RCA Camden

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RCA Camden was a budget record label of recordings, introduced by RCA Victor.

History[edit]

The label was named after Camden, New Jersey, original home to the Victor Talking Machine Company, later RCA Victor. It specialized in reissuing historic classical and popular recordings from the extensive RCA Victor catalog. The long play albums originally sold for $1.98 retail and consisted of strictly monaural recordings, often drawn from 78-rpm discs. The label also issued 45-rpm "extended play" (EP) records, including contemporary singers such as Snooky Lanson and Jack Haskell, at a suggested retail price of 79 cents.

Earliest releases[edit]

RCA Camden originally issued its classical recordings using the real names of the orchestras involved. But soon, to avoid competing with modern recordings by the same orchestras, they adopted a series of pseudonyms. Here is a partial listing of the real orchestras and their pseudonyms:

The RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra was a New York City "pick-up" orchestra drawn from members of the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.[1] The New York City Symphony Orchestra, created by Leopold Stokowski in the 1940s, recorded for RCA Victor and some of its recordings were issued on Camden under the name "Sutton Symphony Orchestra," not to be confused with a British orchestra with the same name.

Later releases[edit]

In the mid 1950s, RCA Camden began dabbling in rhythm & blues (Little Richard - 1951) and, later, rock and roll releases, issuing, for example, an EP of such songs by "The Honey Dreamers". About 1958, Camden began releasing stereo albums and subsequently issued popular recordings by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Living Strings and Living Voices.

In Canada, in addition to handling the U.S. releases on the label for the Canadian market, the RCA Camden Imprint was also used to issue both Current and Compilation albums by RCA Canada's Country Artists. There were a number of such albums issued in Canada that were never issued in the United States.

From 1968 to 1975, RCA Camden issued a series of compilation albums featuring recordings by Elvis Presley, who recorded for the main RCA Victor label. This output primarily consisted of repackagings of Presley's 1960s-era movie soundtrack recordings, however several albums, such as Elvis Sings Flaming Star also featured previously unreleased material, while two later compilations, Burning Love and Hits from His Movies, Volume 2 and Separate Ways actually featured then-current chart hits for Presley that were issued to album on RCA Camden instead of the expected RCA Victor. In 1975, RCA leased Presley reissue rights to Pickwick Records, which subsequently reissued most of the RCA Camden catalog under its branding starting in late 1975. RCA eventually regained the rights to its Pickwick-leased recordings and reissued several of them in the 1980s.

During the early- to mid-1970s, as the fame of another RCA artist, Dolly Parton, grew, the label reissued much of her earlier RCA material in a series of budget compilations to capitalize on her more recent success. Just the Way I Am, Mine, Just Because I'm a Woman (not to be confused with Parton's 1968 debut solo album for RCA of the same name), and I Wish I Felt This Way at Home were all issued between 1972 and 1976, and were largely made up of lesser known material Parton had recorded or RCA during the late 1960s and early '70s. As with the Presley reissues, RCA also leased the reissue rights to the four Parton Camden albums to Pickwick, which rereleased the albums during the late 1970s.

The label continued onto compact discs in the 1980s and the 1990s, focusing more on popular and country music. With the 2004 merger of BMG (RCA Records parent company since 1987) and Sony (Columbia Records' parent company), the Camden label, as well as the RCA Victrola and Gold Seal labels, were absorbed into RCA Red Seal Records.

Promotional material[edit]

From the liner notes of several 1957-58 Camden releases:

RCA Victor also used a modified and shorter version of this statement in the liner notes of early releases on the RCA Victrola label.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]