Heartbeat Records

Heartbeat Records is an independent record label based in Burlington (formerly Cambridge), Massachusetts. The label specializes in Jamaican music. Founded by reggae music enthusiasts Bill Nowlin and Duncan Brown, the label's first release was a vinyl LP reissue of Linton Kwesi Johnson's Dread Beat an' Blood (1981). In 1983, Chris Wilson was hired as VP of A&R and the label began their association with Studio One label founder Clement Dodd and released Best of Studio One, a compilation of Dodd-produced music by artists including Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis, The Gladiators, Marcia Griffiths, The Heptones, Slim Smith, Sugar Minott, and Johnny Osbourne, among others. Heartbeat has released over 60 Studio One albums. The label licensed music from a number of different Jamaican producers including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Joe Gibbs, Sonia Pottinger, Clancy Eccles, Alvin Ranglin, Duke Reid, Niney the Observer, Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie, and Lloyd Daley. The label financed and booked the Heartbeat Culture Splash Tour, consisting of Michael Rose, Sister Carol, the Meditations, Derrick Morgan, and the S.A.N.E. band, that toured the United States in 1996. In 2000, Heartbeat Records received a Grammy Award for Burning Spear's Heartbeat album entitled Calling Rastafari (1999) which has since been deleted from the catalog. Heartbeat Records won Boston magazine's Best of Boston 2000 award for Best Record Label. In January 2007, Heartbeat relocated to Burlington, Massachusetts. The same year, Heartbeat launched the web site and podcast entitled the Heartbeat Reggae Podcast.

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