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Concord Music Group Acquires Sugar Hill & Vanguard Records

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Sugar Hill Joins Concord Music Group Concord Music Group is extremely pleased to announce that it has acquired renowned independent record labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill from the Welk Music Group.

Founded in 1947, Vanguard Records has carried forward a sterling legacy of artistic excellence and achievement in blues, folk, rock, country and jazz. Currently, Vanguard’s admired roster includes Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, John Butler Trio, John Fogerty, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Matt Nathanson, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, Sallie Ford, Marc Broussard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Trevor Hall to name a few. Its iconic catalog includes hundreds of pivotal titles from 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 amongst many others.

With deep roots in bluegrass, folk, country and Americana, Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records, founded in 1978, has maintained a tradition of high integrity and extraordinary quality over its impressive history. Today, the eclectic Sugar Hill roster features acclaimed artists such as Sarah Jarosz, Lee Ann Womack, Liz Longley, Corey Smith, Kasey Chambers, Sam Bush, moe., Bryan Sutton, Black Prairie and many more. A brief sampling from its classic 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.

Post-acquisition, Welk Music Group President Kevin Welk will remain engaged with Vanguard and Sugar Hill as Chief Creative for the 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. Dan Sell, General Manager of Vanguard prior to the acquisition, will continue to lead the label’s operations as Vanguard’s Chief Operating Officer. He will report to Fantasy Label Group president, Margi Cheske.

In Nashville, Sugar Hill’s operations and label team will be merged under Concord’s Rounder Label Group. Cliff O’Sullivan, General Manager of Sugar Hill prior to the acquisition, will be the label group’s Chief Operating Officer and will report to group president, John Virant.

"Concord is strengthened today by the addition of Vanguard and Sugar Hill’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,” stated Kevin Welk, President of Welk Music Group. "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 Vanguard and Sugar Hill closely follows the recent merger of Concord Music Group, one of the largest independent music companies in the world, and The Bicycle Music Company, a leading independent music publisher, record label and rights manager, 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. These moves position this now fully integrated recorded music and publishing powerhouse as one of the fastest growing independent music companies in the world.

Concord Bicycle Music, based in Beverly Hills, California and Nashville, Tennessee is comprised of Concord Music Group and The Bicycle Music Company. Concord Music Group primarily manages the company’s recorded music activities, while The Bicycle Music Company oversees publishing and rights management.

Concord Bicycle Music’s portfolio of more than 9,000 active album recordings includes at least 260 RIAA certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum releases (including one of only 115 RIAA Diamond® albums, attesting to USA consumer sales in excess of 10 million units). Its collection also includes 210 Grammy® winners (more than 5% of the Grammy® awards ever presented in the 57-year history of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).

Its master recording catalog features works by AFI, Gregg Allman, George Benson, The Brand New Heavies, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, The Connells, Creed, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Drowning Pool, Evanescence, Finger Eleven, Vince Guaraldi, Isaac Hayes, Kenny G, Carole King, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Steve Martin, Paul McCartney and Wings, Nine Inch Nails, The Offspring, The Pharcyde, Robert Plant, Raffi, Otis Redding, Seether, Paul Simon, The Skyliners, Social Distortion, The Staple Singers, James Taylor, George Thorogood, Tone-Loc, Brenton Wood and Young MC. A small sampling of the company’s active recording roster includes Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Paul Simon, Ben Harper, Seether, Valerie June, Dave Koz, Esperanza Spalding, and Kenny G; and through its partnership with Loma Vista Recordings, Spoon, St. Vincent and Marilyn Manson.

The company’s celebrated family of labels includes Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Fantasy, Rounder, Stax, Hear Music, Milestone, Nitro, Prestige, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Loma Vista, Bicycle, Vee-Jay and recent acquisitions Vanguard and Sugar Hill.

Concord Bicycle Music’s songbook includes over 55,000 copyrighted works and more than 750 Billboard® chart hits, featuring the standards Always On My Mind, Bad Moon Rising, Because of You, Born On The Bayou, Bring Me To Life, Bust A Move, Come On Get Happy, Crossroads Blues, Down On The Corner, Eye of the Tiger, Fortunate Son, Guantanamera, Guitars Cadillacs, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Hang On Sloopy, Hurt, Ironic, Lady Sings The Blues, The Letter, Let Your Love Flow, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, Man In The Mirror, Proud Mary, Sister Christian, Slow Ride, Stand By Your Man, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, This Is How We Do It, Time After Time, The Wanderer, Where Have All The Flowers Gone, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Wild Thing and the Tony® Grammy® Pulitzer® winner A Chorus Line.

The Concord Bicycle Music songwriter portfolio contains works by Roy Ayers, Marty Balin, Glen Ballard, Sammy Cahn, Wes Farrell, The Fixx, John Fogerty, Foghat, Marvin Hamlisch, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Montell Jordan, Josh Kelley, Cyndi Lauper, Ernie Maresca, Marilyn Manson, Ben Moody, Night Ranger, Nine Inch Nails, Jim Peterik, Sonny Rollins, Pete Seeger and Third Eye Blind.

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