On 2 February, 2021, Richard Weize was awarded with the CROSS OF THE ORDER OF MERIT of the Federal Republic of Germany on proposal of Federal President Steinmeier.
Richard Weize was born in summer 1945 in Bad Gandersheim, Lower Saxony. As a youth he became enthralled with the music of the early 50s. He had a special lik- ing for country, rock 'n' roll and jazz from the USA and consequently started collecting records excessively.
In 1975 he founded the BEAR FAMILY label in Bremen (followed more recently by his im- prints ...AND MORE BEARS and RWA RICHARD WEIZE ARCHIVES). BEAR FAMILY soon established themselves with elaborate re-releases and compilations, especially with music from the 1950s to the 1970s. Their extensive box-sets – produced in co-operation with artists, specialists and music historians worldwide – enjoy cult status. In 2009 Weize
(FROM LEFT) Richard Weize and Bernd Lütjen, Feb. 2, 2021
was awarded with the German ECHO for "Special merits in the field of music." Various BEAR FAMILY productions were nominated for the Grammy Awards eleven times altogether.
BEAR FAMILY has released more than 400 multi-disc box-sets, anthologies and compi- lation series which are highly regarded by fans, critics, collectors and historians. The accompanying coffee table books are leg- endary – illustrated with often rare or un- published pictures, they contain biographies and essays by renowned historians and experts, and always feature Richard Weize's meticulously researched discographies (with detailed musician and producer credits – even listing the exact time of the lunch break in a recording session!).
In these releases artists as diverse as Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, singer and actress Doris Day, country icon Johnny Cash, songwriter Woody Guthrie and German entertainers like Caterina Valente or Gunter Gabriel are acknowledged with the loving care and eye for detail they truly deserve.