Ralph Records was The Residents' original record label, the name coming from the somewhat colorful phrase "calling Ralph on the porcelain telephone". It was founded in 1972, shortly after the group had moved to San Francisco, when the band realized that they were the only people who'd be willing to publish their work.
In 1976, the newly formed The Cryptic Corporation took over the label with visions of running it as a legit record company and not just a vehicle for Residents recordings. During the following years Ralph Records became the home of Snakefinger, Tuxedomoon, Fred Frith, Renaldo & the Loaf, MX-80 Sound, Yello, Art Bears, Rhythm & Noise, Hajime Tachibana, Nash the Slash, Clubfoot Orchestra and, of course, The Residents.
In 1983, the label was restructured under the name "New Ralph" by Tom Timony in an effort to bring it out from under the debt brought on by the Mole Show tour. During this time, the label put much focus into releasing compilations and licensing overseas to minimize costs. Many of the acts were released from their contracts and moved on to other labels. In 1986, The Cryptic Corporation felt that Ralph was no longer working as a business model and that it was important to find better distribution for their star act, The Residents. The Ralph name was licensed to Timony, who eventually folded that operation into his own business.
After the license expired in the mid-1990s, two new companies, independent of Cryptic Corp, were formed: Ralph America and EuroRalph. These operated largely as mail order storefronts with occasional special releases. EuroRalph closed in 2005 and Ralph America closed five years later.