RKO Unique Records
1955 - today
RKO/Unique Records began in 1955 as Unique Records, a New York City pop music record label founded by band leader Joe Leahy. It was first located at 1697 Broadway. After several small pop hits, such as "Man in the Raincoat" by fourteen-year-old Priscilla Wright, the label was acquired by General Tire subsidiary RKO Teleradio (initially General Teleradio; acquired a majority stake in the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1952, then merged with the RKO Pictures film studio in 1955, resulting in a name change to RKO Teleradio Pictures) in 1957 and placed its owner, Stanley Borden, in charge of its music entertainment division. From 1957 on, the label was billed as RKO/Unique.
After General Tire's acquisition of Unique Records in 1957, the record label was re-branded as RKO/Unique.
In 1965, RKO/Unique was acquired by Reach Entertainment, at which point it was renamed to RKO Records.
In 1990, Tom Ficara, former RKO Records CEO, acquired RKO Records and signed a distributorship deal with Varese Sarabande Records.
In 2007, Ficara, who was still operating RKO Records, merged it with Margate Entertainment. Through the deal with Varese Sarabande, Ficara had the RKO Records masters digitally remastered and the major titles on the label reissued and distributed by MCA.
RKO Records started producing new recordings in 2011. RKO announced 48 new albums for 2011.