Black Rose Celebrates a Big Day: Saugus-based record label marks 20 years in business

Excerpt From:
Daily Evening Item
Serving North Shore Communities Since 1877
Vol. 245, No. 13
Thursday, June 22, 2000

Black Rose Celebrates a Big Day
Saugus-based record label marks 20 years in business

Al Cocorochio Jr., of Saugus loves music, but can’t play an instrument. 

So one day in 1980, he started a record label instead.

This year Cocorochio and the bands he represents celebrate 20 years of recording under the independently run Black Rose record label.

Black Rose Records has given dozens of North Shore musicians the change to records, distribute, and promote their music.

Though Black Rose began with country music, it has since expanded to include rockabilly, blues, and rock bands.

On June 28, most of these bands will gather in Johnny D’s of Somerville for the official anniversary party and concert.

The concert, open to the public, costs $6 for admittance.

Cocorochio Jr. is recording a compilation album to be unveiled at the party that features one song from each band to play for Black Rose.

Though Black Rose cannot compete with major record labels, a local, independent organization has its advantages, according to Cocorochio.

“Some local musicians don’t want to go to a big label, where they wouldn’t get as much attention,” he said which is why he has been able to attract area talent.

Local groups and musicians on Black Rose include Big Bill’s Band, Boston Rockabilly Music Conspiracy, Eric & The Hawks, Bobby Fosmire, Preacher Jack, Cub Coda, and Tom Hambridge, who now works with Norwell blues artist and 2000 Grammy nominee Susan Tedeschi.

Though Cocorochio says that he is worse off financially now than when he started the label, he doesn’t mind.

He is more interested in the friends he has made along the way than the profits that aren’t coming in.

Honesty, loyalty and friendship are the cornerstones of Black Rose Records, and Cocorochio gives them much of the credit for any of the label’s success financially, socially, or musically.

Black Rose brings these artists to the public at a very affordable price.  In contrast to the $17 discs sold by major labels, Black Rose discs typically cost between $2 and $10, cheap even by indie rock standards.

As for recognition, Cocorochio maintains that a Grammy award is not unthinkable.

“You just never know, and I tell all my artists that,” he said.