Welcome to the Treelabel Blog. My name is Dene Kellaway and I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I own and operate the original Tree Records, established in 1969 and Incorporated with registered Trade Marks in March 1970.
My career started as a Paste-Up Artist for a Litho Printing Company and when I was given my first Magazine Project to make up, I was hooked on the whole process. Needless to say I soon wanted to make up my own magazine and did. It was called "NZ Pop Scene" and was the first non Record Industry owned publication dedicated to pop music and it featured HMV's Rochelle Vincent on the first cover. For those of you unfamiliar to the NZ Music Scene of the Sixties, she had a huge hit called "My Boyfriend Got A Beatle Haircut".
In 1966 I was approched at the Rolling Stones Press Conference by the Editor of the new opposition Magazine, "NZ Teen Beat", and asked if I'd like his job as he wanted to returns to Sales. I agreed and the two magazines merged.
For reasons only they know, The Publishers closed it down in 1968 and I replaced it with a fortnightly Tabloid called "Groove". It's 'fame' reached as far as the New York Public Library and they started receiving copies of every Issue while I was the Owner / Editor.
Enter one Collin Morris who I had known since in my roll as the Editor of "Teen Beat". He was now into the Blues and started a Blues Magazine. He wanted to record several local Blues Bands and offer them on vinyl as a Subscription lure. I agreed to 'help' him produce the recordings only but found Frank Douglas and myself doing all the work. At the end of the recording session I was left to pay for it all so I suddenly found myself not just the Producer of two New Zealand original blues records, but the Owner as well.
John McCready at Philips offered me a Distrinution Deal and Tree Records was 'born' in May 1969. I released four 45rpm Singles that year and the successes lead to the four major Record Companies deciding there was a 'conflict of interest' and I was forced to decide - Magazine or Record Label. I chose the latter and 40 years on, here I am, an International Label, selling well on the Digital Downloading market and with a 5 year Distribution and Marketing Contract with AmpHead/The Orchard.
This Blog has been set up to talk to you all about not just what Tree Records is doing, but what and how I feel about developments in the Music Industry. I will also explain in more detail, the Tree Platform - the business side of how Tree works - as it's quite different to the mainstream and both Artists' and the General Public's conception of how it all works.
- Dene Kellaway