Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded in 1919.  It was part of General Electric in the hopes that it would take over the radio technology market.


In the year 1929 RCA purchased the 'Victor Talking Machine Company' which was the world's largest manufacturer of gramophones and gramophone records. So RCA became RCA Victor.


Not long after, in 1931 British RCA Victor combined forces with Columbia to form EMI. In the same year RCA Victor released the world's first 33 1/2 rpm records which were called 'program Transcriptions'.


The partnership with Columbia didn't last long as RCA Victor sold its EMI shares in 1935. However, EMI didn't stop selling RCA records on the HMV label and RCA Victor continued selling and making HMV records in North America.


During the Great Depression RCA Victor struggled to release any successful records and it wasn't until 1949 when they released the 45rpm record that they found commercial success. The 45rpm record became the standard for pop records.


In 1950, after the huge success of the Columbia released LP, RCA Victor started selling their own LPs and in 1955 they signed Elvis Presley who became their best-selling artist.


The 55-year long collaboration with EMI stopped in 1957 when they signed a deal with Decca who began distributing RCA records in the UK. (This caused EMI to purchase Capitol Records which then started distributing their records in America)  The legendary SB 2000 series have many similarities to the SXL 2000 series in that that they share the same stampers and grooves on the orginal labels.  There is much debate in the audiophile world as to whether there sound is as good as the early Decca's.  Anecdotal evidence from former Decca employees suggests that Decca did not want the records to sound as good as their own.  However, listening to good early examples shows that they always have full and lively sound image as with all Decca pressings.  In the US the series are LSC (Living Stereo Series) known in the market as "shaded dogs", these have a completely different sound to the UK pressings because the surfaces tend to be very silent.  They can be regarded as not possessing the same imagery of the UK pressings and this is often reflected in the market value being less than the UK equivalents.  Indeed US pressings, by in large, are not as valuable as UK pressed records.  As with all realms of collecting there would be many people who believe the shaded dogs are far superior to the UK equivalents.


In 1965m RCA and Lear Jet Corp introduced an 8-track stereo tape music cartridges which became very popular hroughout the 60s and 70s.


In the 1980s RCA bought 50% of Arista Records giving birth to the RCA Ariola International union. However, in 1986 General Electric bought RCA and then sold their shares in RCA Ariola to BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group). The only part of RCA which GE kept was the National Broadcasting Company.


Sony merged with BMG in 2004 to form Sony BMG but in 2008 BMG sold its shares and Sony BMG became what is now known as Sony Music Entertainment.

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