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Creator / Verve Forecast

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"Some record labels reflect the times; some actively predict them. It’s difficult to imagine the 1960s without Verve Forecast: the record label that was home to many of the most influential artists of that day..."

Verve Forecast is a sublabel of Verve Records that became prominent in its own right.

In 1964, Verve (which was best known for its Jazz releases) was looking to diversify into the Folk Music market. To this end, Verve executive Jerry Schoenbaum formed an alliance with Moses Asch's independent Folkways Records label, which led to releases by such folk giants as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Dave Van Ronk. However, Verve Folkways soon diversified into other genres; it signed Singer-Songwriters such as Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, Janis Ian, Bob Lind, and Laura Nyro, as well as Garage Rock acts like The Blues Project and The Hombres. It also had an impressive Blues roster including John Lee Hooker, Lead Belly, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.

The deal with Folkways ended in 1967, after which the imprint renamed itself Verve Forecast, but it carried on as before with the same artists, plus some new acts. Friend and Lover's "Reach Out of the Darkness" became a Top 10 hit, while the British Progressive Rock band Caravan released their first album on the label. However, the forecast called for stormy weather; Verve's corporate parent MGM Records, whose president Mike Curb was steering the company in more of a traditional pop direction, deactivated Verve Forecast in 1970.

Fortunately, the weather cleared during The '90s. MGM/Verve had been acquired by PolyGram, which briefly reactivated Verve Forecast as a home for smooth jazz acts like Chris Botti, Will Downing and Jeff Lorber. This version of the label didn't last long after PolyGram was absorbed by Universal Music Group in 1998, but the imprint was revived again in 2004; this time, its purpose was to sign "another wave of creative, jazz and roots-oriented artists". The new version of Verve Forecast has released albums by Brazilian Girls, Blues Traveler, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, Jamie Cullum, Jesse Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, Olabelle, Susan Tedeschi, and Lizz Wright, among others.

Verve Forecast (and Verve Folkways) performers, past and present, with TV Tropes pages:

*Originally on Verve Folkways