Sparrow Records

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Sparrow Records
Parent company
Founded1976 (1976)
FounderBilly Ray Hearn
Distributor(s)Capitol CMG
GenreCCM, gospel
Country of originUnited States
LocationBrentwood, TN, U.S.

Sparrow Records is a Christian music record label and a division of Universal Music Group.


Sparrow Records was founded in 1976 by Billy Ray Hearn, then artists and repertoire (A&R) director at Myrrh Records.[1] Barry McGuire was the first artist signed to the record, followed quickly by John Michael Talbot and his brother Terry, Janny Grein, and Annie Herring of 2nd Chapter of Acts; all of whom released albums with Sparrow in May of that year.[2] Sparrow Records rose to prominence with the signing of singer, songwriter, Contemporary Christian musician, and minister Keith Green. Within a year of his 1976 signing by Sparrow, Green was the top selling Christian artist in America.[citation needed]

Purchased by Thorn EMI in 1992, Sparrow's parent underwent a demerger four years later to become the EMI Group,[3][4] and the label is now part of the Capitol Christian Music Group.[5]

As of 2009, Sparrow's artists include Britt Nicole, Chris Tomlin, Mandisa, Matt Redman, Matthew West, Steven Curtis Chapman and Switchfoot. Since 1996, a popular production of Sparrow Records has been the annual WOW Hits contemporary Christian music series. In 1998, the WOW franchise then added the annual WOW Gospel series of albums. The WOW Worship series was introduced in 1999, an annual compilation of the greatest hits in contemporary worship music.[citation needed]


Source: Artist List



  • Firewind: A Contemporary Dramatic Musical (1976)
  • Christmas (1988)
  • Passion: Awakening (2010)

Sparrow projects[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mount, Daniel J. (2005). A City on a Hilltop? The History of Contemporary Christian Music. pp. 48–50, 53. Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  2. ^ Cusic, Don (1990). The Sound of Light: A History of Gospel Music. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-87972-497-9.
  3. ^ "Thorn EMI moves into gospel music with US purchase". Independent. September 30, 1992. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022.
  4. ^ "Vote solid for Thorn demerger". Independent. August 17, 1996. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022.
  5. ^ Hendershot, Heather (2004). "Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music? Christian Music and the Secular Marketplace". Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-226-32679-9.

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