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Encyclopedia > Catalog numbering systems for single records

This list presents the numbering systems used by various record companies for single (mainly 7" 33 1/3 and 45, and 10" 78 rpm) records.

Contents

Capitol

Capitol Records began with number 100 when it started. By 1950 the number series had reached the 700s, and crossed the 1000 mark in the latter part of that year. There was a separate series of 40000s for country 78s. Capitol Records is a major United States-based record label, now part of the EMI Music Group. ... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only...


Columbia

In the 1940s, Columbia 78s used 5-digit numbers in the 30000s. The series had reached 38600 around 1950 and continued into the 1950s, passing the number 40000 in the middle of the decade. In the late 1940s, Columbia introduced 7" 33 1/3 rpm singles, which were numbered in their own series, with a prefix 1- before a low number, not exceeding 3 digits. Columbia originally resisted issuing 45 rpm singles, as that was a speed originated by competitor RCA Victor Records. However, eventually Columbia began to issue 45s with numbers identical to the corresponding 7" 33 1/3 singles, except for the prefix 6- instead of 1-. Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Years: 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Events and trends Technology First nuclear bomb First cruise missile, the V1 flying bomb and the first ballistic missile, the... Columbia Records is the oldest continually used brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888. ... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only... Events and trends Technology United States tests the first fusion bomb. ... Sony BMG Music Entertainment is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (part of Sony) and BMG Entertainment (part of Bertelsmann AG) completed in August 2004. ...


Early in the 1950s, the system was changed to give singles at all speeds the same numbers except that the 33 1/3 rpm records had a prefix, now 3-, and the 45 rpm records also a prefix, now 4-, added to the number of the 78.


Eventually the only speed issued was 45 rpm, and the 4- prefix was dropped. By 1960 the series reached 41000, by 1970 it reached 45000. In 1974, shortly after passing 46000, the numbering series changed, beginning again with 10000. By 1980 the numbers reached 11000. See also: 1959 in music, other events of 1960, 1961 in music, 1960s in music and the list of years in music Events January 14 - Elvis Presley is promoted to Sergeant in the U.S. Army February 6 - Songwriter Jesse Belvin dies in an automobile accident in Los Angeles, California. ... See also: 1969 in music, other events of 1970, 1971 in music, 1970s in music and the list of years in music Events Charles Wuorinen, aged 32, becomes the youngest composer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. ... See also: 1973 in music, other events of 1974, 1975 in music, 1970s in music and the list of years in music Events February 10 - record producer Phil Spector is badly injured in a car accident. ... See also: 1979 in music, other events of 1980, 1981 in music, 1980s in music and the list of years in music Events January January 1 - Cliff Richard is appointed an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II. The only other pop music acts to be created MBEs are the Beatles and...


Decca

Decca 78s were given 5-digit numbers in the 20000s, with 45s given corresponding numbers with the prefix 9-. The series reached 24700 around the beginning of 1950. Just before 1960 the numbers reached 30000; Decca's issues in the 1960s apparently came much more slowly, as by 1970 the numbers had only gone to about 32600. Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929. ... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only... See also: 1959 in music, other events of 1960, 1961 in music, 1960s in music and the list of years in music Events January 14 - Elvis Presley is promoted to Sergeant in the U.S. Army February 6 - Songwriter Jesse Belvin dies in an automobile accident in Los Angeles, California. ... Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Years: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 Events and trends The 1960s was a turbulent decade of change around the world. ... See also: 1969 in music, other events of 1970, 1971 in music, 1970s in music and the list of years in music Events Charles Wuorinen, aged 32, becomes the youngest composer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. ...


Another series of Decca singles wes numbered in the 40000s, apparently mostly devoted to country records. Country music, once known as country and western music, is a popular musical form developed in the southern United States, with roots in traditional folk music, spirituals, and the blues. ...


The subsidiary label Coral used numbers in the 60000s. Coral Records was a Decca Records subsidiary based in the United States of America. ...


EMI

For its European branches, EMI changed at the end of the sixties to a uniform numbering system. xx xxx-xxxxx. The EMI Group is a major record label, based in the United Kingdom and with operations in over 25 other countries. ...

  • The first digits represent the country (eg 1C is Germany, 2C is France, 3C is Italy, etc).
  • The second three digits are mostly 006, but sometimes 004 or 008 was used for repressings, while 000 is used for jukebox pressing.
  • The last 5 digits are the unique single reference for the single

London

London began about 1950 at number 500 on 78s and 30000 on 45s. There was no relationship between the two sets of numbers. London Records was a record label headquartered in the United Kingdom marketing records in the United States and Latin America from 1947 through the 1980s. ... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only...


Mercury

Mercury 78s were numbered with 4-digit numbers in the 5000s in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1952, 5-digit numbers in the 70000s were assigned. Mercury Records was a record label founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1945 by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge. ... Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Years: 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Events and trends Technology First nuclear bomb First cruise missile, the V1 flying bomb and the first ballistic missile, the... Events and trends Technology United States tests the first fusion bomb. ... See also: 1951 in music, other events of 1952, 1953 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Pierre Schaeffer publishes his A la recherche dune musique concrète (The Search for a Concrete Music), an explanation of his experimental approach to composing. ...


A separate series in the 8900s, subsequently changed to the 89000s, was issued consisting of jazz singles. Some jazz singles were also issued with numbers in the 11000s.


45s were given the same numbers as the 78s, with a suffixed "x45" added.


MGM

MGM began with the number 10000 shortly before 1950. MGM Records was a record label started by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio in 1946. ... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only...


By 1960 the numbers had reached just over 12800. The label seems not to have survived to the end of the 1960s. See also: 1959 in music, other events of 1960, 1961 in music, 1960s in music and the list of years in music Events January 14 - Elvis Presley is promoted to Sergeant in the U.S. Army February 6 - Songwriter Jesse Belvin dies in an automobile accident in Los Angeles, California. ... Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Years: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 Events and trends The 1960s was a turbulent decade of change around the world. ...


RCA

RCA Victor Records went in the mid-40s to a complex system, in which all records had a 2-digit prefix denoting the type of music and a 4-digit specific number. Most popular 78s had the prefix 20, but other prefixes existed. Sony BMG Music Entertainment is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (part of Sony) and BMG Entertainment (part of Bertelsmann AG) completed in August 2004. ...


When the 45 rpm record was originated in the late 1940s, a prefix was set up for each type of music, with 47- for the popular records whose 78 rpm version was given a 20- prefix. At first the numbers of the two versions were not similar, but in 1950 the system was changed to provide the same numbers after the hyphen for both speed versions of a single record. Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century Decades: 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s - 1940s - 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Years: 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Events and trends Technology First nuclear bomb First cruise missile, the V1 flying bomb and the first ballistic missile, the... See also: 1949 in music, other events of 1950, 1951 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music Events Legendary singer Al Jolson dies on the 23rd of October Mitch Miller signs as A&R man with Columbia Records Patti Page becomes the first (and only...


As the 1950s proceeded, most prefixes other than 20- for 78s and 47- for 45s were eliminated. And of course, 78s themselves did not last long into the 1950s. Events and trends Technology United States tests the first fusion bomb. ...


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