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Reverend Keith A. Gordon

HighTone Records Sells Out!

By April 1, 2008

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Clarence Gatemouth BrownThe All About Jazz website, along with other news outlets, is reporting that HighTone Records has closed its doors and sold its extensive back catalog of recordings to Shout! Factory.

Larry Sloven and Bruce Bromberg founded HighTone in Oakland, California in 1983. Bromberg, a veteran of blues label Tomato Records, had produced guitarist Robert Cray's second album, Bad Influence. Failing to find a label to release it, the pair formed HighTone Records. The label released nearly 300 albums during its almost 25-year history.

HighTone's early focus was on the blues, and the label released albums from such artists as Cray, Otis Rush, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Otis Spann, and Pinetop Perkins, among others. HighTone also released a number of critically-acclaimed albums from roots-rock and Americana artists like Rosie Flores, Dave Alvin, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

Shout! Factory plans on releasing key albums from the HighTone catalog beginning in August, and will also be making the label's titles more available as digital downloads from various online vendors.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown photo courtesy HighTone Records

Comments

August 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm
(1) Curious In Bakersfield says:

I am interested in any information on an artist who reportedly had a “gold record” on the HighTone label.

I have searched everywhere and have found zero information other than an article on Wikipedia that someone took the time to post, obviously without any verifiable sources for their information.

August 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(2) Rev. Keith A. Gordon says:

Curious, you don’t mention the name of the artist that you’re asking about, but to the best of my knowledge (and according to the RIAA certification database), no artist received a Gold Record for their HighTone Records release.

The Wikipedia article on the label is sparse, but nothing about it seems incorrect to me. In its day, HighTone was a cool record label, releasing great blues albums by folks like Robert Cray, Otis Rush, and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown as well as roots-rockers like Dave Alvin. I can’t wait to see what Shout! Factory does with these reissues.

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