Columbia Records

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This article is about the American record label active worldwide except in Japan. Columbia Records_sentence_0

For the former record company owned by EMI, see Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia Records_sentence_1

For the Japanese record label, see Nippon Columbia. Columbia Records_sentence_2

Columbia Records_table_infobox_0

Columbia RecordsColumbia Records_header_cell_0_0_0
Parent companyColumbia Records_header_cell_0_1_0 Columbia Records_cell_0_1_1
FoundedColumbia Records_header_cell_0_2_0 January 15, 1889; 131 years ago (1889-01-15) (as Columbia Phonograph Company)Columbia Records_cell_0_2_1
FounderColumbia Records_header_cell_0_3_0 Edward D. EastonColumbia Records_cell_0_3_1
Distributor(s)Columbia Records_header_cell_0_4_0 Sony Music EntertainmentColumbia Records_cell_0_4_1
GenreColumbia Records_header_cell_0_5_0 VariousColumbia Records_cell_0_5_1
Country of originColumbia Records_header_cell_0_6_0 United StatesColumbia Records_cell_0_6_1
LocationColumbia Records_header_cell_0_7_0 New York City, New York, U.S.Columbia Records_cell_0_7_1
Official websiteColumbia Records_header_cell_0_8_0 Columbia Records_cell_0_8_1

Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. Columbia Records_sentence_3

It was founded on January 15, 1889, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia Records_sentence_4

Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. Columbia Records_sentence_5

From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia Records_sentence_6

Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records. Columbia Records_sentence_7

Artists who have recorded for Columbia include AC/DC, Adele, Aerosmith, Louis Armstrong, Gene Autry, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Beyoncé, Blue Öyster Cult, The Byrds, Mariah Carey, Johnny Cash, Rosemary Clooney, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Doris Day, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Duke Ellington, Flatt and Scruggs, Billie Holiday, Vladimir Horowitz, Billy Joel, Robert Johnson, Al Jolson, Janis Joplin, Yo-Yo Ma, Johnny Mathis, George Michael, Thelonious Monk, Willie Nelson, the New York Philharmonic, Pink Floyd, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Bessie Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Andy Williams, Bill Withers, and numerous other major artists. Columbia Records_sentence_8

History Columbia Records_section_0

Beginnings (1889–1929) Columbia Records_section_1

The Columbia Phonograph Company was founded on January 15, 1889 by stenographer, lawyer and New Jersey native Edward D. Easton (1856–1915) and a group of investors. Columbia Records_sentence_9

It derived its name from the District of Columbia, where it was headquartered. Columbia Records_sentence_10

At first it had a local monopoly on sales and service of Edison phonographs and phonograph cylinders in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Delaware. Columbia Records_sentence_11

As was the custom of some of the regional phonograph companies, Columbia produced many commercial cylinder recordings of its own, and its catalogue of musical records in 1891 was 10 pages. Columbia Records_sentence_12

Columbia's ties to Edison and the North American Phonograph Company were severed in 1894 with the North American Phonograph Company's breakup. Columbia Records_sentence_13

Thereafter it sold only records and phonographs of its own manufacture. Columbia Records_sentence_14

In 1902, Columbia introduced the "XP" record, a molded brown wax record, to use up old stock. Columbia Records_sentence_15

Columbia introduced black wax records in 1903. Columbia Records_sentence_16

According to one source, they continued to mold brown waxes until 1904 with the highest number being 32601, "Heinie", which is a duet by Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan. Columbia Records_sentence_17

The molded brown waxes may have been sold to Sears for distribution (possibly under Sears' Oxford trademark for Columbia products). Columbia Records_sentence_18

Columbia began selling disc records (invented and patented by Victor Talking Machine Company's Emile Berliner) and phonographs in addition to the cylinder system in 1901, preceded only by their "Toy Graphophone" of 1899, which used small, vertically cut records. Columbia Records_sentence_19

For a decade, Columbia competed with both the Edison Phonograph Company cylinders and the Victor Talking Machine Company disc records as one of the top three names in American recorded sound. Columbia Records_sentence_20

In order to add prestige to its early catalog of artists, Columbia contracted a number of New York Metropolitan Opera stars to make recordings (from 1903 onward). Columbia Records_sentence_21

These stars included Marcella Sembrich, Lillian Nordica, Antonio Scotti and Edouard de Reszke, but the technical standard of their recordings was not considered to be as high as the results achieved with classical singers during the pre–World War I period by Victor, Edison, England's His Master's Voice (The Gramophone Company Ltd.) or Italy's Fonotipia Records. Columbia Records_sentence_22

After an abortive attempt in 1904 to manufacture discs with the recording grooves stamped into both sides of each disc—not just one—in 1908 Columbia commenced successful mass production of what they called their "Double-Faced" discs, the 10-inch variety initially selling for 65 cents apiece. Columbia Records_sentence_23

The firm also introduced the internal-horn "Grafonola" to compete with the extremely popular "Victrola" sold by the rival Victor Talking Machine Company. Columbia Records_sentence_24

During this era, Columbia used the "Magic Notes" logo—a pair of sixteenth notes (semiquavers) in a circle—both in the United States and overseas (where this particular logo would never substantially change). Columbia Records_sentence_25

Columbia stopped recording and manufacturing wax cylinder records in 1908, after arranging to issue celluloid cylinder records made by the Indestructible Record Company of Albany, New York, as "Columbia Indestructible Records". Columbia Records_sentence_26

In July 1912, Columbia decided to concentrate exclusively on disc records and stopped manufacturing cylinder phonographs, although they continued selling Indestructible's cylinders under the Columbia name for a year or two more. Columbia Records_sentence_27

Columbia was split into two companies, one to make records and one to make players. Columbia Records_sentence_28

Columbia Phonograph was moved to Connecticut, and Ed Easton went with it. Columbia Records_sentence_29

Eventually it was renamed the Dictaphone Corporation. Columbia Records_sentence_30

In late 1922, Columbia went into receivership. Columbia Records_sentence_31

The company was bought by its English subsidiary, the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1925 and the label, record numbering system, and recording process changed. Columbia Records_sentence_32

On February 25, 1925, Columbia began recording with the electric recording process licensed from Western Electric. Columbia Records_sentence_33

"Viva-tonal" records set a benchmark in tone and clarity unequaled on commercial discs during the 78-rpm era. Columbia Records_sentence_34

The first electrical recordings were made by Art Gillham, the "Whispering Pianist". Columbia Records_sentence_35

In a secret agreement with Victor, electrical technology was kept secret to avoid hurting sales of acoustic records. Columbia Records_sentence_36

In 1926, Columbia acquired Okeh Records and its growing stable of jazz and blues artists, including Louis Armstrong and Clarence Williams. Columbia Records_sentence_37

Columbia had already built a catalog of blues and jazz artists, including Bessie Smith in their 14000-D Race series. Columbia Records_sentence_38

Columbia also had a successful "Hillbilly" series (15000-D). Columbia Records_sentence_39

In 1928, Paul Whiteman, the nation's most popular orchestra leader, left Victor to record for Columbia. Columbia Records_sentence_40

During the same year, Columbia executive Frank Buckley Walker pioneered some of the first country music or "hillbilly" genre recordings with the Johnson City sessions in Tennessee, including artists such as Clarence Horton Greene and "Fiddlin'" Charlie Bowman. Columbia Records_sentence_41

He followed that with a return to Tennessee the next year, as well as recording sessions in other cities of the South. Columbia Records_sentence_42

In 1929 Ben Selvin became house bandleader and A. Columbia Records_sentence_43

& R. director. Columbia Records_sentence_44

Other favorites in the Viva-tonal era included Ruth Etting, Paul Whiteman, Fletcher Henderson, Ipana Troubadours (a Sam Lanin group), and Ted Lewis. Columbia Records_sentence_45

Columbia used acoustic recording for "budget label" pop product well into 1929 on the labels Harmony, Velvet Tone (both general purpose labels), and Diva (sold exclusively at W.T. Columbia Records_sentence_46 Grant stores). Columbia Records_sentence_47

When Edison Records folded, Columbia was the oldest surviving record label. Columbia Records_sentence_48

Columbia ownership separation (1931–1936) Columbia Records_section_2

In 1931, the British Columbia Graphophone Company (itself originally a subsidiary of American Columbia Records, then to become independent, actually went on to purchase its former parent, American Columbia, in late 1929) merged with the Gramophone Company to form Electric & Musical Industries Ltd. (EMI). Columbia Records_sentence_49

EMI was forced to sell its American Columbia operations (because of anti-trust concerns) and the Grigsby-Grunow Company, makers of the Majestic Radio were the purchaser. Columbia Records_sentence_50

But Majestic soon fell on hard times. Columbia Records_sentence_51

An abortive attempt in 1932 (around the same time that Victor was experimenting with its 33​⁄3 "program transcriptions") was the "Longer Playing Record", a finer-grooved 10" 78 with 4:30 to 5:00 playing time per side. Columbia Records_sentence_52

Columbia issued about eight of these (in the 18000-D series), as well as a short-lived series of double-grooved "Longer Playing Record"s on its Clarion Records, Harmony and Velvet Tone labels. Columbia Records_sentence_53

All of these experiments (and indeed the Clarion, Harmony and Velvet Tone labels) were discontinued by mid-1932. Columbia Records_sentence_54

A longer-lived marketing ploy was the Columbia "Royal Blue Record," a brilliant blue laminated product with matching label. Columbia Records_sentence_55

Royal Blue issues, made from late 1932 through 1935, are particularly popular with collectors for their rarity and musical interest. Columbia Records_sentence_56

The Columbia plant in Oakland, California, did Columbia's pressings for sale west of the Rockies and continued using the Royal Blue material for these until about mid-1936. Columbia Records_sentence_57

With the Great Depression's tightened economic stranglehold on the country, in a day when the phonograph itself had become a luxury, nothing slowed Columbia's decline. Columbia Records_sentence_58

It was still producing some of the most remarkable records of the day, especially on sessions produced by John Hammond and financed by EMI for overseas release. Columbia Records_sentence_59

Grigsby-Grunow went under in 1934 and was forced to sell Columbia for a mere $70,000 to the American Record Corporation (ARC). Columbia Records_sentence_60

This combine already included Brunswick as its premium label so Columbia was relegated to slower sellers such as the Hawaiian music of Andy Iona, the Irving Mills stable of artists and songs, and the still unknown Benny Goodman. Columbia Records_sentence_61

By late 1936, pop releases were discontinued, leaving the label essentially defunct. Columbia Records_sentence_62

In 1935, Herbert M. Greenspon, an 18-year-old shipping clerk, led a committee to organize the first trade union shop at the main manufacturing factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Columbia Records_sentence_63

Elected as president of the Congress of Industrial Unions (CIO) local, Greenspon negotiated the first contract between factory workers and Columbia management. Columbia Records_sentence_64

In a career with Columbia that lasted 30 years, Greenspon retired after achieving the position of executive vice president of the company. Columbia Records_sentence_65

The Columbia Records factory in Bridgeport (which closed in 1964) was converted into an apartment building called Columbia Towers. Columbia Records_sentence_66

As southern gospel developed, Columbia had astutely sought to record the artists associated with the emerging genre; for example, Columbia was the only company to record Charles Davis Tillman. Columbia Records_sentence_67

Most fortuitously for Columbia in its Depression Era financial woes, in 1936 the company entered into an exclusive recording contract with the Chuck Wagon Gang, a hugely successful relationship which continued into the 1970s. Columbia Records_sentence_68

A signature group of southern gospel, the Chuck Wagon Gang became Columbia's bestsellers with at least 37 million records, many of them through the aegis of the Mull Singing Convention of the Air sponsored on radio (and later television) by southern gospel broadcaster J. Columbia Records_sentence_69 Bazzel Mull (1914–2006). Columbia Records_sentence_70

Another event in this period that would prove to be of importance to Columbia was the 1937 hiring of talent scout, music writer, producer, and impresario John Hammond. Columbia Records_sentence_71

Alongside his significance as a discoverer, promoter, and producer of jazz, blues, and folk artists during the swing music era, Hammond had already been of great help to Columbia in 1932–33. Columbia Records_sentence_72

Through his involvement in the UK music paper Melody Maker, Hammond had arranged for the struggling US Columbia label to provide recordings for the UK Columbia label, mostly using the specially created Columbia W-265000 matrix series. Columbia Records_sentence_73

Hammond recorded Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, Joe Venuti, Roger Wolfe Kahn and other jazz performers during a time when the economy was bad enough that many of them would not have had the opportunity to enter a studio and play real jazz (a handful of these in this special series were issued in the US). Columbia Records_sentence_74

Hammond's work for Columbia was interrupted by his service during World War II, and he had less involvement with the music scene during the bebop era, but when he returned to work as a talent scout for Columbia in the 1950s, his career proved to be of incalculable historical and cultural importance - the list of superstar artists he would discover and sign to Columbia over the course of his career included Charlie Christian, Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and in the early 1960s Hammond would also exert an enormous cultural effect on the emerging rock music scene thanks to his championing of reissue LPs of the music of blues artists Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith. Columbia Records_sentence_75

CBS takes over (1938–1947) Columbia Records_section_3

In 1938 ARC, including the Columbia label in the US, was bought by William S. Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System for US$750,000. Columbia Records_sentence_76

(Columbia Records had originally co-founded CBS in 1927 along with New York talent agent Arthur Judson, but soon cashed out of the partnership leaving only the name; Paley acquired the fledgling radio network in 1928.) Columbia Records_sentence_77

CBS revived the Columbia label in place of Brunswick and the Okeh label in place of Vocalion. Columbia Records_sentence_78

CBS renamed the company Columbia Recording Corporation and retained control of all of ARC's past masters, but in a complicated move, the pre-1931 Brunswick and Vocalion masters, as well as trademarks of Brunswick and Vocalion, reverted to Warner Bros. (which had leased its whole recording operation to ARC in early 1932) and Warners sold it all to Decca Records in 1941. Columbia Records_sentence_79

The Columbia trademark from this point until the late 1950s was two overlapping circles with the Magic Notes in the left circle and a CBS microphone in the right circle. Columbia Records_sentence_80

The Royal Blue labels now disappeared in favor of a deep red, which caused RCA Victor to claim infringement on its Red Seal trademark (RCA lost the case). Columbia Records_sentence_81

The blue Columbia label was kept for its classical music Columbia Masterworks Records line until it was later changed to a green label before switching to a gray label in the late 1950s, and then to the bronze that is familiar to owners of its classical and Broadway albums. Columbia Records_sentence_82

Columbia Phonograph Company of Canada did not survive the Great Depression, so CBS made a distribution deal with Sparton Records in 1939 to release Columbia records in Canada under the Columbia name. Columbia Records_sentence_83

During the 1940s Columbia had a contract with Frank Sinatra. Columbia Records_sentence_84

Sinatra helped boost Columbia in revenue. Columbia Records_sentence_85

Sinatra recorded over 200 songs with Columbia which include his most popular songs from his early years. Columbia Records_sentence_86

Other popular artists on Columbia included Benny Goodman (signed from RCA Victor), Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford (both signed from Decca), Eddy Duchin, Ray Noble (both moved to Columbia from Brunswick), Kate Smith, Mildred Bailey, and Will Bradley. Columbia Records_sentence_87

In 1947, the company was renamed Columbia Records Inc. and founded its Mexican record company, Discos Columbia de Mexico. Columbia Records_sentence_88

1948 saw the first classical LP Nathan Milstein's recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Columbia Records_sentence_89

Columbia's 33 rpm format quickly spelled the death of the classical 78 rpm record and for the first time in nearly fifty years, gave Columbia a commanding lead over RCA Victor Red Seal. Columbia Records_sentence_90

The LP record (1948–1959) Columbia Records_section_4

Columbia's president Edward Wallerstein was instrumental in steering Paley towards the ARC purchase. Columbia Records_sentence_91

He set his talents to his goal of hearing an entire movement of a symphony on one side of an album. Columbia Records_sentence_92

Ward Botsford writing for the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Issue of High Fidelity Magazine relates, "He was no inventor—he was simply a man who seized an idea whose time was ripe and begged, ordered, and cajoled a thousand men into bringing into being the now accepted medium of the record business." Columbia Records_sentence_93

Despite Wallerstein's stormy tenure, in June 1948, Columbia introduced the Long Playing "microgroove" LP record format (sometimes written "Lp" in early advertisements), which rotated at 33⅓ revolutions per minute, to be the standard for the gramophone record for half a century. Columbia Records_sentence_94

CBS research director Dr. Peter Goldmark played a managerial role in the collaborative effort, but Wallerstein credits engineer William Savory with the technical prowess that brought the long-playing disc to the public. Columbia Records_sentence_95

By the early 1940s, Columbia had been experimenting with higher fidelity recordings, as well as longer masters, which paved the way for the successful release of the LPs in 1948. Columbia Records_sentence_96

One such record that helped set a new standard for music listeners was the 10" LP reissue of The Voice of Frank Sinatra, originally released on March 4, 1946 as an album of four 78 rpm records, which was the first pop album issued in the new LP format. Columbia Records_sentence_97

Sinatra was arguably Columbia's hottest commodity and his artistic vision combined with the direction Columbia were taking the medium of music, both popular and classic, were well suited. Columbia Records_sentence_98

The Voice of Frank Sinatra was also considered to be the first genuine concept album. Columbia Records_sentence_99

Since the term "LP" has come to refer to the 12-inch ​33 ⁄3 rpm vinyl disk, the first LP is the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor played by Nathan Milstein with Bruno Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic (then called the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York), Columbia ML 4001, found in the Columbia Record Catalog for 1949, published in July 1948. Columbia Records_sentence_100

The other "LP's" listed in the catalog were in the 10 inch format starting with ML 2001 for the light classics, CL 6001 for popular songs and JL 8001 for children's records. Columbia Records_sentence_101

The Library of Congress (Washington DC) now holds the Columbia Records Paperwork Archive which shows the Label order for ML 4001 being written on March 1, 1948. Columbia Records_sentence_102

One can infer that Columbia was pressing the first LPs for distribution to their dealers for at least 3 months prior to the introduction of the LP in June 1948. Columbia Records_sentence_103

The catalog numbering system has had minor changes ever since. Columbia Records_sentence_104

Columbia's LPs were particularly well-suited to classical music's longer pieces, so some of the early albums featured such artists as Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Bruno Walter and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sir Thomas Beecham and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Columbia Records_sentence_105

The success of these recordings eventually persuaded Capitol Records to begin releasing LPs in 1949. Columbia Records_sentence_106

Even before the LP record was officially demonstrated, Columbia offered to share the new speed with rival RCA Victor, who initially rejected it and soon introduced their new competitive 45 RPM record. Columbia Records_sentence_107

When it became clear that the LP was the preferred format for classical recordings, RCA Victor announced that the company would begin releasing its own LPs in January 1950. Columbia Records_sentence_108

This was quickly followed by the other major American labels. Columbia Records_sentence_109

Decca Records in the U.K. was the first to release LPs in Europe, beginning in 1949. Columbia Records_sentence_110

EMI would not fully adopt the LP format until 1955. Columbia Records_sentence_111

An "original cast recording" of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific with Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin was recorded in 1949. Columbia Records_sentence_112

Both conventional metal masters and tape were used in the sessions in New York City. Columbia Records_sentence_113

For some reason, the taped version was not used until Sony released it as part of a set of CDs devoted to Columbia's Broadway albums. Columbia Records_sentence_114

Over the years, Columbia joined Decca and RCA Victor in specializing in albums devoted to Broadway musicals with members of the original casts. Columbia Records_sentence_115

In the 1950s, Columbia also began releasing LPs drawn from the soundtracks of popular films. Columbia Records_sentence_116

Many album covers put together by Columbia and the other major labels were put together using one piece of cardboard (folded in half) and two paper "slicks," one for the front and one for the back. Columbia Records_sentence_117

The front slick bent around the top, bottom, and left sides (the right side is open for the record to be inserted into the cover) and glued the two halves of cardboard together at the top and bottom. Columbia Records_sentence_118

The back slick is pasted over the edges of the pasted-on front slick to make it appear that the album cover is one continuous piece. Columbia Records_sentence_119

Columbia discovered that printing two front cover slicks, one for mono and one for stereo, was inefficient and therefore needlessly costly. Columbia Records_sentence_120

Starting in the summer of 1959 with some of the albums released in August, they went to the "paste-over" front slick, which had the stereo information printed on the top and the mono information printed on the bottom. Columbia Records_sentence_121

For stereo issues, they moved the front slick down so the stereo information was showing at the top, and the mono information was bent around the bottom to the back and "pasted over" by the back slick. Columbia Records_sentence_122

Conversely, for a mono album, they moved the slick up so the mono information showed at the bottom, and the stereo information was pasted over. Columbia Records_sentence_123

The 1950s Columbia Records_section_5

In 1951, Columbia US began issuing records in the 45 rpm format RCA Victor had introduced two years earlier. Columbia Records_sentence_124

The same year, Ted Wallerstein retired as Columbia Records chairman; and Columbia US also severed its decades-long distribution arrangement with EMI and signed a distribution deal with Philips Records to market Columbia recordings outside North America. Columbia Records_sentence_125

EMI continued to distribute Okeh and later Epic label recordings until 1968. Columbia Records_sentence_126

EMI also continued to distribute Columbia recordings in Australia and New Zealand. Columbia Records_sentence_127

American Columbia was not happy with EMI's reluctance to introduce long playing records. Columbia Records_sentence_128

Columbia became the most successful non-rock record company in the 1950s after it lured producer and bandleader Mitch Miller away from the Mercury label in 1950. Columbia Records_sentence_129

Despite its many successes, Columbia remained largely uninvolved in the teenage rock'n'roll market until the mid-1960s, despite a handful of crossover hits, largely because of Miller's famous (and frequently expressed) loathing of rock'n'roll. Columbia Records_sentence_130

(Miller was a classically trained oboist who had been a friend of Columbia executive Goddard Lieberson since their days at the Eastman School of Music in the 1930s.) Columbia Records_sentence_131

Miller quickly signed up Mercury's biggest artist at the time, Frankie Laine, and discovered several of the decade's biggest recording stars including Tony Bennett, Mahalia Jackson, Jimmy Boyd, Guy Mitchell (whose stage surname was taken from Miller's first name), Johnnie Ray, The Four Lads, Rosemary Clooney, Ray Conniff, Jerry Vale and Johnny Mathis. Columbia Records_sentence_132

He also oversaw many of the early singles by the label's top female recording star of the decade, Doris Day. Columbia Records_sentence_133

In 1953, Columbia formed a new subsidiary label Epic Records. Columbia Records_sentence_134

1954 saw Columbia end its distribution arrangement with Sparton Records and form Columbia Records of Canada. Columbia Records_sentence_135

Despite the appearance of favoring a country music genre, Columbia bid $15,000 for Elvis Presley's contract from Sun Records in 1955. Columbia Records_sentence_136

Miller made no secret of the fact that he was not a fan of rock music and was saved from having to deal with it when Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, turned down their offer and signed Presley with RCA Victor. Columbia Records_sentence_137

However, Columbia did sign two Sun artists in 1958: Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. Columbia Records_sentence_138

With 1954, Columbia US decisively broke with its past when it introduced its new, modernist-style "Walking Eye" logo, designed by Columbia's art director S. Columbia Records_sentence_139 Neil Fujita. Columbia Records_sentence_140

This logo actually depicts a stylus (the legs) on a record (the eye); however, the "eye" also subtly refers to CBS's main business in television, and that division's iconic Eye logo. Columbia Records_sentence_141

Columbia continued to use the "notes and mike" logo on record labels and even used a promo label showing both logos until the "notes and mike" was phased out (along with the 78 in the US) in 1958. Columbia Records_sentence_142

In Canada, Columbia 78s were pressed with the "Walking Eye" logo in 1958. Columbia Records_sentence_143

The original Walking Eye was tall and solid; it was modified in 1961 to the familiar one still used today (pictured on this page), despite the fact that the Walking Eye was used only sporadically during most of the 1990s. Columbia Records_sentence_144

Although the onset of long-playing vinyl "hi-fi" records coincided with the public's loss of interest in big bands, Columbia maintained Duke Ellington under contract, capturing the historic moment when Ellington's band provoked a post-midnight frenzy (followed by international headlines) at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, which proved not only a boost to the venerable bandleader and the barely established venue of the outdoor music festival but a harbinger of the musical love-fest that was Woodstock. Columbia Records_sentence_145

Under new head producer George Avakian, Columbia became the most vital label to the general public's appreciation and understanding (with help from Avakian's prolific and perceptive play-by-play liner notes) of America's indigenous art, releasing the most important LP's by the music's founding father, Louis Armstrong, but also signing to long-term contracts Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis, the two modern jazz artists who would in 1959 record albums that remain—more than a half century later—among the best-selling jazz albums by any label—viz., Time Out by the Brubeck Quartet and, to an even greater extent, Kind of Blue by the Davis Sextet, which, in 2003, appeared as number 12 in Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time". Columbia Records_sentence_146

With another producer, Teo Macero, a skilled modernist composer himself, Columbia cemented contracts with jazz giants Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, while Macero became a key agent in recording and representing—through attention-grabbing, colorful—albums the protean faces of Miles Davis—from leading exponent of cool jazz and an explorer of the art of modal jazz through his sextet's 1958 album Milestones to innovator and avatar of the marriage of jazz with rock and electronic sounds—commonly known as jazz fusion. Columbia Records_sentence_147

1954 was the eventful year of Columbia's embracing small-group modern jazz—first, in the signing of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which resulted in the release of the on-location, best-selling jazz album (up to this time), Jazz Goes to College. Columbia Records_sentence_148

Contemporaneously with Columbia's first release of modern jazz by a small group, which was also the Brubeck Quartet's debut on the label, was a Time Magazine cover story on the phenomenon of Brubeck's success on college campuses. Columbia Records_sentence_149

The humble Dave Brubeck demurred, saying that the second Time Magazine cover story on a jazz musician (the first featured Louis Armstrong's picture) had been earned by Duke Ellington, not himself. Columbia Records_sentence_150

Within two years Ellington's picture would appear on the cover of Time Magazine, following his "wild" success at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. Columbia Records_sentence_151

Ellington at Newport, recorded on Columbia, was also the bandleader-composer-pianist's best-selling album. Columbia Records_sentence_152

Moreover, this exclusive trinity of jazz giants featured on Time Magazine were all Columbia artists. Columbia Records_sentence_153

(In the early 1960s Columbia jazz artist Thelonious Monk would be afforded the same honor.) Columbia Records_sentence_154

Columbia changed distributors in Australia and New Zealand in 1956 when the Australian Record Company picked up distribution of U.S. Columbia product to replace the Capitol Records product which ARC lost when EMI bought Capitol. Columbia Records_sentence_155

As EMI owned the Columbia trademark at that time, the U.S. Columbia material was issued in Australia and New Zealand on the CBS Coronet label. Columbia Records_sentence_156

In the same year, former Columbia A&R manager Goddard Lieberson was promoted to President of the entire CBS recording division, which included Columbia and Epic, as well as the company's various international divisions and licensees. Columbia Records_sentence_157

Under his leadership the corporation's music division soon overtook RCA Victor as the top recording company in the world, boasting a star-studded roster of artists and an unmatched catalogue of popular, jazz, classical and stage and screen soundtrack titles. Columbia Records_sentence_158

Lieberson, who had joined Columbia as an A&R manager in 1938, was noted for both his personal elegance and his dedication to quality, overseeing the release of many hugely successful albums and singles, as well as championing prestige releases that sold relatively poorly, and even some titles that had very limited appeal, such as complete editions of the works of Arnold Schoenberg and Anton von Webern. Columbia Records_sentence_159

One of his first major successes was the original cast soundtrack of My Fair Lady, which sold over 5 million copies worldwide in 1957, becoming the most successful LP ever released up to that time. Columbia Records_sentence_160

Lieberson also convinced long-serving CBS President William S. Paley to become the sole backer of the original Broadway production, a $500,000 investment which subsequently earned the company some $32 million in profits. Columbia Records_sentence_161

In October 1958, Columbia, in time for the Christmas season, put out a series of "Greatest Hits" packages by such artists as Johnny Mathis, Doris Day, Guy Mitchell, Johnnie Ray, Jo Stafford, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Frankie Laine and the Four Lads; months later, it put out another Mathis compilation as well as that of Marty Robbins. Columbia Records_sentence_162

Only Mathis' compilations charted, since there were only 25 positions on Billboard's album charts at the time. Columbia Records_sentence_163

However, the compilations were so successful that they led to Columbia doing such packages on a widespread basis, usually when an artist's career was in decline. Columbia Records_sentence_164

Stereo Columbia Records_section_6

Although Columbia began recording in stereo in 1956, stereo LPs did not begin to be manufactured until 1958. Columbia Records_sentence_165

One of Columbia's first stereo releases was an abridged and re-structured performance of Handel's Messiah by the New York Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir conducted by Leonard Bernstein (recorded on December 31, 1956, on ​⁄2-inch tape, using an Ampex 300-3 machine). Columbia Records_sentence_166

Bernstein combined the Nativity and Resurrection sections, and ended the performance with the death of Christ. Columbia Records_sentence_167

As with RCA Victor, most of the early stereo recordings were of classical artists, including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and Leonard Bernstein, and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy, who also recorded an abridged Messiah for Columbia. Columbia Records_sentence_168

Some sessions were made with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble drawn from leading New York musicians, which had first made recordings with Sir Thomas Beecham in 1949 in Columbia's famous New York City studios. Columbia Records_sentence_169

George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra recorded mostly for Epic. Columbia Records_sentence_170

When Epic dropped classical music, the roster and catalogue was moved to Columbia Masterworks Records. Columbia Records_sentence_171

Columbia released its first pop stereo albums in the summer of 1958. Columbia Records_sentence_172

All of the first dozen or so were stereo versions of albums already available in mono. Columbia Records_sentence_173

It wasn't until September 1958, that Columbia started simultaneous mono/stereo releases. Columbia Records_sentence_174

Mono records sold to the general public were subsequently discontinued in 1968. Columbia Records_sentence_175

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the LP, in 1958 Columbia initiated the "Adventures in Sound" series that showcased music from around the world. Columbia Records_sentence_176

As far as the catalog numbering system went, there was no correlation between mono and stereo versions for the first few years. Columbia Records_sentence_177

Columbia started a new CS 8000 series for pop stereo releases, and figuring the stereo releases as some sort of specialty niche records, didn't bother to link the mono and stereo numbers for two years. Columbia Records_sentence_178

Masterworks classical LPs had an MS 6000 series, while showtunes albums on Masterworks were OS 2000. Columbia Records_sentence_179

Finally, in 1960, the pop stereo series jumped from 8300 to 8310 to match Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Sing Ellington, the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross album issued as CL-1510. Columbia Records_sentence_180

From that point, the stereo numbers on pop albums were exactly 6800 higher than the mono; stereo classical albums were the mono number plus 600; and showtunes releases were the mono number MINUS 3600. Columbia Records_sentence_181

Only the last two digits in the respective catalog series' matched. Columbia Records_sentence_182

Pop stereo LPs got into the high 9000s by 1970, when CBS Records revamped and unified its catalog numbering system across all its labels. Columbia Records_sentence_183

Masterworks classical albums were in the 7000s, while showtunes stayed in the low 2000s. Columbia Records_sentence_184

The 1960s Columbia Records_section_7

Outing of "deep groove" Columbia Records_section_8

By the latter half of 1961, Columbia started using pressing plants with newer equipment. Columbia Records_sentence_185

The "deep groove" pressings were made on older pressing machines, where the groove was an artifact of the metal stamper being affixed to a round center "block" to assure the resulting record would be centered. Columbia Records_sentence_186

Newer machines used parts with a slightly different geometry, that only left a small "ledge" where the deep groove used to be. Columbia Records_sentence_187

This changeover did not happen all at once, as different plants replaced machines at different times, leaving the possibility that both deep groove and ledge varieties could be original pressings. Columbia Records_sentence_188

The changeover took place starting in late 1961. Columbia Records_sentence_189

CBS Records Columbia Records_section_9

See also: CBS Records International Columbia Records_sentence_190

In 1961, CBS ended its arrangement with Philips Records and formed its own international organization, CBS Records, in 1962, which released Columbia recordings outside the US and Canada on the CBS label (until 1964 marketed by Philips in Britain). Columbia Records_sentence_191

The recordings could not be released under the Columbia Records name because EMI operated a separate record label by that name, Columbia Graphophone Company, outside North America. Columbia Records_sentence_192

This was the result of legal maneuvers which led to the creation of EMI in the early 1930s. Columbia Records_sentence_193

While this happened, starting in late 1961, both the mono and the stereo labels of domestic Columbia releases started carrying a small "CBS" at the top of the label. Columbia Records_sentence_194

This was not something that changed at a certain date, but rather, pressing plants were told to use up the stock of old (pre-CBS) labels first, resulting in a mixture of labels for some given releases. Columbia Records_sentence_195

Some are known with the CBS text on mono albums, and not on stereo of the same album, and vice versa; diggings brought up pressings with the CBS text on one side and not on the other. Columbia Records_sentence_196

Many, but certainly not all, of the early numbers with the "ledge" variation (i.e., no deep groove), had the small "CBS". Columbia Records_sentence_197

This text would be used on the Columbia labels until June 1962. Columbia Records_sentence_198

Columbia's Mexican unit, Discos Columbia, was renamed Discos CBS. Columbia Records_sentence_199

With the formation of CBS Records International, CBS started establishing its own distribution in the early 1960s, beginning in Australia. Columbia Records_sentence_200

In 1960 CBS took over its distributor in Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Record Company (founded in 1936) including Coronet Records, one of the leading Australian independent recording and distribution companies of the day. Columbia Records_sentence_201

The CBS Coronet label was replaced by the CBS label with the 'walking eye' logo in 1963. Columbia Records_sentence_202

ARC continued trading under that name until the late 1970s when it formally changed its business name to CBS Australia. Columbia Records_sentence_203

Mitch Miller on television Columbia Records_section_10

In 1961, Columbia's music repertoire was given an enormous boost when Mitch Miller, its A&R manager and bandleader, became the host of the variety series Sing Along with Mitch on NBC. Columbia Records_sentence_204

The show was based on Miller's 'folksy' but appealing 'chorus' style performance of popular standards. Columbia Records_sentence_205

During its four-season run, the series promoted Miller's "Singalong" albums, which sold over 20 million units, and received a 34% audience share when it was cancelled in 1964. Columbia Records_sentence_206

Bob Dylan Columbia Records_section_11

In September 1961, CBS A&R manager John Hammond was producing the first Columbia album by folk singer Carolyn Hester, who invited a friend to accompany her on one of the recording sessions. Columbia Records_sentence_207

It was here that Hammond first met Bob Dylan, whom he signed to the label, initially as a harmonica player. Columbia Records_sentence_208

Dylan's self-titled debut album was released in March 1962 and sold only moderately. Columbia Records_sentence_209

Some executives in Columbia dubbed Dylan "Hammond's folly" and suggest that Dylan be dropped from the label. Columbia Records_sentence_210

But John Hammond and Johnny Cash defended Dylan, who over the next four years became one of Columbia's highest earning acts. Columbia Records_sentence_211

Over the course of the 1960s, Dylan achieved a prominent position in Columbia. Columbia Records_sentence_212

His early folk songs were recorded by many acts and became hits for Peter, Paul & Mary and The Turtles. Columbia Records_sentence_213

Some of these cover versions became the foundation of the folk rock genre. Columbia Records_sentence_214

The Byrds achieved their pop breakthrough with a version of Dylan's "Mr. Columbia Records_sentence_215 Tambourine Man". Columbia Records_sentence_216

In 1965, Dylan's controversial decision to 'go electric' and work with rock musicians divided his audience but catapulted him to greater commercial success with his 1965 hit single "Like a Rolling Stone". Columbia Records_sentence_217

Following his withdrawal from touring in 1966, Dylan recorded a large group of songs with his backing group The Band which reached other artists as 'demo recordings'. Columbia Records_sentence_218

These resulted in hits by Manfred Mann ("The Mighty Quinn") and Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & Trinity ("This Wheel's On Fire"). Columbia Records_sentence_219

Dylan's late 1960s albums John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline became cornerstone recordings of the emergent country rock genre and influenced The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Columbia Records_sentence_220

Converting mono Columbia Records_section_12

Columbia's engineering department developed a process for emulating stereo from a mono source. Columbia Records_sentence_221

They called this process "Electronically Rechanneled for Stereo". Columbia Records_sentence_222

In the June 16, 1962, issue of Billboard magazine (page 5), Columbia announced it would issue "rechanneled" versions of greatest hits compilations that had been recorded in mono, including albums by Doris Day, Frankie Laine, Percy Faith, Mitch Miller, Marty Robbins, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and Johnny Mathis. Columbia Records_sentence_223

Columbia's rechanneling process involved a slight time delay and some bass-treble separation between channels. Columbia Records_sentence_224

RCA Victor and Capitol ("Duophonic") used similar processes, but the relatively large delay between channels resulted in a sound that has been described by collectors as "messy" (Duophonic) or "garbage can echo" (RCA Victor). Columbia Records_sentence_225

Columbia's rechanneling resulted in a sound similar to reverb, though some found it annoying. Columbia Records_sentence_226

Rock and roll Columbia Records_section_13

When the British Invasion arrived in January 1964, Columbia had no rock musicians on its roster except for Dion, who was signed in 1963 as the label's first major rock star, and Paul Revere & the Raiders who were also signed in 1963. Columbia Records_sentence_227

The label released a merseybeat album, The Exciting New Liverpool Sound (Columbia CL-2172, issued in mono only). Columbia Records_sentence_228

Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day, produced the hard driving "Don't Make My Baby Blue" for Frankie Laine, who had gone six years without a hit record. Columbia Records_sentence_229

The song reached No. Columbia Records_sentence_230

51 on the pop chart and No. Columbia Records_sentence_231

17 on the easy listening chart. Columbia Records_sentence_232

Melcher and Bruce Johnston discovered and brought to Columbia The Rip Chords, a vocal group consisting of Ernie Bringas and Phil Stewart, and turned it into a rock group through production techniques. Columbia Records_sentence_233

The group had hits in "Here I Stand", a remake of the song by Wade Flemons, and "Hey Little Cobra". Columbia Records_sentence_234

Columbia saw the two recordings as a start to getting into rock and roll. Columbia Records_sentence_235

Melcher and Johnston recorded several additional singles for Columbia in 1964 as "Bruce & Terry" and later as "The Rogues". Columbia Records_sentence_236

Melcher produced early albums by The Byrds and Paul Revere & the Raiders for Columbia while Johnston produced The Beach Boys for Capitol Records. Columbia Records_sentence_237

Ascension of Clive Davis Columbia Records_section_14

When Mitch Miller retired in 1965, Columbia was at a turning point. Columbia Records_sentence_238

Miller's disdain for rock and roll and pop rock had dominated Columbia's A&R policy. Columbia Records_sentence_239

The label's only significant "pop" acts at the time were Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Simon & Garfunkel. Columbia Records_sentence_240

In its catalogue were other genres: classical, jazz and country, along with a select group of R&B artists, among them Aretha Franklin. Columbia Records_sentence_241

Most historians noted that Columbia had problems marketing Franklin as a major talent in the R&B genre, which led to her leaving the label for Atlantic Records in 1967. Columbia Records_sentence_242

In 1967, Brooklyn-born lawyer Clive Davis became president of Columbia. Columbia Records_sentence_243

Sales of Broadway soundtracks and Mitch Miller's singalong series were waning. Columbia Records_sentence_244

Pretax earnings had flattened to about $5 million annually. Columbia Records_sentence_245

Following the appointment of Davis, the Columbia label became more of a rock music label, thanks mainly to Davis's fortuitous decision to attend the Monterey International Pop Festival, where he spotted and signed several leading acts including Janis Joplin. Columbia Records_sentence_246

Joplin led the way for several generations of female rock and rollers. Columbia Records_sentence_247

However, Columbia/CBS still had a hand in traditional pop and jazz and one of its key acquisitions during this period was Barbra Streisand. Columbia Records_sentence_248

She released her first solo album on Columbia in 1963 and remains with the label to this day. Columbia Records_sentence_249

Additionally, the label kept Miles Davis on the roster, and his late 1960s recordings, In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, pioneered a fusion of jazz and rock music. Columbia Records_sentence_250

A San Francisco group called Moby Grape had been gaining popularity on the West Coast, and were signed by Davis in 1967. Columbia Records_sentence_251

As a way of introducing them to the world with a splash, they released their debut album, along with five singles from the album, all on the same day, June 6, 1967, 23 years following D-Day. Columbia Records_sentence_252

The album hit made #24 on the Billboard 200, but the singles barely made a dent in the charts, the best performer being "Omaha," which lasted a mere three weeks on the Hot 100 reaching only No. Columbia Records_sentence_253

88. Columbia Records_sentence_254

The other charter, "Hey Grandma," only reached the Bubbling Under chart and faded within a week. Columbia Records_sentence_255

Also, there were some complaints about the obscene gesture made to the American flag on the front cover that had to be edited out on the second pressing, not to mention that the group started to decline in sales after that. Columbia Records_sentence_256

The return on all the promotional budget for the singles realized nothing. Columbia Records_sentence_257

Although the group made two more albums, this particular publicity stunt was never again attempted by Columbia or any other major label. Columbia Records_sentence_258

Simon & Garfunkel Columbia Records_section_15

Arguably the most commercially successful Columbia pop act of this period, other than Bob Dylan, was Simon & Garfunkel. Columbia Records_sentence_259

The duo scored a surprise No. Columbia Records_sentence_260

1 hit in 1965 when CBS producer Tom Wilson, inspired by the folk-rock experiments of The Byrds and others, added drums and bass to the duo's earlier recording of "The Sound of Silence" without their knowledge or approval. Columbia Records_sentence_261

Indeed, the duo had already broken up some months earlier, discouraged by the poor sales of their debut LP, and Paul Simon had relocated to the UK, where he famously only found out about the single being a hit via the music press. Columbia Records_sentence_262

The dramatic success of the song prompted Simon to return to the US; the duo reformed, and they soon became one of the flagship acts of the folk-rock boom of the mid-1960s. Columbia Records_sentence_263

Their next album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, went to No. Columbia Records_sentence_264

4 on the Billboard album chart. Columbia Records_sentence_265

The duo subsequently had a Top 20 single, "A Hazy Shade of Winter", but progress slowed during 1966-67 as Simon struggled with writer's block and the demands of constant touring. Columbia Records_sentence_266

They shot back to the top in 1968 after Simon agreed to write songs for the Mike Nichols film The Graduate. Columbia Records_sentence_267

The resulting single, "Mrs. Columbia Records_sentence_268 Robinson", became a smash hit. Columbia Records_sentence_269

Both The Graduate soundtrack and Simon & Garfunkel's next studio album, Bookends, were major hits on the album chart, with combined total sales in excess of five million copies. Columbia Records_sentence_270

Simon and Garfunkel's fifth and final studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water (1970), reached number one in the US album charts in January 1970 and became one of the most successful albums of all time. Columbia Records_sentence_271

Hoyt Axton and Tom Rush Columbia Records_section_16

Davis lured artists Hoyt Axton and Tom Rush to Columbia in 1969, and both were given what was known as "the pop treatment" by the label. Columbia Records_sentence_272

Hoyt Axton had been a folk/blues singer-songwriter since the early 1960s, when he made several albums for Horizon, then Vee-Jay. Columbia Records_sentence_273

By the time he joined Columbia, he had mixed successful pop songs like "Greenback Dollar," with hard rock songs for Steppenwolf, such as "The Pusher", which was used in the film Easy Rider in the same year. Columbia Records_sentence_274

When he landed at Columbia, his album My Griffin Is Gone was described as "the poster child for 'overproduced,' full of all kinds of instruments and even strings". Columbia Records_sentence_275

After that album, Axton left and joined Capitol Records, where his next albums contained "Joy to the World" and "Never Been to Spain," which became hits for Three Dog Night on Dunhill. Columbia Records_sentence_276

Axton eventually became a country singer, and founded his own record label, Jeremiah. Columbia Records_sentence_277

Tom Rush had always been the "storyteller" or "balladeer" type of folk artist, before and after his stint with Columbia, to which Rush was lured from Elektra. Columbia Records_sentence_278

As with Axton, Rush was given "the treatment" on his self-titled Columbia debut. Columbia Records_sentence_279

The multitude of instruments added to his usual solo guitar were all done "tastefully", of course, but was not really on par with Rush's audience expectations. Columbia Records_sentence_280

He commented to record label historian Mike Callahan: Columbia Records_sentence_281

Eventually, Rush returned to his usual sound (which he applied to his next three albums for Columbia) and has been playing to appreciative audiences ever since. Columbia Records_sentence_282

The 1970s Columbia Records_section_17

Catalog numbers Columbia Records_section_18

The Columbia album series began in 1951 with album GL-500 (CL-500) and reached an awkward milestone in 1970, when the stereo numbering sequence reached CS-9999, assigned to the Patti Page album Honey Come Back. Columbia Records_sentence_283

This presented a catalog numbering system challenge as Columbia had used a four-digit catalog number for 13 years, and CS-10000 seemed cumbersome. Columbia Records_sentence_284

Columbia decided to start issuing albums at CS-1000 instead, preserving the four-digit catalog number. Columbia Records_sentence_285

However, this resulted in the reuse of numbers previously used in 1957–58, although the prefix was now different. Columbia Records_sentence_286

In July 1970, the cataloging department implemented a new system, combining all their labels into a unified catalog numbering system starting with 30000, with the prefix letter indicating the label: C=Columbia, E=Epic, M=Columbia Masterworks, Y=Columbia Odyssey, and Z=every other label that CBS distributed. Columbia Records_sentence_287

The prefix letter G was also used for two album sets—or the number of records in the set after the label letter, such as KC2). Columbia Records_sentence_288

The first CBS album released under the new system was The Elvin Bishop Group's self-titled album on Fillmore Records, assigned with 30001, while the first actual Columbia release under the system was Herschel Bernardi's Show Stopper, assigned with C 30004. Columbia Records_sentence_289

The highest catalog number released in the old system was CS-1069, assigned to The Sesame Street Book and Record. Columbia Records_sentence_290

Chronologically, Columbia issued at least one album in this series in August, but by that time, the CBS Consolidated 30000 series, which started issuing albums in July with the new label design, was well underway, having issued nearly 100 albums. Columbia Records_sentence_291

The system was later expanded with even more prefix letters, which continued until 2005. Columbia Records_sentence_292

Quadraphonics Columbia Records_section_19

In September 1970, under the guidance of Clive Davis, Columbia Records entered the West Coast rock market, opening a state-of-the art recording studio (which was located at 827 Folsom St. in San Francisco and later morphed into the Automatt) and establishing an A&R head and office in San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf, headed by George Daly, a producer and artist for Monument Records (who inked a distribution deal with Columbia at the time) and a former bandmate of Nils Lofgren and Roy Buchanan. Columbia Records_sentence_293

The recording studio operated under CBS until 1978. Columbia Records_sentence_294

During the early 1970s, Columbia began recording in a four-channel process called quadraphonic, using the "SQ" (Stereo Quadraphonic) standard that used an electronic encoding process that could be decoded by special amplifiers and then played through four speakers, with each speaker placed in the corner of a room. Columbia Records_sentence_295

Remarkably, RCA countered with another quadraphonic process that required a special cartridge to play the "discrete" recordings for four-channel playback. Columbia Records_sentence_296

Both Columbia and RCA's quadraphonic records could be played on conventional stereo equipment. Columbia Records_sentence_297

Although the Columbia process required less equipment and was quite effective, many were confused by the competing systems and sales of both Columbia's matrix recordings and RCA's discrete recordings were disappointing. Columbia Records_sentence_298

A few other companies also issued some matrix recordings for a few years. Columbia Records_sentence_299

Quadraphonic recording was used by both classical artists, including Leonard Bernstein and Pierre Boulez, and popular artists such as Electric Light Orchestra, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand, Ray Conniff, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, The Clash and Blue Öyster Cult. Columbia Records_sentence_300

Columbia even released a soundtrack album of the movie version of Funny Girl in quadraphonic. Columbia Records_sentence_301

Many of these recordings were later remastered and released in Dolby surround sound on CD. Columbia Records_sentence_302

Yetnikoff becomes president Columbia Records_section_20

In 1975, Walter Yetnikoff was promoted to become President of Columbia Records, and his vacated position as President of CBS Records International was filled by Dick Asher. Columbia Records_sentence_303

At this point, according to music historian Frederic Dannen, the shy and introverted Yetnikoff began to transform his personality, becoming (in Asher's words) "wild, menacing, crude, and above all, very loud". Columbia Records_sentence_304

In Dannen's view, Yetnikoff was probably over-compensating for his naturally sensitive and generous personality, and that he had little hope of being recognised as a "record man" (someone with a musical ear and an intuitive understanding of current trends and artists' intentions) because he was tone-deaf, so he instead determined to become a "colourful character". Columbia Records_sentence_305

Yetnikoff soon became notorious for his violent temper and regular tantrums: "He shattered glassware, spewed a mixture of Yiddish and barnyard epithets, and had people physically ejected from the CBS building." Columbia Records_sentence_306

In 1976, Columbia Records of Canada was renamed CBS Records Canada Ltd. Columbia Records_sentence_307

The Columbia label continued to be used by CBS Canada, but the CBS label was introduced for French-language recordings. Columbia Records_sentence_308

On May 5, 1979, Columbia Masterworks began digital recording in a recording session of Stravinsky's Petrouchka by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, in New York (using 3M's 32-channel multitrack digital recorder). Columbia Records_sentence_309

Dick Asher vs "The Network" Columbia Records_section_21

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia Records.