NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Warner Music Group (WMG) announced it has acquired the West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings indie label First Night Records Ltd.
Following the acquisition, the label will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in the UK.
The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions and partnerships aimed at expanding Warner’s Arts Music division’s footprint in the world of musical theatre and family entertainment.
“First Night Records is not just a record company, it represents almost all of my working life,” says John Craig. “I am pleased that the catalogue is going to WMG, who in the last few years have shown they want to be in the cast recording business. It will be nice to see some of our iconic recordings given a new lease of life through WMG’s aggressive marketing. Kevin Gore is a real record man, someone who has come up through the ranks and embraced the new media and all its benefits. I think it will be a wonderful partnership.”
Founded by John Craig and Tony Edwards in 1984, First Night launched with a recording of the classic stage production Singin’ in the Rain and has gone on to record more than 150 productions from small shows to large symphonic versions of major musicals.
After releasing the Original London Cast Recording of Les Misérables, First Night became the go-to label for London theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh and has recorded all of his shows, including Follies, Martin Guerre, Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Oliver, The Witches of Eastwick and more.
The acquisition follows the establishment of the joint venture with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, the multi-Grammy award-winning musical theatre label founded and run by Kurt Deutsch, bolstering WMG’s catalog of cast recordings from London and New York.