Founded in 1979 by guitar-store owner Carl
Grefenstette, Bogus Records jumped into the national market with
one of the country's first hometown series, Made In Pittsburgh, Vol. 1. Grefenstette's
primary motivation was to put his favorite local bands on vinyl
so that he wouldn't have to keep re-threading his reel-to-reel
tape machine. Unknowingly at the forefront of the local compilation
scene, Grefenstette and
Bogus were featured in Billboard and other major magazines, and
Made In Pittsburgh, Vol. 1 sold across the U.S. and Europe.
Among the ten acts on Vol. 1, were Leslie Smith, now a captivating national
act, and Gravel, starring singer/songwriters Bob Corbin
& Dave Hanner, who later
went on to score numerous gold records writing for Mel Tillis,
The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama and Hank Williams Jr.
BOGUS followed Made In Pittsburgh, Vol.
1 with two more compilation LPs, naturally titled Vol. 2
3, plus several records by a driving force in the
Pittsburgh music scene, The Flashcats. As a gift to their fans,
The Flashcats have recorded a yearly Fan Club Christmas
on Bogus since 1980. Most
of the early Bogus projects were engineered and mixed by Lee
Hollihan, without whom Bogus wouldn't be what it is today.
In 1984 The Flashcats met and began to record
with one of their heroes, Bull Moose Jackson, the R&B legend
who had a string of hits in the '40s, including the classic Big Ten Inch
Record. The Bogus 45 Get Off the Table, Mabel (The Two Dollars Is
For the Beer), and subsequent LP, MOOSEMANIA!, were Jackson's first
new recordings in more than 30 years. The international success
of these records revived Jackson's career and led to dates across
America and Europe and an appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall.
Sadly, Bull Moose Jackson passed
away in 1989.
In late 1990, impressed with
the quality of many new Pittsburgh bands and the new CD technology,
Bogus got busy. The first Bogus CD was The Flashcats' Christmas Record
#10, 10 years of Fan Club Christmas songs. The Frampton Brothers
and the SPUDS
quickly followed. By 1991 BOGUS was again making international
news with the release of a tribute to Sonny Bono, BONOGRAPH ... Sonny Gets His Share.
BONOGRAPH features 16 bands from across the country
performing Bono compositions, and has been mentioned on MTV and
CNN, in People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal,
and most every newspaper in America. Sonny's wife, Mary, the
good one, even bought some CDs to give away as gifts.
Even as he saw his guitar store,
Guitars, get busier than ever, Grefenstette kept Bogus
moving through the `90s with releases from Planet Leo, Phil Harris, Bull Moose Jackson's The Final Recordings,
and of course, the annual Flashcat Christmas Record.
In 2010, The Flashcats released a 4-CD, 100 song collection to celebrate Christmas Record #30.
For the 2012 Christmas season, Bogus entered the video world with two videos by The Flashcats, "Santa Claus Needs Some Lovin' Too" and "Time To Decorate The Neighborhood."
Over the last few years Bogus Records has entered the live production arena, producing a yearly musical comedy revue entitled Night Of The Singing Dead. The 2016 show, Night Of The Singing Dead #24, was a tremendous success.
Additionally, Bogus, in conjunction with Worldwide Filmworks, is developing a new Video Series called "Musicians With Guitars Drinking Wine."
In 2014, Bogus signed a new act, The Wurms, and they released CDs in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Christmas 2016 brings The Flashcats Christmas Favorites, a 14-song CD featuring Fan Club favorites from three decades of Flashcat Christmas Records.
In 2017, Bogus will also be releasing an assortment of video retrospectives celebrating 38 years in the music biz.
If it's not BOGUS it's not Real!