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Rounder Records is an American record label specializing in folk, bluegrass, blues, and other forms of American roots music. Its roster includes Alison Krauss and Union Station, Béla Fleck, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and Steep Canyon Rangers. Rounder's musicians have won over 40 Grammy Awards since the label's inception in 1970. The company also maintains book and video divisions.[1]

Rounder Records
Rounder logo.jpg
Parent companyConcord Music Group
Founded1970; 49 years ago (1970)
FounderKen Irwin
Bill Nowlin
Marian Leighton-Levy
Distributor(s)Universal Music (worldwide distribution)
Craft Recordings (reissues)
Country of originU.S.
LocationNashville, Tennessee


Rounder was founded in 1970 by Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton-Levy, three college friends in Massachusetts who shared an interest in folk, old country, and bluegrass music. They gave the label its name for several reasons: the shape of a vinyl record, the nickname for a hobo, and the name of the folk band The Holy Modal Rounders.[2] In Rounder's first three years, it released 19 records, starting in 1970 with an album by George Pegram, a 76-year-old banjo player from Texas.[3] The trio self-identified as rounders, the name reflecting the "outlaw self-image of three romantics who positioned themselves in opposition to capitalism, the programmatic rigidity of the old Left, and the more doctrinaire cultural rules of the folk revival itself." [4] Rounder's earliest success was George Thorogood and The Destroyers, a blues-rock band that sold half a million copies of their 1978 album Move It On Over. Headquarters were moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over the years, Rounder expanded its roster to include other genres such as reggae, and zydeco. The label's first Grammy was won by blues guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown in 1983 for the album Alright Again.[2]

Alison KraussEdit

Rounder's most successful act is bluegrass singer and fiddler Alison Krauss. In 1991, at the age of 19, she won a Grammy Award for her second album, I've Got That Old Feeling. The album spawned singles, videos, and national TV exposure.[2] Krauss has sold over 12 million albums and won 27 Grammy Awards, more than any other female recording artist.[3]


Subsidiary labelsEdit

  • Bullseye Blues
  • Dolphin Safe
  • Easydisc
  • Flying Fish
  • Grand Illusion
  • Greenhays
  • Heartbeat
  • Heavy Rotation
  • Henry Street
  • Hudson Music
  • Moon Junction
  • Philo
  • Rounder Select
  • Rounder Specials
  • Symmetry
  • Sugar Hill Records
  • Tone Cool Records
  • Trampoline
  • Upstart
  • Varrick
  • Vestapol
  • Zoë
  • Music for Little People

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Rounder Records Story". Rounder. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Rounder Records Corporation". Reference for Business. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Nicholson, Jessica. "54 Years of Rounder Records". Music Row. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  4. ^ 'The Never-ending Revival Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance' Book by Michael F. Scully 2008 University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago ISBN 978-0-252-03333-9

External linksEdit