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Nat Joseph

Founder Of Transatlantic Records Dies, Aged 66

One of the pioneers of the UK music business, Nathan Joseph - widely known as Nat - has passed away, aged 66.

Transatlantic Records was an independent British record label. It was established in the 1960s and its policy was to record what seemed to be interesting and important at the time. This approach led to an eclectic mixture of the innovative trends in the British folk music scene during the 1960s and 1970s. The label's first successes came, not from music but from three LPs he released by the sex therapist Dr Eustace Chesser under the pseudonym Dr Keith Cameron. The controversy about these records led to sales approaching 100,000 and the resulting financial lift gave the label money to develop its musical base.

Joseph founded Transatlantic Records in 1961, one of the country's first successful and fully independent record companies in the modern era. The label played a pivotal role in the massive boom in British folk music during the 1960's and 1970's, discovering, recording and marketing artists such as Pentangle, Ralph McTell and Bert Jansch. He also found a home for acts working in rock, blues and jazz such as Gerry Rafferty, Alexis Korner and Mike Oldfield.

His eclectic taste and pioneering style won him many admirers in the US, including Seymour Stein, who went on to found Sire Records. Stein says, "I remember Nat as a warm, gentlemanly figure whose word and handshake were as good if not better than a written contract. Nat was a true pioneer and Transatlantic was an important and vital link in the growth and development of the British independent record business". "Companies like Mute, Beggar's Banquet, and Rough Trade owe a great debt. I've lost a great and dear friend, and the industry has lost one of the true founding fathers of Britain's modern music industry."

Joseph was married to his wife Sarah for 40 years and they had two children, Joshua and Gideon.

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