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

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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
Kassi Ashton
Jordan Davis
Clare Dunn
Vince Gill
Sam Hunt
Parker Mccollum
Reba McEntire
Kip Moore
Kacey Musgraves
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. [7] 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. [8]

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.

Reissues of country music recordings first issued on the MGM, Polydor, and other former PolyGram labels bear the Mercury Nashville imprint (with some exceptions).

Current Artists
Lauren Alaina
Billy Currington
Travis Denning
Maddie & Tae
Chris Stapleton
Shania Twain

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
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
Kylie Morgan

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 Mercury Records, 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
Temecula Road

Artists

Related Research Articles

Geffen Records is an American record label established by David Geffen and owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M Records imprint.

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, along with 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. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

MCA Records US record label, imprint of MCA Records, Inc.

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group, which the label was part of until its dissolution in 2003. The label's country division MCA Nashville is a still an active imprint of Universal Music Group Nashville.

Polydor Records multinational record label headquartered in the United Kingdom, owned by Universal Music Group

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 record label

Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) 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 an American global music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's global corporate 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. Ten percent of Universal Music Group was acquired by Tencent in January 2020 for US$3 billion.

Mercury Records Record label

Mercury Records was an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. In the US, it operated through Island Records; in the UK, it was distributed by Virgin EMI Records.

London Records record label headquartered in the United Kingdom

London Records is a British record label that marketed records in the United States, Canada, and Latin America for Decca Records from 1947 to 1979 before becoming semi-independent.

Verve Records American record label

Verve Records, also known as The Verve Music 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 and Billie Holiday, 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 a Dutch entertainment company and major music record label. 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 disk gramophone, Emil Berliner.

Blue Thumb Records was an American record label founded in 1968 by Bob Krasnow and former A&M Records executives Tommy LiPuma and Don Graham. Blue Thumb's last record was released in 1978. In 1995, the label was revived and remained active until 2005.

The Island Def Jam Music Group American record label group formed in 1998

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 American record label specialized in reissues and compilations, part of Universal Music Group

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 American record label specializing in musical theater recordings founded in 1999 by Decca Records

Decca Broadway Records was 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.

Interscope Geffen A&M Records American record label

Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA), also known as A&M Records Group, is an American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group, consisting of record labels Interscope Records, Geffen Records, and A&M Records.

Decca Gold is a United States-based record label focusing on classical repertoire. It falls under the umbrella of Verve Label Group, owned by Universal Music Group. The label has a new roster of classical artists and partnerships, and was inspired by the historic Decca Gold Label Series established in 1956 that featured artists such as Andrés Segovia, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Arrau and Dave Brubeck. The label's first album, Emerson String Quartet's Chaconnes and Fantasias: Music of Britten and Purcell, was released on April 21, 2017. Decca Gold partnered with the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition to release recordings of the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. That album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart.

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

Virgin EMI Records British record label

Virgin EMI Records is a British record label owned by the Universal Music Group that was formed in 2013.

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