The Atomic-H label

An outline by Per Notini & Robert Termorshuizen (2016)


Atomic-H Records was founded by Rev. Houston H. Harrington (1924-1972) in Chicago, IL. The label first appeared in the early 1950s (1954?) as Atomic, with probably only one gospel release (Atomic 1251/2 by Rev. Harrington himself). The other Atomic release was a blues record by Homesick James. Soon thereafter (1957?) the label name was changed to Atomic-H, maybe to avoid confusion with the New York Atomic label. The H must have been taken from Harrington’s initials.

After using a somewhat chaotic numbering system and a very limited amount of issues, from 1959 onwards the label continued with a 900-series which was used until its demise in 1972. This series contained six known gospel releases. No. 913 is supposed to have been issued in late 1968 (source: Jim O’Neal, in Living Blues # 9; cited by Guido van Rijn in his book, “President Johnson’s Blues”). No. 919 is from 1972, this year is given on the labels. With only 19 or less issues in total for the 900 series, the output has been quite minimal with an average of 1 or 2 issues per year. However, from the known information on this label it seems likely that the first c. 10 issues were all from 1959/60 (see f.i. “The Blues Discography” by Les Fancourt/Bob McGrath).