“BEAR FAMILY’s comprehensive collections serve history well, enabling us to consider
all aspects of an artist’s work and not just items superficially cherry-picked for ‘Greatest Hits’ anthologies”
Bluegrass Music (September 2007) 

"Essentially, it’s music about poverty and warfare. It’s music about race problems. It’s music which is heavily pro-organized labour. It preserves and makes available this political music, which to a certain section of the American population, was very im- portant.” 
IUN Professor Ronald Cohen

“We live in a world where people shy away from doing things for the love of it because of per- sonal cost. BEAR FAMILY re- minds us that, love may be all we’ve got.” 
Pat Todd

"This is breathtaking stuff – here’s dignity in a cardboard box, integrity on a quartet of silver discs, and a musical experience that’ll never fade. Superb.”
Fred Dellar, New Musical Express (31 August 1991) 

"With all due respect to the labels that have helped to keep the recorded legacy of the original Carter Family in print during the CD era, this new release on Germany’s BEAR FAMILY label leaves them all in the dust.”
Nels Koch, No Depression (Nov-Dec 2000)

"Their legacy has so infused 20th-century American culture that almost every musician in America has felt their influence – even those who’ve never heard a single recording by this trio.” 
Randy Koch, Nashville Scene (November 23, 2000)

"A heartfelt and moving example of classic country harmony, this is a must for all those who love the close harmony of the Everlys, Louvins, Gram and Emmylou, George and Tammy... and so on and so on.”
Alan Cackett, Maverick (April 2004) 

"Mr. Weize’s perfectionism and his workaholic ways have forced American record labels to dredge up recordings and files for his collections they didn’t even know they had.”
Craig P. Havighurst, Wall Street Journal (September 1998)

"Richard’s releases are so superbly researched, so thorough and so painstakingly put together that they provide a truly comprehen- sive history of popular culture as it relates to music. I can name several students of mine who have been able to complete their Masters theses because of BEAR FAMILY.”
Rob Bowman, Professor of Popular Music at York University, Toronto Financial Post (July 8, 1995)

“BEAR FAMILY’s comprehensive collections serve history well, enabling us to consider all aspects of an artist’s work and not just items superficially cherry-picked for... read more »
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Bear Family - A record label

“BEAR FAMILY’s comprehensive collections serve history well, enabling us to consider
all aspects of an artist’s work and not just items superficially cherry-picked for ‘Greatest Hits’ anthologies”
Bluegrass Music (September 2007) 

"Essentially, it’s music about poverty and warfare. It’s music about race problems. It’s music which is heavily pro-organized labour. It preserves and makes available this political music, which to a certain section of the American population, was very im- portant.” 
IUN Professor Ronald Cohen

“We live in a world where people shy away from doing things for the love of it because of per- sonal cost. BEAR FAMILY re- minds us that, love may be all we’ve got.” 
Pat Todd

"This is breathtaking stuff – here’s dignity in a cardboard box, integrity on a quartet of silver discs, and a musical experience that’ll never fade. Superb.”
Fred Dellar, New Musical Express (31 August 1991) 

"With all due respect to the labels that have helped to keep the recorded legacy of the original Carter Family in print during the CD era, this new release on Germany’s BEAR FAMILY label leaves them all in the dust.”
Nels Koch, No Depression (Nov-Dec 2000)

"Their legacy has so infused 20th-century American culture that almost every musician in America has felt their influence – even those who’ve never heard a single recording by this trio.” 
Randy Koch, Nashville Scene (November 23, 2000)

"A heartfelt and moving example of classic country harmony, this is a must for all those who love the close harmony of the Everlys, Louvins, Gram and Emmylou, George and Tammy... and so on and so on.”
Alan Cackett, Maverick (April 2004) 

"Mr. Weize’s perfectionism and his workaholic ways have forced American record labels to dredge up recordings and files for his collections they didn’t even know they had.”
Craig P. Havighurst, Wall Street Journal (September 1998)

"Richard’s releases are so superbly researched, so thorough and so painstakingly put together that they provide a truly comprehen- sive history of popular culture as it relates to music. I can name several students of mine who have been able to complete their Masters theses because of BEAR FAMILY.”
Rob Bowman, Professor of Popular Music at York University, Toronto Financial Post (July 8, 1995)

Michael Brooks Obituary

Obituary Michael Brooks
Yesterday, on 20 November 2020, our close friend Michael Brooks passed away at the age of 85. His wife Pat stayed with him to the end.

Like most of our friends Michael was a music afficionado. After his retirement he continued to appear at the studio at least three times a week, participating in different projects – and he did not even stop when he had exceeded the age of 80.

Michael started his career in 1971 with a Count Basie retrospective which earned him a Grammy nomination. In the decades to follow he worked as a music historian, archivist, consultant and producer. His entire life was dedicated to music, and countless projects are the result.

We are saying goodbye not only to a great music lover but above all to a close friend. With their cooperativeness and hospitality Michael and his wife Pat helped to make our visits to the USA pleasant and enjoyable throughout the years – for the last time in autumn 2019.

We are sad that Michael has left us. But we are also thankful for the time we shared together and for his friendship. Our deep condolences go to his wife Pat.

Richard & Birgit



Unser guter Freund Michael Brooks ist gestern am 20.11.2020 im Alter von 85 Jahren gestorben. Seine Frau Pat hat ihn bis zum Schluss begleitet.

Wie fast alle unsere Freunde war Michael ein Musikbesessener. Auch nach seiner Pensionierung tauchte er weiterhin mindestens drei Mal die Woche im Studio auf und arbeitete an diversen Projekten mit. Und das noch, als er die 80 Jahre bereits weit überschritten hatte.

Michael startete seine Karriere 1971 mit einer Count Basie Retrospektive, die ihm gleich eine Grammy Nominierung einbrachte. In den folgenden Jahrzehnten arbeitete er als Musik-Historiker, Archivar, Berater und Produzent. Unzählige Produktionen sind das Ergebnis seines von Musik erfüllten Lebens.

Wir verabschieden uns hier aber nicht nur von einem großartigen Musikliebhaber, sondern insbesondere auch von einem guten Freund. Durch ihre Hilfsbereitschaft und Gastfreundschaft haben Michael und seine Frau Pat uns über Jahre hinweg unsere USA-Aufenthalte sehr erleichtert und verschönt. Im Herbst 2019 zum letzten Mal.

Wir sind traurig, dass Michael uns verlassen hat. Aber wir sind dankbar für die gemeinsame Zeit und seine Freundschaft. Unser tiefes Mitgefühl gilt seiner Frau Pat.

Richard & Birgit
Record Label Profile
Bear Family Records Celebrates 40 Years
Record Label Profile
Bear Family Records Celebrates 40 Years
Record Label Profile
Bear Family Records Celebrates 40 Years
Bear Familys enthusiasm and passion has been recognized both nationally and internationally with a variety of outstanding awards.
"A heartfelt and moving example of classic country harmony, this is a must for all those who love the close harmony of the Everlys, Louvins, Gram and Emmylou, George and Tammy... and so on and so on.” Alan Cackett, Maverick
James Mangold, director of the Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk The Line' (starring Joaquin Phoenix), revealed in a Los Angeles interview
James Mangold, director of the Johnny Cash biopic 'Walk The Line' (starring Joaquin Phoenix), revealed in a Los Angeles interview
Merle Haggard – 'Untamed Hawk' Merle Haggard – 'Hag'

Another blind spot joyfully banished. I'm a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to Hag, but with these two boxes I've become a zealot. Why are Johnny Cash and Gram Parsons, just for example, so revered in rock circles when Hag's associated with Okie From Muskogee and not much else?
Frankie Miller – 'Blackland Farmer' (The Complete STARDAY Recordings and More...)

Whooeeee – three discs of unrepentant honky tonk brilliance. Many of these sides are, I'm guessing, among the last with Nashville fire before country- politan doused the flames
Get your hardcore country here..

Not for the first time in my life BEAR FAMILY is taking a big whack of my time in terms of listening, money, online browsing, researching and pulling of triggers.
VORBEI – BEYOND RECALL Jewish Musical Life in Nazi Berlin
11-CD + DVD Box-Set (LP-size) with 515-page book BCD 16030
Then there is BEAR FAMILY RECORDS, founded in 1975 by Richard Weize and still holding the high ground in Cadillac packaging, archival authority and historical passion. Size does not equal quality; you don't need every outtake to tell an important tale in full.
Then there is BEAR FAMILY RECORDS, founded in 1975 by Richard Weize and still holding the high ground in Cadillac packaging, archival authority and historical passion. Size does not equal quality; you don't need every outtake to tell an important tale in full.