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CNN Broadcast Dates for Blue Heaven Studios

WHO: APO Records label and Blue Heaven Studios, both located in a former church in Salinas Kansas.

WHAT: CNN story on APO, Blue Heaven, and their colorful founder, Chad Kassem, on "World Today" on the "Across America with Larry Woods" segment.

WHEN: Friday, June 23 and Sunday, June 25 June 23: 5:50 P.M. PST, 7:50 P.M. CST, 8:50 P.M. EST (five minute segment)

June 25: 6:40 A.M. PST, 8:40 A.M. CST, 9:40 A.M. EST (12- to 14- minute segment) CNN Headline News will air a shorter version every half hour for a 24-hour time period at a later date.

WHERE: On CNN, seen on televisions across the world.

Additional Information On APO Records Label & Blue Heaven Studio

APO and Blue Heaven Studios are the brainchild of Chad Kassem, 38, a native of Lafayette, La. -- deep in the heart of Cajun country -- who arrived at a halfway house in Salina, Kansas (population 44,000), 16 years ago to overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Doing so successfully, he proceeded to switch addictions to blues. He purchased the 76-year-old Gothic church in Salina, initially to house his record mail order business featuring a world-famous selection of hard-to-find audiophile quality LPs and CDs.

Next, Kassem launched the Analogue Productions label. His audiophile re-mastered, meticulously pressed 180 gram vinyl and 24 karat gold limited-edition CD reissues include such artists as Miles Davis, Sonny Boy Williamson, Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk and Otis Spann, to name but a few. Acoustic Sounds is the world's largest distributor of audiophile LPs and CDs.

Then the idea came to him to utilize the church for a recording studio with the goal of documenting the remaining blues legends on CD and DVD. He tapped some of the best engineers and designers in the business to help convert the church, which was possessed of naturally superior acoustics, into a studio. All recording equipment is strictly analogue. Kassem believes it has a warmer, more authentic tone than digital. The sanctuary is a vaulted room with a 45-foot ceiling braced by walnut beams that resemble the inverted hull of a ship.

The next step was to begin making new recordings. In November 1993, Analogue Productions Originals (APO) recorded its first album ? Jimmy Rogers' Blue Bird. It was recorded just before the church was converted, though at some point all APO releases began to emanate from the church studio. Kassem has also enlisted the expertise of Jimmy D. Lane as Music Director for Blue Heaven. Lane, himself an APO recording artist, is the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers and grew up listening to Rogers and other legends in Chicago's South Side and has since worked with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, among others.

Commenting on APO's new relationship with harmonia mundi usa, Kassem says, "I've known the people at harmonia mundi usa for years as I have always sold their products through our audiophile mail order business. harmonia mundi may not be known for blues, but they are known for quality. Other distributors approached us, but I'd rather be a big fish in a small pond, and I am thrilled to be in business with harmonia mundi."

Kassem remains a true believer in the blues. "This music is classic," he says. "It's just like Beethoven. It ain't going to change. It's going to be here 100 years from now. We're trying to document all the living blues legends before it's too late in the highest quality recordings possible."

Real Blues magazine agreed. In a recent story, editor Andy Grigg wrote, "Chad Kassem is a remarkable fellow. He has one of those rare attitudes that will not let anything stop him from realizing his plans, and he tirelessly strives for perfection. He is going places. Look for him to become the most successful blues label operator in America very soon." # # # For additional information on APO Records and Blue Heaven Studios, contact Cary Baker at The Baker/Northrop Media Group cary@bakernorthrop.com
Learn more about APO at the Acoustic Sounds Website or the The Baker/Northrop Media Group


Original Release
CBS's "60 Minutes II" on May 30 To Feature
APO Blues Label and Blue Heaven Studio,
Housed In Former Church In Salina, Kansas

Traditional Blues Label with Analogue Audiophile Recordings by Blues Legends To Be Distributed by harmonia mundi usa

INA, Kan. -- CBS News magazine "60 Minutes II" will feature a segment on the Analogue Productions Originals (APO) record label and Blue Heaven Recording Studio -- both housed in an old church in this mid-Kansas town of 44,000 -- on its Tuesday, May 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (8 p.m. CT) edition. The traditional blues label featuring new audiophile recordings from blues legends such as Jimmy Rogers and David Honeyboy Edwards, came to the attention of "60 Minutes II" through the oddity of being headquartered in the former First Christian Church of Salina, Kan., built in 1924. Since his 1996 purchase of the church, owner Chad Kassem has converted it into a sanctuary for the blues.


Chad Kassem

APO and Blue Heaven have also been the subject of a recent report on NPR's "All Things Considered" and a forthcoming feature on CNN's "Across America" as well. APO's Jimmy Rogers album, Blue Bird, won the 1995 W.C. Handy Blues Award for "Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year."

In addition to its high-profile media accolades and awards, APO announces an exclusive distribution pact with harmonia mundi usa, which will issue a vast selection of compact discs and DVDs from APO and its sister label, Analogue Productions. From reissues on Analogue Productions (including Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Sonny Boy Williamson and Otis Spann) to new audiophile recordings of blues greats such as Jimmy Rogers and David Honeyboy Edwards on APO, the two labels' catalogs provide music that will always be sought after.

APO and Blue Heaven Studios are the brainchild of Chad Kassem, 38, a native of Lafayette, La. -- deep in the heart of Cajun country -- who arrived at a halfway house in Salina 16 years ago to overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Doing so successfully, he proceeded to switch addictions to blues.

He purchased the 76-year-old Gothic church in Salina, initially to house his record mail order business featuring a world-famous selection of hard-to-find audiophile quality LPs and CDs.

Next, Kassem launched the Analogue Productions label. His audiophile re-mastered, meticulously pressed 180 gram vinyl and 24 karat gold limited-edition CD reissues include such artists as Miles Davis, Sonny Boy Williamson, Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk and Otis Spann, to name but a few. Acoustic Sounds is the world's largest distributor of audiophile LPs and CDs.

Then the idea came to him to utilize the church for a recording studio with the goal of documenting the remaining blues legends on CD and DVD. He tapped some of the best engineers and designers in the business to help convert the church, which was possessed of naturally superior acoustics, into a studio. All recording equipment is strictly analogue. Kassem believes it has a warmer, more authentic tone than digital. The sanctuary is a vaulted room with a 45-foot ceiling braced by walnut beams that resemble the inverted hull of a ship.

The next step was to begin making new recordings. In November 1993, Analogue Productions Originals (APO) recorded its first album ? Jimmy Rogers' Blue Bird. It was recorded just before the church was converted, though at some point all APO

releases began to emanate from the church studio. Kassem has also enlisted the expertise of Jimmy D. Lane as Music Director for Blue Heaven. Lane, himself an APO recording artist, is the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers and grew up listening to Rogers and other legends in Chicago's South Side and has since worked with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, among others.

Commenting on APO's new relationship with harmonia mundi usa, Kassem says, "I've known the people at harmonia mundi usa for years as I have always sold their products through our audiophile mail order business. harmonia mundi may not be known for blues, but they are known for quality. Other distributors approached us, but I'd rather be a big fish in a small pond, and I am thrilled to be in business with harmonia mundi."

Adds Matthew Owen, National Sales Manager of harmonia mundi usa, "harmonia mundi is a company that always focuses on quality. We're not about making a quick buck. APO is a perfect fit for HM, because Chad never compromises on his recordings in any way -- musically or visually. We're thrilled to be in on the re-launch of APO. It's a perfect partnership"

Kassem remains a true believer in the blues. "This music is classic," he says. "It's just like Beethoven. It ain't going to change. It's going to be here 100 years from now. We're trying to document all the living blues legends before it's too late in the highest quality recordings possible."

Real Blues magazine agreed. In a recent story, editor Andy Grigg wrote, "Chad Kassem is a remarkable fellow. He has one of those rare attitudes that will not let anything stop him from realizing his plans, and he tirelessly strives for perfection. He is going places. Look for him to become the most successful blues label operator in America very soon."

About harmonia mundi usa

In business since 1982, harmonia mundi usa is considered to be one of the finest independent music distributors in the country. Best known for its selection of fine independent, European classical record labels, over time HM-USA has carefully added a solid collection of world music labels to their catalog. Now, with the addition of APO, harmonia mundi is well positioned to make a major leap forward as a distributor of jazz, pop and blues.

For more information contact on APO, APR and Blue Heaven, contact The Baker/Northrop Media Group: Cary Baker 818-986-5200 x 222 cary@bakernorthrop.com Learn more about APO at http://www.acousticsounds.com Also: The Baker/Northrop Media Group http://www.bakernorthrop.com



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