MCA Records Nashville has reactivated Decca Records, joining the growing list of Music City labels to start sister imprints. Decca, started in the 1940s, was the forerunner of the Universal and MCA labels.
Veteran producer Mark Wright has been tapped to helm the A&R division of the new operation, assuming the title of senior VP. While no other staffing decisions have been made, Sheila Shipley, well-known MCA promotion exec, is rumored as the front runner to head the new Decca.
In its heyday, Decca’s country division boasted Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline and Ernest Tubb. The pop roster of Decca included Bing Crosby, Guy Lombardo, Bill Haley and a handful of popular big bands.
The move, which had been rumored for several months, puts MCA in the two-label game alongside RCA, which opened BNA, and Arista, which launched Texas Records last summer.
Wright’s track record includes producing a pair of gold records for country artist Mark Chesnutt, and as head of A&R for RCA Records he is credited with signing artists Clint Black and K.T. Oslin.
Recent roster trimmings at several other in-town labels have put many well-known artists in the wind. Some are expected to land at the new label.
MCA purchased Decca in 1962, folding it into the MCA parent in 1973.