VP Records founder Vincent Chin dies: Jamaica Observer

VP Records founder Vincent Chin dies

Observer Reporter Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Vincent G Chin, founder of VP Records, died at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday. According to a release from the company's publicists, his death was due to natural causes.

Born in 1937, after venturing into the record distribution business in the 1950s as a record salesman, Chin went on to establish Randy's Records in downtown Kingston. After moving to New York in the mid-1970s he, along with his wife Patricia, established VP Records, which has grown to become the world's largest independent label and distributor of
Caribbean music in the world.

At the time of his passing, Chin was retired and his sons Christopher and Randy, are currently at the helm of VP Records, while his wife still contributes to the daily operations of the retail store and grandson Joel works as A&R Director.

Chin is survived by his wife Patricia, three sons: Clive, Christopher and Randy, daughter Angela, three sisters and thirteen grandchildren.

Vincent Chin - whose first name initial and that of his wife, Patricia, gave the company its name -- received his first taste of the music business from maintaining the jukeboxes at bars around the island and soon recognized the opportunity to sell the old records that would otherwise be discarded for new ones. The couple quickly learned hands on the business of music distribution.

In 1958, the success of the Chin's jukebox record venture led to the opening of a landmark retail store, Randy's Records, in downtown Kingston. Within a few years, the Chins opened Studio 17, a production facility frequented by legendary artistes like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs and others.

In the mid-70s, the Chins moved to America and brought their business to service the growing Caribbean market.

In 1979, Jamaica Queens, NY, became the home of their US retail store, VP Records. From the start, the couple quickly became major producers and wholesale distributors of reggae as they established supply lines to record stores all across North America. In 1993, the Chins created an impressive record label of their own, now home to some of the top acts in reggae music, including Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, TOK, Beres Hammond, Capleton, Lady Saw and Freddie McGregor.

VP Records is recognised as a crucial link between reggae music and culture and an ever-growing market of reggae enthusiasts around the world. In 2002, VP Records joined with legendary imprint, Atlantic Records, in a long-term strategic partnership that links VP's vast resources in contemporary reggae and dancehall music with Atlantic's major label marketing, promotion, and worldwide distribution mechanism.

Posted: Thu - February 6, 2003 at 03:54 PM