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By Carlye Adler

(FORTUNE Small Business) – He may never win a Grammy or produce as many hits as Sony Music's Tommy Mottola, but Billy Straus has more than his share of top-selling albums. From his studio in Brattleboro, Vt., Straus, whose band, Redline, once opened for U2, now puts together the compilations that have millions singing while they shop at stores like Gap, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma. Key to his company's success, says Straus, is his varied musical taste--from Billie Holiday to Queen. There's little resemblance, he insists, between his music and the bland mall Muzak of decades past. He may have a point, judging from his list of retail partners, who both play and sell the CD compilations Straus produces especially for them, like Pottery Barn's A Cool Christmas and Old Navy's Summer Getaway. Since starting his one-man label six years ago, Straus has hired eight employees and teamed up with a partner, Jeff Daniel; he is set to top $10 million in revenue this year--an 80% increase over last year. Next up: Websounds, a Rock River sister company that provides music to surf by. Polo Ralph Lauren and Volkswagen have already signed on.