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Fender launch record label to promote guitar music

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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has entered into a strategic alliance with Rhino Records and Morling Manor Music to form Fender Records. The announcement was made end of July 2001 by Fender Sr. VP of Marketing Ritchie Fliegler, Rhino President Richard Foos, and Morling Manor President Spencer Proffer. Fender Records will focus on guitar-driven music of all genres.
Massive marketing and promotion plans are being put into place to launch the first in a series of albums to be called Riff Rocks. It is anticipated that releases will hit the streets in the fourth quarter of 2001. Fender products--including such legendary axes as the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, and Precision Bass and Jazz Bass--have worldwide distribution, including more than 1,500 retail outlets in the United States and Canada alone, but until now most of these retailers have never been viable sources for audio CDs. These will also be used to promote the new label.
The idea of a branded label began when Fender met with Morling Manor to discuss a possible benefit blues album for children. The companies had first teamed on the CBS television miniseries Shake, Rattle & Roll in 1999; Morling Manor was a producer, and Fender supplied vintage guitars and amplifiers. Rhino was a natural choice for the venture given Morling's history with the company, which had previously released soundtracks from a pair of Showtime Original Pictures under Proffer's guidance. Morling's Head of Music Services Steve Plunkett will be the day-to-day point person for Rhino and Fender.
All parties have a well-established history of community outreach, which in the past have included donations to such institutions as The Berklee College Of Music and The Boys & Girls Clubs Of America, as well as participation in programs like VH1's Save The Music. Fender Records will amplify these efforts, with a portion of the profits earmarked for music education. "We take this very seriously," notes Fliegler. "After all, none of us would be enjoying our current careers if we did not study music at some time, to some degree."
"Fender, as a company, has always been closely associated with the 'hardware' of music, but the people of Fender have always been musicians," remarks Fliegler. "Joining forces with Rhino and Morling Manor to create Fender Records gets right to the heart of why we're all here in the first place--the music we all play and love."
Rhino Records has been setting the industry standard for compiling and packaging music and video for more than two decades. "Much as Rhino has earned a reputation as the record label for music fanatics, Fender has a similar rep among guitar enthusiasts," says Foos. "Fender Records will allow us to bring the best in guitar-based music to serious players, budding guitarists, and rock fans everywhere."
A Los Angeles-based music media firm which has alliances with major film, television, and record companies, Morling Manor Music has helped create such productions as the four-time Tony-nominated play It Ain't Nothing But The Blues, VH1's At Any Cost, and the music for MTV's dramatic series Live Through This and Spring Break Lawyer, amongst many others.
"This is a groundbreaking opportunity to create targeted hip product for not only Fender's huge core customer base but guitar fans worldwide utilizing two of the best marketing organizations in the business," comments Proffer. "Both Fender and Rhino's commitment to quality, entertainment, and education make this a great team to be a part of."
8/2001 Pro-Music-News

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