Rhino Entertainment

Last updated
Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment logo.svg
Parent company Warner Music Group
Founded1978 (1978)
FounderHarold Bronson
Richard Foos
Distributor(s)Self-distributed
(In the US)
WEA International Inc.
(Outside the US)
GenreVarious
Country of originUnited States
Official website www.rhino.com

Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label and production company founded in 1978. It is currently the catalog division for Warner Music Group. Its current CEO is Mark Pinkus. [1]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music, is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

Contents

History

Founded in 1978, [2] Rhino was originally a novelty and reissue label during the 1970s and 1980s. It released compilation albums of pop, rock & roll, and rhythm & blues successes from the 1950s through the 1980s, as well as novelty-song LPs (compiled in-house or by Dr. Demento) and retrospectives of famous comedy performers, including Richard Pryor, Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, and Spike Jones.

Novelty song music genre; type of comical or nonsensical song

A novelty song is a comical or nonsensical song, performed principally for its comical effect. Humorous songs, or those containing humorous elements, are not necessarily novelty songs. The term arose in Tin Pan Alley to describe one of the major divisions of popular music; the other two divisions were ballads and dance music. Novelty songs achieved great popularity during the 1920s and 1930s. They had a resurgence of interest in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the music industry, a reissue is the release of an album or single which has been released at least once before, sometimes with alterations or additions.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Rhino started as a record shop on Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, in 1973, run by Richard Foos, and became a record distributor five years later [3] thanks to the effort of then-store manager Harold Bronson. Their early releases were mostly novelty records (such as their first single, in 1975, Wild Man Fischer's "Go To Rhino Records"). The difficulties involved in getting airplay and distribution for such material eventually caused Foos and Bronson to take the label in other directions. One of Rhino's early artists was The Twisters, whose Los Angeles popularity far exceeded their album sales.[ citation needed ] Rhino's mail-order catalogs and early LP labels featured the company's mascot character, a cartoon Elvis Presley rhinoceros wearing a black leather jacket named "Rocky", designed by bootleg cover artist William Stout, and later cartoonist Scott Shaw!.

Westwood Boulevard

Westwood Boulevard is a street in Los Angeles that runs through the heart of Westwood Village and further south in West Los Angeles.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Wild Man Fischer American musician

Lawrence Wayne "Wild Man" Fischer was an American street performer known for offering erratic, acapella performances of "new kinds of songs" for a nickel or a dime each on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Most of his life was spent homeless or institutionalized, and he later became regarded as "the godfather of outsider music".

The original Rhino logo, designed by William Stout Classic Rhino logo.jpg
The original Rhino logo, designed by William Stout

Some of the label's earliest successes with reissues were achieved by acquiring the rights to the White Whale Records catalog[ citation needed ] that included the Turtles. By the mid-1980s, most of Rhino's releases were reissues of previously released recordings licensed from other companies. For superior sound quality, audio mastering of the original tapes (where possible) was done under the direction of Bill Inglot, and the label's creative packaging made Rhino one of the most respected reissue record labels, receiving rave reviews from music collectors, fans, and historians[ citation needed ]; and later, Grammy nominations and awards.[ citation needed ] Rhino was quick to get into the compact disc market, releasing dozens of oldies CDs at the dawn of the CD age in 1984.[ citation needed ] Their retrospective compact disc releases, such as those in the Billboard Top Hits series, are often remastered to restore or improve upon the releases' original analog audio quality.

White Whale Records was an American independent record label, founded in 1965 by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff in Los Angeles, California, and probably best known as the record label of The Turtles and a handful of one-hit wonder bands.

The Turtles American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman

The Turtles are an American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, later known as Flo & Eddie. The band had several Top 40 hits beginning with their cover version of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" in 1965. They scored their biggest and best-known hit in 1967 with the song "Happy Together".

In the late 1980s, Rhino transitioned into a complete entertainment company specializing in home video (initially VHS, then DVD and Blu-ray) reissues of television programs such as The Monkees , The Lone Ranger , The Transformers , Mystery Science Theater 3000 , and Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics collection, as well as compact disc releases of select artists and movie soundtracks.

VHS Consumer-level analog video tape recording and cassette form factor standard

VHS is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes. Developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the early 1970s, it was released in Japan on September 9, 1976 and in the United States on August 23, 1977.

DVD Optical disc

DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

Blu-ray optical disc storage medium

Blu-ray or Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was designed to supersede the DVD format, and is capable of storing several hours of video in high-definition and ultra high-definition resolution (2160p). The main application of Blu-ray is as a medium for video material such as feature films and for the physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The name "Blu-ray" refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, the company's a&r head, Gary Stewart, signed artists who recorded new music including Cindy Lee Berryhill, Steve Wynn, Rank and File, Gene Clark & Carla Olson, The Textones, NRBQ. These albums were released on the main Rhino label and on subsidiary labels such as RNA (Rhino New Artists) and Forward. However, the company's artists tended to generate more critical acclaim than public interest; for the most part, sales totals in the low five figures or less were routine for Rhino-produced albums,[ citation needed ] and the less costly, less risky reissue business remained the company’s primary revenue stream. One exception was the success of "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & the Beaters, a 1981 song that went to the top of the U.S. Billboard charts in late 1986 after being featured in an episode of the hit NBC TV series Family Ties .

Billy Vera is an American singer, songwriter, actor, author and music historian. He has been a singer and songwriter since the 1960s, his most successful record being "At This Moment", a US number 1 hit in 1987. He continues to perform with his group Billy Vera & The Beaters, and won a Grammy Award in 2013.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

In 1985, [4] Rhino signed a six-year distribution agreement with Capitol Records. During 1989 Rhino and Capitol’s parent EMI made a deal to jointly acquire Roulette Records; Rhino received the US rights to Roulette's catalog, excluding jazz. When the distribution deal with Capitol ended in 1992, Rhino signed a new distribution deal with Atlantic Records, and in turn Time Warner bought a 50 percent stake in the record company. In 1998, Time Warner bought the other half of Rhino; making the company a wholly owned unit of Time Warner. [5] The Rhino Records retail store, which was part of the 50% sale in 1992 but which reverted to Foos after Time Warner bought out the remainder, [6] closed in 2005. [7] [8] [9]

It is through this merger that the label has reissued material from such artists as the Monkees, Eric Burdon, Fanny, Dannii Minogue, the Ramones, the Grateful Dead, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Beach Boys, Yes, the Doobie Brothers, the Cars, Chicago, Tom Paxton, Third Eye Blind, the Doors, War, Spirit of the West and most recently the Bee Gees; as well as soundtracks spanning the Turner-owned pre-1986 MGM and pre-1950 [10] Warner Bros. periods, in addition to WB's own post-1949 period. [lower-alpha 1] Rhino's soundtrack releases include Gone with the Wind , The Wizard of Oz , Easter Parade , North by Northwest , Casablanca , King Kong , Doctor Zhivago , Superman , and Finian's Rainbow . The Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. film soundtrack libraries are currently managed by Warner Bros.' in-house label subsidiary, WaterTower Music. [11]

In 1999, Rhino started the 'Rhino Handmade' division of limited-edition releases available primarily from their website. All Handmade deluxe editions were limited to about 3,000 copies or less, and once sold out were not re-pressed. (Since Rhino revamped its website in early 2013, the Handmade division appears to have been discontinued.)

In 2003, co-founders and longtime executives Richard Foos and Harold Bronson left Rhino, reportedly due to frustration with the challenges of an increasingly competitive market. In fact, Time Warner's final vesting of its 100 percent ownership of the label, and its subsequent 'reorganization' of label staff, which did not stop at the former owners, were the major factors in their exits.[ citation needed ] Soon after, Foos inaugurated a new label, Shout! Factory, which began releasing dozens of CDs and videos mirroring the original early-1990s Rhino philosophy. In 2004, Time Warner spun off its music divisions and today Rhino is part of the newly organized Warner Music Group.

In addition to dealing with archive material, the label also manages the U.S. distribution or worldwide production of compilations for more recent Warner acts, including still-active artists such as Enya, New Order, and Chicago.

In June 2006, Warner Strategic Marketing in the U.K. was dissolved and Rhino Records UK was formed. [12] The division has two main factions: TV-advertised compilations (for example Pure Garage Rewind Back to the Old School ) and catalog material from the Warner vaults. Led Zeppelin's 2007 release Mothership and the soundtrack to the film Juno are among the label's recent successes.

Similar music companies include Rykodisc, Light in the Attic Records, Cinedigm's Shout! Factory, Sundazed Records, Omnivore Recordings, Collectables Records, Friday Music, Concord Music's Varèse Sarabande and Craft Recordings, Sony Music's Legacy Recordings, Universal Music's UMe and HIP-O, One Way Records, Beat Goes On Records, [13] Len Fico's Sunset Blvd Records, Ace Records of Great Britain, Bear Family of Germany, Pacemaker Entertainment [14] and Unidisc Music of Canada.

See also

Notes

  1. WB retained a pair of features from 1949 that they merely distributed; all short subjects released on or after September 1, 1948; and all cartoons released in August 1948

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