10 May 2019 (Toronto, ON) - On Sunday May 5, Decca Records continued its 90th birthday celebrations, marking the anniversary of the UK’s longest living record label with a party for all the family. Spread over two floors, the event saw packed crowds pour into a transformed V&A for one day only.
A Dansette Disco of 45RPM greeted passers-by in the main foyer of the V&A with 6Music’s Tom Ravenscroft spinning tunes in the village fete grand entrance. Children and parents alike enjoyed face painting and other activities throughout the day while the workshops were in full creative flow with the young ones producing handmade musical instruments and designing album sleeves.
Two of the label’s finest names – cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who performed at the Royal Wedding, and rising singer-songwriter Rhys Lewis, performed to rapturous applause in the sold-out auditorium.
The event also featured an array of music history and artefacts, rare memorabilia and a room dedicated to Decca’s greatest tenor Luciano Pavarotti (in the run up to Ron Howard’s feature-length documentary) – which included the Italian’s iconic tuxedo worn throughout his illustrious career.
Decca’s Vice President Tom Lewis attended: “It was an absolutely perfect family day and really reflected so many of the values that makes Decca such a special label. For many of us, one of the biggest thrills was speaking with members of the public and hearing their own stories about the label – the soundtrack to their first dance, their first kiss or the moment they discovered Pavarotti, The Stones, or all of the other artists whether global or obscure who might have touched their lives... and, to have Sheku and Rhys representing the young, diverse and energetic future of the label.”
Rare and newly restored David Bowie films from the ‘60s were screened in the theatre, with the afternoon culminating in a magical hour on the history of Decca, with dance moves and hilarious anecdotes, all delivered by Decca 90 curator extraordinaire Daryl Easlea.
This year sees one of the most iconic record labels in the world, Decca Records, turn 90 years old. Since its formation on February 28, 1929, Decca has burgeoned from a prosperous British company to a fully-fledged international powerhouse – quickly earning the title as ‘The Supreme Record Company’ – a statement that resonates stronger than ever today.
Decca has been the home to countless legendary musicians from Luciano Pavarotti to David Bowie, Dame Vera Lynn to Bing Crosby, Tom Jones to Billie Holiday, The Rolling Stones to Mantovani and is now providing the platform for a new generation of ambitious artists at the forefront of their scenes – names such as Andrea Bocelli, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Gregory Porter, who continue to represent the label’s cultural legacy.
Throughout 2019, Decca will be celebrating its nine decades of excellence, marking the occasion with: The Supreme Record Company: The Story Of Decca Records 1929-2019 book, the highly-anticipated Ron Howard-directed Pavarotti feature film, activities at Decca’s infamous lost recording studio in West Hampstead, a unique series of concerts in London, Berlin and Paris, 90 reissues and releases, podcasts, radio shows and much more.
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