Universal Music Group Nashville

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Universal Music Group Nashville
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded
  • MCA Nashville (1945)
  • Mercury Nashville (1945)
  • Capitol Nashville (1950)
  • EMI Records Nashville (2010)
  • Lost Highway (2000)
Distributor(s) Universal Music Distribution
Genre Country
Country of origin United States
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Official website umgnashville.com

Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records, Mercury Nashville Records, Lost Highway Records, Capitol Records Nashville and EMI Records Nashville. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records. [1]

Contents

MCA Nashville

MCANashville Logo.svg

MCA Nashville started out as the country music division of Decca Records in 1945, founded by Paul Cohen [2] in New York. In 1947, Cohen hired Owen Bradley as his assistant working in Nashville. The country music division moved to Nashville in 1955 as much of the country music recording business was locating there. [3] Bradley succeeded Cohen as head of Decca's Nashville division in 1958 [4] and developed Decca into a country music powerhouse. Decca Nashville was renamed MCA Nashville in 1973.

In 1979, MCA Nashville absorbed the country music roster (including Roy Clark, Barbara Mandrell and The Oak Ridge Boys) and back catalogue of ABC Records including the Dot Records catalogue. In the early 1980s, MCA Nashville signed Reba McEntire [5] and George Strait, [6] two of the greatest selling artists of all time and the mega stars on the record label.

In the 1990s MCA Nashville briefly revived the Decca label for country music releases, but it was shut down after Universal Music absorbed PolyGram and chose to reserve the Decca name for classical music releases. While Decca resumed issuing country music in February 2008, the current Decca country music department has no connection with UMG Nashville. However, MCA Nashville continues to reissue past country releases from Decca, as well as those on the Kapp label.

With the absorption of MCA Records into Geffen Records in 2003, MCA Nashville, apart from UMG's operations in the Philippines, is now the only unit of UMG to still use the MCA name.

Current Artists
Jordan Davis
Vince Gill
Sam Hunt
Parker McCollum
Reba McEntire
Kip Moore
Kacey Musgraves
Catie Offerman [7]
George Strait
Josh Turner

Mercury Nashville

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The still active Mercury Records was formed in Chicago in 1945 issuing recordings in a variety of genres including country music. [8] The Nashville office of Mercury began as a joint venture between Mercury and "Pappy" Daily's established country music record label Starday Records in January 1957. In July 1958, the Mercury/Starday joint venture was dissolved and Starday record producer Shelby Singleton stayed on with Mercury in Nashville, becoming head of Mercury's Nashville office by 1961. Singleton left Mercury in 1966 to form his own company which bought Sun Records in 1969. [9]

In 1986 American country music singer and songwriter Johnny Cash was dropped by Columbia Nashville and then signed up for Mercury Nashville and his first album was Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town and Cash made several excellent and unforgettable hits from 1987 to 1991 with Mercury Nashville. In 1997, PolyGram, which owned Mercury, consolidated all its Nashville operations under the Mercury name.

When PolyGram was purchased by Universal Music Group in 1998, the resulting record label consolidations left Mercury under The Island Def Jam Music Group umbrella making Mercury in the USA dormant until recently, but still active internationally. The consolidations in Nashville which created UMG Nashville kept the Mercury Nashville imprint active.

Most reissues of country music recordings first issued on the MGM, Polydor, and other former PolyGram labels bear the Mercury Nashville imprint.

Current Artists
Lauren Alaina
Priscilla Block [10]
Boy Named Banjo [11]
Billy Currington
Travis Denning
Maddie & Tae
Chris Stapleton
Shania Twain
Sam Williams [12]

Capitol Records Nashville

Capitol Records Nashville is a major United States-based record label located in Nashville Tennessee operating as part of the Capitol Music Group. Capitol Nashville was formerly known as Liberty Records from 1991 until 1995 when it was changed back to Capitol. In 1993 Liberty opened a sister label, Patriot Records, but it was closed in 1995. In 1999 EMI launched Virgin Records Nashville but by 2001 Capitol absorbed the short-lived label. Capitol Nashville remained a stand-alone label until 2010 when it launched EMI Nashville. Capitol Nashville is also home to several successful comedy artists who remain on its roster today. On March 23, 2011, Alan Jackson signed with Capitol's EMI Nashville division in conjunction with his own ACR Records label. In late 2012 Capitol Records Nashville became part of the Universal Music Group after a merger between EMI and UMG.

Current Artists
Dierks Bentley
Luke Bryan
Mickey Guyton
Adam Hambrick
Caylee Hammack
Hootie & The Blowfish
Hot Country Knights
Little Big Town
Jon Pardi
Darius Rucker
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

EMI Records Nashville

EMI Records Nashville was formed in 2010 and served as a sister label to Capitol Records Nashville. Its flagship artist was Troy Olsen. Other artists signed to EMI include Eric Church and Alan Jackson (in a shared agreement with his own ACR Records). Universal Music Group acquired EMI in 2012. EMI is currently a part of UMG along with sister label Capitol Records Nashville.

Current Artists
Gary Allan
Brothers Osborne
Eric Church
Alan Jackson
Jon Langston
Brandon Lay [13]
Chrissy Metz
Kylie Morgan [13]

Lost Highway Records

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Lost Highway Records was formed by Luke Lewis in 2000. Lost Highway Records operates as a country music label, based out of Nashville. The label also issues music by alternative rock and alternative country artists such as Morrissey and Ryan Adams. The company's name was inspired by a Leon Payne song. Today the label operates as an imprint of Island Records, formerly a division of The Island Def Jam Music Group. Lost Highway has distributed the soundtracks for O Brother, Where Art Thou? , Deadwood , and Open Season by Paul Westerberg. They have also acted as distributor for albums from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

Buena Vista Records

Formed in April 2017 Buena Vista Records is a partnership between Disney Music Group and Universal Music Group Nashville.

Current Artists
CB30

Artists

Related Research Articles

Virgin Records UK record company

Virgin Records Ltd is a British record label owned by Universal Music Group. It originally launched as an independent record label and was founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide success over time, with the success of platinum performers such as Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Phil Collins, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz and Mike Oldfield among others, meaning that by the time it was sold, it was regarded as a major label, alongside other large international independents such as A&M and Island Records.

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre.

MCA Records US record label

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger Universal Music Group.

Polydor Records German-British record label and company

Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label and company that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.

Deutsche Grammophon German classical music record label

Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquartered in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is a global music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's corporate headquarters are located in Hilversum, Netherlands and its operational headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. The biggest music company in the world, it is one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Tencent acquired ten percent of Universal Music Group in March 2020 for €3 billion and acquired an additional ten percent stake in January 2021.

Mercury Records Record label

Mercury Records was an American record label that had significant success as an independent operation in the 1940s and 1950s, and that later was owned by Philips, PolyGram, and Universal Music Group. In the United States, it operated through Island Records; in the United Kingdom, it was distributed by EMI Records.

London Recordings is a British record label that marketed records in the United States, Canada, and Latin America for Decca Records from 1947 to 1980 before becoming semi-independent. The London name — as London American Recordings, often shortened to London American — was also used by British Decca in the UK market, for releases taken from American labels, which British Decca licensed.

Verve Records American record label

Verve Records, also known as Verve Label Group, founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue and includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier labels, Clef Records, founded in 1946, Norgran Records, founded in 1953, and material previously licensed to Mercury Records.

PolyGram N.V. was an entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disc gramophone, Emil Berliner.

EMI Records Record label founded by the EMI company

EMI Records Ltd. is a British record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). The original EMI Records was founded by the music company of the same name in 1972 as its flagship label, and launched in January 1973 as the successor to its Columbia and Parlophone record labels. The label was later launched worldwide. It has a branch in India called "EMI Records India", run by director Mohit Suri. UMG revived the label in June 2020, as the successor to Virgin EMI, with Virgin Records now operating as an imprint of EMI Records.

The Island Def Jam Music Group

The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) was an American record label group formed in 1998 by combining the operations of 14+ record labels including Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Mercury Records. In 2011, Motown Records was split from The Universal/Motown Records Group and subsequently became a division of the Island Def Jam Music Group. On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced that Island Def Jam's operations would be split between three entities: Island Records, Motown Records, and Def Jam Recordings.

Hip-O Records

Hip-O Records is a record label that specializes in reissues and compilations. It is part of Universal Music Group. Established in 1996, the label has distributed releases from 'out of style' genres such as disco and early hip-hop music as well as publishing film soundtracks. The label's name is a pun on the name 'hippo'.

Decca Broadway

Decca Broadway Records is an American record label specializing in musical theater recordings founded in 1999 by Decca Records and is a unit of Universal Music Group. Decca Broadway issued both new original cast albums as well as reissues of classic musical theater performances from the catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including Decca which pioneered the release of original cast albums. Decca Broadway was absorbed into UMG's Verve Records in 2013. Verve Label Group relaunched the Decca Broadway label in 2019.

Capitol Music Group American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group

Capitol Music Group is an American front line umbrella label owned by the Universal Music Group (UMG). The company is run by Chairman & CEO Jeff Vaughn. It oversees handling of record labels assigned to UMG's Capitol Records division and was inherited from its acquisition of EMI's catalog [with the exception of Parlophone, which was sold to Warner Music Group (WMG) in 2013]. It is one of seven umbrella labels owned by UMG, the other six being Interscope Geffen A&M, Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, Republic Records, Verve Records, and Decca Records.

Capitol Records Nashville is a major United States-based record label located in Nashville, Tennessee operating as part of the Universal Music Group Nashville. From 1991 to 1995, Capitol Nashville was known as Liberty Records, before returning to the Capitol Nashville name in 1995. While under the Liberty name, the label operated short-lived sister label Patriot Records from 1994 to 1995. In 1999, EMI launched Virgin Records Nashville but by 2001, Capitol absorbed the short-lived label. In 2010, the label launched sister label EMI Nashville. On March 23, 2011, Alan Jackson signed with Capitol's EMI Nashville division in conjunction with his own ACR Records label.

Several record labels have included Nashville Records as part of their name:

Virgin EMI Records British record label

Virgin EMI Records was a British record label owned by the Universal Music Group that was formed in 2013. In June 2020, the label was rebranded as EMI Records, and operates Virgin Records as an imprint of the new EMI Records.

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  5. "Reba McEntire". Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  6. "George Strait Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
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  11. https://www.umgnashville.com/our-artists/label/mercury-nashville/
  12. https://www.umgnashville.com/our-artists/label/mercury-nashville/
  13. 1 2 https://www.umgnashville.com/our-artists/label/emi-records-nashville/