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date: 08 April 2020

Bear Familylocked

  • Thane Tierney


German record company. It was established in a farmhouse just outside of Bremen in the former West Germany by musicologist/collector Richard Weize in 1975. The company’s name and logo were taken from an engraving Weize found in a 1898 encyclopedia. While the first record released on the imprint was Going Back to Dixie by bluegrass legend Bill Clifton, the label soon branched out into the reissue field, where it made a name for itself with definitive compilations of individual artists, labels, genres, and eras, all accompanied by meticulously-crafted liner notes and superior sound. Owner Weize claims he has never sold more than 3000 units of any Bear Family title, but any shortfall is offset by his successful music mail-order business, which distributes product from other labels.

Perhaps the label’s level of commitment is best demonstrated by their 7-CD set, Lily Marleen: an allen Fronten ein Lied geht um die Welt...

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