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Article

Richard Wigmore

( b Rome, Jan 25, 1960). Italian harpsichordist, organist and conductor . Largely self-taught, he conducted his first major concert, of Cavalli's Calisto, in Rome in 1985, with a group of singers that were to form the nucleus of a permanent ensemble, Concerto Italiano. The ensemble's first recording, of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals, was widely acclaimed for its passion and colour, winning a Gramophone award in 1994; subsequent recordings have included madrigals by Monteverdi, Marenzio and Frescobaldi, and vocal works by Lassus. In 1995 Alessandrini founded the complementary Concerto Italiano instrumental ensemble, with whom he has performed and recorded concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, and made an imaginative recording of Bach's Art of Fugue. His other recordings include Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord, vocal works by Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi, and Handel's Roman oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. With Concerto Italiano he has appeared at major concert halls and festivals throughout Europe. In ...

Article

Raquel Bustos Valderrama

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], June 8, 1924; d Aug 7, 2005). Chilean composer and educator of German origin. She emigrated to Chile in 1939 and adopted Chilean nationality in 1951. She studied with Frè Focke (1949–53) in Chile and with René Leibowitz and Olivier Messiaen in France in 1954. Through several significant educational projects she contributed to a better public understanding of contemporary music in Chile; she also promoted Chilean musical culture in Europe. Her works won international prizes and she received commissions from patrons and organizations in Europe and the USA. Her music, modernist in style and sometimes using sounds generated by unconventional means, includes two ballets, Las tres caras de la luna (1966) and … a false alarm on the nightbell once answered cannot be made good, no ever (1977–8), and several works for full orchestra, including Cinco epigramas (...

Article

Marta Cureses

(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.

Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....

Article

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...

Article

Bill C. Malone

revised by Barry Mazor

[Chester Burton ]

(b nr Luttrell, TN, June 20, 1924, d Nashville, TN, June 30, 2001). American country-music guitarist and recording company executive. Although the first instrument he played professionally was the fiddle, he became internationally famous as a guitarist. Developed while he was in high school, his guitar style was influenced by Merle Travis, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and George Barnes and was characterized by the use of the thumb to establish a rhythm on the lower strings and multiple fingers to play melodic or improvisational passages on the higher strings, sometimes with complex voicings. In the early 1940s Atkins toured with Archie Campbell and Bill Carlisle playing both fiddle and guitar, and appeared with them on WNOX radio in Knoxville. He then toured with the second generation Carter Family as a sideman and in 1946 joined Red Foley. After beginning his association with the “Grand Ole Opry” he settled in Nashville in ...

Article

Roben Jones

[John Henderson ]

(b Whitehaven, TN, April 8, 1931). American singer-songwriter, producer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He began playing bluegrass while in the military and after his discharge in 1952, played at radio stations in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Boston. While enrolled in Memphis State University (from 1954), he worked nights and weekends at the Eagle’s Nest club. After working briefly for Fernwood Records, he was hired by Sun Records, where he recorded Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, among others. He wrote hits for several of Sun’s artists, including Johnny Cash’s singles “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess things happen that way” (both Sun, 1958).

Clement left Sun in 1960 to became a staff producer for RCA in Nashville. In 1963 he moved to Texas, started a publishing company, and produced Dickey Lee’s hit “Patches” (Smash, 1963). After returning to Nashville in 1965, he discovered and produced Charlie Pride and wrote songs for a variety of country artists, including Pride (“Just between you and me,” RCA Victor, ...

Article

Frances Barulich

Firm of music and book publishers. Concordia Publishing House was founded in St. Louis in 1869 by immigrant German Lutherans for the purpose of printing their hymnals and other church literature, and takes its name from the Lutheran Book of Concord (1580). Its catalog, which has included music since ...

Article

County  

Benjamin J. Harbert

Record label. Established in New York in 1963 by David Freeman, County Records has helped to preserve and disseminate old-time music through re-releases of prewar string bands and field recordings. The original LP anthologies brought together 78s from Freeman’s collection of 1920s music; these artists include The Skillet-Lickers, Charlie Poole, and Uncle Dave Macon. In 1964, Freeman worked with Charles Faurot, who collected field recordings of living banjo players who played in the older clawhammer style. The best known work to come from this County series is the three volume Clawhammer Banjo. These records of Southeastern clawhammer banjo became source material for a new generation of revivalists who otherwise would not have heard these musicians. The 15 musicians recorded include Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, and Wade Ward (the latter had also been recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1959). In 1974, Freeman relocated County Records to the small town of Floyd, Virginia and grew the label through retail mail order. The label continues to reissue old-time and bluegrass music digitized on CDs. They also sell related books and video....

Article

Alyssa Woods

Record label. Death Row Records was formed in 1991 by former football star Marion “Suge” Knight and rapper/producer Dre (Andre Romelle Young) in Los Angeles, California. The label’s first release was Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, a groundbreaking album that paired explicit and often violent lyrics with commercial beats that were based on older soul, funk, and R&B songs. The musical style of The Chronic became known as “G-Funk” (Gangsta-funk), a style that dominated many of Death Row’s early albums as well as most West Coast gangsta rap throughout the 1990s.

Death Row achieved immense success within a few years, partly due to aggressive marketing to mainstream audiences, and partly due to a successful distribution deal with Interscope. Death Row Records became a target of the controversy within the gangsta rap industry due to the constant legal problems of Suge Knight and many of the artists signed to the label (for example Snoop Dogg, and later Tupac Shakur). As a consequence of public debates surrounding gangsta rap’s promotion of violence and drugs, Interscope’s parent company, Time-Warner, eventually dropped Interscope as a distributor in an effort to distance themselves from Death Row....

Article

Thane Tierney

Scottish record company. It was originally established in Austria in August 1990 by musician, painter, and record collector Johann Ferdinand “Johnny” Parth. As far back as the 1950s Parth had reissued vintage recordings, first on the Jazz Perspective and Hot Club de Vienne labels. In the mid-1960s, after consulting with Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, Parth and his ex-wife Evelyn launched Roots Records with the goal of creating an Austrian counterpart to Arhoolie; the label, which produced limited-edition reissues (released in America on the Arhoolie label), folded in 1970.

In 1990, using Godrich and Dixon’s Blues and Gospel discography as a guide, Parth undertook the task of attempting to reissue every American blues, gospel, and spiritual recording made between the late 19th century and the early 1940s. He subsequently launched a similar endeavor for vintage American country music. Under Parth’s stewardship, Document produced nearly 900 albums with artists including Thomas A. Dorsey, Lonnie Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, and many others. As a result of his success, the Blues Foundation granted him their “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. In ...

Article

Dover  

Frances Barulich

Firm of publishers. In 1941 Hayward Cirker established the firm in New York as a dealer in academic remainders. He issued his first reprint in 1943, and Dover has since become known for its reissues of scholarly texts. Although it specialized initially in scientific literature, the firm soon extended its interests to other areas, including music. Notable among its reprints of music texts are works on Johann Sebastian Bach by Albert Schweitzer and Philipp Spitta, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s ...

Article

Joe C. Clark

Record company founded by Houston-based African American entrepreneur Don Robey in 1949. It focused primarily on rhythm-and-blues and gospel music. Robey’s initial label, Peacock Records, was created to record bluesman Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. The label also recorded Big Mama Thornton’s rendition of “Hound Dog,” which was later covered and made famous by Elvis Presley. Gospel artists including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the Bells of Joy joined the label and provided much of its success during the early 1950s.

In 1952 Peacock acquired the Memphis-based rhythm-and-blues label Duke from WDIA DJ David James Mattis. Its roster included Rosco Gordon, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Johnny Ace. Robey later formed additional subsidiary labels: Sure Shot; Song Bird, which featured gospel music; Back Beat, formed in 1957 to meet the growing teen market; and Peacock’s Progressive Jazz label.

In 1973 Robey retired and sold the Duke/Peacock label, affiliated labels, and publishing companies to ABC-Dunhill Records. Its catalog consisted of nearly 2700 songs and approximately ...

Article

Alice Tacu

Romanian music publishing house, founded in 1957 in Bucharest. It was established at the initiative of Ion Dumitrescu, the director of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists at that time, was organized as part of this institution’s departments, and subsequently was under the Union’s administration. Its official launch was understated, probably due to repeated previous efforts to establish a publishing house department within the Union, often due to difficulties and uncertainties in legal status. Previous to this founding year, the Union, in its attempt to encourage Romanian music and make it visible to a wider audience, collaborated with private publishing houses, Romanian or foreign, and was connected to the establishment of a Music Department (1954) within a well-known arts and literature publishing house, E.S.P.L.A. (Editura de stat pentru literatură şi artă). It is with this music department within E.S.P.L.A. that the Union’s publishing activity increased and the complete publishing process became professionalized especially in regards to the musical graphic norms for scores and musicological books. Here the editorial staff began to form, and they took their knowledge to the newly formed Editura Muzicală a few years later (...

Article

Thane Tierney

Record company. It was established in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1950 by student entrepreneur Jac Holzman. With $300 of his own money and $300 borrowed from classmate Paul Rickolt, the St. John’s College junior launched his label with EKLP-1, New Songs by John Gruen, recorded in a single three-hour session. Holzman subsequently dropped out of college, moved back to his native New York City, and relocated Elektra’s headquarters to Greenwich Village. Early successes included blues albums by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and folk albums by Jean Ritchie and Theodore Bikel, the latter of whom bought a 5% share of the fledgling company. In the early 1960s the label continued to work mainly in the blues and folk arenas; notable signings included Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Koerner, Ray & Glover.

In 1964 the label expanded into classical music with the launch of the Nonesuch imprint, and by the mid-to-late 1960s Elektra moved aggressively into rock, signing Love, the Doors, and the Stooges, among others, while still keeping its folk roots nourished with new artists, including the Incredible String Band and Tim Buckley. In ...

Article

Epic  

Christopher Doll

Record company. It was established by CBS in 1953 as a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Although from the start its issues included jazz and pop, Epic for many years was known primarily for its recordings of George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra (including those made with a young Leon Fleisher as piano soloist). In the latter part of the 1950s, as rock and roll began to overtake the industry, the company struggled to find itself artistically and commercially, accumulating an odd assortment of American, Australian, and European performers representing a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular styles.

The label’s fortunes began to change in 1964 with its participation in the British Invasion. Epic distributed the American releases of the Dave Clark Five and the Yardbirds and later those of the Hollies and Donovan. The true turning point for the company was the signing in 1967 of Sly and the Family Stone, whose critical and financial success helped redefine the label as a youth-oriented powerhouse. The company expanded through the 1970s, achieving unimaginable heights in the 1980s with Michael Jackson’s mature solo work (...

Article

Excello  

Joe C. Clark

Record company. Excello was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1952 by Ernie Young, owner of a chain of jukeboxes and record stores. The label was a subsidiary of Young’s Nashboro Records, established a year earlier, which focused on gospel music. Excello initially featured some R&B and hillbilly music but was primarily a blues label. Notable artists included Arthur Gunter, Ted Garrett, Earl Gaines, Roscoe Shelton, the Crescendos, the Gladiolas, and the Marigolds.

In 1956 Jay Miller of Crowley, Louisiana, began producing a number of important swamp blues releases for Excello, including recordings by Lightnin’ Slim, Lazy Lester, and Slim Harpo. Young founded Nasco Records, another subsidiary that centered on pop music, in 1957. Young sold Excello and Nashboro in 1966 to Crescent Amusement Company; Miller’s association with Excello ended soon thereafter. The label issued releases through the mid-1970s featuring a number of southern soul artists, including Maceo and the King’s Men, Z.Z. Hill, Freddie North, and Kip Anderson. In ...

Article

Frances Barulich

Firm of music publishers. It was founded in New York in 1928 as a partnership between the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (which later became Paramount Pictures) and Warner Bros., whose interest was purchased by Paramount in 1933. Famous has published songs and theme music associated with Paramount films, including “Beyond the Blue Horizon” (1930), “Out of Nowhere” (1931), “Lover” (1933), “Cocktails for Two” (1934), “Blue Hawaii” (1937), “That Old Black Magic” (1942), “Mona Lisa” (1949), “Silver Bells” (1950), “Moon River” (1961), and “Alfie” (1966). Later holdings include the music from Romeo and Juliet (1968), Love Story (1968), The Godfather (1972), and Forrest Gump (1994). The company enlarged its holdings through the acquisition of various catalogs, among them the Glaser catalog (including “Gentle on My Mind”) and the Kaiser-Phil Gernhart catalog of songs. Although ownership for much of their television music transferred to CBS in ...

Article

Fantasy  

Thane Tierney

Record company. Named after a science fiction magazine, it was originally established in San Francisco in 1949 by brothers Max and Sol Weiss, who owned a plastic molding business and record pressing plant. The label began with a reissue of masters purchased for $400 from local pianist Dave Brubeck, who had previously issued them on a small local label, Coronet. Throughout the 1950s and 60s Fantasy had its pick of the jazz artists that played the North Beach area of San Francisco, including Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Gerry Mulligan, and Bola Sete, among others. During that time they also had success with organist Korla Pandit and boasted an active spoken-word roster that featured poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti as well as satirist Lenny Bruce. They launched the Galaxy label, also named for a science fiction magazine, in 1951; it operated intermittently and its several incarnations focused on both jazz and R&B....

Article

Lennart Reimers

revised by Jon Stroop

(b Hellerup, Copenhagen, Aug 11, 1919; d Aug 31, 2000). Danish music antiquarian, writer on music and publisher. He founded the publishing firm known by his name in 1953 when he purchased the Knud Larsen Musikforlag (founded 1906), and added to this an antiquarian business. He studied at the University of Copenhagen (1944–6) and the Royal Danish Conservatory (1948). From 1957 to 1977 he was in charge of the distribution of the publications of the Samfund til Udgivelse af Dansk Musik, active since 1871.

Fog is regarded as the most important Scandinavian music antiquarian. Through the distribution of the Samfund editions the firm represents much 19th- and 20th-century Danish music, including works by J.A.P. Schulz, Niels Gade, Carl Nielsen, Knudåge Riisager and Ib Nørholm. As a writer and musicologist he presented valuable contributions in the field of Danish music history. Fog was co-editor of the ...

Article

David Sanjek

[James Staton ]

(b Lundale, WV, July 26, 1922). American record label executive. Over the course of more than 50 years, Jim Foglesong has played an influential role in the administration of country music. He initially aimed to be a vocalist, performing on a local radio station as a teenager and receiving a degree as a vocal major from the Eastman School of Music in 1950. He subsequently moved to New York City, where he was hired by Columbia Records shortly thereafter. He was appointed the head of their Epic subsidiary in 1953 and held that position for the next ten years. He moved to RCA Victor in 1964 as the executive director of their pop acts. In 1970 Fogelsong moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and joined the Dot Record label as head of their Artist and Repertoire Department. In 1973 he became president of Dot Records. In 1979 he became president of MCA Records Nashville and was named the president of Capitol Records Nashville in ...