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"Luke has built Mercury Nashville into one of the strongest record companies of the past decade."
——Doug Morris
MERCURY NASHVILLE DEALS
LUKE A COOL HAND
Veteran Nashville Exec Lewis Upped To Chairman, Helms New Label

Mercury Nashville President Luke Lewis is named Chairman of the company by UMG Chairman/CEO Doug Morris. He has also entered into a joint venture with the Island Def Jam Music Group to form a new label, Lost Highway Records.

His first task in his new position will be to find Morris a decent pastrami on rye when he visits.

Lewis' eight-year reign at the label produced in excess of 43 Gold and Platinum albums, including the breakout success of Shania Twain.

Commented Morris: "Luke has built Mercury Nashville into one of the strongest record companies of the past decade. He is an executive who is regarded with affection and respect, not only by his artists and colleagues, but by those with whom he works throughout the creative community. And he taught me how to use a spittoon."

Lewis will serve as President of Lost Highway, whose roster includes Lucinda Williams, ex-Whiskeytown lead singer Ryan Adams, Kim Richey, William Topley and Robert Earl Keen. He'll also release a Hank Williams tribute record which featuring Bob Dylan and Beck, among others.

"These last few years have been full of the most personally rewarding and professionally gratifying experiences of my career," said Lewis. "And I finally understand what Jon Landau is talking about."

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