American, out of New York City.  Roulette was started by George Goldner and Joe Kolsky c.1956.  They made Morris Levy president of the company; he bought them out in 1957, and remained in charge until the end of its independent existence.  Roulette didn't specialise in any particular kind of music.  It had a good Jazz catalogue, with vocal contributions from Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, and it enjoyed Pop success in its homeland with such artists as Buddy Knox, Jimmie Rodgers, Lou Christie and Tommy James.  By the time the '80s came around, however, it had lost most of its impetus, and had become mainly a vehicle for reissues and compilations.  In 1989 it was sold to Rhino-EMI.   In Britain, Roulette had a much shorter existence.   For most of the time it leased its products to other companies; it issued at least two singles on its own label in 1966, one of which, 'Hanky Panky', by Tommy James & The Shondells (RK-7000), just about edged into the Top 40.  However, the next Tommy James single came out on Major Minor, which suggests a quick return to the licensing deals.  The Roulette label reappeared in 1968, with manufacture and distribution by Major Minor, and put out several more singles, this time using an RO-500 numerical series.  The RO-500s changed to the 2097-000s in 1970, when Major Minor closed down and Roulette moved to Polydor; all the Polydor family labels adopted seven-number catalogue numbering at that time.  The second and third incarnations yielded no more hits; Roulette as a label doesn't seem to have survived into 1972 over here, though its records continued to be issued throughout the '70s on Pye International and later on Creole.  The company sleeve pictured above may well be an American one; it didn't come with the record and the 'dip' at the top looks suspiciously un-British. Thank to Robert Lyons for the info.

71 James Tommy & Shondells Adrienne ROULETTE 2097 001
71 Alive 'N' Kicking Tighter Tighter ROULETTE 2097 002
71 James Tommy & Shondells Draggin´The Line ROULETTE 2097 003
71 Not Issued ROULETTE 2097 004
72 James Tommy & Shondells I'M Coming Home ROULETTE 2097 005
72 James Tommy & Shondells Tell Em Willie Boy'S A Comin ROULETTE 2097 006

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