Capitol Records - EMI of Canada Limited/Disques Capitol - EMI du Canada Limitée
Capitol Records - EMI of Canada Limited/Disques Capitol - EMI du Canada Limitée (Capitol Records of Canada Ltd 1947-54, Capitol Record Distributors of Canada Ltd 1954-8, Capitol Records of Canada Ltd again 1958-74). Company established in Canada in 1954 by the US parent firm, Capitol Records, which had been founded in 1942 by the songwriters Buddy DeSylva, Johnny Mercer, and Glenn Wallachs. Prior to 1954 Capitol records were pressed and distributed in Canada 1946-7 by Musicana Records (which also had its own roster of Canadian performers, including the young Gisèle MacKenzie, Bert Niosi, the Howard Cable Orchestra) and 1947-54 by its successor, Regal Records, both of London, Ont.
In 1947 an associate firm, Capitol Records of Canada, Ltd, was set up in London. It remained inactive, however, until it was purchased by W. Lockwood Miller in 1949. Capitol dates its history in Canada from this time. In 1954 the Miller company was replaced by the parent firm with Capitol Record Distributors of Canada, Ltd. The US company itself was taken over by Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) of Great Britain in 1956, and the Canadian operation was renamed, in turn, Capitol Records of Canada Ltd in 1958 and Capitol Records - EMI of Canada Ltd in 1974. Head offices were established in Toronto in 1954, and branch offices opened in Montreal and, eventually, Calgary and Vancouver. Presidents have included, successively, Harold Smith, Geoffrey F. Racine, G. Edward Leetham, Ron Plumb, Arnold Gosewich 1971-7, J. David Evans 1978-86, Richard C. Lyttelton 1986-8 and Deane Cameron, as of 1988.
In Canada Capitol has distributed classical recordings on Angel and Seraphim labels, pop music on Capitol, Chrysalis, EMI, and other labels. It has recorded many Canadian performers in the pop field, beginning with Frank Bogart's society band in Toronto ca 1962. Its collective Canadian roster 1964-91 has included, After All, Bill Amesbury, Beau Dommage, Big Town Boys, Gary Buck, the Cailloux, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Stompin' Tom Conners, Burton Cummings, Wes Dakus and the Rebels, (Lisa) Dalbello, Raoul Duguay, Edward Bear, Shirley Eikhard, Lee Gagnon, Glass Tiger, Helix, the Jitters, Sherry Kean, Pierre Lalonde, Luba, Maneige, MC and Cool J, Murray McLauchlan, Frank Mills, Anne Murray, Prism, Michel Rivard, Sheriff, Sugar Shoppe, Simply Majestic, the Staccatos (Five Man Electrical Band), Suzanne Stevens, Chrissy Steele, Strange Advance, Streetheart, David Wilcox, (Alfie) Zappacosta, and Alexandre Zelkine.
Among Canadian concert performers Lois Marshall recorded folksongs in England and the piano duo Parsons and Poole and the saxophonist Paul Brodie have made LPs in Canada for Capitol. Other singers have participated in opera or oratorio recordings for Angel, which also has issued recordings by the TS. Capitol also has distributed several independent Canadian labels at various times in its history - eg, Alert (The Box, Holly Cole, Kim Mitchell), Anthem (see Rush), Aquarius, Daffodil (Tom Cochrane, Crowbar, A Foot in Cold Water, King Biscuit Boy, Klattu), Hawk, Nettwerk (Grapes of Wrath, Sarah McLachlan, Moev, Skinny Puppy), Roman, and Yorktown.