Select-O-Hits and Average Joe’s Entertainment make history this week as Colt Ford’s Declaration of Independence debuts at #1 on Billboard’s Country Albums, #1 on Independent Albums and #5 on the Top 200 charts.That feat is impressive enough even without taking into account that Ford released the disc on an indie label and it was distributed via an independent distributor, neither of which have any ties to a major label. Declaration of Independence is released on Ford’s own Average Joe’s Entertainment and the distribution is run nationally through family-owned and Memphis-based Select-O-Hits.Chart success is becoming more the norm than the exception for both companies. Ford’s last two albums both reached the top 40 on the Billboard Top 200 and were top ten on the Country Albums chart (number 8 and number 3, respectively). Average Joe’s entertainment has been exclusively distributed through Select-O-Hits since its inception in 2008.Launching artists’ careers and changing music history is nothing new to Select-O-Hits and the Phillips family. The company’s legacy began with Sam Phillips’ discovery of Elvis Presley and his founding of Sun Studios and Sun Records. Through Sun, he also discovered such recording talent as Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.Select-O-Hits was founded in 1960 by [brother] Tom Phillips and is still run by the second generation. 1979 brought the beginning of another role for the family to play in music history when the company distributed the seminal “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang and Sugar Hill Records. As this new genre of music began to develop into the leading genre it is today, Select-O-Hits remained a driving force in its development with the discovery and breaking of such 80s pioneers as the visionary Easy E, N.W.A., and rapper-turned-Hollywood director, actor, and producer, Ice Cube. The 90s brought trendsetters such as Master P and the Academy-Award-winning Three Six Mafia, as well as one of the most financially successful artists and hip hop music entrepreneurs, Jay Z. The early 2000s brought the groundbreaking 50 Cent.Working with long time partners Jackson, Miss. based Malaco Records, the tradition continues into the new Millennium with the success of chart toppers such as Grammy award winning Bebe & CeCe Winans, three”“time 2012 Grammy Nominee, Kelly Price, and the illustrious Janet Jackson single, “Nothing,” taken from Tyler Perry’s, “Why Did I Get Married Too?” soundtrack.Never one to rest on their laurels, Select-O-Hits continues to be a strong force and true independent in the music industry. By marrying old-school record business with modern technology, Select-O-Hits has proven by this week’s debut of Ford’s Declaration of Independence that it rivals the once unbeatable systems of the major labels. It’s easy to see why artists such as Jimmy Buffett, The Bellamy Brothers, Jose Feliciano, Diana Reyes are making the switch from their former major label homes to become a part of the independent Select-O-Hits family.