Rounder Records, originally of Cambridge, Massachusetts, but now based in Nashville, Tennessee , is an American independent record label, founded in 1970 by Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton-Levy, while all three were university students. It once served as a major distributor and central sales location for other independent labels specializing in roots music, at one point representing as many as 450 other labels. In the 1990s, though, the company cut back on the distribution effort in order to focus on its own productions. In the early 2000s, shortly after the merger of the PolyGram and MCA label families, Rounder signed a manufacturing and distribution deal with Universal Music, which also purchased an interest in the label.
Among Rounder's artists, bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss (who had been with the label for the duration of her career) was offered a number of major label deals following her commercial breakthrough in the late 1990s, but Krauss opted to remain with Rounder. Rounder was one of the very first labels to become involved with compact discs, in 1985. In 2004, the company launched a book division known as Rounder Books.
Rounder formed a children's music division called Rounder Kids in the 1990s. Its current label roster is the Canadian children's entertainer Raffi Cavoukian.