Digger: What is your background?
Founding director Liz Biddle read Music at
Aberystwyth University and later gained an MA in
Performance Studies at the Guildhall School of Music
& Drama. She is an accomplished musician and
plays bassoon, piano and guitar. She founded Upbeat
Recordings in 1989 to record some of the managed
artists - and this has now become firmly established
as one of the leading labels for jazz in the UK.
She was joined at Upbeat in 1995 by Beryl Korman who
graduated with a BA in History from Warwick
University before studying singing at The Royal
Academy of Music. Beryl was elected Associate in
1996 for distinguished musicianship. She still finds
time to sing and her 40s tribute show Forces
Sweethearts is touring extensively. The team is
completed by Vicki Johnson, who keeps the books up
to date, Meri who helps keep paperwork in order and
Luke & Breeze – two wonderful cream coloured
golden retrievers who help keep stress levels low!
Digger: Can you tell us how Upbeat started and how the
company has evolved into what it is today?
started in a small way with a few jazz and classical
artists that I knew from my days as Director of
Music in a Comprehensive school and has grown over
the years. Artists are recommended to me and most of
the people that we work with have stayed with us
from the very beginning.
How have you managed to bring together such a
wide catalogue of genres and styles?
background in both classical and light music means
that we were destined to bring together a wide range
of music for our customers.
Why is retro and nostalgia so enduringly popular?
The melodies written were truly memorable, lyrics
meant something and nothing brings back happy
memories better than the music that was playing when
they were made!
What are the best sellers?
are The Temperance Seven, George Lewis. I have to
say that most of our albums sell well to be honest!
What customer feedback do you get?
Customers love the friendly, personal service from
our dedicated team.
Why is Upbeat different?
Small is beautiful
as it means we can listen to our customers and try
to bring them the CDs they want. We also endeavour
to look after them and give them some decent
What are the best aspects of running Upbeat and
what are your musical passions?
Being my own boss
and therefore having a certain amount of flexibility
is just great. I am also lucky that I can choose who
I want to work with. As to my musical passions, I
love opera and musicals and also the really good
orchestras in the UK. My passion at the moment is my
new bass guitar that was my Christmas treat. I
always loved the bass lines being a bassoon player
and now I’m studying tablature and riffs…..
What are your plans for Upbeat in the future?
bring out as much music as we can to as wide an
audience as possible. We’re taking on new artists
on the management side too…..so please all of you
who are reading this, stay in touch and as they
say….Watch this space!