MCA Records was part of the Music Corporation of America (MCA). In 2003, it was bought out by Geffen Records and is now part of Universal Music Group.
MCA was founded as a music booking agency based in Chicago, Illinois in 1924 by Jules Stein. MCA helped pioneer modern practices of touring bands and name acts.
The company entered the record music business in 1962 with the purchase of the US Decca branch, including Coral Records and Brunswick Records. These labels were folded into MCA Records in 1973.
In 1979 it acquired ABC Dunhill Records along with its subsidiaries ABC Records, Paramount Records, Impulse Records, Dot Records and Dunhill Records. Chess Records was acquired in 1985, Motown Records was bought in 1988 (and sold to Polygram in 1993). GRP Records and Geffen Records were acquired in 1989. In 1990, the MCA Corporation holding company was purchased by the Matsushita group.
In 1995, Seagram Company Ltd. acquired 80% of MCA INC. and the following year the new owners dropped the MCA name; thus becoming Universal Studios, Inc. and its music division, MCA Music Entertainment Group, was renamed Universal Music Group. In 1998 Seagram acquired PolyGram from Philips & merged it with its music holdings. When Seagram’s drinks business was bought by France-based Pernod Ricard, its media holdings (including Universal) were sold to Vivendi SA which became Vivendi Universal.
Artists that recorded for MCA Records include:
Sonny & Cher
Bill Haley and his Comets
The Mamas & Papas
The Ink Spots
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Chris Hillman And The Desert Rose Band
Today, the only operation by MCA that survives is MCA Nashville.
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