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Facts on Decca

  • Decca opened in England in 1929.
  • The company's American operation opened in 1934.
  • A & R man Paul Cohen began recording Decca artists in Nashville in 1947.
  • Owen Bradley joined Cohen as an assistant in 1949.
  • Owen Bradley took over Decca's Nashville office in 1958.
  • Music Corporation of America (MCA) purchased Decca in 1966.
  • Decca changed its name to MCA in 1973.
  • MCA reactivated Decca on January 3, 1994.
  • Seagram, MCA's parent company, bought PolyGram on Dec. 10 for $10.4 billion.

    Decca earned industry's respect

  • The Carter Family, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Bill Monroe and Kitty Wells helped make Decca Records one of the most respected label names in country music.
  • Decca's Paul Cohen was the first producer to record country artists regularly in Nashville, beginning in 1947.
  • Producer Owen Bradley began working with Cohen in 1949, and when Cohen became head of Coral Records in 1958 Bradley took over the Nashville operation, using his Quonset hut studio and an adjoining house as Decca's Nashville division.
  • Bradley continued to build Decca's reputation as a country music giant, signing Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Bill Anderson, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, among others.
  • Music Corporation of America (MCA) bought Decca in 1962, making it an official part of the company in 1966. In 1973 MCA put all its music divisions under the MCA name, retiring the Decca tag. At the time, company officials offered to let the Nashville division keep the Decca name, but Bradley discouraged them. "I said, 'I don't think we ought to do that,' " Bradley said in a 1993 interview. " 'That means we're like second-class people. You're going to have this prestigious label (MCA) and work on all these other projects, and our stuff will always be limited.' "
  • In 1994, MCA's Nashville division reactivated the Decca name and installed Sheila Shipley Biddy as senior vice president and general manager of the label, making her the first woman in Nashville to jointly head a major label.
  • Mark Chesnutt, an MCA artist, moved to Decca in 1994 as the label's flagship artist. The final roster included Chesnutt, Lee Ann Womack, Gary Allan, Chris Knight, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Shane Stockton, Danni Leigh and Dolly Parton.

    Source: SoundScan, Billboard