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Jai Hind !!


In India, HMV was undoubtably the biggest record company in all formats of vinyl and had an existence in India till the late 90's but later it was taken over by the RPG Group. It's history is the history of recorded music in India, more than a century old. Although HMV - His Master’s Voice - continues to enjoy their monopoly in this field, about half million gramophone records have been manufactured and marketed in India under variety of banners and labels. Large number of artists have recorded various musical forms and styles from different regions of Indian subcontinent. Of course, a major portion of these recordings belong to Indian film songs. However other forms like classical, light classical, folk, religious music etc. have been recorded extensively.

The Indian operations started in 1901 as the first overseas branch of Electrical & Musical Industries Limited, EMI, London. The earliest recording made in India was that of Gauhar Jan, a Hindustani vocalist, in the year 1902. Although the recording was made in India, the disc was manufactured in England. So, at the end of the record she announced her name, to enable the technicians abroad to fix the right label to the disc. This practice of announcing one's name at the end of a song continued until 1908, when the Gramophone Company of England set up manufacturing facilities in Sealdah, Calcutta. Later, a bigger factory was set up in Dum Dum, Calcutta. In 1931, the Gramophone Company, Columbia, Odeon and some smaller companies merged to form Electrical Music Industries (EMI). Even after the merger, the different companies that made up EMI retained their respective labels.

The first microgroove record from Gramophone Co was introduced in 1958. These were 45 rpm 7" extended play (EP) records. In 1959, an LP record plant was established at the Dum Dum factory of Gramophone Company and it was inagurated by Pt Ravishankar in May. The first LP record was released in June and in the first year, about 125 LP records were issued. And the rest, as they say, is History !!


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