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Windham Hill

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Biography

Windham Hill Records is a record company, founded in the 1976 by guitarist and carpenter William Ackerman and his then-wife Anne Robinson.

Windham Hill was originally a folk music label, releasing Ackerman’s own work, as well as that of other guitarists. It then expanded to include electronic and world music ensembles. While the artists of Windham Hill may not have used the term, the label eventually became known in the industry mainly as a New Age music label, with its Billboard charting albums appearing primarily on the New Age genre charts. The label is best known for its high sound quality, groundbreaking music, unique flagship collections and tasteful album art within the form of an identifiable label brand identity.

The label’s records were distributed by A&M Records until PolyGram purchased A&M in 1989. Since then it has been distributed by BMG, which had distributed A&M from 1979 until the sale. Ackerman sold half of the company to BMG in 1992 and the rest in 1996. BMG began distributing Windham Hill through RCA Records. Now a majority of Windham’s releases are distributed through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony BMG. BMG has no A&R department in Windham Hill and signs artists only who are already involved with Sony BMG.

With the new Sony BMG reconstruction, Windham Hill has become mainly a defunct label. Sony BMG has lost Jim Brickman and no longer publishes any of his new music. Sony BMG occasionally releases new collections of older material, but no new material appears to be in the works.

For Windham Hill’s 30th Anniversary, Sony BMG released a special collection kit, with an article from Will Ackerman.

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