Jon Holbrook Experience Miserable You Tiger Lily TL-14046 1976   est. $300 - $350

Woodstock Revival Cruisin' In Time Tiger Lily TL 14047 1977 VG+ / VG+; still in shrink wrap (opened)

for sale $250.00


Crack Day of Doom Tiger Lily TL-14048 1976 rock est. $300 - $350

Spanky Lee and Johnny Lee Spanky and Johnny Tiger Lily TL-14049 1976   est. $600 - $700

Chopper  Live In New York Tiger Lily TL-14050 1976   est. $300 - $350

Cotter, Robert  Missing You Tiger Lily TL-14051 1976 soul est. $300 - $350

unknown unknown Tiger Lily TL-14052 1976    

James, Jay Good Times & Bad Times Tiger Lily TK-14053 1976 VG+ / VG+ for sale $125.00

Steve Drake Band Nature Intended Tiger Lily TL 14054 1977 VG / VG+; small cut out hole top right corner for sale $300.00

Rose, Tim Unfinished Songs Tiger Lily TK-14055 1976 VG+ / VG+ FOR SALE $425.00

Fields & Shipley Fields & Shipley Tiger Lily TL 14056 1976 VG / VG+; water damaged to lower right corner

FOR SALE $300.00


Claude & Sherry Claude & Sherry Tiger Lily TK-14057 1976   est. $300 - $350

Glenn Faria Glenn Faria Tiger Lily TK-14058 1976 VG+ / VG+ SOLD $500.00

Scoggins, John Pressed for Time Tiger Lily TK-14059 1976  

FOR SALE

$350.00


Mead, David I'm On Stage Tiger Lily TK-14060 1976   est. $300 - $350

Jackson Sisters, The The Jackson Sisters Tiger Lily TK-14061 1976 soul est. $500 - $600

Together Together Tiger Lily TL-14062 1976   est. $300 - $350

Soles, Steve Steve Soles and Friends Tiger Lily TL-14063 1976   est. $200 - $300

Anders, Peter Peter Anders Tiger Lily TL-14064 1976   est. $300 - $350

Sounds of the City Experience Sounds of the City Experience Tiger Lily TL-14065 1976 soul $1,700 - $1,800

Boyd, Bobby Bobby Boyd Tiger Lily TL-14066 1976 soul $1,300 - $1,400

Jade, Roland 12 For the Road Tiger Lily TL-14067 1976 folk-rock FOR SALE $70.00

Grasso, Richard Season of Grace Tiger Lily TL-14068 1976 VG / VG+; minor ring wear and cut out hole top right corner' four inch seam split along top edge FOR SALE $150.00

Calliope Calliope Tiger Lily TL 14069 1976 pop; big band

FOR SALE $100.00


Brother Bait Brother Bait Tiger Lily TL 14070 1976 VG+ / VG+ FOR SALE $175.00

Brother Bait Alive Tiger Lily TL-14071 1976 rock est. $100 - $150

Tata Vega Tata Vega Tiger Lily TL-140?? 1976 soul est. $100 - $150

 

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