To celebrate the company's 125th anniversary, Columbia Records is releasing 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story, a book chronicling its history, on Oct. 30.
360 Sound traces the company's story beginning with its origins in the late 1880s under Edward Easton and continuing through the next century as its stable of artists ranged from Al Jolson to Duke Ellington to Frank Sinatra to LL Cool J.
The book will also delve into the technological evolution of the business from the invention of the LP to arrival of the mp3 and will set the whole story against the backdrop of the sweeping political and cultural changes of the last century, including two world wars, the civil rights movement and feminism.
The text will be written by Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, who was nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes on The Bootleg Series, Volume 6, Bob Dylan Live, 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall. He is also a contributing editor at The New Republic.
A deluxe edition will include 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story: Legends and Legacy by Dave Marsh, which will include essays and reflections by the noted music writer on the 263 most important songs and tracks released by the company. The deluxe package includes a drive with digital copies of all 263 songs.
The book will be launched with events in New York on Oct. 30 and in Los Angeles on Nov. 7 at the Grammy Museum.