Tyscot Records celebrates 40 years

Tyscot Records, the oldest existing black-owned gospel recording label in the USA, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a fifteen-track compilation album of songs by some of the label’s biggest acts over the years. “Feel Good! 40 Years of Life Changing Music” (Tyscot Records) hits brick & mortar and digital music stores everywhere on April 29, 2016.

“Over the past 4 decades, we’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the finest artists in the gospel music industry and to produce some truly life changing music,” says Tyscot co-founder Dr. Leonard Scott. “I look forward to 40 more years of life changing music.”

In the early years, Tyscot introduced several popular church choirs including the Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir that featured a teenaged Kirk Franklin long before he hit it big with songs like “Stomp” and “Why We Sing.” The label eventually expanded its roster with future gospel superstars such as John P. Kee, Vashawn Mitchell and Deitrick Haddon.  This collection features those acts and even a vocal group named Deliverance that was produced by Indianapolis native Babyface prior to his big success as an R&B artist. This set also boasts tunes by gospel legends such as Rance Allen Group and Darwin Hobbs alongside Tyscot’s No.1 millennial-era singing discoveries Casey J and Anthony Brown & group therAPy.

Although, Tyscot is currently enjoying one of its most successful seasons ever with numerous gospel radio smashes (No. 3 behind RCA Inspiration and Motown Gospel according to Billboard Magazine for 2015), it hasn’t been a carefree ride to the top.
The company was born in 1976 when dentist Leonard Scott and Craig Tyson started the label for the sole purpose of releasing their church choir’s first album. Through the first decade, Tyscot’s sales were consistent but modest. After Scott’s then-19 year old son Bryant Scott took over the daily management of the company in 1988, the company eventually went from selling $50,000 worth of product a year to $2 million in billing a year thanks to young acts like John P. Kee.

Then, in 1993 Tyscot’s distributor Spectra abruptly filed for bankruptcy. Tyscot lost over a half of million dollars Spectra owed it as a result even though it had the No. 1 album in the country with “We Walk By Faith” by John P. Kee.  “We owed a lot of bills,” says Bryant Scott. He wanted to file bankruptcy but Dr. Scott said no. They worked out deals to pay everyone they owed. In a bind, Tyscot partnered with Zomba Music on John P. Kee’s  next album “Show Up!” and saw Kee’s album sales soar from an average of 75,000 units sold to over a half million. It’s been onward and upward ever since. The label has changed with the times. While it maintains best-selling traditional artists like the legendary Rance Allen Group (that experienced a career resurgence after signing with the label in 2002), Tyscot currently has three of the hottest millennial acts such as Casey J, Bri (Briana Babineaux) and Anthony Brown & group therAPy that spent 24 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay chart with their radio hit “Worth” in 2015.

View this fascinating film clip on the Tyscot Records story: https://youtu.be/wAhpnYDQtVA

Here’s the track list for “Feel Good:

1. FEEL GOOD! – Dr. Leonard Scott
2. HOLD ON – The Pentecostal Ambassadors
3. SAY YOU BELIEVE – Deliverance
4. HOLY ONE – Trinity Temple Full Gospel Mass Choir ft. Kirk Franklin
5. JESUS IS REAL – The New Life Community Choir ft. John P. Kee
6. HOW MAJESTIC – The PAW Mass Choir
7.  IT’S ONLY A TEST – Bishop Larry D. Trotter & Sweet Holy Spirit
8. FIRE – Deitrick Haddon & Voices of Unity
9. TESTIMONY – Rodney Bryant & CCMC
10. DON’T LAST (Remix) – Vashawn Mitchell & Friends
11. CLOSEST FRIEND – The Rance Allen Group
12. NOT ABOUT US – Bishop Noel Jones & The City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir
13. HE’S ABLE – Darwin Hobbs
14. DO IT AGAIN – Anthony Brown & group therAPy
15. BETTER (The Benediction Song) – Casey J

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Published by

Mark Weber

Mark Weber publishes the MarkWeberMusicBlog.

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