September 10th 2005

Transatlantic founder dies, aged 66

One of the pioneers of the UK music business, Nathan Joseph - widely known as Nat - has passed away, aged 66.

Joseph founded Transatlantic Records in 1961, one of the country's first successful and fully independent record companies in the modern era.

The label played a pivotal role in the massive boom in British folk music during the 1960's and 1970's, discovering, recording and marketing artists such as Ralph McTell and Bert Jansch. He also found a home for acts working in rock, blues and jazz such as Gerry Rafferty, Alexis Korner and Mike Oldfield and provided UK distribution for US albums from controversial figures such as Lenny Bruce and Malcolm X.

Indeed his eclectic taste and pioneering style won him many admirers in the US, including Seymour Stein, who went on to found Sire Records. Stein says, "I remember Nat as a warm, gentlemanly figure whose word and handshake were as good if not better than a written contract. Nat was a true pioneer and Transatlantic an important and vital link in the growth and development of the British independent record business. Companies like Mute, Beggar's Banquet, and Rough Trade owe a great debt. I've lost a great and dear friend, and the industry has lost one of the true founding fathers of Britain's modern music industry."

Joseph was married to his wife Sarah for 40 years and they had two children, Joshua and Gideon.

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