Columbia Records

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Columbia Records began in the late 19th century, selling phonographs and records in Washington, D.C. The Columbia in its name makes the same reference to the District of Columbia as Columbia Broadcasting Company. Sony absorbed Columbia Records in 2004.

Their logo is the distinctive "Walking Eye," which is actually an abstract depiction of a record with a needle on it. Their prior logo was called "Magic Notes," which was a depiction of a musical note inside a circle, withh the word "Columbia" above the note in a bar inside the circle.

Columbia Records in Japan

In Japan, there is a separate record label known as Columbia Music Entertainment, which even uses the old "Magic Notes" logo. However, it is not related to the US Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony. In Japan, albums released by Columbia in the U.S. are released by Sony Records.