Proper Takes Over Day to Day Management of Topic Records
Proper Records has entered into a label management deal with the world’s oldest independent record label, Topic Records, building on their longstanding relationship. The UK-based folk label has released artists from across the globe during its 78 year history, including Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
The partnership will ensure that Topic Records retains its independent status, while allowing longstanding members to pass on the baton as Proper Records takes on management of the day-to-day running of the label. Topic Records’ Business Manager and co-owner, David Suff, continues to consult in an advisory capacity, while Tony Engle, who joined Topic in the ‘70s, remains a majority shareholder. Harriet Simms (Glass Ceiling PR), one of the longest serving members of the team, continues as Head of Press.
They will be joined by Michael Mastrangelo, recently hired by Proper as Catalogue Manager, who will bring his expertise to further drive the success of Topic’s releases. Mastrangelo’s background includes stints at Beanos Records, one of Europe’s largest second hand record stores, Vibrant, Sanctuary and Trojan. During his career, he has worked on releases by The Sex Pistols, The Fall, and Fleetwood Mac, to name just a few.
Proper and Topic have worked closely together since 2000, when Topic’s trading division, Direct Distribution, merged with Proper. It was renamed Proper Music Distribution and transformed Proper from a wholesale operation into a full-service distribution company. Tony Engle, former owner of Direct Distribution, joined PMD’s board of directors until his retirement in 2012.
Launched by the Workers’ Music Association in 1939, the original ethos of Topic Records was that music should be used as a tool of revolution. Over the years the label has worked with American folk icon Pete Seeger, singer and activist Paul Robeson and legendary troubadour Woody Guthrie, as well as significant others including The Spinners, Martin Carthy MBE, Nic Jones, Eliza Carthy and June Tabor. Its catalogue grew to include collections from Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey and the Andaman Sea, helping to sow the seeds for the independent roots and world movement that took off in the eighties. The label has also helped shape our understanding of traditional folk music of the British Isles, with collections including the on-going CD series, ‘The Voice of the People’.
The partnership was formally announced last night at a special event at the Barbican Library. ‘An Audience with Eliza Carthy’ saw the folk legend play a rare acoustic showcase and discuss her twenty-year career with famed journalist Colin Irwin and Topic’s David Suff, who discussed the new phase in Topic’s history.
Other events will celebrate Topic’s rich history, whilst also kicking off the next chapter of the label’s journey under Proper’s wing. There will be another ‘An Audience With..’ evening on 30 January, with folk luminaries Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson, and an exhibition, ‘Topic Records & The Art of Folk Music’, is running until 8 February.
Tony Engle stated: “It has always been my intention to protect the future of Topic Records, the world’s oldest independent label, and this new partnership with Proper Music Group ensures this aim. I am delighted that we are working together and look forward to the new energies that will be brought to the label.”
Drew Hill, Managing Director at Proper, concluded: “It is a very exciting time for Proper Music Group. Not only do we now have the opportunity to work with the oldest independent label in the world, but we have been able to add the talented Michael Mastrangelo to our team as catalogue manager. The further strengthening of our relationship with Topic and of our own team makes the future look very bright.”
Topic Record: 19th Jan 2017 14:48:00
This month, you can read about the new partnership we’ve sealed with HMRC to tackle incidents of tax fraud in the private security industry. In other SIA news, we have written a blog reflecting on our Manchester open day.
31st July 2018
The En Indy Awards
The story of David and Goliath is well known but the reality is that Goliath normally wins and this is reflected in many industry awards programmes. EN introduced The Indy Award recently to cater for exactly this – to allow smaller, independent organisers to compete with their peers rather than the global behemoths we know and love.
18th July 2018
The Festival And Outdoor Events Show (festout)
The Festival and Outdoor Events Show (Festout) returns with a focus on key industry training September 26th/27th, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey
17th July 2018
30 Under Thirty
The EN 30/30 returns for its 4th outing, to recognise excellence in the next generation of exhibition professionals.
4th July 2018
Our services include building responsive websites, digital marketing, SEO, social media campaigns and training, and offline promotion and print too. We are delighted to have designed and developed the website for AFO....
AFO is delighted to be able to offer to membership advice on “the money”. Our good friends at APS Accountancy in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and Dunstable, Bedfordshire are offering a similar service to that of Jon Payn...
Eventbrite brings people together through live experiences. Discover events that match your passions, or create your own with online ticketing tools. Eventbrite is an online ticketing platform wher...
Hello Everyone Graham Sykes and the team in Exmouth are delighted to be looking after your Festival Portfolio policies, some of you, we have already spoken to as your policies have come up for renewal, the rest w...
Right now, we make wristbands, passes, lanyards and accreditation, but our product range is always growing. We're usually first in line when it comes to wristbands for festivals and events, but we are finding out other...
Award-winning specialist solicitors for your festival or event, LSL offer advice in most areas of law including Alcohol & Entertainment licensing, Contracts, Environment and Safety. Jon Payne is a long...
Stand Out is a must-read for the active buyer in the events marketplace....