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Label News (more headlines) 04-09-2014

Big Machine Label Group And Republic Records Revive Legendary Dot Records

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Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta and New York-headquartered Republic Records CEO Monte Lipman announced a joint venture to revive the iconic, multi-genre Dot Records label. Borchetta and Lipman's previously created joint venture, Republic Nashville, was founded in 2009 and remains under the BMLG umbrella in Nashville. Similarly, Dot Records will be located on Music Row and will utilize the combined resources of Big Machine and Republic Records.

Industry veteran Chris Stacey has been tapped to spearhead Dot Records as General Manager. Stacey most recently served as Senior Vice President and Head of Promotion at Warner Music Nashville. He has a 20-year career working with acts across various genres such as Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Counting Crows, John Mayer, Joss Stone, Shania Twain, Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes and Willie Nelson.

While no artists have been announced to the Dot Records' roster, the label is carefully -- and aggressively -- looking for talent around the globe.

In 1950, electrical appliance store owner Randy Wood founded Dot Records just outside Nashville in neighboring Gallatin, Tenn. Wood's entry into the music business began when he started to sell Classical and Pop records in his store, Randy's, and soon noticed that his customers were more interested in purchasing records of the artists they were hearing on the local Nashville radio station WLAC. As a result of this demand, Wood created a mail-order record business and renamed his store Randy's Record Shop. His passion for delivering great music to his customers inspired him to take his business one step further in which he decided to become part-owner of a local daytime-only radio station. When the day's broadcast would come to a close, Wood brought local talent into the station's studio, recording original music that led to the now legendary Dot Records. Much like the Big Machine Label Group and Republic Records, Dot Records garnered rapid success because of its ability to find, develop and market great music. Dot became known for producing music that spanned genres, ranging from Country to Pop to R&B and Bluegrass. Over 100 artists released music on Dot Records from 1950 to 1978 including Barbara Mandrell, Pat Boone, Roy Clark, The Fontane Sisters, The Surfaris, Freddy Fender and Lawrence Welk.

The original Dot Records catalogue is now owned by the Universal Music Group, parent company of Republic Records.

"The first question we will get is 'why start another imprint?' The answer, quite simply, is 'it's time!'. We are again at the dawn of change in the music industry," said Borchetta. "When we started Big Machine in 2005 we were at the very beginning of artists properly utilizing social media to cut through the noise and engage fans. Today, that is not news by any stretch, it's part of everyday life and as we transition into different digital models, hitting the reset button with another great executive, Chris Stacey, and reactivating the great Dot Records brand makes all the sense in the world. New executive strength and vision and the ability to sign new and exciting artists has always been the culture of the Big Machine Label Group. This is a very exciting day!"

"Everyone at Republic Records takes tremendous pride in our strategic alliance with Scott Borchetta and the Big Machine Label Group," said Monte Lipman. "As we continue to make a significant impact on pop culture, Dot Records is the natural evolution of our unique relationship and represents the entrepreneurial spirit of both companies."

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. To be able to create a brand new label under the BMLG umbrella with all of their resources is a dream come true," said Stacey. "The chance to team up with Scott and Monte and Avery is what every record exec dreams of! To have the freedom of an independent label with the global capabilities of a major is truly the best of both worlds. I am proud to lead the charge of taking the historic Dot brand and turning it into a force in today's new model music business," he continued.

Dot Records is poised for success given the achievements of BMLG and Republic's initial venture. In just five years, Republic Nashville launched record-breaking superstar duo Florida Georgia Line, multi-platinum sibling trio The Band Perry, Grammy-nominated Eli Young Band and Platinum-certified winner of "The Voice" Cassadee Pope. Republic Nashville has scored eleven #1 hits and seventeen Top 10 singles, released eight albums that have sold nearly 5 million copies and over 30 million tracks - all solidifying the label as a major player even beyond Music Row. Additionally, Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" is the best-selling digital Country single of all time.

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