RCA Victor

~ Label


Formed in 1929 when Radio Corporation of America (est. 1901) bought the Victor Talking Machine Company.
During the Second World War, ties with their Japanese affiliate JVC were severed - nowadays, Victor Entertainment remains a JVC subsidiary.
Until 1957, all RCA-Victor records were distributed by EMI.

Victor's sister label, RCA records wasn't set up until the late 1940's when it was thought an imprint for pop/rock/country records - as opposed to the classical records that had until then been most popular - was required.

With the birth of rock n' roll, (and the signing of Elvis Presley) RCA Records' sales far exceeded those of Victor, but it has survived to the modern day as an imprint for blues, world music, jazz, and musicals.
When RCA sold all its record labels to Bertelsmann in 1986, this label was re-organised into the RCA Victor label group, consisting of the RCA Victor, Windham Hill and Bluebird labels. The company was further re-organised when Sony/BMG began their joint venture in August 2004.

Catalog Numbers

78RPM albums

  • M- series: manual change: disc 1 A/B; disc 2 A/B; disc 3 A/B
  • DM- series: auto changer: sides A in disc order, then sides B in reverse disc order. (1A, 2A, 3A, 3B, 2B, 1B)
  • AM- series: alternative auto changer: sides A in disc order, then sides B in disc order (1A, 2A, 3A, 1B, 2B, 3B)

1940–ca. 1973

beginning with the introduction of the 45-RPM, prefix was added:

  • 20-: 78-RPM, 10-in.(?)
  • 21-: 78-RPM, 10-in.(?)
  • 47-: 45-RPM, 7-in.
  • 48-: 45-RPM, 7-in.

1950–ca. 1974

  • LM: Long-playing Monaural (12-in. 33⅓, mono)
  • LSC: Long-playing Stereophonic Classical (12-in. 33⅓, stereo)

1969–ca. 1973

  • 74-: Stereo 45-RPM, 7-in.

ca. 1973–

The first character is a letter indicating the master tape source.

  • A: RCA Victor
  • C:
  • F:
  • L:
  • V:

The second character is a letter indicating the label or category or type of music.

  • B: Broadway(?)
  • F: Folk(?)
  • H:
  • P: Pop(?)
  • R: Red Seal (classical)
  • Y:

The third character is a letter indicating the format.

  • B: 7-in. (?)
  • D: SQ quadraphonic 33⅓ 12-in.
  • L: Stereo(?) 33⅓ 12-in. (“LP”)

The fourth character is a number indicating the number of discs

  • 0: single
  • 1…n: number of discs
Annotation last modified on 2013-04-12 21:21 UTC.


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