Abbey was founded by Pete Doraine and originally operated in the Forest Hills, Queens, section of New York City but soon moved to 10th Avenue in the Manhattan borough in mid-1949 with Doraine serving as president.
In 1950 Abbey's experienced its first (and biggest) hit in a recording of The Old Piano Roll Blues by J. Lawrence Cook. This disc, catalog number 15003, reached a peak position of 13, and had staying power for eleven weeks. Cook had recorded it in 1949, and then sold it to Abbey.
By mid-year they had again moved headquarters, this time to 49th street, and had added two distributors to handle increased demand for their records.
In 1951 the company located an operational nickelodeon in Richmond Hill, Queens on the advice of Cook, and signed a contract to record the machine. Because there was no extant rolls for the nickelodeon, Cook hand-produced rolls of two songs written specifically for the record. Executive Don Reed left for Europe in the summer of 1951 to acquire recordings for issue in the LP format.
By 1952 Abbey was producing LP records, including a history of the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II. Not entirely content with standard sales channels, Abbey signed a deal with the Pacquin company to record songs subtly promoting a hand cream product without directly naming the brand.
Besides Doraine, other executives of the company were Carlton "Kelly" Camarata (who was part-owner) as vice-president of Sales and Promotion, and Rudolph Toombs and Gus Statiras as A&R men. Camarata left in late 1950 to join MGM Records.
The label dedicated numerical sequences to "Rhythm and Blues" (3000), Jazz (5000), "Spiritual" (7000), and Calypso (9000).
ABBEY 50 – 15074 (1948 – 1953)