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Pinecastle Records Founder Tom Riggs has Died

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Thomas W. RiggsThe staff at Pinecastle Records are saddened to announce that Pinecastle's former owner Thomas W. Riggs died on Saturday August 30th, 2014 at the age of 78. Tom left an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry and will be remembered not only for the way he conducted business but for the many artists that he encouraged and helped establish. A private service will be held in his hometown of Louisville, KY.

Riggs got his taste of business with a Pizza Hut franchise. After the franchise, he set out on his own with his own business, Pinecastle Records. He tied the two together for a while as the Pizza Hut Challenge -- a bluegrass band competition with local, regional and national titles awarded. Many of those winners became Pinecastle recording artists on the label.

Riggs was awarded the title of Kentucky Colonel. He backed and supported many non-profits and for contributing to the bluegrass music genre with the many artists his label hosted. Many popular bluegrass artists got their start with the help of Pinecastle. Artists like the Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Kristin Scott Benson, Josh Williams, New Coon Creek Girls, Wild & Blue, Kevin Williamson Band, Special Consensus, The Osborne Brothers, The Reno Brothers, Grasstown, Wildfire, Jim & Jesse, Phil Leadbetter, Butch Baldassari, Barry Barrier, Continental Divide and a host of others were all on the label at some time in their careers. Over 250 projects were released by Rigg's Pinecastle Records label.

In early February of 2010, the family devoted their energies to Riggs' health problems and closed the label due to all the events that were ongoing at the time. A friend of the Riggs' family, Dr. Lonnie Lassiter, purchased the label and it is still in operation today.

Riggs passed away on Saturday, August 30, 2014 after years of declcining health issues. He left a legacy of talented artists, wonderful music and a passion that is rarely seen today. He will be missed by many.

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