Ardent Records

Ardent Records
Parent company Ardent Music LLC
Founded 1959 (1959)
Founder John Fry
Genre Various
Country of origin U.S.
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Official website

Ardent Records, often shortened to "Ardent," is a Memphis record label founded by John Fry in 1959.[1] Ardent of the 1960s and 1970s featured pop music acts and was distributed by Stax Records from 1972 until 1975.[2] It is best remembered today for Big Star, whose first two albums, released in 1972 and 1974, helped define the style known as power pop.[3] The label was initially an attempt by the R&B-focused Stax to move into rock music, but distribution problems prevented any releases from succeeding.[4] Big Star became widely known through 1980s reissues and the long delayed first release of Third/Sister Lovers, recorded in 1974.

The label was revived in the 1990s with two divisions: Alternative Mainstream and Contemporary Christian. Former Big Star guitarist Alex Chilton released recordings on the Ardent mainstream division, which also released recordings by bands such as Spot, Jolene, Two Minutes Hate, The Idlewilds, Neighborhood Texture Jam, and Techno-Squid Eats Parliament. The mainstream division of Ardent Records was closed in the mid-1990s.

Ardent's Christian label issued its first Christian releases in 1995. Initial projects included albums from Big Tent Revival, Skillet, and Smalltown Poets. To date, Ardent Records has released more than 35 albums by artists such as Skillet, Todd Agnew, Jonah33, Smalltown Poets, Satellite Soul, Clear, All Together Separate, Brother's Keeper, Justifide, Before You Breathe, NonFiction, and Joy Whitlock. In 2005, Ardent inked a deal with INO Records, a division of Integrity Media, to distribute and market its entire roster. The label's albums are recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis.


The following artists have performed under the Ardent label.

Former – mainstream and rock and roll


Former – Christian

Current – mainstream

See also


  1. ^ Graff, Gary (December 18, 2014). "Ardent Studios Founder John Fry Dies at 69". Billboard. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  2. ^ Lisle, Andria; Evans, Mike (2003). Waking Up in Memphis. Sanctuary Publishing p. 156. ISBN 978-1-8607-4447-1.
  3. ^ Mehr, Bob (November 13, 2017). "Memphis recording studios provided the sounds that changed the world". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Zimmerman, Lee (February 8, 2020). "Two Restored Classics Bring Renewed Appreciation". American Songwriter. Retrieved January 27, 2021.

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