Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music – the GRAMMY Awards.
On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, The GRAMMY Museum, in cooperation with Columbia Records, unveiled its newest special exhibit, 360 Sounds: The Columbia Records Story. Residing on the Museum’s third floor, the exhibit celebrates the 125-year-long history of one of the most important record labels of all time, Columbia Records. The exhibit launched on the same day as the highly anticipated GRAMMY Museum Archives, sponsored by Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) which showcases several Columbia recording artists.
“At The GRAMMY Museum, it’s always been our hope to not just help preserve important parts of music history but to also allow artists’ legacies to live on for future generations to discover and enjoy,” said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. “The launch of both the Columbia Records exhibit and our museum archives on November 7 illustrates that mission perfectly, and we are honored to share them with the world.”
360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story provides an in-depth look at all aspects of Columbia Records’ history and offers a virtual history of the music industry from its infancy, tracing Columbia’s pivotal technological as well as business innovations, including its invention of the LP. The exhibit also reflects on the connection between Columbia’s artists and music and sweeping cultural and political changes, from the emergence of mass commercial culture to the rise of the civil rights movement and beyond.
Bringing together a collection of diverse artifacts, rare photographs, and footage, the exhibit features dozens of items from Columbia artists such as Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, Beyonce and many more. In addition, interviews, an introductory film, legendary GRAMMY Award show performances and an interactive jukebox that plays the greatest Columbia recordings of all time round out this exciting new exhibit. The exhibit is a reflection of a book released earlier this year of the same name, written by Pulitzer Prize-and GRAMMY-nominated author and historian, Sean Wilentz.
“Writing 360 Sound has been exhilarating as well as enlightening,” said Wilentz. “More than I had known, Columbia’s history covers virtually the entire history of recorded music, with innumerable fascinating stories of artists, producers, label executives, and many more. The GRAMMY Museum exhibit promises to bring Columbia’s history to life in a related but very different way, and I can hardly wait for it to open.”
Launching on the same day was the official GRAMMY Museum Archives, a wing of the museum sponsored by Iron Mountain and dedicated to the development, preservation and archiving of rare audio and video assets from the music industry. For the first time, museum members and visitors will be able to listen to and watch the more than 180 public programs that have taken place in the Clive Davis Theater. Interviews and performances by the Beach Boys, Ringo Starr, Kenny Chesney, Smokey Robinson, Buddy Guy, Terrance Blanchard, John Mellencamp, John Mayer, Jack White, Yoko Ono, Harry Connick Jr., Stevie Nicks, Dr. John and dozens more.
Additionally, information on every GRAMMY Award winner and all of the GRAMMY Hall of Fame inductees will be housed in the Archival Wing, also located on the Museum’s third floor.
The GRAMMY Museum Archives will allow the museum to showcase rare assets from the Asset Discovery & Development division, which is devoted to building artifact databases for a wide range of musical artists, archiving and developing their legacy for historic preservation. The division, launched in May of 2011, includes discovery services to distinguish and restore/repair damaged assets for cataloging; preservation and archival services to ensure original artifacts are secure, accessible and sharable; and business development capabilities to protect and monetize the artist’s legacy and brand.
“Our customers trust us with some of their most valuable assets, asking us to both protect and preserve them for today and for the future,” said Jeff Anthony, vice president for Iron Mountain’s Entertainment Services. “We’ve worked with some of the world’s largest media companies, providing technological expertise and services for transferring, migrating and preserving digital data on-line. Providing the GRAMMY Museum with this wing and the asset discovery and development services, allows us to support their core mission and help maintain the important musical and cultural legacy for future generations.”