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Disney Music Group (DMG) is the music recording arm of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It is located at the studio's headquarters in Burbank, California. The division's subsidiaries consist of two owned record labelsWalt Disney Records and Hollywood Records—along with Disney Music Publishing, the publishing entity that administers the company's music, as well as Disney Concerts.

Background

From the founding of The Walt Disney Company in 1923, music has been key to the success of the organization. Both public-domain and original music were used for the initial cartoons, but, since neither Walt Disney nor Roy O. Disney had any music industry experience, the studio had to rely on outside music publishers.[MTk 1] In 1928, Walt Disney released the first Mickey Mouse motion picture, Steamboat Willie, which became the first animated short-subject film with sound. Two other unreleased Mickey Mouse shorts has been previously-produced and were subsequently given soundtracks prior to their eventual premieres.[ChWDC 1] In 1929, Walt Disney and Carl Stalling wrote "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo", the first song from the Walt Disney Studios, for Mickey's Follies.[ChWDC 2] On December 16, 1929, the Disney Film Recording Company, Limited was incorporated as a subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions.[1]

Saul Bourne at Irving Berlin Music approached the studio after seeing Three Little Pigs with interest in the publishing rights for its theme song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?". With Disney partnering with Bourne and Berlin, this partnership led to the song being recorded twice by the Don Bestor Orchestra (released by Victor Records) and Bill Scotti Orchestra (released by Bluebird Records). The song was a hit and a Depression era anthem.[MTk 1]

Walt Disney Productions then began licensing out its music with the record company either selecting its own or Disney's talent to record the music. Until 1936, no one had issued an actual song track recording on disc. RCA's HMV label released a selection of Disney short film music in England with the US release a year later.[MTk 1] The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soundtrack album released by Victor was the first feature film soundtrack. Disney had sold its rights to the Snow White music to Bourne Co. Music as they needed more funds to complete the film.[MTk 2]

In 1938, Fantasound—the first Surround sound system—was designed and tested by Walt Disney Productions for the release of Fantasia.[ChWDC 3] In 1943, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Walt Disney Productions for two Academy Award categories in recognition of Bambi; Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Music, Best Song for its song, "Love is a Song".[ChWDC 4]

In addition to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney also sold the music publishing rights to Pinocchio and Dumbo to Bourne. To date, all attempts to reacquire the music rights to the three films had failed. After Bambi, the effects of World War II reduced the production of new feature length animation, with Disney either making feature length live films with some animation or themed short film into anthology films like Make Mine Music. The latter films contain the bulk of the more commercial music which was done by recording stars thus released by their record company.[MTk 2]

In April 1947, the Walt Disney Music Company (WDMC) was incorporated, with Fred Raphael putting the company together in late 1949 to publish and license songs from Cinderella.[2][MTk 3] Cinderella records appeared in stores along with other merchandise in 1949 before the 1950 release of the movie. The original RCA 78 RPM multi-disc-album release was number 1 on the Billboard magazine pop charts and as a result, Disney Music was moving rapidly into the Big Business category. While WDMC did not produce the records, Raphael did handle the selection, performance and recording.[MTk 3]

James Alexander "Jimmy" Johnson, Jr., a fired Disney publicity sta

From the founding of The Walt Disney Company in 1923, music has been key to the success of the organization. Both public-domain and original music were used for the initial cartoons, but, since neither Walt Disney nor Roy O. Disney had any music industry experience, the studio had to rely on outside music publishers.[MTk 1] In 1928, Walt Disney released the first Mickey Mouse motion picture, Steamboat Willie, which became the first animated short-subject film with sound. Two other unreleased Mickey Mouse shorts has been previously-produced and were subsequently given soundtracks prior to their eventual premieres.[ChWDC 1] In 1929, Walt Disney and Carl Stalling wrote "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo", the first song from the Walt Disney Studios, for Mickey's Follies.[ChWDC 2] On December 16, 1929, the Disney Film Recording Company, Limited was incorporated as a subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions.[1]

Saul Bourne at Irving Berlin Music approached the studio after seeing Three Little Pigs with interest in the publishing rights for its theme song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?". With Disney partnering with Bourne and Berlin, this partnership led to the song being recorded twice by the Don Bestor Orchestra (released by Victor Records) and Bill Scotti Orchestra (released by Bluebird Records). The song was a hit and a Depression era anthem.[MTk 1]

Walt Disney Productions then began licensing out its music with the record company either selecting its own or Disney's talent to record the music. Until 1936, no one had issued an actual song track recording on disc. RCA's HMV label released a selection of Disney short film music in England with the US release a year later.[MTk 1] The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soundtrack album released by Victor was the first feature film soundtrack. Disney had sold its rights to the Snow White music to Bourne Co. Music as they needed more funds to complete the film.[MTk 2]

In 1938, Fantasound—the first Surround sound system—was designed and tested by Walt Disney Productions for the release of Fantasia.[ChWDC 3] In 1943, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Walt Disney Productions for two Academy Award categories in recognition of Bambi; Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Music, Best Song for its song, "Love is a Song".[ChWDC 4]

In addition to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney also sold the

Saul Bourne at Irving Berlin Music approached the studio after seeing Three Little Pigs with interest in the publishing rights for its theme song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?". With Disney partnering with Bourne and Berlin, this partnership led to the song being recorded twice by the Don Bestor Orchestra (released by Victor Records) and Bill Scotti Orchestra (released by Bluebird Records). The song was a hit and a Depression era anthem.[MTk 1]

Walt Disney Productions then began licensing out its music with the record company either selecting its own or Disney's talent to record the music. Until 1936, no one had issued an actual song track recording on disc. RCA's HMV label released a selection of Disney short film music in England with the US release a year later.[MTk 1] The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soundtrack album released by Victor was the first feature film soundtrack. Disney had sold its rights to the Snow White music to Bourne Co. Music as they needed more funds to complete the film.[MTk 2]

In 1938, Fantasound—the first Surround sound system—was designed and tested by Walt Disney Productions for the release of Fantasia.[ChWDC 3] In 1943, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Walt Disney Productions for two Academy Award categories in recognition of Bambi; Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Music, Best Song for its song, "Love is a Song".[ChWDC 4]

In addition to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney also sold the music publishing rights to Pinocchio and Dumbo to Bourne. To date, all attempts to reacquire the music rights to the three films had failed. After Bambi, the effects of World War II reduced the production of new feature length animation, with Disney either making feature length live films with some animation or themed short film into anthology films like Make Mine Music. The latter films contain the bulk of the more commercial music which was done by recording stars thus released by their record company.[MTk 2]

In April 1947, the Walt Disney Music Company (WDMC) was incorporated, with Fred Raphael putting the company together in late 1949 to publish and license songs from Cinderella.[2][MTk 3] Cinderella records appeared in stores along with other merchandise in 1949 before the 1950 release of the movie. The original RCA 78 RPM multi-disc-album release was number 1 on the Billboard magazine pop charts and as a result, Disney Music was moving rapidly into the Big Business category. While WDMC did not produce the records, Raphael did handle the selection, performance and recording.[MTk 3]

James Alexander "Jimmy" Johnson, Jr., a fired Disney publicity staff member who wanted to stay at Disney, moved through a series of jobs there in the traffic department, and then accounting. After a stint in the military, he became assistant to the corporate secretary, then handled merchandising issues among other additional duties. With Roy Disney's split of the merchandising division from Walt Disney Productions, Johnson became head of the merchandising division's publication department in 1950 and took on managing business affairs for the Walt Disney Music Company.[MTk 3]

Raphael took the WDMC into creating original non-film music. WDMC had several successful songs outside of the films, including Mule Train by Frankie Laine, "Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)" by Patti Page and "Shrimp Boats" by Jo Stafford,[MTk 3] however for every non-film hit there were a score more that flopped.[MTk 4] While Alice in Wonderland was a first run failure, its songs became evergreen for the music company with multiple stars performing the music. Raphael moved his office off lot to Hollywood and opened a WDMC in New York.[MTk 4]

Walt Disney Productions formed the Wonderland Music Company in 1951.[3]

Disney's next push into music came from The Mickey Mouse Club as eight 6-inch 78 RPM records for the show hit shelves the week it premiered on television. Normal 7-inch 45 RPM versions were cut and released later, both through manufacturing partners of the Walt Disney Music Company. After a year, Golden Records and Am-Par Records turned over production of the show's music back to Disney, leading to the creation of the Disneyland Records label in 1956.[MTk 5]

The Walt Disney Company traces the Disney Music Group back to the founding of Disneyland Records in 1956.[4] In that year, the Walt Disney Music Company's Disneyland Records record company was founded on the strength of Fess Parker's 1954 hit recording of the "Ballad of Davy Crockett" using the Disneyland label which was licensed to Columbia Records.[5] The Disneyland label issued its first album, A Child's Garden of Verses.[ChWDC 5] Also, Disneyland Records issued a Parker's "Wringle Wrangle" single from the "Westward Ho the Wagons!" film within a year of starting operations; the single became a hit. This led the company to start recording music from outside the films. However, whatever was released by the company, the industry categorized as intended for an audience of children. Pricing was directed towards an adult audience, which was more than standard children fare. The only outside success was "Tutti's Trumpets". Thus in 1959, the Disneyland label became the children's label, and Buena Vista became the label for the occasional pop song record.[5] The Lyric Street Records label was founded in July 1997 as a division of Hollywood Records.[6][7] In August 1997 Mammoth Records was purchased for $25 million to act as an independent music label within Disney.[8]

Buena Vista Music Group

Disney Music Publishing, controls the publishing rights to music from Disney's film, television, theater and theme park divisions. Imprints include Walt Disney M

Disney Music Publishing, controls the publishing rights to music from Disney's film, television, theater and theme park divisions. Imprints include Walt Disney Music Company, Wonderland Music Company, Agarita Music, Bantha Music, Buena Vista Music Co., Falferious Music, Five Hundred South Songs, Fuzzy Muppet Songs, Holpic Music, Inc., Hollywood Pictures Music, Mad Muppet Melodies, Marvel Comics Music, Marvel Superheroes Music, Pixar Music, Pixar Talking Pictures, Seven Peaks Music, Seven Summits Music, Touchstone Pictures Music & Songs, Inc., Utapau Music, and Wampa-Tauntaun Music.[32]

Disney Concerts

Disney Concerts, form

Disney Concerts, formerly Buena Vista Concerts, is themselves involved in the holding, production, distribution and sponsoring of concert events related to Disney.

Buena Vista Records<

Buena Vista Records, a label founded in 1959[5] largely devoted to authentic soundtrack albums of mostly live-action Disney film musicals, such as Mary Poppins, The Happiest Millionaire, Summer Magic, and Babes in Toyland, as well as recordings by actors then under contract to Disney, such as Annette Funicello and Hayley Mills. Often, at the same time that Buena Vista Records released a genuine soundtrack album of one of the Disney movies, Disneyland Records, another, less expensive Disney label, would release a cover version of the songs from that film. Buena Vista Records also operates as an imprint of Walt Disney Records and most recently has been employed to serve as a pseudonym for certain releases by Walt Disney Records such as the more adult-oriented Almost Alice and non Disney-branded releases, as well as releasing traditional albums for Walt Disney Records adult artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus and Nathan Pacheco.

Buena Vista Records was relaunched as country music label in April 2017, as a joint between DMG and Universal Music Group Nashville. The label's first signed act was the brotherly music duo, CB30, whose track

Buena Vista Records was relaunched as country music label in April 2017, as a joint between DMG and Universal Music Group Nashville. The label's first signed act was the brotherly music duo, CB30, whose track "Marina" has a Luke Bryan appearance.[27]

Hollywood Records, primarily focuses on pop, rock, alternative and country genres, as well as soundtracks from Marvel Studios' films, in conjunction with Marvel Music. Originally, the label was primarily a soundtrack label for non-Disney branded releases by Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures, with few major artists, like Queen. The label now releases music from a roster of major artists such as: Breaking Benjamin, Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Holt and Shawn Hook.

DMG Nashville

  • D

    Fox Music is a division handling primarily television and film soundtracks from 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and 20th Television. The division became part of Disney Music Group following the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets in 2019. Hollywood Records distributes Fox Music albums.

    RMI Recordings

    RMI Recordings, a new label formed in June 2017 to sign "digital-first" talent. It was formed with the founders of DigiTour Media, which produces live events with social media artists.[28] The first talent signed to the label was Max & Harvey, a pair of UK twins, in April 2018.[38]

    Former labels

    Disney Pearl, also as Disney Pearl Series, was an imprint of Disney Music Group for adult contemporary and pop music launched in November 2008 with a deal with Yanni for Yanni Voices albums including a Buena Vista Concert extensive tour, two Yanni PBS specials and deals for the album's four vocal talent, Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills.[13] The label released albums, including from Kenny Loggins and Brian Wilson, until 2012.[39]

    Lyric Street Records, was an American record label specializing in country music. Pre

    RMI Recordings, a new label formed in June 2017 to sign "digital-first" talent. It was formed with the founders of DigiTour Media, which produces live events with social media artists.[28] The first talent signed to the label was Max & Harvey, a pair of UK twins, in April 2018.[38]

    Former labels

    Disney Pearl, also as Disney Pearl Series, was an imprint of Disney Music Group for adult contemporary and pop music launched in November 2008 with a deal with Yanni for Yanni Voices albums including a Buena Vista Concert extensive tour, two Yanni PBS specials and deals for the album's four vocal talent, Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills.[13] The label released albums, including from Kenny Loggins and Brian Wilson, until 2012.[39]

    Lyric Street Records, was an American record label specializing in country music. President Randy Goodman, formerly a general manager for RCA Records, founded the label in 1997. Among its first artists were Lari White, John Berry, Aaron Tippin,

    Lyric Street Records, was an American record label specializing in country music. President Randy Goodman, formerly a general manager for RCA Records, founded the label in 1997. Among its first artists were Lari White, John Berry, Aaron Tippin, SHeDAISY and extremely popular Rascal Flatts. Carolwood Records was a short-lived subsidiary label of Lyric Street launched in October 2008. In April 2010, the label was folded into Hollywood Records.

    Mammoth Records, the formerly independent record label was founded by Jay Faires in 1989. In 1993 it became part of a joint venture with WEA-owned Atlantic Records but hit the market again in 1997, when it was bought by the then Buena Vista Music Group, up until which it was based in North Carolina.[40] It had a very successful alternative artist roster including acts such as Antenna, Blake Babies, Chainsaw Kittens, Dash Rip Rock, Dillon Fence, Frente!, Fun-Da-Mental, Fu Manchu, Jason & the Scorchers, Joe Henry, Juliana Hatfield, Kill Creek, Machines of Loving Grace, the Bats, the Melvins, My Friend Steve, Seven Mary Three, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Sidewinders, Vanilla Trainwreck, and Victoria Williams. In 2003, the label was folded into Hollywood Records.[41]

    On Friday, August 23, 2019, Disney Music Group debuted their first podcast, For Scores, produced with Treefort Media and longtime Disney Music executive Maria Kleinman and kicked of at D23. The podcast is a composer interview series with the composer working in film, television and games and hosted by journalist Jon Burlingame. The first set dropped has four episodes interviewing Henry Jackman, Pinar Toprak and Alan Silvestri. A second set is slated for October 2019 and a third for early 2020.[30][31]

    Distribution

    Originally, Disney Mus

    Originally, Disney Music Group did not have its own distribution network, either in its native market of the US or internationally. It had a licensing deal with Warner Music Group from 1995 to 2005. Furthermore, Sony Music Entertainment was also a distributor of Hollywood Records' releases in mainland Asia. After the agreement with Warner expired, Disney engaged in distribution negotiations with other third-party companies.

    In 2005, Disney relied mainly on Universal Music Group and EMI Music, given the territory. UMG's

    In 2005, Disney relied mainly on Universal Music Group and EMI Music, given the territory. UMG's Universal Music Distribution was responsible for distribution in the United States, Canada, India and other territories across North America, South America, Asia[42] and Japan.[43] Meanwhile, EMI conducted distribution in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and several other territories across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In both agreements, Disney handled its own marketing and other similar functions.

    In September 2012, Universal Music Group acquired EMI and initially pledged not to renew EMI's European distribution license with Disney.[44] However, in March 2013, Disney Music Group renegotiated their agreement with Universal Music Group, in which distribution and marketing rights were expanded on a worldwide basis, as a method of incurring collaboration between Disney's record labels and artists with Universal's production department.[45] This allows DMG access to Universal's large roster of award-winning music producers and songwriters. In return, UMG now will have access to Disney's extensive marketing entities (including ABC, Radio Disney, Disney Channel, ABC Radio etc.).

    Seoul Records, now Kakao MSouth Korea's biggest music distributor – formerly handled the Disney music catalog in the 1990s. The catalog was later acquired by S.M. Entertainment. (Universal Music Korea currently handles the Disney music catalog in South Korea.)[46]