Concord Music Group acquires Sugar Hill Records

Sugar Hill RecordsConcord Music Group, a Beverly Hills-based music publishing and record label conglomerate, has acquired Sugar Hill Records and Vanguard Records from the Welk Music Group.

Plans are for Sugar Hill to move into the Nashville offices of Rounder Records, another Concord property, under the direction of Rounder President John Virant. No positions are expected to be eliminated in the transition.

Ina statement today, Concord Music Group CEO Glen Barros said…

Concord Music Group CEO Glen Barros“Concord is strengthened today by the addition of Vanguard and Sugar Hill’s acclaimed artist roster, renowned catalog and gifted executives. 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.”

Sugar Hill was started in Durham, NC in 1979 by Barry Poss, a former employee of Rebel Records in Virginia. Their early emphasis was on bluegrass and folk music, and Sugar Hill was responsible for releasing some of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the ’80s and ’90s.

They first brought Chris Thile and Nickel Creek to worldwide attention, and had projects for Lonesome River Band, Dolly Parton, Seldom Scene, Hot Rize, Sam Bush, Infamous Stringdusters, Ronnie Bowman, New Grass Revival, Red Clay Ramblers, Steve Martin, Bryan Sutton, and Doc Watson.

Poss sold the label to the Welk Music Group in 1998, run by the family and estate of Lawrence Welk. They moved the offices to Nashville in 2007, and have since reduced their output and focused on Americana and country artists like Sarah Jarosz and Kasey Chambers. Recent album releases have included Liz Longley and Lee Ann Womack.

In this move, Concord has merged with Bicycle Music Group, their music publishing arm, to form Concord Bicycle Music. Reports indicate that no new investors were brought in to fund the acquisitions, but funded entirely by company equity.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.