In 1993, former Aerospace Engineer, John W. Edwards had the idea to form a new recording label which would focus on the reissue of classic rock and classic country LPs on CD for the first time, thus Renaissance Records was born.
Edwards, a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BS in Physics and an MS in Systems Engineering, relocated from Tucson to Nashville in early 1993 and began laying the groundwork for what would become Renaissance Records Inc., a Tennessee corporation.
In the fall of 1995 Renaissance Records signed licensing deals with EMI-Capitol and Sony Music, to be followed in early 1996 by similar agreements with BMG/RCA/Arista and Universal Music Group. The company also formed licensing agreements with individual artists both in the US and abroad, as well as licensing an entire library of live concert recordings which would become the basis for its Concert Classics series.
The company was able to license recordings by such country artists as Lynn Anderson, Deborah Allen, Sylvia, Louise Mandrell, Lacy J. Dalton, Juice Newton, Janie Fricke, Dave & Sugar, Jody Miller, Charly McClain, Razzy Bailey, Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius, Stella Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Tanya & LaCosta Tucker, Johnny Cash and the Sweethearts of the Rodeo.
The company also licensed recordings by well-known rock artists such as Russ Ballard, Colin Blunstone, Charlie, City Boy, Crack The Sky, Walter Egan, Esquire, Flash And The Pan, Kayak, Lake, Kerry Livgren, Melanie, New England, Prism, Pure Prairie League, Sad Café, 707, The Sherbs, Starcastle, Starz, Steel Breeze, T’Pau, John Wetton, Wishbone Ash and Rick Springfield.
The Concert Classics series includes live recordings by Asia, The Babys, Blue Oyster Cult, Head East, Hall & Oates, Roxy Music, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Pure Prairie League w/ Vince Gill, Firefall, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Jack Bruce, Starcastle, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Judas Priest, U2, Gamma, UK, Bob Welch and Prism.
We are moving into the next phase of our history with some great new talent and a worldwide focus on music from around the planet.