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Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Santa Maria

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Columbia Records vinyl record pressing plant in Santa Maria, California, United States.
Columbia Records announced plans in 1962 for the construction of a $3 million pressing plant and warehouse in Santa Maria, California. The facility would also be used as the shipping center for the Columbia Record Club. The plant opened in late 1963 (sometime after September, 1963) and was fully operational by summer, 1964. CBS shuttered the Santa Maria pressing plant on December 4, 1981, and its equipment was sent to the Pitman and Terre Haute plants.

Between January, 1969 and late 1976, Santa Maria did not press any 45s in styrene.

Identification of pressings
Many records that were pressed there can be identified by the letter "S" or a backwards "S" (Ƨ) etched into the runouts. Frequently, there will be a "S 1", "S 2" "1 S", "2 S", etc., where the "S" may appear as "ϟ." Other runout identifiers include: "Ƨ T", "SM" and "SSSS".

7" record pressings may have a series of S's (e.g., "SSSSS") etched into the runouts.

Additionally, the suffix "CSM" or "SMP" may appear printed on the LP or 45 labels.

Other indicators:
SX: Indicates lacquer was Mastered At (i.e., plated at) Santa Maria and intended for use at another Columbia plant. Occasionally, these were retained for pressing at Santa Maria. If no additional Columbia plant identifiers are found in either runout, Santa Maria receives 'Pressed By' credit.
XS: Indicates stampers from another Columbia plant were sent to Santa Maria for pressing; Santa Maria receives 'Pressed By' credit. Check runouts for other Columbia plant marks, which indicate Mastered By origin.
SXT: Credit with 'Mastered At' Santa Maria, 'Pressed By' Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Terre Haute.
SX etch with stamped "P": Credit with 'Mastered At' Santa Maria, 'Pressed By' Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman.
PXS: Credit with 'Mastered At' (i.e., plated) Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman, and 'Pressed By' - Santa Maria. See also XS above.
SX and G1 (G2, G3, etc.) etches: Credit with 'Mastered At' Santa Maria, 'Pressed By' Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Carrollton, GA.
Other variations are possible.

Santa Maria pressings of PolyGram labels' product (such as Mercury, Polydor, RSO and Casablanca) had "CS" markings within the deadwax, and from 1979 to 1980 were identified on the label by a "25" plant code. Other codes signifying Santa Maria pressings that can be found on center labels were "17" (for K-Tel) and "Z" or "z" (for A&M Records; alas, printed on LPs only as issued between 1980 and 1981). Capitol Records contract pressings from the 1960s can be identified by the number "74" in the runouts.

The Santa Maria plant also pressed for A&M Records; CTI Records; Reprise Records; Warner Bros. Records; Sire; Mercury; ABC Records; Island Records; Philadelphia International Records; T-Neck; Epic; Vanguard; Elektra; World Pacific; Blue Thumb Records; Bearsville; Vertigo; and Original Sound, among others.
This plant is known to have furnished metal parts to Alshire Custom Products, Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman; RCA Records Pressing Plant, Hollywood; and Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Terre Haute; for pressings. See Various - Thank God It's Friday (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), The Temptations - Let Your Hair Down, The Friends Of Distinction - Highly Distinct, and Michael Jackson - Off The Wall, respectively, for examples.

Contact Info:

900 East Stowell Road
Santa Maria, California 93454
(805) 922-4511
(Contact info now obsolete)

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