RED Distribution has signed American Gramaphone to a North American distribution deal.
American Gramaphone is am Omaha, Neb.-based label which issues records by Mannheim Steamroller. Both the label and the brand are the brains behind Chip Davis. Under the Mannheim Steamroller brand, Davis has sold 22.6 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Mannheim Steamroller has sold 27 million albums worldwide, according to a press release on the deal.
While there apparently isn't a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas-themed album coming out in 2012, the company will put two touring bands on the road to perform music from the Christmas albums, with 90 shows planned from Nov. 15 through Dec. 30.
Last year, when Mannheim's Steamroller's "Christmas Symphony" was released, the brand scanned 474,000 album units, of which 184,000 units were from that title. In the prior year, when no new Christmas-themed albums were released, the brand still scanned 299,000 units.
While largely a CD album-oriented artist, Mannheim Steamroller has managed to ring up 951,000 song downloads. RED will help American Gramaphone, previously distributed by Fontana, to expand its repertoire into new media formats, according to the announcement on the signing.
In other moves, last month RED began distributing two Canadian labels -- Arts & Crafts Production, which has issued albums from Broken Social Scene, Stars and Feist; and Last Gang Entertainment, which has issued albums from Death From Above 1979, MSTRKRFT and Crystal Castles. Both deals, separately signed, cover the U.S. for physical and digital distribution.