Wednesday, February 20, 2013


At the famed corner of Hollywood & Vine, there isn’t much left to see of Hollywood’s heyday but there is at least one instantly recognizable landmark near that intersection: the Capitol Records building, located on Vine Street, just north of Hollywood Boulevard. Capitol Records was the first West Coast based record company, and it promoted many famous recording stars such as The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Duran Duran, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, and the list goes on.

Since 1956, Capitol Records has been located in the world's first circular office building. It has been said that the 13-story high-rise was purposely designed to resemble a stack of vinyl records topped by a stylus. (Rumor has it that Nat King Cole was the one who first suggested the unique design of the building). At the base of the building's southern face (overlooking a parking lot) is a large, colorful mural, painted by artist Richard Wyatt and titled "Hollywood Jazz." The mural features large portraits of Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan and several other jazz greats. Unfortunately, this wonderful work of art has been allowed to fade badly in recent years (see photo above). However, the photos below were taken many years ago when the mural was in its prime. Although memories of the old Hollywood have faded (along with he mural), the Capitol Records building still remains as one of the last original Hollywood landmarks.

P. S. -- The mural is being restored.


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