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Tinashe Signs to RCA Records
Tinashe Signs to RCA Records
::2012/07/12::
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Sound And The Story - 1956 RCA Victor Vinyl Records Educational Documentary - WDTVLIVE42
Sound And The Story - 1956 RCA Victor Vinyl Records Educational Documentary - WDTVLIVE42
::2013/01/12::
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Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, Explains "What the Major Record Labels Can Do for You..."
Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, Explains "What the Major Record Labels Can Do for You..."
::2012/12/07::
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Dr Buzzard
Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - Cherchez la Femme (RCA Records 1976)
::2013/04/07::
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Kid Ink Talks Signing To RCA Records, Working With Pharrell, Tha Alumni,
Kid Ink Talks Signing To RCA Records, Working With Pharrell, Tha Alumni, 'Bad Ass' and More
::2013/05/01::
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SPARKLE - Giving Him Something He Can Feel- BY RCA RECORDS
SPARKLE - Giving Him Something He Can Feel- BY RCA RECORDS
::2012/12/27::
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RCA Victor
RCA Victor's 1949 Preview of the World's First 45 rpm Records!
::2009/09/18::
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Steve Ralbovsky, former Senior Vice President of A&R at RCA Records
Steve Ralbovsky, former Senior Vice President of A&R at RCA Records
::2014/02/20::
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Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, talks the Evolution of Record Labels
Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, talks the Evolution of Record Labels
::2013/02/05::
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Behind The Scenes: Gah Damn Remix (So So Def / Rca Records) Rolls Royce Rizzy
Behind The Scenes: Gah Damn Remix (So So Def / Rca Records) Rolls Royce Rizzy
::2014/07/03::
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Kelly Clarkson - My Grown-Up Christmas List (RCA Records 2003)
Kelly Clarkson - My Grown-Up Christmas List (RCA Records 2003)
::2010/11/26::
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VLOG #77: Pentatonix Signed to RCA Records!
VLOG #77: Pentatonix Signed to RCA Records!
::2014/05/18::
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Renman Live #017-President of RCA Records Tom Corson
Renman Live #017-President of RCA Records Tom Corson
::2014/05/08::
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Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, talks How Labels Look for their "Next Big Sound!"
Tom Corson, President of RCA Records, talks How Labels Look for their "Next Big Sound!"
::2013/01/04::
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Christina Aguilera - Candyman   2006 RCA Records,
Christina Aguilera - Candyman 2006 RCA Records,
::2014/07/31::
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Music Tech Fest 2013: Jake Dubber - Winner, RCA Records hacker challenge
Music Tech Fest 2013: Jake Dubber - Winner, RCA Records hacker challenge
::2013/08/04::
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Record Manufacturing "Command Performance" 1942 RCA Stamping Records Milton Cross
Record Manufacturing "Command Performance" 1942 RCA Stamping Records Milton Cross
::2011/12/23::
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RCA Records Federation Programme 1962 - Cramer and Belafonte Favourites
RCA Records Federation Programme 1962 - Cramer and Belafonte Favourites
::2012/07/14::
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Odyssey - Inside Out - 1982  RCA Records
Odyssey - Inside Out - 1982 RCA Records
::2013/12/20::
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UK Players - You Make Me Feel (RCA Records UK - 1983)
UK Players - You Make Me Feel (RCA Records UK - 1983)
::2011/09/01::
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Savannah Churchill-Walkin
Savannah Churchill-Walkin' By The River RCA Records-78
::2012/11/28::
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CLARENCE REID   Baptize Me In Your Love   RCA RECORDS   1975
CLARENCE REID Baptize Me In Your Love RCA RECORDS 1975
::2014/06/08::
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Christina Aguilera Bound to You (Subtitulada en español) (C) 2010 RCA Records
Christina Aguilera Bound to You (Subtitulada en español) (C) 2010 RCA Records
::2013/01/02::
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Taro Meyer - Stripped down to my senses - Rca Records - Ian Levine discovery
Taro Meyer - Stripped down to my senses - Rca Records - Ian Levine discovery
::2014/01/20::
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CLARENCE REID   Whatever It Takes   RCA RECORDS   1975
CLARENCE REID Whatever It Takes RCA RECORDS 1975
::2014/06/08::
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Kid Ink Signs Deal With RCA Records
Kid Ink Signs Deal With RCA Records
::2013/01/04::
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June Valli-I Understand RCA Records-78
June Valli-I Understand RCA Records-78
::2013/04/04::
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Eve Young-Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart RCA Records-78
Eve Young-Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart RCA Records-78
::2013/02/28::
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Lil Green-My Mellow Man RCA Records-78
Lil Green-My Mellow Man RCA Records-78
::2012/12/15::
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Evelyn Champagne King -  Love Come Down - 1982 - RCA Records
Evelyn Champagne King - Love Come Down - 1982 - RCA Records
::2013/12/20::
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Henry Mancini - The Monkey Farm on RCA Records
Henry Mancini - The Monkey Farm on RCA Records
::2013/05/18::
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Becky Gomez: Just Signed with The Doctor Luke Sony/RCA Records!
Becky Gomez: Just Signed with The Doctor Luke Sony/RCA Records!
::2012/03/18::
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Perry Como - (There
Perry Como - (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays (RCA Records 1959)
::2010/12/01::
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Erskine Hawkins & His Orch-Hawk
Erskine Hawkins & His Orch-Hawk's Boogie RCA Records-78
::2012/10/31::
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Sunny Gale-Call Off The Wedding RCA Records-78
Sunny Gale-Call Off The Wedding RCA Records-78
::2012/12/06::
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June Valli-Love Tears & Kisses RCA Records-78
June Valli-Love Tears & Kisses RCA Records-78
::2013/04/04::
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Sunny Gale-Unsuspecting Heart RCA Records-78
Sunny Gale-Unsuspecting Heart RCA Records-78
::2012/12/06::
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Dr Buzzard
Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - I'll Play The Fool (RCA Records 1976)
::2013/04/07::
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Tina Selini Ema lp track op RCA records Remasterd By B.v.d.M 2013
Tina Selini Ema lp track op RCA records Remasterd By B.v.d.M 2013
::2013/03/26::
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Sam Cooke - Home (When Shadows Fall) RCA Records 1964
Sam Cooke - Home (When Shadows Fall) RCA Records 1964
::2013/09/01::
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Savannah Churchill-If I Didn
Savannah Churchill-If I Didn't Love You So RCA Records-78
::2012/11/28::
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EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING   Shame   RCA RECORDS   1977
EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING Shame RCA RECORDS 1977
::2014/05/31::
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Pink Signs Multi-Album Deal With RCA Records
Pink Signs Multi-Album Deal With RCA Records
::2014/03/05::
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Legends of Vinyl Presents The Tymes - You Little Trustmaker - RCA Records - 1974.mp4
Legends of Vinyl Presents The Tymes - You Little Trustmaker - RCA Records - 1974.mp4
::2013/01/24::
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Review of Brand New Me Alicia Keys and Questions for RCA Records
Review of Brand New Me Alicia Keys and Questions for RCA Records
::2012/12/17::
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Lil Green-Romance In The Dark RCA Records-78
Lil Green-Romance In The Dark RCA Records-78
::2012/12/15::
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Odyssey ft Lillian Lopez - Native New Yorker (RCA Records 1977)
Odyssey ft Lillian Lopez - Native New Yorker (RCA Records 1977)
::2012/04/13::
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Artie Shaw & His Orch-Begin The Beguine RCA Records-VE-78
Artie Shaw & His Orch-Begin The Beguine RCA Records-VE-78
::2013/01/22::
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Alternations - Feel It For You (Planetary Access Mix) (RCA Records) 1989
Alternations - Feel It For You (Planetary Access Mix) (RCA Records) 1989
::2013/10/25::
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BABY,  BABY, BABY SAM COOKE 45RPM RCA RECORDS
BABY, BABY, BABY SAM COOKE 45RPM RCA RECORDS
::2012/10/09::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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RCA Records
RCA Records (logo).svg
Parent company Sony Music Entertainment
Founded 1901
Founder Emile Berliner
Eldridge R. Johnson
Distributor(s) Sony Music Entertainment
(in the US)
RCA Label Group
(Outside the US)
Genre Various
Country of origin United States
Location New York City, New York, United States
Official website www.rcarecords.com

RCA Records is an American flagship recording label (alongside Columbia Records and Epic Records) of Sony Music Entertainment (SME). The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America (later renamed RCA Corporation), which was the parent corporation from 1929[1] to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.[2]

RCA Records is the second-oldest recording company in US history. RCA's Canadian unit (formerly Berliner Gramophone Canada) is Sony's oldest label in Canada, as it was only one of two Canadian record companies (Compo Company, now Universal Music Canada, is the other) to survive the Great Depression.

The RCA family of labels[edit]

RCA Victor Logo

RCA is the name of three different co-owned record labels. RCA Records is the pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and country music label. RCA Victor is the label for blues music, world music, jazz, musicals, religious music and other musical genres which do not fit the pop music mold. RCA Red Seal (formerly known as RCA Victor Red Seal) is the renowned classical music label with a reissue sub-label called RCA Gold Seal.

Defunct labels include budget labels RCA Camden, RCA Victrola, RCA International, RCA Deutchland and RCA Italiana.

Besides manufacturing records for themselves, RCA Victor also operated RCA Custom which was the leading record manufacturer for independent record labels. RCA operated three strategically located record manufacturing plants in the U.S. and advertised overnight delivery to record distributors.[3] RCA Custom also pressed record compilations for The Reader's Digest Association.

Currently, Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment's catalog division, reissues classic albums for RCA.

History[edit]

For the company's earlier history, see Victor Talking Machine Company.

In 1929, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous "Victrola") and phonograph records (in British English, "gramophone records"). The company then became RCA-Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the famous Nipper trademark. While in Shanghai China, RCA-Victor was the main competitor with Baak Doi.[4]

In 1931, RCA Victor's British affiliate the Gramophone Company merged with the Columbia Graphophone Company to form EMI. This gave RCA head David Sarnoff a seat on the EMI board.

In September 1931, RCA Victor introduced the first 33⅓ rpm records sold to the public, calling them "Program Transcriptions". These used a shallower and more closely spaced implementation of the large "standard groove" found on contemporary 78 rpm records, rather than the "microgroove" used for post-World War II 33⅓ rpm "LP" (Long Play) records. In the depths of the Great Depression, the format was a commercial failure, partly because the new playback equipment they required was expensive. After two or three years the format was abandoned and two-speed turntables were no longer offered in consumer products, but some Program Transcriptions lingered in the company's record catalog throughout the decade.

During the early part of the depression, RCA made a number of attempts to produce a successful cheap label to compete with the "Dime Store Labels" (Perfect, Oriole, Banner, Melotone, etc.). In 1932, Bluebird Records was created as a sub-label of RCA Victor. It was originally an 8-inch record with a dark blue label, alongside an 8-inch Electradisk label (sold at Woolworth's). Neither were a success. In 1933, RCA reintroduced Bluebird and Electradisk as a standard 10-inch label (Bluebird's label was redesigned as it became known as the 'buff' label). Another cheap label, Sunrise, was produced (although nobody seems to know for whom it was produced, as Sunrise records are exceptionally rare). The same musical couplings were issued on all three labels, and Bluebird survived long after Electradisk and Sunrise were discontinued. RCA also produced records for Montgomery Ward during the 1930s.

RCA sold its interest in EMI in 1935, but EMI continued to distribute RCA recordings on the HMV label. RCA also manufactured and distributed HMV classical recordings on the HMV label in North America.[5]

World War II era[edit]

During World War II, ties between RCA and its Japanese affiliate JVC were severed. The Japanese record company is today called Victor Entertainment and is still a JVC subsidiary.

From 1942 to 1944, RCA Victor was seriously impacted by the American Federation of Musicians recording ban. Virtually all union musicians could not make recordings during that period. One of the few exceptions was the eventual release of recorded performances by the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Arturo Toscanini. However, RCA lost the Philadelphia Orchestra during this period; when Columbia Records settled quickly with the union, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphians signed a new contract with Columbia and began making recordings in 1944.

The post-war 1940s[edit]

In 1949, RCA Victor introduced the 7-inch 45 rpm fine-grooved vinyl record, marketed simply as a "45". The new format, which had been under development for several years,[6] was RCA Victor's belatedly unveiled alternative to the 12-inch and 10-inch 33⅓ rpm microgroove vinyl "LP" (Long Play) discs introduced by arch-rival CBS/Columbia in 1948. In heavy promotion, RCA sold compact, inexpensive add-on and stand-alone units that played the 45 rpm format exclusively. At first, RCA Victor's 45s were issued on colored vinyl according to the musical genre: ordinary pop music on black vinyl, prestigious Broadway musicals and operettas on "midnight blue" vinyl, classical music on red vinyl, country and polka on green, children's fare on yellow, rhythm and blues on orange or cerise, international on teal. This array of colors complicated the production process and the practice was soon discontinued. The use of vinyl, which was much more expensive than the gritty shellac compound normally used for 78s, was made economically practical by the smaller diameter and greatly reduced bulk of the new discs, which required very little raw material.

The 45 was marketed as a direct replacement for 10-inch and 12-inch 78 rpm records, which typically played for about three and four minutes per side respectively. RCA also released some "extended play" (EP) 45s with playing times up to 7 minutes per side, primarily for light classical selections, as typified by an Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra disc featuring Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave and Ketèlbey's In a Persian Market. Boxed sets of four to six 45s were issued, each set providing about the same amount of music as one LP. In the case of symphonies and other longer classical music, there had to be an interruption every few minutes as one disc side ended and another was started up. These disruptive "side breaks", a nuisance familiar to classical listeners from similar sets of 78 rpm records, were minimized by an extremely fast automatic record-changing mechanism that was a core feature of RCA Victor's 45 players. The 45 became the standard format for pop music singles, overtaking U.S. sales of the same material on 78s by 1954, but the LP prevailed as the standard format for classical music and convenient one-disc "album" collections of eight or more pop songs.

The 1950s[edit]

In 1950, realizing that Columbia's LP format had become successful and fearful that RCA was losing market share, RCA Victor began issuing LPs themselves.[7][8] Among the first RCA LPs released was a performance of Gaîté Parisienne by Jacques Offenbach, played by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, which had actually been recorded in Boston's Symphony Hall on June 20, 1947; it was given the catalogue number LM-1001. Non-classical albums were issued with the prefix "LPM." When RCA later issued classical stereo albums (in 1958), they used the prefix "LSC." Non-classical stereo albums were issued with the prefix "LSP."

In the 1950s, RCA had three subsidiary or specialty labels: Groove, Vik and "X". Label "X" was founded in 1953 and renamed Vik in 1955. Groove was an R&B specialty label founded in 1954.[9]

Through the 1940s and 1950s, RCA was in competition with Columbia Records. A number of recordings were made with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, usually conducted by Arturo Toscanini; sometimes RCA utilized recordings of broadcast concerts (Toscanini had been recording for the label since the days of acoustic recordings, and the label had been recording the NBC Symphony since its creation in 1937). When the NBC Symphony was reorganized in the fall of 1954 as the Symphony of the Air, it continued to record for RCA, as well as other labels, usually with Leopold Stokowski. RCA also released a number of recordings with the Victor Symphony Orchestra, later renamed the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra, which was usually drawn from either Philadelphia or New York musicians, as well as members of the Symphony of the Air. By the late 1950s RCA had fewer high prestige orchestras under contract than Columbia had: RCA recorded the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Pops, whereas Columbia had the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

On October 6, 1953, RCA held experimental stereophonic sessions in New York's Manhattan Center with Leopold Stokowski conducting a group of New York musicians in performances of Enesco's Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 and the waltz from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. There were additional stereo tests in December, again in the Manhattan Center, this time with Pierre Monteux conducting members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In February 1954, RCA made its first commercial stereophonic recordings, taping the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Münch, in a performance of The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz. This began a practice of simultaneously recording orchestras with both stereophonic and monaural equipment. Other early stereo recordings were made by Toscanini and Guido Cantelli respectively, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra; the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner. Initially, RCA used RT-21 quarter-inch tape recorders (which ran at 30 inches per second), wired to mono mixers, with Neumann U-47 cardioid and M-49/50 omnidirectional microphones. Then they switched to an Ampex 300-3 one-half inch machine, running at 15 inches per second (which was later increased to 30 inches per second). These recordings were initially issued in 1955 on special stereophonic reel-to-reel tapes and then, beginning in 1958, on vinyl LPs with the logo "Living Stereo." Sony Music and successor companies have continued to reissue these recordings on CD.[10] Another 1953 project for RCA was converting the acoustically superior building Webster Hall into its East Coast recording studio. It operated this studio venue from 1953 to 1968.

In September 1954, RCA introduced "Gruve-Gard" where the center and edge of a disc are thicker than the playing area, reducing scuff marks during handling and when used on a turntable with a record changer.[11] Most of RCA Victor Records' competitors quickly adopted the raised label and edges.

In 1955, RCA purchased the recording contract of Elvis Presley from Sun Records for the then astronomical sum of $35,000. Elvis would become RCA's biggest selling recording artist. His first gold record was Heartbreak Hotel, recorded in January 1956.

In 1957, RCA ended its 55-year association with EMI and signed a distribution deal with Decca Records, which caused EMI to purchase Capitol Records. Capitol then became the main distributor for EMI recordings in North and South America, with RCA distributing its recordings through Decca in the United Kingdom on the RCA (later RCA Victor) label. This had the lightning bolt logo instead of the His Master's Voice Nipper logo (now owned by HMV in the UK as EMI transferred trademark ownership in 2003).[12] RCA set up its own British distribution in 1971.

Also in 1957, RCA opened a state-of-the-art recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee, which recorded hit after hit for RCA and other labels for 20 years and is now open for tours as RCA Studio B. Elvis Presley made most of his recordings in this studio.

The 1960s[edit]

In 1960, RCA announced the Compact 33 double and singles. In January 1961, these discs hit the market. The Compact 33 discs were released simultaneously with their 45 rpm counterparts. The long-term goal was to phase out the 45 rpm. This campaign eventually failed by early 1962.[13]

In 1963, RCA introduced Dynagroove which added computer technology to the disc cutting process, ostensibly to improve sound reproduction. Whether it was actually an improvement or not is still debated among audiophiles.

In September 1965, RCA and Lear Jet Corp. teamed up to release the first stereo 8-track tape music Cartridges (Stereo 8) which were first used in the 1966 line of Ford automobiles and were popular throughout the late 1960s and 1970s. (The initial release comprised 175 titles from RCA Victor and RCA Camden's catalog of artists.)

In late 1968, RCA modernized its image with a new futuristic-looking logo (the letters RCA in block modernized form), replacing the old lightning bolt logo, and the virtual retirement of both the Victor and Nipper trademarks. The background of the labels, which had always been black for its regular series (as opposed to its Red Seal line), switched to bright orange (becoming tan later in the early 1970s). In 1976, RCA Records reinstated Nipper to most of its record labels in countries where RCA had the rights to the Nipper trademark. The famous "shaded" label used on RCA's "Living Stereo" albums was revived in the 1990s for a series of CDs devoted to the historic triple-track stereophonic recordings.

In late 1969, RCA introduced a very thin, lightweight vinyl LP known as Dynaflex. This type of pressing claimed to overcome warping and other problems in conventional thicker pressings, but it had a controversial reputation in the industry[citation needed].

Debut of quadraphonic releases[edit]

In April 1970 RCA announced the first quadraphonic 4-channel 8-track tape cartridges ("Quad-8," later called just Q8). RCA then began releasing quadraphonic vinyl recordings in 1971, primarily of classical music, in the CD-4 format developed by Japan Victor Corporation (JVC), and made commercially practical by Quadracast Systems Inc. (QSI). RCA's trade name became "Quadradisc." The CD-4 format required a special cartridge that had a ±1 db frequency response out to 50 kHz, a CD-4 demodulator which decoded the difference between the front and rear channels from a 30 kHz subcarrier, four separate amplifier channels, and four separate speakers for the left and right front and left and right rear. Both the CD-4 Quadradisc and Quad-8 tape cartridge systems were true discrete 4-4-4 quadraphonic systems. Columbia introduced a quadraphonic matrix system, SQ, which required a decoder, 4-channel amplifier and the four speakers. The SQ system was referred to as a 4-2-4 matrix system. The Warner Music labels also adopted the Quadradisc format, but they, RCA and Columbia abandoned quadraphonic recording within a few years; some of the RCA sessions were later remastered for Dolby encoding (same as Peter Scheiber's original matrix system) and released on CD. This included Charles Gerhardt's series of albums devoted to classic film scores by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and others, performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra in London's Kingsway Hall.

Acquisition by Bertelsmann[edit]

In 1983, Arista Records owner Bertelsmann sold 50% of Arista to RCA. In 1985, Bertelsmann and RCA formed a joint venture called RCA/Ariola International.[2]

When General Electric acquired RCA in 1986, the company sold its 50% interest in RCA/Ariola International to its partner Bertelsmann and the company was renamed BMG Music for Bertelsmann Music Group.[14] BMG brought back the lightning bolt logo that was last used in 1968 to make clear that RCA Records was no longer co-owned with the other RCA entities which GE sold or closed. The only RCA unit GE kept was the National Broadcasting Company. BMG also revived the "RCA Victor" label for musical genres outside of country, pop and rock music.

Many artists such as Eurythmics, indie-popsters The Bongos, Grayson Hugh and Rick Astley recorded with RCA in the 1980s. Co-writer Marvin Walters worked closely with both artists producing hit songs such as "Set Me Free" for Rich and "Pretty Girl" for Pride. Walters left RCA when it sold its interest to BMG.

1990s[edit]

In the 1990s, RCA's corporate structure basically remained the same. Also, RCA had marked success in the contemporary jazz genres with artists such as Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Opafire and Hugh Masekela, as well as an explosion of urban talent, such as Tyrese, SWV, Chantay Savage, and others. Some of these artists, such as Mobb Deep, recorded for the RCA label via a distribution deal with Loud Records, which remained distributed by RCA until 1999. Many of these artists have since left RCA for a number of reasons, such as SWV's breakup and Tyrese's move to J Records. Also, artists of other genres, such as Christina Aguilera and The Dave Matthews Band were launched by the RCA label in the '90s. The Foo Fighters joined the label in 1999.

RCA saw continued success with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews Band, the Foo Fighters, and later The Strokes. New acts that signed to the label included Kings of Leon and various American Idol contestants such as Kelly Clarkson and David Cook. Early in the decade the label became part of the RCA Music Group which also included Arista Records and J Records. The company was headed by Clive Davis until April 2008.

Merger[edit]

In 2004, BMG and Sony merged their music holdings into a joint venture called Sony BMG. Because Sony Music was the successor to the old CBS record division, this merger meant that RCA Records, once owned by parent RCA, was now under the same umbrella as the label once owned by RCA's rival, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Columbia Records.

In 2006, Sony BMG merged its Broadway music labels, including RCA Victor, to the new Masterworks Broadway Records.

In 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's interest in the record company which was officially renamed Sony Music Entertainment at the start of 2009. RCA became part of the newly formed RCA/Jive Label Group (also known as RCA Records Group) as a result.

2010s: Label integration[edit]

The early 2010s saw RCA as part of the RCA/Jive Label Group which was headed by Barry Weiss. More recently, RCA has introduced Kesha as one of its new artists on its roster. She has enjoyed widespread commercial success. Since 2011, RCA no longer signed contestants from American Idol, but the company continues to achieve great success with Idol alumni such as Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and Adam Lambert. The RCA/Jive Label Group had been signing contestants from the show since it started in 2002 when the music group was still BMG. In 2011, Idol contestants signed to Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records of the Universal Music Group.

RCA Records was restructured in 2011 and took in artists from Arista and J Records and multiple artists from Jive Records, as those labels closed down.[15]

The RCA Music Group was separated from the Jive Label Group in July 2011. Multiple Jive artists became part of a restructured Epic Records as Jive moved under the RCA Music Group. The RCA Music Group later continued its operations and contained "marquee" Jive acts such as Britney Spears, Lucy Fleming and Pink.[16][17][18] In 2011, Peter Edge became the new CEO of the RCA Music Group.[19] RCA Records will start releasing all releases by RCA Music Group artists.[20][21] In October 2011, the RCA Music Group shut down J Records, Jive Records and Arista Records. All artists moved under RCA Records, making it a standalone label under Sony Music.[15] As of March 2013, RCA Records was home to 82 artists incluiding Latin Pop sensation Shakira.[22]

Broadway and Hollywood[edit]

RCA has produced several notable Broadway cast albums as well, among them the original Broadway recordings of Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, the Mary Martin Peter Pan, Damn Yankees, Hello, Dolly!, Oliver!, and Fiddler on the Roof. RCA has also recorded and released recordings of revival stagings of musicals. These include the musical productions staged at Lincoln Center, such as the 1966 revivals of Show Boat and Annie Get Your Gun, the 1987 revival of Anything Goes and the 1998 Broadway revivals of Cabaret and The Sound of Music. Call Me Madam was recorded by RCA Victor with all of its original cast except for its star Ethel Merman, who, due to contractual obligations, could not be released from her American Decca Records contract. She was replaced on the RCA album by Dinah Shore. RCA was also responsible for the film soundtrack albums of Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Bye Bye Birdie, Half a Sixpence, and The Sound of Music. The album made from the 1965 hit Julie Andrews film was (and is) one of the best selling soundtracks of all time. The film soundtrack of Oliver!, made by Colgems Records, was distributed by RCA, which had released the Broadway cast album. RCA also released the original American cast album of Hair.

Similarly, RCA Victor also made several studio cast recording albums, including a Lerner and Loewe series with Jan Peerce, Jane Powell, and Robert Merrill, as well as a 1963 album of excerpts from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, with its 1952 revival leads, Leontyne Price and William Warfield, but a different supporting cast. They also issued two studio cast versions of Show Boat, one with Robert Merrill, Patrice Munsel, and Rise Stevens in 1956, and the other with Howard Keel, Anne Jeffreys, and Gogi Grant in 1958. Unfortunately, contrary to the way the show is written, both of these Show Boat albums featured all-white casts, reflecting the era of racial segregation.

All of these recordings are now under Masterworks Broadway Records, which has remastered and reissued many of these albums.

Spoken word albums[edit]

RCA Victor also issued several spoken word albums in the 1950s and 60s, notably the soundtracks of the films Richard III,[23] A Man for All Seasons and The Taming of the Shrew,[24] as well as complete versions of the National Theatre of Great Britain stage productions of Othello (starring Laurence Olivier) and Much Ado About Nothing (starring Maggie Smith, who also played Desdemona in the Olivier Othello). None of these albums have appeared on compact disc, but the films of Richard III, A Man For All Seasons, The Taming of the Shrew and the Olivier Othello have all been issued on DVD.

Criticisms and controversy[edit]

RCA Victor decided to demolish their Camden warehouse in the early 1960s.[25] This warehouse held four floors' worth of catalog and vault masters (most of them were pre-tape wax and metal discs), test pressings, lacquer discs, matrix ledgers, and rehearsal recordings. A few days before the demolition took place, some collectors from the US and Europe were allowed to go through the warehouse and salvage whatever they could carry with them for their personal collections. Soon after, collectors and RCA Records officials watched from a nearby bridge as the warehouse was demolished, with many studio masters still intact in the building. The remnants were bulldozed into the Delaware River and a pier was built on top of them. In 1973, when the company decided to release all of Rachmaninoff's recordings on LPs (to celebrate the centennial of the composer's birth), RCA was forced to go to record collectors for materials, as documented by Time.

In the early 1920s, Victor was slow about getting deeply involved in recording and marketing black jazz and vocal blues. By the mid to late 1920s, Victor had signed Jelly Roll Morton, Bennie Moten, Duke Ellington and other black bands and were becoming very competitive with Columbia and Brunswick, even starting their own V-38000 "Hot Dance" series that was marketed to all Victor dealers. They also had a V-38500 "race" series, a 23000 'hot dance' continuation of the V-38000 series, as well as a 23200 'Race' series with blues, gospel and some hard jazz. However, throughout the 1930s, Victor's involvement in jazz and blues slowed down and by the time of the musicians' strike and the end of the war, Victor was neglecting the R&B (race) scene, which is one of the reasons so many independent companies sprang up so successfully.

In the 1970s, the label let much of its catalog go out of print. This pattern affected its jazz catalog most greatly, followed by its classical music catalog.

In the compact disc era a small proportion of its jazz catalog has been reissued. (For example, Jelly Roll Morton albums were reissued; but they were removed from circulation in less than ten years.) Similarly, only a fraction of its vast classical catalog has remained available on compact disc.

Canadian rockers Triumph claimed to be ignored by the label. When the band wanted to resign from their deal with RCA, the label refused. Afterwards, MCA Records executive Irving Azoff co-opted their debts and bought the band out of their RCA contract and signed them for five albums.[citation needed]

Kelly Clarkson[edit]

In 2007, reports said that many RCA workers, including mogul Clive Davis, were unhappy with Kelly Clarkson's album My December. Davis was even said to offer Clarkson $10 million to scrap five of her songs, but she refused. Months of controversy concluded with Clarkson's tour being rescheduled, My December becoming the lowest-selling album of her career, and Clarkson joining Starstruck Entertainment. In 2009, RCA persisted in releasing the Ryan Tedder-produced "Already Gone" as the third single off Clarkson's album, All I Ever Wanted, despite Clarkson objecting to this because of its similarities to another Tedder production: Beyoncé's song, "Halo". The press noted the similarities between the two songs.

Avril Lavigne[edit]

In November 2010, singer Avril Lavigne explained the reason for the long delay of her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, which she said was completed a year prior. She wrote to her fans stating she had "experienced a bunch of bureaucratic BS" prior to the label's belated decision to release it.[26] Disagreements between Lavigne and RCA resulted in the album's release date being pushed back several times until it finally came out in March 2011. In October 2011, Lavigne confirmed that she had left RCA Records for Epic Records.[27][28]

Kenny Rogers[edit]

After singer Kenny Rogers left the label, RCA was accused of trying to ruin his career. Rogers signed to RCA in 1983 for an advance sum of $20 million (the largest deal ever in country music at that time) when Bob Summers was head of the label. Shortly after Rogers' first album for RCA, Summers was fired (for unrelated reasons) by RCA. Deciding it would make the label look bad for firing Summers if Rogers continued to be a major success (his duet with Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream", had been one of the biggest hits of 1983), Rogers maintains in his autobiography that he received very little support from the label during the next several years he was with them. Although Rogers and RCA parted ways many years ago, the results of the conflict can still be seen today. In 1989, RCA removed all of Rogers' solo albums from its catalog soon after he returned to Reprise, where he had recorded when he was a rock artist with his former group, The First Edition. Rogers, in turn, reclaimed rights to those albums for himself as RCA refused to keep them, with only Once Upon A Christmas (a 1984 album of seasonal duets with Parton) remaining in print on RCA. Recent CD reissues of that album have omitted the tracks on which Rogers sang solo.

Other RCA labels[edit]

  • RCA Records (UK): A division of Sony Music UK, since 2006, which acts as an import label of American and multinational Sony Music artists, and also signs UK artists.
  • RCA Red Seal Records: The prestigious RCA Red Seal classical music label is now part of Sony Masterworks.
  • RCA Records (France): A division of Sony Music France. Founded as RCA Cinematre in 1978. Renamed to its current name in 2006.
  • RCA Records (Italy): A division of Sony Music Italy. Founded as RCA Italiana in 1949. It went bankrupt in 1987 and was bought by BMG. Reactivated in 2006.
  • RCA Victor: The former name of RCA Records that currently distributes electronic, rock and soundtrack albums, such as The Sound of Music soundtrack, Jose Feliciano's Feliz Navidad, the European release of The Fashion by The Fashion, American releases of albums by Imogen Heap, a handful of albums by Elvis Presley, and other classic albums.
  • RCA Records (Australia): A division of Sony Music Australia. Founded in 1963 for Australian artists. Renamed to RCA Limited Australia and New Zealand in 1976 for Australian & New Zealand artists. Renamed to its current name in 2006.

Previous labels[edit]

Executives[edit]

  • Peter Edge: Chairman & CEO
  • Tom Corson: President & COO

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Made in S.J.: RCA Victor (photo gallery of RCA's early years in Camden, New Jersey)". Courier-Post newspaper. 30 January 2008. 
  2. ^ a b RCA: Now Elvis rocked for Bertelsmann, too, Bertelsmann Worldwide Media 
  3. ^ The Billboard. May 5, 1958. p. 66. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  4. ^ Jones. Andrew F. [2001] (2001). Yellow Music – CL: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2694-9
  5. ^ Penndorf, Ron. "RCA Victor Red Seal Labelography (1950­1976)". RECOLLECTIONS: Fine Vintage LPs and Journal of Recorded Music. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  6. ^ Carson, B.H. et al (1949) "A Record Changer and Record of Complementary Design", RCA Review, June 1949, as reprinted by the Audio Engineering Society (retrieved 5 January 2013)
  7. ^ Wallerstein, Edward. "LPs historic". Musicinthemail.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  8. ^ "Diskery Goes 33 in March To Service Entire Market; 45 Promotion in High Gear". Billboard. 7 January 1950. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Marion, JC (2005). "Label "X"". Jamm Upp 2 (36). 
  10. ^ The History of Living Stereo, RCA Victor liner notes
  11. ^ Hough, Clint. "Bringing on back the good times". Sixties City. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  12. ^ "Trade Mark Details as at 13 November 2012: Case details for Trade Mark 325592". United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the Compact 33 Record". Megocollector.com. December 18, 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  14. ^ Hennessey, Mike (1986-09-20). "RCA Deal Gives Bertelsmann Multinational Label Ranking". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 98 (3B). Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  15. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (2011-10-07). "RCA's Peter Edge, Tom Corson on the Shuttering of Jive, J and Arista". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  16. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2011-06-15). "L.A. Reid to Run Restructured Epic Records". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  17. ^ Watson, Aleta (2011-06-28). "Britney Spears Cuts Ties with Longtime Record Label, JIVE Records". Singersroom.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  18. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2011-07-12). "L.A. Reid's First Week at Epic Has Some Staffers Feeling 'Energized'". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  19. ^ Billboard staff (2011-08-08). "Peter Edge Appointed CEO of RCA Music Group". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  20. ^ Christman, Ed (2011-08-23). "RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update)". New York: Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  21. ^ "Unveiling The New Look RCA Records". FMQB (Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Inc.). August 23, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  22. ^ "Artists". RCA Music Group Artists | The Official RCA Records Site. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  23. ^ "Richard III (1955) - Soundtrack details". SoundtrackCollector.com. 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  24. ^ "Taming Of The Shrew, The  – Various Artists : Read reviews and compare prices at Ciao.co.uk". Cd.ciao.co.uk. 1999-07-26. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  25. ^ "Label: RCA Victor". RateyourMusic.com. 
  26. ^ "The Official Avril Lavigne Site". Avril Lavigne. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  27. ^ "Audio Player" (MP3 (audio)). 92.5 THE BEAT Montreal's Best Music Variety Radio Station. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  28. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2011-11-17). "Avril Lavigne Shifts to Epic Records, Reunites With L.A. Reid". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  29. ^ "Tortoise International Records". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bryan, Martin F. Report to the Phonothèque Québécoise on the Search for Archival Documents of Berliner Gram-O-Phone Co., Victor Talking Machine Co., R.C.A. Victor Co. (Montréal), 1899-1972. Further augmented ed. Montréal: Phonothèque Québécoise, 1994. 19, [1] p.

External links[edit]

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