Working off memory here, fact-checking much appreciated!
I think this is a stretch. What's now called Universal Music Group grew out of MCA-Universal, which
was consolidated and then sold to the Japanese Matsutshita and then sold to a group that included
Seagram scion Edgar Bronfman. This entity then merged with Vivendi, which had bought Polygram from
Philips a few years earlier. MCA did conglomerate American Decca (and ABC-Paramount and others), but
I don't think MCA the music company stems directly from American Decca.
After Universal and Vivendi merged, Bronfman was forced out. He now runs Warner Music Group, which I
think is a stand-alone company.
As for American Decca, I think British Decca lost control of its American affiliate during the
Depression. British Decca's recordings were indeed released on the London label in the USA, and in
fact so were CD's that were manufactured in the USA until after the Universal-Vivendi merger.
British Decca was acquired by Philips-Polygram in the 70's or 80's, forgot exactly when.
I think the American Decca label was pretty much dormant by the end of the LP era. MCA had an active
reissue program from the Decca vaults on-going by the early 1990's. MCA had conglomerated a bunch of
small labels including ABC-Paramount, Chess/Argo/Checker, Westminster, Command, Impulse,
Duke-Peacock, etc. MCA also reissued some of their classical material as discounted 2-fers,
sometimes paring Command and Westminster material, as an example. I don't recall if any of the
American Decca classical material was reissued on CD by MCA.
Finally, there were some American Decca classical recordings in the LP era. Plus many Broadway
soundtracks and jazz releases under the Cadet and Decca labels. The jazz holdings ended up under the
Verve Music Group, Universal had a seprate Broadway reissue program for a while but I'm not sure
where all that ended up, I think under Decca Music Group, and all of the Universal classical
holdings ended up under what's called Decca Classics.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Decca US / was Your taxpayer dollars being given to the Universal Music
> From the lengthy article posted a few moments ago, I find:
> On 2011-01-10 11:14 AM, Karl Miller wrote:
>> The Universal Music Group, today the largest group of labels in the beleaguered recording
>> industry, began its life in 1934 as Decca Records, the American affiliate of the British
>> recording company of the same name.
> I am so confused by this. If this is the case, why were all the Decca (UK) recordings sold on the
> "London" label in the U.S.?
> Maybe everyone but me knows this, and if so, I apologize for my ignorance.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.