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One of the oldest independent record labels in the country is in Tempe

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 10:13am
Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2023 - 9:22am

Canyon Records record label
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
Canyon Records is an independent record label specializing in Native American music. The company was founded in 1951.

One of the oldest independent record labels in the country is in Tempe. 

Canyon Records, which was founded more than 70 years ago, specializes in Native American music.

"It was founded in 1951 in downtown Phoenix by Ray and Mary Boley — more or less as an accident," said Robert Doyle, the company’s president. 

Doyle says the couple were asked to record a Diné singer named Ed Lee Natay. They liked his singing so much, "they decided to release it on LPs and 78s at the Arizona State Fair in 1951. It was the only album they had. And from there, this company grew."

Canyon Records has roughly 400 artists on its label. It recently partnered with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to produce a CD called "Walk with Me" for Native American caregivers and their loved ones.

For more information on how to obtain this CD, please contact [email protected] or call Banner Alzheimer's Institute at 602-839-6900. 

Business Arizona History Native American Affairs