Harmony (4)


Harmony was launched in Fall 1925 as Columbia's budget label, issuing 78s until 1931 at a price of $0.50 apiece. Some reissues of this early material were made in 1949 using the same label design. The Harmony name was then revived as a budget LP label in 1957 with updated labels.

During the initial period, some of the releases were made by well-known popular and jazz artists recording under pseudonyms. Earlier output is notorious for rather boxy acoustic recordings. It is believed that Columbia had invested heavily in some new acoustic equipment just before the rights to use the Western Electric system became available. Rather than lose the investment, they used it for their new budget label. Some solo vocal recordings were electrically recorded, as were all later records beginning in 1930.

The albums began in 1957, around the time that budget independents such as Tops, Somerset (Miller International), Crown Records (2) (Bihari Brothers), and Design Records (2) (Pickwick) were starting to issue albums. The artists on Harmony during this time tended to be Columbia's artists, often reissues of previously released albums, often abridged and with a different main title, or compilations of shellac and single releases by the artist. The vinyl was of the same quality as Columbia's, and their covers were of a higher quality than other budget labels. Tops, Crown and Design sold for $1.49 each, while Harmony's records were marked at $1.98.

Since late in 1967, when CBS Records Inc. and Pickwick International, Inc. started a contract, the Harmony releases were reissued in the UK on the Hallmark Records label. Also some US pressings are known.

Second period label design chronology (more information, including images, can be found in the links below):
- Red with silver print (HL-7100 to HL-7124, plus some additional later versions)
- Black with silver print (beginning with HL-7125). Mono versions had "Harmony" at top, while stereo versions displayed "Stereo" on top and "Harmony" at bottom.
- Brown with white brand on top (beginning approximately early 1967)
- Tan with red framed brand on top (1970s)

Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Bridgeport pressed records for Harmony using styrene from 1957 until 1960. They had previously pressed some styrene LPs for Columbia from 1952 to 1958.
The label hole on these is 0.34375" diameter, versus 0.28125" diameter for vinyl pressings.

Parent Label:Columbia
Sublabels:Headliner Series, Jazz Series (12), Serie 2 En 1
Links:Wikipedia , , , ,


Edit Label
Data quality rating: Correct
3930 submissions pending


ArtistTitle (Format)Catalog NumberYear