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Post subject: Columbia Coding  PostPosted: Oct 13, 2012 - 09:09 AM

Joined: May 15, 2007
Posts: 352
Location: NJ
Status: Offline
In my ongoing research with the Laurie label and the layout of the releases (focusing primarily on Dion and Belmonts releases), which used RCA and Columbia to master most of the early recordings, I just came to a realization about how Columbia handled providing outside masters. This was when I was trying to fit Dion's "Ruby Baby" and other Columbia issues into the puzzle.

Outside masterings used a totally separate numbering sequence from their own Columbia releases. Though numbers were consecutive in each case, regardless of whether the release was a single or lp, Columbia apparently reserved 2####, 6####, 8####, and 10#### matrices for all labels outside their own banner. The 2#### series lasted until around July, 1960, at which time they began using 6####. The 6#### series ended in November, 1961, followed then with 8####. During the same period, Columbia was using the 5#### series on it's own releases. The 5#### series ended around June, 1963, at wihich time the 7#### series began. Note that the 4#### was skipped for outside mastering because Columbia had already used the sequence in-house prior the the 5#### series run.

I haven't dug deep enough yet to sort out where Columbia began their outside mastering, but it clearly began with the 2#### coding as I'm finding the 1#### and 3#### series within their own run.

When I get there...

Fred Clemens
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Post subject: RE: Columbia Coding  PostPosted: Oct 13, 2012 - 03:23 PM

Joined: Jun 03, 2003
Posts: 12491
Location: Nashville, TN (USA)
Status: Offline
See the info. under the Columbia Records heading at regarding how master numbers were allocated.

Based on info. I have compiled over the last several years (which is only the tip of the tip of the metaphorical iceberg), the 10000s were a mix of in-house (Columbia, Masterworks, Epic, etc.) and custom jobs*. The 15000s mostly custom, but some in-house jobs. A simplified breakdown (by 1000s, through 1974) follows:
1-9000s : in-house
10000s : in-house and custom
11000s-14000s : in-house
15000s : mostly custom
16000s-26000s : custom
27000s : in-house and custom
28000s : custom
29000s : in-house and custom
30000s-39000s : in-house
40000s-49000s : in-house (includes Alpine)
50000s-59000s : in-house
60000s-69000s : custom (no info. on 61000s)
70000s-79000s : in-house (no info. on 73000s-74000s)
80000s : no info.
81000s-85000s : custom
86000s, 88000s : Columbia Special Products (CSP)
87000s-89000s : custom
90000s-99000s : custom
100000s-101000s : custom
102000s : no info
103000s : CSP
104000s : custom
105000s : CSP
106000s-107000s : custom
108000s : no info
109000s : CSP
110000s-111000s : in-house and custom
112000s-119000s : in-house
120000s-129000s : custom
130000s-132000s : custom
133000s-134000s : CSP
135000s-139000s : in-house
140000s-142000s : custom
143000s : no info
144000s-147000s : custom
148000s-149000s : no info
150000s-159000s : in-house

Keep in mind, I have info. on only about 1% of numbers issued, barely enough to see general trends in numbering sequences and (when dates are known) for dating purposes.

* Info based on a scan of ZTSC-10056, "Black Saxs" by Danny Zella and his Zell Rocks (Fox F#1). This is the earliest-numbered custom pressing of which I am aware, though it appears to date to 1958. The in-house 10000s date to 1952.

Black Saxs
Danny Zella and his Zell Rocks
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