Rounder Records

Last updated
Rounder Records
Rounder logo.jpg
Parent company Concord Music Group
Founded1970;49 years ago (1970)
FounderKen Irwin
Bill Nowlin
Marian Leighton-Levy
Distributor(s) Decca Records
Country of originU.S.
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Official website

Rounder Records is an American record label specializing in folk, bluegrass, blues, and other forms of American roots music. Its roster includes Alison Krauss and Union Station, Béla Fleck, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and Steep Canyon Rangers. Rounder's musicians have won over 40 Grammy Awards since the label's inception in 1970. The company also maintains book and video divisions. [1]

Folk music Music of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Bluegrass music is a genre of American roots music that developed in the 1940s in the United States Appalachian region. The genre derives its name from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. Bluegrass has roots in traditional English, Irish, and Scottish ballads and dance tunes, and by traditional African-American blues and jazz. The Blue Grass Boys played a Mountain Music style that Bill learned in Asheville, North Carolina from bands like Wade Mainer's and other popular acts on radio station WWNC. It was further developed by musicians who played with him, including 5-string banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitarist Lester Flatt. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.



Rounder was founded in 1970 by Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton-Levy, three college friends in Massachusetts who shared an interest in folk, old country, and bluegrass music. They gave the label its name for several reasons: the shape of a vinyl record, the nickname for a hobo, and the name of the folk band The Holy Modal Rounders. [2] In Rounder's first three years, it released 19 records, starting in 1970 with an album by George Pegram, a 76-year-old banjo player from Texas. [3] The trio self-identified as rounders, the name reflecting the "outlaw self-image of three romantics who positioned themselves in opposition to capitalism, the programmatic rigidity of the old Left, and the more doctrinaire cultural rules of the folk revival itself." [4] Rounder's earliest success was George Thorogood and The Destroyers, a blues-rock band that sold half a million copies of their 1978 album Move It On Over . Headquarters were moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over the years, Rounder expanded its roster to include other genres such as reggae, and zydeco. The label's first Grammy was won by blues guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown in 1983 for the album Alright Again. [2]

The Holy Modal Rounders band

The Holy Modal Rounders was an American folk music group, originally the duo of Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber, who began performing together on the Lower East Side of New York City in the early 1960s. Their unique blend of folk music revival and psychedelia gave them a cult-like following from the late 1960s into the 1970s. For a time the group also included the playwright and actor Sam Shepard.

George Thorogood American blues rock vocalist/guitarist

George Lawrence Thorogood is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Wilmington, Delaware. His "high-energy boogie-blues" sound became a staple of 1980s rock radio, with hits like his original songs "Bad to the Bone" and "I Drink Alone". He has also helped to popularize older songs by American icons, such as "Move It on Over", "Who Do You Love?", and "House Rent Boogie/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer".

<i>Move It On Over</i> (album) 1978 studio album by George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Move It On Over is the second album by George Thorogood and the Destroyers released by Rounder Records in 1978. The album contains all cover material. Its title track, Hank Williams' "Move It on Over," received major FM radio airplay when released, as did the Bo Diddley cover, "Who Do You Love?"

Alison Krauss

Rounder's most successful act is bluegrass singer and fiddler Alison Krauss. In 1991, at the age of 19, she won a Grammy Award for her second album, I've Got That Old Feeling . The album spawned singles, videos, and national TV exposure. [2] Krauss has sold over 12 million albums and won 27 Grammy Awards, more than any other female recording artist. [3]

Alison Krauss American bluegrass-country singer-songwriter and musician

Alison Maria Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of 10 and recording for the first time at 14. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

<i>Ive Got That Old Feeling</i> 1990 studio album by Alison Krauss

I've Got That Old Feeling is an album by American violinist/singer Alison Krauss, released in 1990. It reached number 61 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.


Subsidiary labels

See also

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  1. "The Rounder Records Story". Rounder. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Rounder Records Corporation". Reference for Business. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. 1 2 Nicholson, Jessica. "54 Years of Rounder Records". Music Row. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  4. 'The Never-ending Revival Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance' Book by Michael F. Scully 2008 University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago ISBN   978-0-252-03333-9