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Decca Records

Decca Records was a record label from 1929 to 1980.

Former stockbroker Edward Lewis formed Decca Records Ltd in the United Kingdom in 1929. Within years, it was the second largest record label in the world.

Decca bought out the U.K. branch of Brunswick Records in 1932, which added such stars as Bing Crosby and Al Jolson to the roster. Decca also bought out the Melotone and Edison Bell record companies. By 1939, Decca was the only record company in UK aside from EMI.

In 1934 a USA branch of Decca was launched, which quickly became a major player in the depressed United States record market thanks to it's roster of popular artists, particularly Bing Crosby, and the shrewd management of former Brunswick General Manager Jack Kapp.

Artists signed to Decca in the '30s and '40s included Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, Ted Lewis, The Mills Brothers, Billy Cotton, Guy Lombardo, Chick Webb,Bob Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Connee Boswell and Jack Hylton.

In 1942, Decca released "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, which became the best-selling single of all time.

The American RCA broke from EMI to join with Decca in 1953 which allowed Decca to sell Elvis Presley's hits in the UK on the RCA label.

In 1962 Decca executives turned down a chance to record a young group called the Beatles in favor of Brian Poole and the Tremeloes; in retrospect this was an historic mistake.

Other artists released on Decca or through one of its labels; Pat Boone, Little Richard, The Everly Brothers, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Duane Eddy, the Drifters, Eddie Cochran, Del Shannon, Roy Orbison, the Crystals, the Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Glass Harp.

The 1970s were disastrous for Decca, The Rolling Stones left Decca in 1970, and other artists followed. Decca's deals with numerous record labels began to fall apart, RCA abandoned Decca to set up its own UK office in 1971. The Moody Blues were the only international rock act that remained on the label.

Polygram acquired the remains of Decca within days of Lewis's death in January 1980.

The United States of America branch of Decca functioned separately for many years, and eventually became part of MCA Records. Because it held the rights to the name Decca in the US, British Decca sold its records in the United States under the label London Records.

See also: List of other record labels