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Little Known Black History Fact: Laff Records

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Laff Records was a West Coast-based recording label that featured many top comedians of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Specializing in so-called “blue humor,” bawdy comics like Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and LaWanda Page found a home for their style of comedy, which pushed them into prominence into the mainstream.

The label was based in Los Angeles and was started by Jewish businessman, Louis Drozen. A well-known party record label, Dootoo Records, went under which gave Drozen the proper opening for the Laff Records era.

What made the label stand out at the time was the diversity of its roster. Women comics like Page found fame via the label and the volume of work Laff Records produced gave way to other opportunities for Foxx and Page, who both later reconnected on the classic sitcom, Sanford & Son.

Laff Records also turned heads for its R-rated album covers that often featured scantily clad women and the featured artists in comprising positions. Store sold the albums wrapped in brown paper as to cover the images from peeking eyes and many a young person got into a bit of trouble for sneaking a look and listen to the profane records.

Pryor didn’t work with Laff Records very long and a legal tussle between them resulted in the label releasing recordings of his works. Other comics that were featured included ventriloquist duo Richard and Willie, Skillet and Leroy, and George Carlin, who also had a brief run with the label.

Laff Records went out of business in the ‘80s, but many of its master recordings were re-released by Uproar Entertainment.


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