Columbia (1931-1990: only US & CA; 1991 to present: worldwide except JP)
Releases that should be added here:
1. all Columbia releases prior to 1931;
2. only US and CA releases between 1931–1990; releases from other countries should be added to Columbia Records (1931-1990: worldwide except US, CA, MX, ES, & JP). (but note exceptions below)
3. all Columbia releases wef Jan 1, 1991 except for Spain (where Sony only acquired the rights in 2004 through its merger with BMG) and Japan. In Japan, Nippon Columbia has owned the "Columbia" name for use since 1931.
From the late 1890s until the late 1920s, the label was named Columbia Phonograph Company. In 1922, it sold its UK subsidiary, the Columbia Graphophone Company. The latter eventually acquired its former US parent sometime between 1925–1929. In 1931, the Columbia Graphophone Company merged with the UK's Gramophone Company to form EMI, and in compliance with US anti-trust laws, had to let go of its US operations. Ownership of the US-based Columbia then changed hands twice, before Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) eventually bought the label in 1938. Columbia remained with CBS until 1988, when it changed hands once again after Sony acquired CBS Records, and renamed it Columbia in 1991, the name now used worldwide except in Japan.
* exceptions to the use of the Columbia name outside US & CA between 1931-1990: EMI had engaged in litigation with CBS regarding the import of US releases bearing the Columbia word mark into countries where EMI had still owned the rights to the name at the time. this might explain the existence of non-US releases with the CBS-owned Columbia label prior to 1991, when rightfully it shouldn't be the case.
Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company—successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest brand name in pre-recorded sound, being the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. Columbia Records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists, and bands. From 1961 to 1990, its recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada on the CBS Records label (for Columbia Broadcasting System, its parent from 1938 to 1988) before adopting the Columbia name in most of the world.Continue reading at Wikipedia...