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The Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
Company was one of the earliest gramophone companies in the United Kingdom. As Columbia Records, it became a successful label in the 1950s and 1960s, but was eventually replaced by the newly created EMI
EMI
Records, as part of an EMI
EMI
label consolidation. This in turn was absorbed by the Parlophone
Parlophone
Records unit of Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group
in 2013.

Contents

1 Early history 2 As an EMI
EMI
label 3 Phaseout of label by EMI
EMI
and trade mark transfer 4 Current ownership 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Early history[edit] In 1922, Columbia Phonograph, as the American Columbia Records
Columbia Records
was then known, sold its UK subsidiary Columbia Graphophone.[1] However, in 1925 Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
bought its former parent for $2.5 million. In 1926, both Odeon Records
Odeon Records
and Parlophone
Parlophone
Records were acquired. On 21 April 1931, the Gramophone Company
Gramophone Company
and the Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
Company merged and formed a new company, Electric and Musical Industries (EMI). American anti-trust laws forced EMI
EMI
to sell its American Columbia operations. As an EMI
EMI
label[edit] EMI
EMI
continued to operate the Columbia record label in the UK until the early 1970s, and everywhere else except for the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Japan, until it sold its remaining interest in the Columbia trademark to Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment
in 1990. Under EMI, English Columbia's output was mainly licenced recordings from American Columbia until 1951 when American Columbia switched British distribution to Philips Records. English Columbia continued to distribute American Columbia sister labels Okeh and Epic until 1968 when American Columbia's then parent CBS
CBS
moved distribution of all its labels to the new CBS
CBS
Records[2] created from the purchase of Oriole Records (UK) in late 1964. The loss of American Columbia product had forced English Columbia to groom its own talent[3] such as Russ Conway, Acker Bilk, John Barry, Cliff Richard, the Shadows, Helen Shapiro, Frank Ifield, Rolf Harris, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Dave Clark Five, Shirley Bassey, Frankie Vaughan, Des O'Connor, Ken Dodd, the Animals, Herman's Hermits, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Seekers, the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, and Pink Floyd.[4] Led by avuncular A&R man Norrie Paramor, the label was arguably the most successful in Britain in the rock era prior to the beat boom. In the mid 1960s, English Columbia added an audiophile imprint called Studio 2 Stereo. During that time, the Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
Company was absorbed into the Gramophone Company
Gramophone Company
with the label maintaining its identity.[5][6] EMI
EMI
has engaged in litigation with CBS
CBS
regarding the importing of American records bearing the Columbia imprint into areas where EMI owned the Columbia name.[7] Releases from the British Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
Company appeared in Japan under Toshiba Musical Industries, because a competitor, Nippon Columbia, had no direct relations with the label. Phaseout of label by EMI
EMI
and trade mark transfer[edit] EMI
EMI
decided to reserve the HMV label for classical repertoire and had transferred HMV's remaining pop acts to Columbia and Parlophone
Parlophone
by 1967.[8] EMI
EMI
began to replace the Columbia label with the eponymous EMI
EMI
Records in January 1973.[9][10] The last Columbia single was issued in 1989.[11] EMI
EMI
sold its remaining interest in the Columbia name in 1990 to Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment
(formerly CBS
CBS
Records), which already owned Columbia Records
Columbia Records
in the U.S. and Canada. The formal reassignment of British registered trade marks from EMI, including the "magic notes" logo, took place in 1993. For the Columbia Records
Columbia Records
trade mark in the UK[12] and elsewhere, Sony Music now prefers the "walking eye" logo previously used by the old CBS
CBS
Records, which is based on the Columbia Records
Columbia Records
logo introduced in the US and Canada in 1955. However, the "magic notes" logo is occasionally used, usually to give a 'retro' feel (such as on the 2016 vinyl reissues of Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets). The Columbia name was still on some EMI
EMI
releases between 1973 and 1990 (such as Baltimora's "Tarzan Boy" in 1985,[13] Jeanne Mas and the 1987 Kiki Dee
Kiki Dee
album Angel Eyes),[14][15] but it had ceased acting as a fully functioning label. In Australia and Germany, EMI
EMI
continued using the Columbia label throughout the 1970s and to at least 1980, but added the EMI
EMI
label in 1973. Current ownership[edit] Through its ownership of the former Columbia/ EMI
EMI
catalogue, Parlophone Records' new owner Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group
assumed Columbia's artist roster and catalogue.[16][17] New reissues bear the Parlophone
Parlophone
imprint.[18] See also[edit]

Graphophone, a Bell name & trademark acquired by several US record firms List of Columbia Graphophone
Graphophone
Company artists List of record labels Nippon Columbia, one-time Japanese affiliate

References[edit]

^ The Life and Times of Alan Dower Blumlein - R. W. Burns - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.  ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1968-05-11. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ The Rise & Fall of EMI
EMI
Records - Brian Southall - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28.  ^ Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
recorded their first three albums for Columbia Graphophone, then switched to Harvest; some of their recordings for Harvest were leased to the CBS
CBS
Columbia label. ^ ""Heart Full of Soul" record label". i1127.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2012-02-12.  ^ " The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds
record label". 3.bp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-02-12.  ^ Competition Law, Technology Transfer and the Trips Agreement: Implications ... - TĂș Thanh Nguyen - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1967-11-11. Retrieved 2013-02-28.  ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1972-12-23. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1973-02-03. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ "Soulsister - The Way To Your Heart (UK Version)". 45cat. Retrieved 2016-05-07.  ^ " Columbia Records
Columbia Records
UK". Columbia.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ " Baltimora - Tarzan Boy
Tarzan Boy
(Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ " Kiki Dee
Kiki Dee
- Angel Eyes (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ " Kiki Dee
Kiki Dee
- Angel Eyes (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12.  ^ "Why Pink Floyd?, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
& EMI
EMI
2011 remastered campaign". Whypinkfloyd.com. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2014-05-20.  ^ " Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group
Integrates Parlophone
Parlophone
Roster, Including Coldplay, David Guetta and Pink Floyd". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2014-05-20.  ^ "Helen_Shapiro_Overseas_Albums_Japan". aearwaker.tripod.com. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 

External links[edit]

EMI
EMI
Columbia disc

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