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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 ...

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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 ...

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Article

Record label. It was owned by the East Wind Trade Associates company, founded in 1984 in Hartford, Connecticut, by Steve Boulay, Ted Everts, and David Barrick with the assistance of Gerald A. Friedman. Its catalogue was devoted to Russian jazz in styles ranging from bop to jazz-rock. (E. Schmitt: “3 in Hartford Importing Records of Russian Jazz,” ...

Article

Many encoding formats exist today to represent music, such as DARMS, NIFF, and MusicXML for score typing and publishing, Csound, MIDI, and SASL/SAOL for computer-generated performances, and AAC, MP3, and MPEG for audio and video recordings. These formats capture specific aspects of music but are unable to encode all of these aspects together.

First proposed in 2001, the IEEE Standard 1599 has been developed to allow interaction with music, such as notes and sounds in video applications, and in ad hoc interactive devices by providing a technological framework that makes prerecorded music and related media content navigable and interactive. This is achieved by the use of layers that combine encodings of music with structural and logical representations to allow alternative versions and random access within the piece. These layers are logically organized and synchronized by XML files consisting of symbols that represent an event, referring and pointing to different instances of the same event in the various layers....

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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

Marisol Negrón

Record label. Established in New York in 1964 by Italian American lawyer Gerald Masucci and Dominican flutist and bandleader Johnny Pacheco, Fania Records became the most dominant Latin music label of the 1960s and 70s. Beginning as a grassroots independent label, Fania created an infrastructure that transformed salsa from a local musical style emerging from New York’s Puerto Rican and Latino neighborhoods into an international phenomenon eagerly consumed around the world.

Aggressive recruitment and promotion practices, and the acquisition of competing music labels, helped Fania acquire a stable of musicians that has remained among the most talented and revered in Latin music, including Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades, Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Héctor LaVoe, La Lupe, and Eddie Palmieri. In 1968 the label’s most popular artists joined to form the Stoyan Dzhudzhev, an ensemble that achieved international acclaim for live performances in the United States and abroad. A documentary of their ...

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

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 ...

Article

Darlene Graves and Michael Graves

[William J. ]

(b Alexandria, IN, March 28, 1936). American gospel songwriter, performer, producer, and publisher. He grew up on a small farm in Indiana and graduated from Anderson College with a major in English and a minor in music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and met his future wife and song-producing partner, Gloria Sickal, while both were teaching high school. Gaither started singing gospel music as a child and in 1956 formed the Bill Gaither Trio with his brother Danny and his sister Mary Ann. He started his own publishing company in 1959. He continued to perform and compose while a teacher at Alexandria High School and in 1961 formed the Gaither Music Company to publish his works. After their marriage in 1962, Gaither and his wife wrote their first major song, “He touched me,” which was a significant hit by 1963. He re-formed the Bill Gaither Trio with Gloria and Danny, and in ...

Article

Charles K. Wolfe

revised by Diane Pecknold

(b Lizard Lick, nr Knightdale, NC, Aug 22, 1914; d Falls Church, VA, Dec 4, 1989). American country music radio announcer, station owner, television producer, and concert promoter. He studied agriculture at North Carolina State University (BS 1935) and then joined the US Department of Agriculture. From 1935 to 1945 he produced the department’s network radio program, The National Farm and Home Hour. After World War II he launched a number of country music enterprises around Washington, DC, using the moniker Town and Country Time as a unifying brand. His activities included a concert series in Constitution Hall, a morning radio program on WARL (Arlington, VA) called Let’s be gay, and an afternoon program called Town and Country Time, which was later syndicated on radio and television. Gay owned radio stations throughout the upper southeast, and his were among the first to experiment with full-time country music broadcasting. He was also a pioneer in television. In the mid-1950s he produced a three-hour NBC network television show, ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

Nicholas Temperley

Opera does not have deep roots in Britain. Only in the last hundred years has a flourishing tradition of English-language opera, in the fullest, continental, sense, existed. Most writers have been tempted to treat the earlier history in a teleological fashion: as a series of faltering steps towards the presumed goal, reached perhaps with Peter Grimes in 1945. They have singled out the rare examples of all-sung opera in English before 1900 as brave attempts at ‘progress’, generally followed by a deplorable relapse, which then has to be explained by some combination of prejudices and hostile forces.

Yet this mainstream opera towards which the English are supposed to have been feebly groping was, after all, a problematic and often unsatisfying form, in which music’s tendency to run away with the show was a matter for reproach and periodic adjustment. The inventors of opera, and its reformers in each era, set out to tame music – to keep it subservient to drama. They had very limited success. So it should not cause surprise that a nation with a powerful school of drama, where music enjoyed an established but subordinate place, tended to resist encroachments from a form in which it seemed that dramatic truth was so readily sacrificed to musical ends. Foreign opera was welcomed in elite circles, and many of its individual features were absorbed into English musical theatre. But an English opera was often felt by critics, probably speaking for the majority of theatregoers, to be a malformed hybrid, aping foreign musical achievements at too great a cost to English theatrical virtues....

Article

Jonas Westover

(b United States). American new Age pianist and producer. He played jazz trumpet and guitar during the 1960s in New York, and has credited John Coltrane as an early influence. He became interested in sonic healing and Eastern religions, both of which became fundamental to the transformation of his musical style. After undergoing a spiritual awakening in 1969 in the Santa Cruz mountains, Halpern developed what he called “anti-frantic alternative” music, releasing his first album, Spectrum Suite, in 1975. It became one of the foundational, and most influential, albums of New Age music. To create what was labeled music for “meditation and inner peace,” Halpern performed slowly unfolding, almost arrhythmic melodies on keyboards and synthesizers. Often using choral backdrops for his minimalist, meandering, and warm sonic environments, he weaves together spiritual growth and musical freedom with the goal of bringing self-actualization and wellness to the listener. He has released over 70 recordings featuring instrumental music as well as guided meditation. These include recordings targeted for specific purposes, such as ...

Article

Stanley Boorman

A document written in the hand of the author or composer. This distinguishes it from the more commonly used word, Autograph, for the latter, strictly, means merely that the document is written by someone who can be named. Thus, an accounting of the manuscripts written by C.P.E. Bach would include not only his holographs, copies of his own compositions, but also his autograph copies of the works of his father, J.S. Bach. Similarly, the father's holographs of his own works need to be distinguished from his autograph copies of music by such composers as Caldara or Lotti, or Grigny.

Even though the accurate detection of a composer's handwriting can often add greatly to the value of a manuscript, the distinction between autograph and holograph is not much observed by antiquarian dealers or auctioneers (who tend to use the more general word in all situations). However, it is useful for scholars, for whom the identity of a scribe or copyist is often of prime importance. The circle of scribes who worked for major 19th-century composers frequently included other, younger composers, earning their living while learning their craft. The musical style of the younger man often shows traces of what he learnt while working as a copyist. Similarly, discovering the identity or working milieu of a Baroque composer-scribe immediately affects our understanding of the value of the music he or she wrote, and recent studies of compositional sketches and drafts by Renaissance and 20th-century composers have radically enhanced our view of their musical priorities....

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I.R.S  

Thane Tierney

Record company. It was originally established in the United States in 1979 by music entrepreneur Miles Copland as an outgrowth of his Faulty Products/Illegal Records company in the United Kingdom. After having negotiated a contract for the rock band the Police with A&M Records, Copland and A&M reached a distribution and production deal for the International Record Syndicate (a/k/a I.R.S.), for which he named 21-year-old Jay Boberg to oversee American operations. I.R.S. not only reissued Illegal releases originally distributed in the United Kingdom, but also became the umbrella group for a host of labels, including Industrial Records, Spy Records, Deptford Fun City Records, No Speak, the independent label Rough Trade, and others, as well as issuing records under the I.R.S. banner. Notable artists included the Buzzcocks, the Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Renaissance, Wall of Voodoo, the Go-Go’s, and R.E.M.

In 1985 I.R.S. switched its distribution to MCA Records for new releases, remaining there until ...

Article

Ian Brookes

Record label. The company was established by Lew Chudd in 1946 in Los Angeles, where it originally issued records aimed at the local Mexican American market. With the New Orleans bandleader and arranger Dave Bartholomew as the company’s A&R man, Chudd extended Imperial’s reach into the emergent rhythm and blues market. Their first major signing was the New Orleans pianist and singer Fats Domino. Between 1949 and 1962, Domino had a string of hit records with Imperial beginning with “The Fat Man” (1949) which was a hit on Billboard’s R&B chart. Domino also began to achieve increasing crossover success for the small, independent label. His biggest hit, “Blueberry Hill” (1956), reached no.1 on the R&B chart and no.2 on the Hot 100. Imperial was the first label to promote the New Orleans R&B scene and, with the success of Domino, several others signings followed: Roy Brown, Smiley Lewis, Tommy Ridgely, and The Spiders. In ...

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Gary W. Kennedy

Record company and label formed around 1989 in Freiburg, Germany, by Frank Kleinschmidt and Jürgen Schwab; it appears to have started recording operations in 1987, but its first issues began to appear only in early 1990. Featured artists include Chico Freeman, both as the leader of his own group, Brainstorm, and as a member of the group Roots (with Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Nathan Davis, and Don Pullen, among others), as well as James “Blood” Ulmer, Buster Williams, and Urszula Dudziak. In the mid-1990s In + Out issued a 15-disc historical anthology (three boxed volumes of five CDs each) entitled ...

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Barry Kernfeld

Record company and label. The company was founded in New York in 1976 by Irv (Irving) Kratka. A subsidiary of the MMO (Music Minus One) Music Group, Inc., it owned three labels, two of which were devoted to jazz. These were Classic Jazz (which should not be confused with the Swedish label Classic Jazz Masters) and Inner City. Although the company was concerned largely with reissuing material first made available by other companies in the USA, Japan (East Wind), and Europe (principally Enja), it also put out new recordings in early swing and bop styles on Classic Jazz and material ranging in style from bop to free jazz and jazz-rock. The company later became enmeshed in a legal dispute which ended its activities. Inner City should not be confused with a pop music label of the same name which was established in the late 1980s. (M. Segell: “Once More, Jazz is Big Business,” ...