Rhino Records

rhinoRhino Records was founded in 1978 by Richard Foos and Harold Bronson, who had the vision and crazy creativity to  start an all together unique record label. They were fans of Bob Wills and in 1984 had released a Bob Wills, Texas shaped record (with Tiffany material licensed from Kaleidoscope Records)  and in 1991 a two CD set of Wills music spanning his career. (with six Tiffany tunes licensed from Kaleidoscope on it). On September 29, 1992 Rhino Records purchased Kaleidoscope Records.

Although they had bought the entire Kaleidoscope Records catalog, they were only interested in a few releases. After the sale the only releases on Rhino Records of Kaleidoscope masters were, The David Grisman Quintet, all of the Kate Wolf albums, and all of the Bob wills and the Texas Playboys Tiffany Transcription albums. It should be noted that they did not purchased the Tiffany Transcriptions, which Kaleidoscope Records did not own, only Kaleidoscope’s license to release them which they had with the heir of Cliff Sundin.

Of the Bob Wills albums, they released on CD and for digital download, volume 1 through 9 and the McKinney Sisters album.  Accept for putting the Rhino name on them, the albums were exactly like the original Kaleidoscope Records releases.

Before the sale Kaleidoscope had volume 10 in production. They had gone as far as to master it, had made test pressings of the lp version, and had the art work completed. All of this was sent to Rhino, along with all of the other Kaleidoscope masters and art work, but Rhino, for reasons unknown, never released volume 10 (see the volume 10 story). As of 2012, they still had the sequenced master tapes for volume 10 but had misplaced the art work.

In 1998 Rhino Records was purchased by the Warner Music Group. They kept all of the original Kaleidoscope albums in print for a number of years but slowly allowed them to go out of print. They are now all out of print but still available through digital download.

In 2008 Rhino/Warner licensed the right to re-release all of the original Kaleidoscope Albums, except volume 10 (which I suspect they didn’t even know they had) , to Collectors Choice Music, who put them out as a box set.

At some point Rhino/Warner resigned an exclusive licensing agreement with the current owner of the Tiffany Transcriptions and as of 2012 they still had the right to release recordings.

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