Wednesday, April 14, 2010
– Concord Music Group bought Rounder Records, it was announced today. Both are indie labels with Concord having a long history with jazz, while Rounder has been perhaps the key player in the indie label scene with bluegrass, Americana, singer/songwriter, Cajun and children's music.
Among those on the Rounder label are Alison Krauss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bela Fleck, Steve Martin, Madeleine Peyroux, Robert Plant, Raffi and Willie Nelson.
Concord artists have included Creedence Clearwater Revival, Charlie Byrd, Elvis Costello, James Costello, Chick Corea and Booker T. & The MGs.
The acquisition of Rounder and its essential collection of more than 3,000 masters combined with Concord Music Group's catalog of more than 10,000 master recordings "strengthens Concord's status as one of the world's most significant independent record companies, with a leadership position in multiple genres," according to a press release.
Rounder's creative and marketing functions will continue to be based in Burlington, Mass. and its owners and founders Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy will remain active with the company in a creative and advisory capacity. The company's senior management will also remain in place: John Virant will continue as the President of Rounder; Sheri Sands will stay on as General Manager. Operating synergies will be achieved by combining the sales, administrative and support functions of the two companies.
Glen Barros, President and CEO of the Concord Music Group, said, "The combination of Concord and Rounder makes so much sense on a creative, strategic and cultural level. With the addition of Rounder, Concord is gaining a magnificent catalog of recordings, the opportunity to work with more of the world's most amazing artists and a company filled with some great people. Plus, Rounder's uncompromising commitment to authenticity and intense independent spirit is perfectly in line with everything that Concord is about."
Norman Lear, Concord Chairman and co-owner, added, "We couldn't be more honored to join together with Rounder in our collective mission to deliver great, timeless music."
Levy, co-Rounder founder, said, "For us, it's always been about the music. We have long been aware of Concord's commitment to great catalogue labels within a vibrant and contemporary independent context and feel the Concord Records Group provides not only a great home for our music and artists, but also a stronger and more secure position going forward."
Rounder's Virant said, "We've always been the little label that could, and our new affiliation with Concord - another fiercely independent organization that shares our core values -- ensures that we can remain true to our central calling: discovering and nurturing quality musical talent."
Concord's publicist could not be reach for further comment.