Tommy Boy Entertainment
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2010)|
|Tommy Boy Entertainment|
|Distributor(s)||Self-distributed (1981–1985; 2002–present)
Warner Bros. Records (1985–2002)
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B, Post-disco, Latin freestyle, dance music|
|Country of origin||US|
|Location||New York, New York|
The Tommy Boy label was an outgrowth of Tom Silverman's Disco News bi-weekly publication (later titled Dance Music Report), that spanned 14 years, beginning in September 1978. In 1981, Tom Silverman borrowed $5,000 from his parents to officially start the label out of his apartment. In 1985, Warner Bros. Records bought 50% of the label, eventually buying all of it in 1990. Silverman and Monica Lynch became Vice Presidents of Warner as well. Warner allowed Tommy Boy to use independent distribution as he saw fit, with the option to put artists through the major-label channel of Warner Bros. Records or its sister label Reprise Records. Silverman bought 50% back from Warner Bros. in 1995. That same year, the first incarnation of Penalty Recordings, a joint venture with Neil Levine, was created, but it was later absorbed entirely by Tommy Boy. The imprint Tommy Boy Gospel was launched in 1998 under the direction of Max Siegel along with Marvie Wright and the Tommy Boy Black Label (specializing in underground hip hop music) and the Tommy Boy Silver Label (specializing in dance music). Tommy Boy, as part of Warner, also provided independent distribution to imprints that had their own label deals with WEA as well, including American Recordings’ Ill Labels, Mute Records’ NovaMute, and Cold Chillin' Records’ Livin’ Large. 75 Ark Records, Timber Records, StepSun Entertainment, and Outcaste Records.
In January 2002, Tommy Boy became independent again because Warner wanted larger unit sales, which caused Silverman to purchase the remaining 50% of the label that he did not own. The master tapes released until that time became property of Warner Music, and the then-current Tommy Boy artists were shopped to the various WEA labels, while the trademark remained with Silverman, and the company was redubbed Tommy Boy Entertainment LLC. The label then licensed its trademark to WEA for use on its reissues through Rhino/Atlantic Records and created Tommy Boy Films LLC with Dubtitled Entertainment founder Michael "Mic" Neumann.
- Official Tommy Boy Films Web site
- Official Tommy Boy Entertainment Web site
- Company reference in Hoover's
- Down by Law: Great Dance Records You Can't Buy — Robert Christgau (The Village Voice)
- Kipnis, Jill (October 19, 2002). Tommy Boy Branches Out With Film/TV Division. Billboard Magazine. Page 6.