Roulette Records was an American record company and label founded in 1957 by George Goldner, Joe Kolsky, Morris Levy and Phil Kahl, with creative control given to producers and songwriters Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. Levy was appointed director; the label had known ties to New York City mobsters. Levy ran the label with an iron fist. In 1958 Roost Records was purchased. Goldner subsequently bowed out of his partnership interest in Roulette and, to cover his gambling debts, sold his record labels Tico, Gee and — years — End and Gone to Levy, who grouped them into Roulette. Peretti and Creatore left Roulette and worked as freelance producers for RCA Records throughout the 1960s, they co-founded Avco Records in 1969. In 1971 Roulette took over the catalog of Jubilee Records. During the late 1950s, Roulette scored hits by Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, The Playmates, Jimmie Rodgers, Ronnie Hawkins and The Delicates as well as releasing albums by Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington and Count Basie. During the early 1960s, Roulette issued a number of hits connected to the twist dance craze, most notably "Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee and the Starliters.
They released a rare album of "twist songs" by Bill Haley & His Comets, Twistin' Knights at the Roundtable. Other major 1960s hits. A group of United States Marines called The Essex recorded the hit "Easier Said Than Done" while based at Camp Lejeune, NC, in 1963. In 1964, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay first recorded together on Roulette while in the nine-member Au Go Go Singers, the house band for the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City. In the UK Roulette's records were issued on the EMI Columbia label. In April 1965 the UK music magazine NME reported that Roulette had agreed to offer a sponsored show to the UK pirate radio radio station Radio Caroline; the hour-long show, recorded in the US by disc jockey Jack Spector, was to be broadcast five evenings a week. The contract was worth over £ 10,000 to the station. According to Tommy James of Tommy James and the Shondells, whose "Hanky Panky", "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Crimson and Clover" and many others were released during his time at the label, Roulette was a front business for the Genovese crime family.
James estimates that the label kept $30 million-$40 million of the group's royalties but afforded it total artistic freedom, whereas another label would have tampered with its formula and might have dropped the group early on. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Roulette was one of the industry's major distributors, handling records for many leading labels. Levy was the key financial backer for the rap music label Sugar Hill Records, founded in 1974 by the husband-and-wife team Joe and Sylvia Robinson. Sugar Hill released the first Top 40 rap single, "Rapper's Delight", in 1979. In the early 1980s, the Robinsons bought Levy out. In 1981, Henry Stone turned to Levy to help prevent the demise of TK Records, so they set up Sunnyview Records under the Roulette umbrella. In 1986, Levy was arrested and convicted for extorting money from an FBI informant, John LaMonte, but he died in Ghent, New York, before serving any time in prison. In 1989, Roulette Records was sold to a consortium of EMI and Rhino Records, the latter of, acquired by Warner Music Group.
Rhino would control Roulette’s pop catalogue in the USA, Canada and Mexico, while EMI acquired Roulette’s jazz catalogue worldwide, plus the international distribution of Roulette’s pop catalogue. As of 2013, Warner Music Group now has worldwide rights to the Roulette catalogue as a result of acquiring EMI’s Parlophone label. Following the acquisition, Rhino and EMI began issuing large royalty checks to former Roulette artists. Tommy James recalled that his checks were in amounts in seven digits. Roulette was notorious for not paying royalties to its artists, who had to rely on concerts and personal appearances for their income; until 2013, EMI used the Roulette name for the reissue of old Roulette-label material. In the US, Blue Note Records handled the Roulette jazz catalogue for release on the Roulette Jazz label until 2013, it was one of the units of Parlophone that Universal Music was required to sell to Warner Music Group to comply with international regulators. Roulette Records 25000 Popular Series of LP records began in 1957 and ran until 1968.
The Roulette 52000 Birdland Series of 12 inch LPs commenced in 1958 and consists of 124 album releases over 10 years. All of the soundtracks in this series were for films released in the United States during 1966. Reissue series from used by the label during 1973. All these albums have "Echoes of An Era" somewhere in the title, they are two-album sets. This was the label's final effort at repackaging its old recordings; these albums, which were acquired by Roulette for U. S. distribution, were recorded in the continent of Africa. These albums, which were acquired by Roulette for U. S. distribution, were recorded in the continent of Africa. List of record labels
Savoy Records is an American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey. Savoy specialized in jazz and blues, gospel music. In September 2017, Savoy was acquired by Concord Bicycle Music. In the 1940s Savoy recorded some of the biggest names in jazz: Miles Davis, Erroll Garner, Dexter Gordon, J. J. Johnson, Fats Navarro, Charlie Parker. In 1948, it began buying other labels: Bop, Discovery and Regent, it reissued music from Jewel Records. In the early 1960s, Savoy recorded a number of avant-garde jazz artists, giving them important early exposure, they included Paul Bley, Ed Curran, Bill Dixon, Mark Levin, Charles Moffett, Perry Robinson, Joseph Scianni, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Marzette Watts, Valdo Williams. After Lubinsky's death in 1974, Clive Davis manager of Arista Records, acquired Savoy's catalogue. After that, Joe Fields of Muse Records purchased the catelogue from Arista. In 1986 Malaco Records acquired Savoy's black gospel contracts. In 2003, Savoy Jazz acquired the rights to the Landmark catalogues from 32 Jazz.
As of 2012, the Savoy library is controlled by Nippon Columbia, a public company based in Tokyo, which purchased Savoy in 1991. Nippon Columbia's wholly owned subsidiary, Savoy Jazz, handled Savoy Records distribution in the United States until 2009, when it entered a distribution arrangement with Warner Music Group. Many of the label's African-American artists begrudged the label's founder, Herman Lubinsky, feeling underpaid for their work. Tiny Price, a journalist for the African-American newspaper The Newark Herald News, said of Savoy and Lubinsky: There's no doubt everybody hated Herman Lubinsky. If he messed with you, you were messed. At the same time, some of those people, many of them Newark's top singers and musicians, would never have been exposed on records if he didn't do what he did. Except for Lubinsky, all the hot little numbers, like Buddy Johnson's "Cherry", would have been lost; the man may have been hated. Savoy's artistic directors included Buck Ram, Teddy Reig, Ralph Bass, Fred Mendelsohn, Ozzie Cadena.
The following are 12" LPs and have the prefix MG. Acorn Records Gospel Records Regent Records Sharp Records List of record labels Michel; the Savoy label: a discography. Discographies, no. 2. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-31321199-X. LCCN 79007727. OCLC 5353729. Retrieved 24 August 2014. Official website SavoyJazz.com Savoy Records Discography Project Savoy Records on the Internet Archive's Great 78 Project
Lester Willis Young, nicknamed "Pres" or "Prez", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and occasional clarinetist. Coming to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra, Young was one of the most influential players on his instrument. In contrast to many of his hard-driving peers, Young played with a relaxed, cool tone and used sophisticated harmonies, using what one critic called "a free-floating style and diving like a gull, banking with low, funky riffs that pleased dancers and listeners alike". Known for his hip, introverted style, he invented or popularized much of the hipster jargon which came to be associated with the music. Lester Young was born in Woodville, Mississippi, on August 27, 1909, his mother was Lizetta Young, his father was Willis Handy Young from Louisiana. Lester had two siblings – Leonidas Raymond, who became a drummer, Irma Cornelia, he grew up in a musical family. His father was a teacher and band leader, several other relatives performed professionally. While growing up in New Orleans, he worked from the age of five to make money for the family.
He sold shined shoes. By the time he was ten, he had learned the basics of trumpet and drums, joined the Young Family Band touring with carnivals and playing in regional cities in the Southwest In his teens he and his father clashed, he left home for long periods. Young left the family band in 1927 at the age of 18 because he refused to tour in the Southern United States, where Jim Crow laws were in effect and racial segregation was required in public facilities, he became a member of the Bostonians, led by Art Bronson, chose tenor saxophone over alto as his primary instrument. He made a habit of leaving, working going home, he left home permanently in 1932. In 1933 Young settled in Kansas City, where after playing in several bands, he rose to prominence with Count Basie, his playing in the Basie band was characterized by a relaxed style which contrasted with the more forceful approach of Coleman Hawkins, the dominant tenor sax player of the day. One of Young's key influences was Frank Trumbauer, who came to prominence in the 1920s with Paul Whiteman and played the C-melody saxophone.
Young left the Basie band to replace Hawkins in Fletcher Henderson's orchestra. He soon left Henderson to play in the Andy Kirk band before returning to Basie. While with Basie, Young made small-group recordings for Milt Gabler's Commodore Records, The Kansas City Sessions. Although they were recorded in New York, they are named after the group, the Kansas City Seven, comprised Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, Young, Freddie Green, Rodney Richardson, Jo Jones. Young played clarinet as well as tenor in these sessions. Young is described as playing the clarinet in a "liquid, nervous style." As well as the Kansas City Sessions, his clarinet work from 1938–39 is documented on recordings with Basie, Billie Holiday, Basie small groups, the organist Glenn Hardman. Billie and Lester met at a Harlem jam session in the early 30s and worked together in the Count Basie band and in nightclubs on New York's 52nd St. At one point Lester moved into the apartment Billie shared with Sadie Fagan. Holiday always insisted their relationship was platonic.
She gave Lester the nickname "Prez" after President Franklin Roosevelt, the "greatest man around" in Billie's mind. Playing on her name, he would call her "Lady Day." Their famously empathetic classic recordings with Teddy Wilson date from this era. After Young's clarinet was stolen in 1939, he abandoned the instrument until about 1957; that year Norman Granz urged him to play it. Young left the Basie band in late 1940, he is rumored to have refused to play with the band on Friday, December 13 of that year for superstitious reasons spurring his dismissal, although Young and drummer Jo Jones would state that his departure had been in the works for months. He subsequently led a number of small groups that included his brother, drummer Lee Young, for the next couple of years. During this period Young accompanied the singer Billie Holiday in a couple of studio sessions and made a small set of recordings with Nat "King" Cole in June 1942, his studio recordings are sparse during the 1942 to 1943 period due to the recording ban by the American Federation of Musicians.
Small record labels not bound by union contracts continued to record and he recorded some sessions for Harry Lim's Keynote label in 1943. In December 1943 Young returned to the Basie fold for a 10-month stint, cut short by his being drafted into the army during World War II. Recordings made during this and subsequent periods suggest Young was beginning to make much greater use of a plastic reed, which tended to give his playing a somewhat heavier, breathier tone. While he never abandoned the cane reed, he used the plastic reed a significant share of the time from 1943 until the end of his life. Another cause for the thickening of his tone around this time was a change in saxophone mouthpiece from a metal Otto Link to an ebonite Brilhart. In August 1944 Young appeared alongside drummer Jo Jones, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, fellow tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet in Gjon Mili's short film Jammin' the Blues. In September 1944 Young and Jo Jones were in Los Angeles with the Basie Band when
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was an American singer, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years appearing in film and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood. Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963 and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television while releasing well-received record albums, she announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway. She toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000. Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010, at the age of 92. Lena Horne was born in Bedford -- Brooklyn, she was descended from the John C. Calhoun family, both sides of her family were a mixture of African-American, Native American, European American descent and belonged to the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated people.
Her father, Edwin Fletcher "Teddy" Horne Jr. a numbers kingpin in the gambling trade, left the family when she was three and moved to an upper-middle-class black community in the Hill District community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Edna Louise Scottron, was a granddaughter of inventor Samuel R. Scottron. Edna's maternal grandmother, Amelie Louise Ashton, was a Senegalese slave. Horne was raised by her grandparents, Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne; when Horne was five, she was sent to live in Georgia. For several years, she traveled with her mother. From 1927 to 1929, she lived with her uncle, Frank S. Horne, dean of students at Fort Valley Junior Industrial Institute in Fort Valley, who served as an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From Fort Valley, southwest of Macon, Horne moved to Atlanta with her mother, she attended Girls High School, an all-girls public high school in Brooklyn that has since become Boys and Girls High School. Aged 18, she moved to her father's home in Pittsburgh, staying in the city's Little Harlem for five years and learning from native Pittsburghers Billy Strayhorn and Billy Eckstine, among others.
In the fall of 1933, Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City. In the spring of 1934, she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade starring Adelaide Hall, who took Lena under her wing. A few years Horne joined Noble Sissle's Orchestra, with which she toured and with whom she made her first records, issued by Decca. After she separated from her first husband, Horne toured with bandleader Charlie Barnet in 1940–41, but disliked the travel and left the band to work at the Cafe Society in New York, she replaced Dinah Shore as the featured vocalist on NBC's popular jazz series The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. The show's resident maestros, Henry Levine and Paul Laval, recorded with Horne in June 1941 for RCA Victor. Horne left the show after only six months when she was hired by former Cafe Trocadero manager Felix Young to perform in a Cotton Club-style revue on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Horne had two low-budget movies to her credit: a 1938 musical feature called The Duke is Tops.
Horne's songs from Boogie Woogie Dream were released individually as soundies. Horne made her Hollywood nightclub debut at Felix Young's Little Troc on the Sunset Strip in January 1942. A few weeks she was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In November 1944, she was featured in an episode of the popular radio series Suspense, as a fictional nightclub singer, with a large speaking role along with her singing. In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, she made her debut at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Panama Hattie and performed the title song of Stormy Weather based loosely on the life of Adelaide Hall, which she made at 20th Century Fox, on loan from MGM. She appeared in a number of MGM musicals, most notably Cabin in the Sky, but was never featured in a leading role because of her race and the fact that her films had to be re-edited for showing in cities where theaters would not show films with black performers; as a result, most of Horne's film appearances were stand-alone sequences that had no bearing on the rest of the film, so editing caused no disruption to the storyline.
A notable exception was the all-black musical Cabin in the Sky, although one number from that film was cut before release because it was considered too suggestive by the censors: Horne singing "Ain't It the Truth" while taking a bubble bath. This scene and song are featured in the film That's Entertainment! III which featured commentary from Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film's release. Lena Horne was the first African-American elected to serve on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors. In Ziegfeld Follies, she performed "Love" by Ralph Blane. Horne lobbied for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM's 1951 version of Show Boat but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a personal friend in real life. H
Houston is the most populous city in the U. S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles, Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States, it is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837.
The city is named after former General Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of Allen's Landing. After serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century; the arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located. Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing and transportation.
Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U. S. municipality within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in culture and research; the city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U. S, it is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts; the Allen brothers—Augustus Chapman and John Kirby—explored town sites on Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay.
According to historian David McComb, "he brothers, on August 26, 1836, bought from Elizabeth E. Parrott, wife of T. F. L. Parrott and widow of John Austin, the south half of the lower league granted to her by her late husband, they paid $5,000 total, but only $1,000 of this in cash. They lobbied the Republic of Texas Congress to designate Houston as the temporary capital, agreeing to provide the new government with a capital building. About a dozen persons resided in the town at the beginning of 1837, but that number grew to about 1,500 by the time the Texas Congress convened in Houston for the first time that May. Houston was granted incorporation with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County. In 1839, the Republic of Texas relocated its capital to Austin; the town suffered another setback that year when a yellow fever epidemic claimed about one life out of every eight residents. Yet it persisted as a commercial center, forming a symbiosis with Galveston.
Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston; the great majority of slaves in Texas came with their owners from the older slave states. Sizable numbers, came through the domestic slave trade. New Orleans was the center of this trade in the Deep South. Thousands of enslaved blacks lived near the city before the American Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and navigation at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou. By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont.
During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initia
Swing music, or swing, is a form of popular music developed in the United States that dominated in the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing came from the'swing feel' where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music. Swing bands featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement; the danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the swing era. The verb "to swing" is used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong groove or drive. Notable musicians of the swing era include Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Larry Clinton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway. Swing has roots in the 1920s as larger dance music ensembles began using new styles of written arrangements incorporating rhythmic innovations pioneered by Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines.
A typical song played in swing style would feature a strong, anchoring rhythm section in support of more loosely tied wind and brass. The most common style consisted of theme choruses and choruses with improvised solos within the framework of his bandmates playing support. Swing music began to decline in popularity during World War II because of several factors. Swing influenced the styles of traditional pop music, jump blues, bebop jazz. Swing music saw a revival in the late 1950s and 1960s with the resurgent Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras, with pop vocalists such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Swing blended with other genres to create new music styles. In country music, artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican and Bob Wills introduced many elements of swing along with blues to create a genre called western swing. Gypsy swing is Lang's jazz violin swing. Swing revivals have occurred periodically from the late 1960s to the 2000s. In the late-1980s a trendier, more urban-styled swing-beat emerged called new jack swing, spearheaded by Teddy Riley.
In the late 1990s and into the 2000s there was a swing revival, led by Squirrel Nut Zippers, Brian Setzer, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Lavay Smith. In Canada, some of the early 2000s records by The JW-Jones Blues Band included swing revival elements. Developments in dance orchestra and jazz music during the 1920s both contributed to the development of the 1930s swing style. Starting in 1923, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra featured innovative arrangements by Don Redman that featured call-response interplay between brass and reed sections, interludes arranged to back up soloists; the arrangements had a smoother rhythmic sense than the ragtime-influenced arrangements that were the more typical "hot" dance music of the day. In 1924 Louis Armstrong joined the Henderson band, lending impetus to an greater emphasis on soloists; the Henderson band featured Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Buster Bailey as soloists, who all were influential in the development of swing era instrumental styles. During the Henderson band's extended residency at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, it became influential on other big bands.
Duke Ellington credited the Henderson band with being an early influence when he was developing the sound for his own band. In 1925 Armstrong left the Henderson band and would add his innovations to New Orleans style jazz to develop Chicago style jazz, another step towards swing. Traditional New Orleans style jazz was based on a two-beat meter and contrapuntal improvisation led by a trumpet or cornet followed by a clarinet and trombone in a call-response pattern; the rhythm section consisted of a sousaphone and drums, sometimes a banjo. By the early 1920s guitars and pianos sometimes substituted for the banjo and a string bass sometimes substituted for the sousaphone. Use of the string bass opened possibilities for 4/4 instead of 2/4 time at faster tempos, which increased rhythmic freedom; the Chicago style released the soloist from the constraints of contrapuntal improvisation with other front-line instruments, lending greater freedom in creating melodic lines. Louis Armstrong used the additional freedom of the new format with 4/4 time, accenting the second and fourth beats and anticipating the main beats with lead-in notes in his solos to create a sense of rhythmic pulse that happened between the beats as well as on them, i.e. swing.
In 1927 Armstrong worked with pianist Earl Hines, who had a similar impact on his instrument as Armstrong had on trumpet. Hines' melodic, horn-like conception of playing deviated from the contemporary conventions in jazz piano centered on building rhythmic patterns around "pivot notes." His approaches to rhythm and phrasing were free and daring, exploring ideas that would define swing playing. His approach to rhythm used accents on the lead-in instead of the main beat, mixed meters, to build a sense of anticipation to the rhythm and make his playing swing, he used "stops" or musical silences to build tension in his phrasing. Hines' style was a seminal influence on the styles of swing-era pianists Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Jess Stacy, Nat "King" Cole, Erroll Garner, Mary Lou Williams, Jay McShann. Black territory dance bands in the southwest were developing dynamic styles that went in the direction of blues-based simplicity, using riffs in a call-response pattern to build a strong, danceable rhythm and provide a musical platform for extended solos.
The rhythm-heavy tunes for dancing were called "stomps." The requirement for volume led to continued use of the sousaphone over the string bass with the larger ensembles, which dictated a more conservative approach to rhythm based on 2/4 time signatures. Meanwhile, string bass player
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were