L-R : Daryl Easlea (Curator of Decca 90/co-author of Decca: The Supreme Record Label), Rebecca Allen (president, Decca), Isata Kanneh-Mason (artist), Dr Alexander Buhr (managing director, Decca Classical Label Group), Jess Gillam (artist) and Dr Darren Henley OBE (chief executive of Arts Council England/co-author of Decca: The Supreme Record Label).
Photos: Dominic Nicholls
16 AUGUST 2019 (TORONTO, ON) - The latest installment in the year-long 90th anniversary celebrations saw Decca Records marking the launch of the new book Decca: The Supreme Record Label at The British Library. The event presented an exploration of the label’s history through presentation, conversation and a look through the archives. Curator of Decca 90, Daryl Easlea, delighted a packed auditorium with an informed whistle-stop tour through Decca’s musical highs in pop, classical and easy-listening over a historical nine decades, before being joined by Darren Henley, former Managing Director of Classic FM and co-author of the new hardback tome. Decca President Rebecca Allen and Managing Director of Decca Classical Label Group Dr Alexander Buhr kicked off an invigorating panel discussion, joined onstage by two of Decca Classics’ chart-topping young artists, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason and saxophonist Jess Gillam, for an enlightening chat about the future of the iconic label.
The gold-embossed book touches on every aspect of Decca’s history, including modern music, both pop and classical: from the beginnings of sound recording, via Bing Crosby, Vera Lynn, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Luciano Pavarotti and The Three Tenors, to today’s chart-topping superstars such as Andrea Bocelli, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Rod Stewart, Ludovico Einaudi and The Lumineers, but to name a few. Its history is told here in 11 chapters by expert contributors including respected music writers Jon Savage and Louis Barfe, classical experts, historians and current Decca executives. Each chapter features an array of images and archived material – capturing David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Dame Vera Lynn, Billie Davis and many more, with elegant posters used by Decca throughout the years, shots of iconic artists early on in their respective careers, album artworks and much more.
Following the event, Daryl Easlea said, “It was an absolute honour to celebrate the publication of The Supreme Record Company with our friends at the British Library. How wonderful to share a snapshot of the history of Decca alongside colleagues, and looking to the future with two of our brightest stars, Isata and Jess, who gave us fantastic insight into their experiences as young classical artists. Here’s to the next ninety years!”
Throughout 2019, Decca has been celebrating its nine decades of excellence, marking the occasion in a variety of ways including an event at London’s prestigious V&A, the release of Ron Howard’s Pavarotti feature-length documentary, 90 reissues and releases, new podcasts, radio shows and much more.
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