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London records were a product of the London Gramphone Corp,
established in the U. S. in 1948-9 to market Decca Record Co. Ltd.
product in the U. S. market (formerly distributed by America Decca).
Virtually all classical releases were original Decca Lps but with
special London labels. The pressings were all U.K. Also true for the
pop catalogue; however, some U.S. originated releases were also in
that catalogue. Qualitatively, Decca and London Lps were indentical.
Only with the decision to issue budget product (Richmond) on U.S.
pressings and some other items, were the domestic pressings vastly
inferior to their U.K. counterparts.



On 1/13/12, Pekka Gronow <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Lots of useful comment, thanks - especially access to Billboard on the
> internet (overwhelming). I still prefer browsing paper volumes, but I would
> have to cross the Atlantic to do that. Thanks!
>
> One detail: what was London records in the USA in the 1950s (see below) ? I
> am not clear on this. A US subsidiary of UK Decca?? The label also existed
> in the UK. How extensive was their business?
> Did they produce original US material?
>
> Pekka
>
>
> 2012/1/7 Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>
>> She was talking about the overall LP market in the 50's. Mercury
>> definitely sold more records in the US than London in that period, as did
>> Capitol. Classical was a part of the business, a bigger part than today
>> but
>> still a part. A couple of pop hits could eclipse the whole classical
>> catalog sales in any given year, remember this was the time of jukeboxes
>> and payola-play radio. Classical didn't participate too much in that, but
>> that business model could generate tremendous sales behind a genuine hit
>> that caught on due to the paid-for exposure.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Roger Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 11:02 PM
>>
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] US record business in the 1950s
>>
>>
>> I definitely see more London,Mercury,and Capitol,in about that order,when
>> it comes to 50s classical Lps after RCA and Columbia.
>>
>> Roger
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ______________________________**__
>> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Sent: Friday, January 6, 2012 4:23 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] US record business in the 1950s
>>
>> After RCA and Columbia and their subsidiaries, the shares would fall to
>> smaller numbers. USA Decca would probably be fourth in there, but I'm not
>> positive about that. But my impression (not based on actual sales figures)
>> is that there was a second tier of "major independents" by the late 50's.
>> This included Capitol (which soon sold to EMI), Mercury (which soon sold
>> to
>> Philips), and there may have been enough early-rock hits to Chess and Sun
>> into this tier if we're talking sales dollars or actual sales volume.
>>
>> I'm sure you know this, but many if not most Billboard issues are
>> searchable and readable via Google Books. You could also contact NARAS,
>> since this cannot be considered "sensitive industry data" by the wildest
>> imagination, given that we're talking 50+ years ago.
>>
>> You could also check European business press from the time of EMI
>> acquiring Capitol and Philips acquiring Mercury and see if any details
>> about the US market were provided either in corporate filings or in news
>> articles of the time.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Pekka Gronow" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 5:26 AM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] US record business in the 1950s
>>
>>
>> I have been looking for data on record company market shares in the USA in
>>> the 1950s, but I am still puzzled. There is RIAA data on total sales, and
>>> a
>>> lot of (mostly anecdotal) detail on specific companies. Sanjek's books on
>>> the music business are helpful, but do not follow the development
>>> systematically. If I had access to all issues of Billboard from this
>>> period, that might be the solution, but I do not have them
>>>
>>> It seems likely that the three biggest companies in the USA during this
>>> decade were CBS, RCA Victor and Decca. There were hundreds of other
>>> companies, of various sizes. But which were the ten, or twenty, biggest
>>> ones? I am not speaking of shares of hits in the charts (this has been
>>> studied), but market shares - real or at least estimated?
>>>
>>> All suggestions would be useful.
>>>
>>> Pekka Gronow
>>> Helsinki
>>>
>>>
>


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Dennis D. Rooney
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