THE UNIVERSAL TONY BROWN

Apr 1, 2002 12:00 PM, Michael Cooper

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Nashville has a new record label, Universal South Records. Tony Brown (former president of MCA Records/Nashville) and Tim DuBois (former president of Arista Records/Nashville) started the new company on January 2, 2002, to fulfill a vision they've both had for some time.

“For the past several years,” DuBois said, “Tony and I dreamed of being able to work together.”

“It would've been 18 years this March [2002] that I'd been at MCA,” Brown noted. “I needed a new challenge.”

The new label is a joint venture with Universal Records in New York, but Brown and DuBois have autonomy to sign artists. Universal South is already off to a running start, with Brown bringing in four artists — Dean Miller, Holly Lamar, Allison Moorer and Bering Strait — from MCA with virtually completed projects. New artist Joe Nichols has also joined the roster.

Brown — who is largely credited with the early '90s resurgence in country music, producing hit records for Vince Gill, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna Judd, among many others — said he was open to continuing to produce those MCA acts. He expects to produce records for Universal South once the new company is “fired up.”

Universal South's musical direction won't necessarily be limited to mainstream country music. “We might get involved in pop and contemporary Christian music down the road,” Brown said.

Universal South Records, 40 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37203; 615/259-5300.

Send your “Current” news to Sarah Benzuly at sbenzuly@primediabusiness.com.






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