31 Facts About RCA Records


RCA Records is an American record label currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

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RCA Records is the corporate successor of the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded in 1901, making it the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records, founded in 1889.

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In September 1931, RCA Victor introduced the first 33? rpm records sold to the public, calling them "Program Transcriptions".

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In 1933, RCA Records Victor reintroduced Bluebird and Electradisk as a standard 10-inch label.

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RCA Records sold its interest in EMI in 1938, but EMI continued to distribute RCA Records Victor recordings in the UK and its territories on the HMV label until the late 1950s.

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RCA Records manufactured and distributed HMV recordings on the RCA Records Victor and custom HMV labels in North America.

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From 1942 to 1944, RCA Records Victor was seriously impacted by the American Federation of Musicians recording ban.

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However, RCA Victor lost the Philadelphia Orchestra during this period; the orchestra's contract with RCA Victor expired during the strike and when Columbia Records settled with the union before RCA, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphians signed a new contract with Columbia and began recording in 1944.

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In heavy promotion, RCA Records Victor sold compact, inexpensive add-on and stand-alone units that played the 45 rpm format exclusively.

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RCA Records Victor released a number of recordings with the RCA Records Victor Symphony Orchestra, which was usually drawn from either Philadelphia or New York musicians, as well as members of the Symphony of the Air, and the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera.

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On October 6,1953, RCA Records Victor held experimental stereophonic sessions in New York City's Manhattan Center with Leopold Stokowski conducting a group of New York City musicians in performances of George Enescu's Roumanian Rhapsody No 1 and the waltz from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin.

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In February 1954, RCA Records Victor made its first commercial stereophonic recordings, taping the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Munch, in a performance of The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz.

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RCA Records has continued to reissue many of these recordings on CD.

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In September 1954, RCA Records Victor introduced "Gruve-Gard" where the center and edge of a record are thickerthan the playing area, reducing scuff marks during handling and when stacked on a turntable with an automatic record changer.

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In 1955, RCA Victor purchased the recording contract of Elvis Presley from Sun Records for the then-astronomical sum of $35,000.

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RCA Records set up its own British manufacturing and distribution in 1969.

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RCA Records Victor issued several spoken word albums in the 1950s and 60s, notably the soundtracks of the films Richard III, A Man for All Seasons and The Taming of the Shrew, as well as complete versions of the National Theatre of Great Britain stage productions of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing.

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In 1963, RCA Records Victor introduced Dynagroove which added computer technology to the disc cutting process, ostensibly to improve sound reproduction.

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In late 1969, RCA Records introduced a very thin, lightweight vinyl LP known as Dynaflex.

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RCA Records began releasing quadraphonic vinyl recordings in the United States in February 1973, in the CD-4 format developed by its former subsidiary, the Victor Company of Japan, and made commercially practical by Quadracast Systems Inc.

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Columbia RCA Records introduced a quadraphonic matrix system, SQ, which required a decoder, 4-channel amplifier and the four speakers.

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Jamieson overhauled RCA Records, eliminating a layer of middle management and retooling the label's marketing department.

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In 2015, RCA Records reinstated its classic 1968 space-age 'RCA' styled logo after utilizing the old lightning bolt logo since 1987.

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RCA Records artists including Isaac Dunbar, Cam, and Citizen Queen performed.

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RCA Records has recorded and released recordings of revival stagings of musicals.

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RCA Records was replaced on the RCA Victor album by Dinah Shore.

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RCA Records Victor was responsible for the film soundtrack albums of Damn Yankees, South Pacific, Bye Bye Birdie, Half a Sixpence, and The Sound of Music.

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RCA Records Victor released the original American cast album of Hair.

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

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RCA Records retained some of the more important masters, but it is uncertain just how many others were saved or lost.

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In 1973, to celebrate the centenary of Rachmaninoff's birth, RCA decided to reissue his complete recordings on LP; RCA was forced to go to collectors for copies of certain records because their archives were incomplete, as documented in a Time magazine article.

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