Jack White Does It His Way
Born the youngest of ten children, raised in Southwest Detroit and a resident of Nashville since 2005, Jack White is one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past fifteen years.
When the White Stripes started in 1997, no one, least of all Jack, ever expected that a red-and-white two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream world. With the release of 2001’s White Blood Cells, the band was thrust on magazine covers and captivated audiences through worldwide touring. “Fell in Love With a Girl” served as the band’s breakthrough hit and its accompanying Michel Gondry Lego clip was chosen by Pitchfork Media as the #1 music video of the 2000’s.
He has also had success in other bands and as a solo artist. On April 24, 2012, White released his debut solo album, Blunderbuss. His second studio album, Lazaretto, was released on June 10, 2014. Both received wide commercial and critical acclaim.
Third Man Records is an independent record label founded by Jack White in Detroit, Michigan, in 2001. Third Man established its first physical location—a combination record store, performance venue, and headquarters for the label—in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2009. The label opened a Detroit branch location in 2015, which added a pressing plant (Third Man Pressing) in 2017
It was only in 2009, when White bought a building in an industrial area just south of Nashville’s downtown, in which he set up an office, a shop front, a recording studio and a live performance space, that Third Man really got going, quickly becoming one of the most iconic record labels run by musicians. The set up became a magnet for touring musicians to convene and record one-off singles and live albums which were subsequently released on the label. Before long, Third Man embraced the rich musical soil it’s built upon, signing local artists such as Margo Price and Joshua Hedley.
The label's name incorporates several elements of personal significance to White. His fondness for the number three is well documented. It refers to Carol Reed's The Third Man starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. White's old upholstering company was named Third Man Upholstery, and was also revolved around the colours of yellow and black. He stated in an interview with Conan O'Brien that the number three also comes from the minimum number of fastenings that are needed when upholstering. White also refers to himself as a woman's "third man" in the song "Ball and Biscuit" on The White Stripes' album Elephant. All six studio albums of The White Stripes appear with the Third Man logo.
The label's headquarters is located in Nashville, and as if releasing his own material wasn’t enough, White has set about releasing a series of multi-volume, beautifully compiled packages that serve as definitive stories of some of the artists who inspired him, from Charley Patton to Blind Willie McTell.
Third Man Records have released albums by by The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, Margo Price, Karen Elson, as well as one-off releases from Laura Marling, Tom Jones, Neil Young, Willie Nelson and more.