EDITION WILHELM HANSEN ACQUIRES STORYVILLE RECORDS
11th May 2005
Storyville Records, one of the world’s great jazz labels, has been acquired by Edition Wilhelm Hansen, part of The Music Sales Group.
Storyville began life over 50 years ago when legendary Danish jazz enthusiast Karl Emil Knudsen began releasing rare or exceptional recordings by jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong and The Red Onion Jazz Babies. Many of these tracks were initially licensed from the UK label Tempo which had a similar vision of making great jazz recordings more widely available.
Later Knudsen would expand Storyville’s catalogue by recording many American jazz performers when they were on tour in Europe and Scandinavia — Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Roland Hanna to name a few.
Danish jazz stars such as Papa Bue & His Viking Jazz Band and Fessors Big City Band were later added to the Storyville roster.
Storyville Records — named after the notorious New Orleans neighbourhood where jazz was born — remained a vibrant force into the 1990s, venturing into modern jazz, re-releasing over 300 revival tracks by among others Chris Barber and gaining exclusive rights to release many of Duke Ellington’s previously unreleased recordings.
By September 2003 when Karl Emil Knudsen, the self-styled “Doctor of Jazz Archaeology”, passed away, his Storyville label was considered by jazz fans to be a prestigious Scandinavian equivalent to America’s Blue Note Records.
Now the acquisition of Storyville by Wilhelm Hansen means that, with the support of The Music Sales Group, it will be possible to digitize the entire catalogue and make it widely available on CDs to be sold online.
Music Sales Chairman and Managing Director Robert Wise says “I am sure Karl Emil Knudsen would have been delighted to know that his precious Storyville catalogue will now become available to an even wider audience and, I hope, to a whole new generation of jazz aficionados”.
Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Tine Birger Christensen