CBS Records International

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CBS Records International
Parent companyCBS (1962–1988)
Sony (1988–1991)
Founded1962 (1962)
StatusAlternate brand of Columbia Records used outside of North America excluding Canada starting in 1976 (1961–1990)
Company renamed Sony Music Entertainment, January 1991
Record label absorbed into Columbia
Country of originU.S.

CBS Records International was the international arm of the Columbia Records unit of Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS) formed in 1961 and launched in 1962.[1][2] Previously, Columbia Records had licensed other record companies to manufacture and distribute Columbia recordings outside North America, such as Philips Records and its subsidiary Fontana (now part of the Universal Music Group) in Europe.

Formation and history[edit]

In 1960, CBS acquired its Australian distributor since 1956,[3] the Australian Record Company,[4] and with it its flagship label Coronet Records.[5] American Columbia material continued to be issued on the CBS Coronet Records label in Australia. The CBS label was launched in Australia in 1963. Also in 1960, CBS began negotiations with its European distributor Philips Records with the goal of the establishment of a CBS Records label in Europe. Philips' acquisition of Mercury Records paved the way for the formation of the CBS label in 1961 with Philips distributing the first batch of CBS recordings in Europe in 1962.

"Zamba de mi esperanza" by Jorge Cafrune

The use of the CBS name was required because EMI owned another record label called Columbia, which operated in every market except North America, Spain and Japan.[6]

In 1964, CBS acquired Oriole Records which gave CBS Records its own distribution in the UK, beginning in 1965. Initially, only American Columbia product was distributed alongside Oriole's own roster on the renamed CBS label. EMI, which had distributed American Columbia recordings on its Columbia label until the Philips deal in 1951, continued to distribute CBS's other American labels, such as Epic and Okeh, on that label. The distribution deal with EMI expired in 1968, at which point CBS began distributing all their labels directly.[7] In Germany, the CBS label distributed Motown from 1963 to 1965.[8]

Sale to Sony[edit]

CBS sold the record company in January 1988 to Sony for $US 2 billion.[9] In 1991, the CBS Records company was renamed Sony Music Entertainment. The CBS Records label was renamed Columbia Records after Sony acquired the Columbia name and trade marks from EMI.[10]

Presidents of CBS Records International[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 26 June 1961. pp. 3–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (16 March 1963). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 40. ISSN 0006-2510. The CBS label made its European overseas bow in May, 1962, in Great Britain and Eire. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ "MILESAGO – Record Labels – Australian Record Company (ARC)". Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  4. ^ History of CBS Records Australia – Employee Induction Document, Published 1988, Ye Olde Networks Collection – Scanned Aug 2012.
  5. ^ Robert Burnett (2 February 1996). The Global Jukebox: The International Music Industry. Taylor & Francis. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-415-09275-3.
  6. ^ Geoffrey Hull (15 June 2004). The Recording Industry: 2nd Edition. Psychology Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-415-96803-4.
  7. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 11 May 1968. p. 46. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ "CBS Label Discography – Germany – Page 2 – 45cat". Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  9. ^ David Horn; Dave Laing; Paul Oliver; Peter Wicke (30 January 2003). Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Part 1 Media, Industry, Society. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 704. ISBN 978-0-8264-6321-0.
  10. ^ "CBS Records Changes Name". The New York Times. Reuters. 1990-10-16. Retrieved 2010-04-01. The Sony Corporation's CBS Records Inc. will change its name to Sony Music Entertainment Inc., the record company said yesterday. The change is required under the terms of the January 1988 agreement under which Sony paid CBS Inc. about $2 billion for the record company, CBS Records said. The new name will take effect on Jan. 1. ... CBS Records has been using the Columbia name in the United States and the CBS name overseas. ...
  11. ^ Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business – Fredric Dannen – Google Books. (2011-09-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  12. ^ Billboard – Google Books. (1971-07-31). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  13. ^ "Asher Opens CBS Factory". Billboard. 5 July 1980. p. 60. ISSN 0006-2510. Among those present at the opening ceremony were Allen A. Davis, president of CBS Records International ...
  14. ^ Lichtman, Irv (3 May 1986). "Summer Helms CBS Records International". Billboard. p. 4. ISSN 0006-2510. Bob Summer brings strong international music ties to his new post as president of CBS Records International. The appointment of the former RCA Records chief was officially announced last week by Walter Yetnikoff, president of CBS – Columbia Group...