Benson Records

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Benson Records
Parent companySony Music Entertainment
Founded1902 (1902)
FounderBob Benson, John T. Benson
Defunct2001 (2001)
Distributor(s)Provident Label Group
Country of originUnited States
LocationNashville, Tennessee

Benson Records was founded by Bob Benson and John T. Benson, who formed the John T. Benson Music Publishing Company in 1902.[1] The record label started out as Heart Warming Records, creating house labels such as Impact Records, Greentree Records, RiverSong, StarSong, Power Discs and Home Sweet Home. In the 1970s, Impact became the top label with artists such as New Dawn, the Imperials, J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet, the Rambos, Dottie Rambo, the Archers, the Bill Gaither Trio, the Speer Family and Sandi Patty (her Impact catalog is owned by Word Records).


In 1980, Paragon Associates formed a partnership with Zondervan to own/operate Benson Records. Paragon Assoc. was founded in 1975, by Bob MacKenzie and Bill Gaither (gospel singer). Paragon sold its interest to Zondervan in 1983, where under the leadership of Bob Jones, Jr. saw the Benson company grow even bigger in the 1980s. Artists included Gold City, The Kingsmen Quartet, DeGarmo & Key, Dallas Holm, and others producing several hits.[1]

In the 1980s, Benson Records continued with success by signing a contract to distribute a new label, founded by DeGarmo & Key member Eddie DeGarmo. Forefront Records was born, and in 1989 Dc Talk was signed. In 1990, Forefront Records was sold to Chordant Music Distribution (owned by Universal Music Group, and this acquisition includes the entire DeGarmo & Key catalog). In 1994, the name Impact Records was sold to Landmark Distribution. In 1995, they acquired Diadem Music Group which included GospelJazz pioneer Ben Tankard's Tribute Records label contracts. These contracts included Tankard, Yolanda Adams, Twinkie Clark and Bob Carlisle. Carlisle is best known for his hit song, "Butterfly Kisses".

Benson Records was sold to Provident/Zomba in 1997,[2] which is now a part of Sony Music Entertainment. The Benson label was reformatted to focus on new artists.[1] Zomba closed the label in late 2001.

Most recently, the name Heart Warming Records and RiverSong was sold to Homeland Entertainment. Homeland is owned by Bill Traylor and former President of Zondervan, Bob Jones, Jr.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • Powell, Mark Allan. The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music Hendrickson Publishers, August 2002. (ISBN 1565636791 ISBN 978-1-56563-679-8)


  1. ^ a b c "Benson Music at My Music Way". Archived from the original on 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  2. ^ Hefner, April (April 1997). "Everything Changes / The Dotted Line". CCM Magazine. 19 (10): 12. ISSN 1524-7848.