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Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Thursday, 25 October 2012 09:55 UK

Columbia Records' 125th birthday

Columbia Records, the oldest record label in the world is celebrating 125 years in the business.

Sean Wilentz, professor of American history at Princeton University and author of the forthcoming 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story, told Today presenter Evan Davis how Columbia started: "It began in 1887 selling these new machines… then they were able to prerecord music."

Adrienne Connors, music editor at The Sunday Times culture section, explained that the label went on to promote some of the 20th century's greatest African American musical artists.

"Music was a way that people could contribute to the culture without being that threatening."

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