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COLUMBIA

"From the very beginning of the story of recorded sound, the name of Columbia has been omnipresent, a major character in the drama; for drama is what it is". So introduces Rust [R] in his extensive chapter on Columbia, the label, the name ‘graphophone', and the Columbia Phonograph Company and later companies using the ‘Columbia' label. The drama is centered on the bitter corporate battles around the right to manufacture and market the ‘gramophone record' as we know it, specifically the ten and later twelve inch 78 rpm record which became so popular from the 1900s through to the mid-1950s - over half a century. At the core of recorded music development were the inventors, theengineers, the coprorate entrepreneurs - and the lawyers, for many disputes were resolved in court. To add to the confusion is thwe releases of the Columbia laabel in both the USA and the UK, and other countries such as Australia. 

It would be superfluous to document here the development of ‘Columbia' when its history has been so competently researched by the likes of Rust, and Sutton. I will add, or rather include, just a few notes for my own purpsoes. 
One of my first difficulties was listing in chronological sequence the various labels I have in the collection - forty-six. To to this is some semblance of accuracy, I have used Staunton [T] as the primary guide as he lists the labels by decade - that seems reasonable enough. I also use Rust [R] of course to see if I have missed anything. 

Corporate history: The Columbia Phonograph Company was established in Washington, DC, USA, in 1888, as an agency of the North American Phonograph Co., to market Edison Phonographs and Bell-Tainter Graphophones. It became a subsidiary of the North American Phonograph Company the following year.  The initial product was the cylinder record, Columbia issueing their first cylinder catalog in 1891. The North American Phonograph Co., was liquidated in 1894, but the subsidiary Columbia Phonograph Company remained intact, obtained ‘territorial rights' to marketing, and joined up with the American Graphophone Company to form the Columbia Phonograph Company, General. Two years later, 1896, the trademark ‘Columbia' was used, as applied to its playing machines. In 1897, marketing of Columbia Graphophones and cylinders were licensed to the London Phonograph Co.  In 1898 Columbia made their first wax vertical cut disc records, but sold them only in the UK. In 1901 the first Columbia disc records were issued in the USA on 7 inch and 10 inch discs, under the label ‘Climax'. The name was changed to ‘Columbia Disc Record' in September 1902. I wonder why! The Columbia Grand Opera Series was released in 1903. All discs up to this time were single-sided. In 1904 the first double-sided discs were introduced but were quickly withdrawn due to a ptent infringement. A branch of the company was opened in Sydney in 1905 - not sure if manufacturing was included. In 1906 Columbia Phonograph Company, General merged with the American Graphopone Company and reorganised as the Columbia Graphophone Co. The ‘Velvet-Tone' discs, of thin plastic with a paper core, were released this year.  Cylinders ceased to be manufactured in 1912. In 1913, the London company standardissed it name to that of the USA company. In 1913, the Columbia-Rena opera discs were released ‘at a popular price'; these remained till 1915 when the ‘Rena' name was dropped. In 1913 the ‘Phoenix' klabel was introduced, and the ‘Rega;' label in January 1914. In 1923,  UK Columbia was purchased by an English syndicate. It appears to have retained its name. 

In 1924, Columbia Graphone Co, was incorporated as Columbia Garphone Co., Inc., and released its ‘Masterworks' series. Now for more intrigue. In 1925, the American Columbia companies went bankrupt but were rescued by moiney raised by Sir Louis Sterling and thus became British owened. The UK office under Sterling also took over interests in Germany and Holland, and thus the Prlophone label passed into Columbia's control. In 1927, Columbia Phonograph Corp Inc, formed the Columbia Broadcasting System - CBS, (but remained a separate coporation in its own right it was taken over by CBS in 1932).  Further growth ocurred with the takeover of other companies and labels, including Okeh, Pathe. In 1931, in the UK, Columbia merged with The Gramophone Company to form Electrical and Musical Industries - EMI.  (Remember that The Gramophone Company had the HMV label, so now Nipper works for Columbia.) This remained independent of the American CBS company - it was not a subsidiary, so CBS did not have access to HMV and Nipper.  In 1939 CBS purchased the Brunswick Radio Coporation, formerly Brunwick-Balke-Collender Co., so now had the Brunsiwck label under control until pahsed out in 1940. In 1948, the (USA) Columbia Phonograph Company (not CBS) launched ‘the world's fitsty successful long playing record'.  
There was, for a time, a ‘release arrangement' between Columbia in the USA and EMI in the UK, but this soured and was trminated in 1954. The following year, Columbia released their American issues on the UK market by the Philiips corporation. I can't quite figure this out, but EMI had control of the trade mark ‘Columbia', and from 1965, American releases were issued in the UK under the CBS trademark. By now of course we have gone well beyond the 78 era. Finally, the Columbia trademark went into history in 1980, being replaced by CBS.
(Mainly from [G]). 
 


This appears to be the second Columbia label; 
The catalog number3371 identifies it as a USA 
release from 1906.
R010 c3   COLUMBIA PHONOGRAPH CO.  
New York, London.
Grand Prize Paris 1900. Grand Prize St.Louis 11904. 
3371.  UNCLE QUIT WORK, TOO  (Jean Havez).
Sung by Bob Roberts, baritone solo with Orchestra 
Accompaniment.
[Single sided only. Reverse of record is plain, with 
no embossing, and had a label attached which 
reads as follows - bold and intalics as is:  
THIS RECORD is manufactured by the American 
Graphopone Company under certain patents and 
licensed or sold through its sole sales agent, the 
Columbia Phonograph Company General, subject t
o conditions and restrictions as to the persons to 
and the prices at which it may be resold by any 
person into whose hands it comes. Copies or 
duplicates must not bemade from it. 
THE PRICE OF THIS RECORD throughout the 
United States is SIXTY CENTS. No sale is authorized 
and no license is grannted to use this record when 
sold below that price. Any violation of any of such 
conditions or restrictions maakes the seller or user l
iable as an infringer of said patent. AMERICAN 
GRAPHOPONE CO.]
--------


A few notes on the above records (from Rust [R]): L223 - matrix 4059 indicates released in the USA in 1909. This seems to be at odds with the detail that the Columbia Phonograph Company, General lasted from 1894 to 1906. L118 - matrix 41955 indicates released in USA in 1915. L011 - matrix 65365 indicates released in England in 1916. R011 - matrix 26508 indicates that it was released in England in 1908; ffirst double-sided discs were released in 1904. Note also that the Columbia Phonograph Company, General lasted from 1894 to 1906.
Notes:

The Rena trademark was used between 1913 and 1915.  This helps to identify the date of the above records.
Columbia Phonograph Company General existed between 1894 and 1906. 
Matrix 35935 on Columbia Record R017 above indicates a British release of late 1915, early 1916. 
L12-042 is as USA Columbia record Symphony Series, commencing in 1915, a higher priced record.  The Brirish ‘celebrity series' were the rather insipid gold on pale blue labels as per L071 and L12-066. 


Note the ‘Grafonola' trademark. A gramophone by this name was released on 14 September 1915. It could be presumed that the discs shown above were released with the Grafonola name included so as to promote the hardware. 

The above ‘Sample Record' is very interesting, and one I have not seen listed by the many authors and enthusiasts to whom I have refered. Ted Lewis was a popular band leader famous for his theatrics and inability to play his instrument, the clarinet. As for the red Columbia L193, it could well have been manufactured in France but there is no indication of such. 

COLUMBIA  -  ENGLAND
See general write-up for the development of Columbia in England.
The records:
J0022 sc4 COLUMBIA    Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd. Made in England
Swing Music Series. (No.117). DB.2671 (CO41829) JOHNSON RAG  (Hall - Kleinkauf - Lawrence). 
Jimmy Dorsey and his orginal "Dorseyland" Jazz Band. Vocalist: Claire (Shanty) Hogan
Swing Music Series. (No.118). DB.2671 (CO41845) SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE (Bauduc - Haggart)  Ibid [no vocal]

J0292 sc4+ COLUMBIA   Columbia Graphone Co.Ltd., Made in England.
FB2544 (CA18204).  IN THE MOOD  (Razaf, Garland). Nat Gonella and His New Georgians.
FB2544 (CA18203).  AT THE WOODCHOPPER'S BALL (Bishop, Herman). Ibid.

J642 sc3+ COLUMBIA Made in Great Britain (Green Label)
DB3747 (CA23537).  TRUMPET TANGO (Schobbe)
Eddie Calvert. (The Man with the Golden Trumpet) with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra.
DB3747 (CA23536).  ZAMBEZI (Carstens, De Waal). Ibid.



L12-034 THE ENGLISH MUSIC SOCIETY.  Recorded by Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd. London.
These special releases contain an image of the artist, with their name in large letters.

L12-030 THE SCHOOL OF ENGLISH CHURCH MUSIC.  Columbia Graphophone Co. Ltd. London.
COLUMBIA AUSTRALIA

Columbia has been represented with their own subsidiary in Sydney since 1905.
Miller [M] provides information on catalog numbers: it aoopears that the first release under the Made in Australia indication is in July 1926 with the dark blue label, catalog number 0517. This blue label continued till catalog 01923, in July 1930. There was also a dark blue 12 inch, catalog 02936, released July 1929; and a light blue 12 inch, catalog 04263, released at the same time. A 10 inch light blue was released as catal;og 03510 in December 1927. The Paul Whiteman label was released from September 1928 to June 1930, catalog numbers 07001 to 07043. 

The DNZ prefix was released in 1956 and 1957. The extensive DO prefix was first released June 1930 and conytinued all the way through to 1958. (Miller provides catalog nukber against year released). Other prefixes includes DOX (12 inch), LOX (12 inch), ROX (12 inch) and PR. There were also two childrens labels on 6 inch and 8 inch records.

Australian recordings: Jack Miller [J] lists nineteen jazz selectiions. 

Records in collection (labels illustrated):

V226 c3+ COLUMBIA Columbia Graphophone (Aust) Pty Ltd., Sydney.  Released 1928. 
01057 (145286). NANCY LEE (Adams)
Fraser Gange, Baritone With Orchestra.
01057 (145580). THE LITTLE IRISH GIRL (Lohr, Teschemacher).  Ibid.

J0397 sc4 COLUMBIA  Made in Australia
This is the very first Paul Whiteman label, catalog 7001, released September 1928. There was also a Ted lewis label released in the USA - not sure if it made it to Australia. 
07001 (146250).  EVENING STAR  (Turk, Ahlert). Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Fox troy with vocal chorus.
07001 (146319).  GET OUT AND GET UNDER THE MOON (Shay, Tobias, Jerome). Ibid.  
[In original colourful Columbia sleeve.]

G004 sc4+ COLUMBIA   Columbia Graphophone (Aust) Pty Ltd. Made in Australia.
01230 (A7597).  O SALUTARIS  (Webbe)
Church Choir and Organ. Sung in Latin. Especially recorded at St. Ethelreda Catholic Church, Ely Place, London, to commemorate the XXIXth International Eucharistic Congress, Sydney, 1928.
01230 (A7598).  TANTUM ERGO   (Trad).  Ibid.

L170 c3+ COLUMBIA Columbia Graphophone (Aust) Ltd., Sydney.
Conisidering Miller's list [M], which starts the catalog number prefix DO with DO94 released June 1930, this release DO62 is likely to have been in or prior to 1930.
DO-62 (T917).  HINE E HINE.  Te Mauri Meihana. Soprano with Piano Accompaniment.
DO-62 (T918).  WAIRANGI    Ibid.

V078 sc3 COLUMBIA  Made in Australia for Columbia Graphophone (Aust) Pty Ltd., Sydney.
DO3445 (CO45194) BECAUSE OF YOU    (Hammerstein, Wilkinson)
Tony Bennett, vocal with Orchestra under the direction of Percy Faith.
DO3445 (CO45833) COLD, COLD HEART  (Williams).  Ibid.

Australian jazz recordings on Columbia:
Sydney Simpson and his Wentworth Cafe Orchestra, recorded at Sydney, 30 July 1948; a tune (both sides) called Freshie. 
Palais Royal Californians, recording Milenberg Joys/That Certain Part at Sydney, 1926.
Al Hammett's Ambassadors Orchestra, with Hammett on alto sax recording Smiling Eyes/How Could Red Riding Hood, at Sydney, December 15, 1926. 
Ray Tellier and His San Francisco Orchestra,  with the leader on drums, recording six tracks at Sydney 30 November 1926. 
Eric Pearc e and His Astoria Band, with the leader on piano, recording She Knows her Onions, at Sydney 8 December 1926. Surely this is not the famous newsreader. 
The Ember Quinetet, with Chris Karasn on drums and Frank Thornton on tenor sax, recording nine tracks at Melbourne August 1959. 
George Trevare and His Orchestra, Sydney, October 1947.
Graeme Bell's Skiffle Gang, Sydney July 1957
Bob Gibson and His Orchestra, Sydney, June 1957.
Frank Coghlan'sTrocadero Orchestra, Sydney April 1936. 

See Regal Zonophone for a number of Graeme Bell recordings. These were recorded by Columbia Graphophone, Sydney. 
 
 
 





COLUMBIA OVERSEAS

CANADA.
L12-050 COLUMBIA. Canadian Pressing by Sparton at London, Canada.  [Gold lettering on blue background].
JAPAN
L12-020 COLUMBIA.  Made by Nippon Columbia Co. Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan.

JAPAN
F032 c3+ COLUMBIA 
Made by Nippon Columbia Co.Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan.
A138 (1203070) [Japanese characters]
A138 (2204911) [Japanese characters

CHINA or JAPAN?
F033 c3 COLUMBIA 
Columbia Phonograph Co. Inc. New York. USA. Made in USA, Jan 21, ‘13 and Re 16588,
49049-c (350136).  [Asian characters]
49o39-D (350137).  [Asian characters]

AUSTRIA
F035 sc3+ COLUMBIA 
Alle Rechte der Offentlichen Wiedergabe Und Radiosendung Vorbehatten.  Made in Austria.
DV1504 (CHA1112).  IN GRINZING GIBT'S A HIMMELSTRAB'N
Eric Kunz, Bariton mit Faiti-Kemmeter-Schrammein.
DV1504 (CHA1113).  SECHT'S LEUT'LN SO WAR'S ANNON 30.  Ibid.