Concord Music Group Acquires Vanguard, Sugar Hill Labels
April 1, 2015 at 1:19 PM (PT)
CONCORD MUSIC GROUP has acquired renowned indie labels VANGUARD and SUGAR HILL from the WELK MUSIC GROUP.
Founded in 1947, VANGUARD RECORDS has released albums in blues, folk, rock, country and jazz. Currently, VANGUARD's roster includes INDIGO GIRLS, CHRIS ISAAK, JOHN BUTLER TRIO, JOHN FOGERTY, MATT NATHANSON, O.A.R., BARENAKED LADIES, MARC BROUSSARD, JERRY LEE LEWIS and TREVOR HALL, among others. Its iconic catalog includes releases by JOAN BAEZ, DOC WATSON, LEVON HELM, BUDDY GUY, COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH, BIG MAMA THORNTON, MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT, JOHN FAHEY and BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE, among many others.
With deep roots in bluegrass, folk, country and Americana, NASHVILLE-based SUGAR HILL RECORDS, founded in 1978, boasts an eclectic roster featuring acclaimed artists such as SARAH JAROSZ, LEE ANN WOMACK, LIZ LONGLEY, COREY SMITH, ,KASEY CHAMBERS, SAM BUSH, moe, BRYAN SUTTON and BLACK PRAIRIE. Its catalog includes albums from NICKEL CREEK, DON WILLIAMS, DOC WATSON, DOLLY PARTON, GUY CLARK, NEW GRASS REVIVAL, ROBERT EARL KEEN, TIM O'BRIEN and TONY RICE.
WELK MUSIC GROUP Pres. KEVIN WELK will remain engaged as Chief Creative for both labels. In this capacity, he will continue to contribute toward the development and optimization of the labels’ artist rosters.
In LOS ANGELES, VANGUARD’s operations and label team will be merged under CONCORD’s FANTASY LABEL GROUP. VANGUARD GM DAN SELL will continue to lead the label’s operations as COO, reporting to FANTASY LABEL GROUP Pres. MARGI CHESKE.
In NASHVILLE, SUGAR HILLs operations and label team will be merged under CONCORD’s ROUNDER LABEL GROUP. SUGAR HILL GM CLIFF O'SULLIVAN will be the label group’s COO and will report to group president JOHN VIRANT.
“CONCORD is strengthened today by the addition of VANGUARD and SUGAR HILLl’s acclaimed artist roster, renowned catalog and gifted executives,” stated CONCORD MUSIC GROUP CEO GLEN BARROS. “This acquisition further establishes CONCORD MUSIC GROUP as a home for extraordinary artists. We welcome VANGUARD and SUGAR HILL into the CONCORD family and look forward to building upon their great legacies.”
“Strategically, we couldn’t find a better home for VANGUARD and SUGAR HILL,” added WELK MUSIC GROUP President KEVIN WELK. “Not only will they care for our historic catalog and distinguished artists, their desire to grow the new artist business was paramount in the decision. Combining the executive talent of both companies will strengthen CONCORD’s ability to nurture new talent and be a force in this business.”
The acquisition of the two venerable indie labels closely follows the recent merger of CONCORD MUSIC GROUP with publisher THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY into CONCORD BICYCLE MUSIC. In connection with this merger, CONCORD BICYCLE MUSIC announced that it raised $100 million of additional capital to fund further growth through continued music rights acquisitions and artist development investments to position it as "one of the fastest growing independent music companies in the world."