Concord Music Group

Concord Music Group was formed in 2004 with the merger of Concord Records and Fantasy Records. In 2005, the company welcomed Telarc Records to the family. Each of these companies has a long history full of major music milestones and critical acclaim. Together, they bring rosters of current artists and legendary catalogs, which make Concord Music one of the largest and fastest-growing independent music companies in the world.

The Concord Music Group is one of the largest independent record and music publishing companies in the world and owner of a rich and historically significant catalog of recordings. After acquiring the once prestigious Rounder Records,  Concord Music’s legendary family of labels also include Stax, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Peak, and Prestige, to name a few.
Part of Concord Music’s mission statement proclaims the company shall “enrich lives by providing music of timeless appeal in innovative ways.” This commitment to the music-loving public is why we continue to focus on music of quality and long-term appeal, while being cognizant of the changes in the way that consumers find and experience music. Examples of how the label is implementing this mission include the revival of the classic Stax label, home to the finest in R&B and soul music, and Hear Music, a joint venture with Starbucks that makes music more readily accessible to fans.
With regards to Fantasy Records, brothers Max and Sol Weiss operated a San Francisco plastic molding business that included a record pressing plant, one of whose early clients was pianist Dave Brubeck. Due to the local success of the Brubeck discs, the pressing plant metamorphosed into a label, which the Weisses named  after a science-fiction magazine. Besides such jazz musicians as Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Cal Tjader, and Vince Guaraldi, the company signed all manner of performers. In 1968, a year after a group of investors headed by Fantasy sales manager Saul Zaentz purchased the company, Fantasy began hitting platinum many times over with the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival.
TelarcRecords was along side Fantasy in becoming part of the earlys of Concord Music Group.Telarc is noted for the high quality of its recordings, encapsulated in the slogan “The Telarc Sound”. Its engineers are highly regarded within the recording business, and have led Telarc to 40 Grammy Awards. In 2004 it received the “Label Of The Year” Award from Gramophone Magazine. Telarc was one of the first labels to begin recording music with a 20-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in the late 1980s and started using 24-bit formats since 1996.
Through these acquisitions, Concord Music group has grown to become the largest independent family of labels and publishers of jazz, blues and R&B. Although this article delved into the growth and development of the legal entity surrounding label itself, an extensive list of various artists and key members can be found throughout the various archives of the indie label universe.

Wes Babb
Senior at Middle Tennessee State University 2010
Music Business of the Recording Industry

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