On 11/07/06, Don Tait wrote:
> Columbia USA and Columbia UK had exchange agreements from the first
> decade of the twentieth century. Ownership of the two companies
> changed in many ways until the 1940s, but the exchange agreement --
> the ability to release each others' recordings in each others'
> territories -- was unchanged.
> The connection between the two companies was dissolved in 1952, by
> which time UK Columbia was part of EMI (as it had been for decades).
> Columbia USA signed an agreement with Philips for release of Philips
> recordings in the USA (after a year or so, primarily the Epic label)
> and for Philips to arrange for the release of USA Columbia recordings
> in the UK and elsewhere. Also for Philips to make recordings for USA
> Columbia in other countries.
> The most important factor in this, probably, was Sir Thomas Beecham.
> Until the dissolution of the Columbia agreement he and the RPO had
> been recorded by EMI (Columbia). The end of the contract meant that
> Philips engineers would do it from then on. They did, almost always in
> EMI's various venues. Those Beecham LPs were issued by USA Columbia
> and UK Philips until about 1955. In that year, Beecham re-signed with
> HMV (EMI). That meant another change for him.
> To back up: when UK Columbia EMI lost its USA affiliate in 1952, it
> established Angel Records in 1953. Early Angels all derive from UK
> Columbia. Victor had its exchange agreement with HMV until early 1957.
> Beecham's first HMV LPs -- Schubert 6, Handel's Solomon and so on --
> appeared on Angel in the USA in 1956/7, probably because the HMV
> agreement with Victor was about to expire. There were probably
> complicated issues, but I don't know anything about them. If someone
> does, I hope you will write. Regardless, USA Columbia went on issuing
> Beecham titles made earlier, including some of the late Mozart
> symphonies, through 1955 or '56. Years after they were recorded and
> when Angel was releasing new Beecham recordings.
I always wondered why Beecham's "Messiah" (the stereo recording) was on
RCA rather than EMI.
It was recorded in 1959.
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