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Multicultural Media and Lyrichord Celebrate A Combined 85 Years of Music and 20 Years of World Music Store

The seed for the idea of Multicultural Media was first planted in 1989 when Stephen McArthur was working for Rounder Records and was asked to coordinate the production of the English-language version of the JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance. This project eventually led him to coordinate the distribution by Rounder of the entire Smithsonian Folkways label and the Folkways, Monitor, Cook and Paredon titles. 

When McArthur went to work for himself as a producer and distributor of independent world music in 1993, his new company, Multicultural Media had, in fact, taken over worldwide exclusive distribution of the JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance, and it was out of this effort that Multicultural Media (MCM) was born.  Not long after MCM started, JVC approached Multicultural Media to co-produce three new  supplemental video collections for the Americas, Africa, and Europe to strengthen the original 30-volume World Anthology, again in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Initially, Multicultural Media also published a small catalog of titles that it offered to schools, libraries and colleges. This eventually expanded to thousands of titles and, in 1995, Multicultural Media launched which has become popular with schools, libraries, colleges, as well as ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, folklorists, music librarians, dance ethnologists, students, and world music fans.

Over the years, Multicultural Media has developed its own CD and DVD series.  In recent years, we have been successfully working in collaboration with the historic and highly-respected Lyrichord Discs in New York City, collaborating on projects like the Lyrichord Archive Series and the Lyrichord Music and Society DVD series.

On July 1, 2015, Multicultural Media was honored to be able to acquire all the recordings of Lyrichord Discs.

Lyrichord Discs is one of America’s oldest, most respected collections of humankind’s musical traditions. Part of the collection includes field and studio recordings of spiritual, ceremonial, tribal and folk traditions collected since 1950. In addition, it contains rare instrumental and vocal recordings of Western classical music traditions.

Lyrichord was founded in 1950 by Peter Fritsch (1919-2004). Fritsch was born in the small Austrian town of Zellamoss and came to America in the mid-1930s. After trying his hand at several occupations, Fritsch’s love of music eventually drew him to the record business, and in the late 1940s, he became an executive at the Musicraft Records label in New York City. In 1950, he founded Lyrichord – a venture launched largely with the $10,000 prize money won in a jingle contest by his wife, Theresa, who worked at his side at Lyrichord for over 40 years. Their son Nick Fritsch, and daughter-in-law Lesley Doyel have been the inspiration and leadership of Lyrichord for the last 25 years.

Our continuing commitment, now celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Music Store (, is to the release and distribution of special recordings of traditional world music artists and field recordings, as well as classical and early music treasures by the finest artists in the world. Lyrichord and Multicultural Media, an exciting musical marriage.