Atlanta (Georgia), USA – Phil Walden, the founder of
Capricorn Records, died in Atlanta on April 23, 2006 at the age of 66. He had been suffering from cancer.
“With the passing of Phil Walden, the music business has lost an eminent
producer of great American music,” said Neil Portnow, president of The
Recording Academy. “One of the most influential creators of the Southern rock
sound of the 1970s, Walden founded Capricorn Records and launched the careers of
Otis Redding and Allman Brothers Band. We mourn his loss along with all of those
who had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Capricorn Records is a record label which was launched by Phil Walden in 1969
in Macon, Georgia (with offices in Atlanta). Capricorn became famous for its
role in spearheading Southern rock, with The Allman Brothers Band at the
forefront, but also including the Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, Elvin
Bishop, and Jonathan Edwards. At first the records were distributed by Atlantic
Records, later changing to Warner Brothers Records. Capricorn went out of
business in 1982.
The label was later relaunched out of Nashville, Tennessee as a joint-venture
with Warner Bros. in the early 1990s. Distribution later jumped to Sony Music’s
independent RED Distribution network, then Mercury Records. 311 and Cake were
the most popular artists to come out of Capricorn during this period. Zomba
Records subsidiary Volcano Entertainment purchased the second incarnation of
Capricorn (which by then, was headquartered once again in Atlanta) in 2001.
[Photo courtesy of Georgia Hall of Fame. Part of the obituary contains material courtesy of Wikipedia].