Proper Records was founded in 1996 by Malcolm Mills and Paul Riley. Commencing with a handful of releases, the label grew in stature and renown through its Properbox series, whose lavishly packaged and eruditely annotated 4-CD box sets established an unprecedented standard for reissue products available at a budget price. Featuring jazz, country and rock Ďní roll artists, these now exceed 150 releases.
These days, the label has become better known for releasing new albums by renowned and contemporary artists such as The Waterboys, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, Gretchen Peters, Joan Baez, Richard Thompson, Nick Lowe, Mary Gauthier, Jimmie Vaughan, Dr. John, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel, Texas Tornados, Paul Heaton, Andy McKee, Tom Russell, Cowboy Junkies, Elizabeth Cook, Art Garfunkel, Don McLean, Dave Rotheray, Jimmy Webb, Paul Brady, Pete Brown, Dennis Locorriere, Ian McLagan, Ruthie Foster, Sonny Landreth, Little Feat, Andy Fairweather Low, Baddies, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Diana Jones, Tom Russell, Hot Club Of Cowtown, Robyn Hitchcock, Loudon Wainwright III, Bill Kirchen, The Features, Tim Oí Brien, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham and many more.
In addition, Proper houses a subsidiary jazz label, Specific Jazz, whose roster currently includes Jacqui Dankworth, Jay Phelps, Tony Kofi, Anita Wardell, Alan Barnes as well as the annual BBC JAZZ AWARDS compilation.
The company operates out of the Proper Music Group headquarters in London where it also has a fully equipped modern studio, Specific Sound.