Episode 3
Episode 3

July 25 at 8/7c

United Record Pressing

Go behind-the-scenes with CEO Mark Michaels as he walks us through the vinyl record production process, from its sonic recording start to final shrink-wrap finish.

Episode 3
The new production facility is state-of-the-art yet utilizes old-school machines
Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show talks about Tennessee's musical heritage
episode synopsis

crafting a better music experience

In 2017, United Record Pressing moved their manufacturing operation into an expanded facility. This fact is notable for two reasons.

First, the market for vinyl music continues its rebirth from technological cast-off to old-is-better, vintage icon.

Second, United Records continues its trajectory of success based on best-practice business management. Indeed, the new facility is designed around their finely tuned manufacturing processes—a symphony of old-school, new-tech artistry that CEO and owner Mark Michaels has perfected over the years.

For Michaels, the magic began not when he purchased the bankrupt company in the ‘90s but two decades prior when he discovered his love of music. In the 1970s, Michaels would tag along with his mother to small blues clubs to catch the likes of Muddy Waters, Corky Siegel, and Duke Tumatoe.

Episode 3
Mark Michaels in the United Record Pressing "listening room"

Michaels—a prodigy in business process optimization, but a far cry from a musician himself—never dreamed he would be lucky enough to make a life out of music.

He pursued an education and career in the private sector as a successful private-equity investor and businessman. In his various dealings he would come to find out about United Record Pressing, an organization known as much for their formative role in spreading the sounds of Motown throughout a then segregated South as they were for representing a quickly receding vinyl industry in the early 2000s.

By working in close collaboration with the heritage craftsmen on his staff, Michaels managed to turn the business around in just ten short years, now pressing just under 40% of vinyl records in the world and representing the largest vinyl production facility in the United States.

Their path to achievement—a return to quality over quantity—is a relevant lesson for any entrepreneur or business today.

Go behind-the-scenes with Mark as he walks us through the vinyl record production process, from its sonic recording start to final shrink-wrap finish. Along the way, we reminisce about the “Upstairs at United” analog recording series, recorded in the same space that has hosted release parties for The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Cowsills, Wayne Newton and a signing party for Hank Williams, Jr.

Finally, take a detour through history as we tour the historic Motown Suite—an area on the second floor in the original company building that was used for musicians in the 1960s.

Episode 3
Ketch Secor, old crow medicine show
Rock. Soul. Country. Gospel. Bluegrass. All music draws from the musical tapwater of Tennessee heritage.
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