Colpix Records was the first recording company for Columbia Pictures–Screen Gems. Colpix got its name from combining Columbia (Col) and Pictures (Pix). CBS, which owned Columbia Records, then sued Columbia Pictures for trademark infringement over the Colpix name. It was founded by Jonie Taps and Harry Cohn in 1958, and was based in New York City. Paul Wexler headed the label. Stu Phillips was in charge of A&R. Lester Sill later headed the label, after breaking with Philles Records partner Phil Spector.
Artists for the label included Lou Christie, James Darren, Paul Petersen, Shelley Fabares (the latter two also costars of The Donna Reed Show), Freddie Scott, and the Marcels. Two of the label's best known number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Charts were "Blue Moon" by the Marcels in the spring of 1961 (also a number one in the UK, where Colpix was licensed to Pye International), and Shelley Fabares' "Johnny Angel" in the spring of 1962. Bernadette Castro also recorded for the label, "Get Rid of Him"/"A Girl in Love Forgives" and "His Lips Get in the Way"/"Sportscar Sally". Singer Jo Ann Greer, who dubbed several of the actresses at Columbia Pictures, recorded two albums with the studio's musical director, Morris Stoloff: Soundtracks, Voices and Themes and The Naked City, an original film noir musical that also featured the label's James Darren.
Colpix released Woody Allen's two standup albums (including two minutes of pantomime—all the listener hears is silence, laughter, silence), and also released a soundtrack album of Hanna-Barbera cartoons. It included actual dialogue tracks from Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and Pixie and Dixie, and the recording was narrated by Daws Butler, speaking in the voice of Huckleberry Hound.
In the wake of President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, numerous tribute albums were released the following year. Colpix's contribution, in association with United Press International, was Four Days That Shocked The World, including radio coverage of the President's arrival at Dallas Love Field, the moment of the shooting in Dealey Plaza, and the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald two days later. The album was released in a gatefold cover and included a booklet with UPI reporter Merriman Smith's account of the assassination.
The label was discontinued in 1966 and was promptly replaced by Colgems Records, which was primarily used for releases by the Monkees during their four-year existence. Prior to their involvement with the Monkees, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith (under the pseudonym Michael Blessing) had each signed to Colpix Records as solo artists.
Colpix was the first big label for singer and pianist Nina Simone, after having made her debut on Bethlehem Records. She recorded albums for the label from 1959 (The Amazing Nina Simone) through 1964 (Folksy Nina). In 1966 they released Nina Simone with Strings, an album of left-overs with strings added, when Simone was already signed to Philips Records.