The 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