Music West Records

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Music West Records
Music West Records Logo
FoundedDecember 1985
FounderAllan Kaplan
DefunctNovember 1991
StatusInactive
GenreAcoustic, new age, folk, ambient
Country of originUnited States
LocationSan Rafael, California

Music West Records was an independent record company founded by Allan Kaplan on December 1985 in San Rafael, California.[1][2][3] The company was initially formed to promote Ray Lynch, their first artist.[4][5] During its run, artists released under the record company included Jim Chappell,[6][7] Kenneth Nash,[8] Chris Spheeris,[9] and Øystein Sevåg.[10] According to Gary Chappell, the manufacturer for Music West, the artists originated independently, claiming that the company's idea "has a statement that comes directly from the artist with no interference."[11]

In 1991, the company attempted to break away from their "New Age" roots. In an interview with Billboard on April 1991, Kaplan said "I believe the new age category is shrinking rapidly, but the winning titles–maybe about 200 of them–will continue to sell more than ever."[12] The company attempted to expand the company by releasing tracks from Sun Studios in Kaplan's hometown, Memphis, Tennessee.[2][12] However, after a lawsuit by Ray Lynch for allegedly not paying him,[13] the company was foreclosed by Security Pacific Bank on November 1991 with all of its assets sold by June 1992.[14][15]

Artists[edit]

Kenneth Nash[edit]

Kenneth Nash is an American jazz percussionist who has worked extensively as a sideman for musicians including Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders and Norman Connors.[16] Nash worked with Music West Records during the 1980s.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kaplan, Allan (June 30, 1990). "Making the Waves of the Future" (PDF). Billboard. 102 (26). p. W-30. Retrieved March 19, 2017. We incorporated the company in December 1985 and began shipping product in February 1986.
  2. ^ a b Selvin, Joel (June 30, 1991). "New Age to Blues / Sun Studio Shines on Marin / Music West releases Memphis recordings". San Francisco Chronicle. MARIN-BASED Record label Music West...will be releasing a new line of blues and rock records recorded at the cradle of rock and roll, the Sun Records studios on Union Avenue in Memphis...Allan Kaplan, a Memphis native who moved to California in 1976 and started Music West in 1985 after signing new- age instrumentalist Lynch, is confident the roots music produced by Sun Studios owner Gary Hardy will find a warm reception in the marketplace.
  3. ^ Moleski, Linda (January 17, 1987). "Grass Route" (PDF). 99 (3). p. 52. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Music West is located at...San Rafael, Calif.
  4. ^ McCormick, Moria (June 3, 1989). "No Quick 'Blue Thing'" (PDF). Billboard. 101 (22). Retrieved March 19, 2017. The Marin County, Calif., resident initially released "Deep Breakfast" on his own label, Ray Lynch Productions, "shipping out of my living room, until Music West took over two years ago." In fact, says Lynch, Music West president Allen Kaplan (sic) 'started the company based on discussions with me. Now they have about half a dozen different artists.'
  5. ^ Svetich, Kevin (December 1990). "Music West Records: the best of two worlds". California Business: 14. He [Allan Kaplan] sought out Lynch, who was doing his own billing and shipping, and convinced him that together they could do a better job of distributing his music. In the winter of 1985, Kaplan started Music West Records with one musicianLynch-a warehouse in Marin and $40,000.
  6. ^ "Talent In Action" (PDF). Billboard. 103 (2). January 12, 1991. p. 34. Retrieved March 19, 2017. [Chappell's] most recent album, 'Saturday's Rhapsody,' on the Music West label, has spent the past two months on the New Age Albums chart and is selling consistently.
  7. ^ Sutro, Dirk (November 27, 1990). "Diverse Styles Mark Sound of Sax Man Bennie Wallace". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Brooks, Ben (October 31, 1987). "INDIE LABELS: Resisting the Lure, Renewing Prosperity" (PDF). Billboard. 99 (44). p. N-4. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Kaplan has now added distinctive artists such as percussionist Kenneth Nash, pianist Jim Chappell, and multi-instrumentalists Susan Mazer and Dallas Smith to his 'artist-oriented label.'
  9. ^ "Chris Spheeris's phenomenal indie success proves that there's life after leaving a major label". Electronic Musician. 15 (5): 72. May 1999. Music West signed a three-album deal with Spheeris in which he again kept the publishing rights. He had barely begun writing his first solo record for Music West when he cut his hand severely.
  10. ^ "The Sun Sets On The Music West label" (PDF). Billboard. 104 (29). July 18, 1992. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Former Music West artists such as Jim Chappell and Oystein Sevag are set to appear under new logos soon.
  11. ^ Kassan, Brian (November 8, 1986). "New Label, New Approach" (PDF). Cash Box. 50 (21): 49. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Russell, Deborah (April 13, 1991). "A Broadening Horizon For New Age" (PDF). Billboard. 103 (13): 8, 77. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  13. ^ Russell, Deborah (July 6, 1991). "New Age Act Ray Lynch Exits Music West In Pact Dispute" (PDF). Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Sun Sets On The Music West label" (PDF). Billboard. 104 (29). July 18, 1992. Retrieved March 19, 2017. In November 1991, Security Pacific foreclosed on Music West's loan, and in June the bank auctioned off the label's remaining assets.
  15. ^ Stack, Peter (September 3, 1992). "Something Else". San Francisco Chronicle. San Rafael new age composer Ray Lynch (No Blue Thing), whose own label went down last year, has signed with Windham Hills Records.
  16. ^ Allmusic credits
  17. ^ Brooks, Ben (October 31, 1987). "INDIE LABELS: Resisting the Lure, Renewing Prosperity" (PDF). Billboard. 99 (44). p. N-4. Retrieved March 19, 2017. Kaplan has now added distinctive artists such as percussionist Kenneth Nash, pianist Jim Chappell, and multi-instrumentalists Susan Mazer and Dallas Smith to his 'artist-oriented label.'