industry. Trekky Records, co-founded by
musician Will Hackney ’09, and the under-graduate-run label Vinyl Records keep the
do-it-yourself ethic alive.
The notion that bands could put out
their own records inspired the creation of
Chapel Hill’s most successful labels to date,
Mammoth and Merge.
Black Park Records was started to release
the Connells. Black Park soon recorded
other bands and evolved into Mammoth.
“We put out a North Carolina compilation
CD in 1990 or 1991 and a compilation of
local videos done by Norwood Cheek
[’ 90],” Balcom said. The label released such
local artists as Vanilla Trainwreck, the Two
Dollar Pistols, Clarissa and Dillon Fence —
and platinum sellers Squirrel Nut Zippers.
New Address? One e-mail to the GAA updates your University record.
Your GAA. Serving Carolina and our students— past, present and future.
General Alumni Association
Merge Records came to life in the
summer of ’ 89 under co-owners Laura
Ballance ’ 90 and Mac McCaughan. They
had just started up a band then called
Chunk, and for a long time, it was Superchunk’s phenomenal success that allowed
the fledgling label to keep going. “We’d
go on tour, come home, have a pile of
money, and think, ‘Maybe Superchunk
can loan Merge a little money,’ ” Ballance
When they started, their expectations
for both band and label were extremely
McCaughan had previously helped put
out a small box set of local bands, and Bal-
lance recalls that he told her, “It’s not so
hard to put out records — we should just
She agreed. “There were a lot of bands
that seemed at the time to be really good
bands. They were forming, playing a few
shows and then breaking up, and there was
nothing to prove they’d ever existed, noth-
ing for them to mail out if they wanted to
get shows outside Chapel Hill or Raleigh.”