An Inside Look at Rainbo Records after 80-years of operation

History of Rainbo Records

Rainbo Records of Los Angeles was the oldest and largest in-house manufacturer of CD Duplication, DVD Duplication, CD Manufacturing, DVD Manufacturing in North America.

1939: Jack Brown starts a small business to manufacture cardboard recording blanks for a Home Recording Machine manufactured locally. Using available cardboard in many colors, covered with a clear lacquer, led to the name of RAINBO(W) RECORDS

1940: By combining visually imprinted labels onto blank cardboard, we create the first “Picture Record.”

1942: With the outbreak of WWII, personally recorded messages takes on a new significance. The U.S. Treasury Department and a commercial firm institute a program to record messages to and from the service men with the purchase of War Bonds. Rainbo was their exclusive supplier.

1950: Rainbo is commissioned by a large toy manufacturer/children’s book publisher to build a miniature acoustical phonograph smaller than a telephone. It reproduces a 2 1/2″ record and comes with its own tiny picture book.

1953: We started development of thin micro-plastic records, manufactured in a continuous web, resulting in numerous patents, domestically and internationally.

1955: The Wheaties “Record-On-A-Box” is born. Rainbo builds and refines the equipment, and in the next several years over 30 million records were made for Wheaties.

1956: Disneyland opened: Rainbo’s Disneyland Talking Map (a five-record fold-out) is an outstanding feature of the opening.

1957: Rainbo issues the first Hollywood Fan Magazine (“Hear Inc.”) that contains a picture record in each issue. James Dean, Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, and many others are featured and heard.

1960: Research and Development with Mattel Toys resulted in the first Barbie Doll Records, as well as the Chatty Cathy Talking Doll, and many other talking characters. The Chatty Cathy doll had a tiny vinyl record inside it, with nine 3-second tracks that would play when the cord was pulled.

1963: Rainbo moves to Hollywood and refurbishes the old Brunswick/Decca plant, installing plating & printing and beginning operations with 40 record presses.
1965: Rainbo begins pressing for majors as Capitol’s back-up plant, and for Liberty, U.S. Laff Records and Pickwick’s West Coast operations.

1966: “Tric-Trac” technology is born, featuring flexidiscs that can have as many as 10 or more interlocking grooves, allowing the discs to be used for such games as horseracing and roulette. Depending on when you set the needle down, the record would play one of many different tracks because there was more than one spiral groove in the pressing.

1974: Rainbo moves to a new 30,000 square foot building in Santa Monica and installs automatic pressing and high-speed plating equipment.

1979: Pressing activities accelerate: around-the-clock accounts such as Casablanca, A&M, Everest, Mercury/MCA keep Rainbo hopping. Elvis Presley’s tragic death results in 7-day weeks without let-up.

1985: Rainbo’s cassette production accelerates with the addition of state-of-the-art duplicating equipment and Apex direct printing on cartridges.

1994: Rainbo begins in-house Compact Disc manufacturing. Demand for vinyl actually grows at Rainbo, with most pressing plants abandoning the format.

1998: With the addition of four-color printing on-CD and faster, more efficient CD pressing, Rainbo’s manufacturing output grows.

2002: With the purchase of DocData in the San Fernando Valley, Rainbo now replicates DVDs and has a full in-house CD and DVD mastering facility.

2004: Rainbo now offers offset printing directly onto CD and DVD discs.

2006: Rainbo combines its two plants into a single redesigned facility in Canoga Park. We’re still the oldest and largest in-house manufacturer of vinyl, cassettes, DVDs and CDs!

2009: Vinyl is back! The demand for 7″, 10″ and 12″ vinyl records continues to increase, keeping Rainbo’s presses busy.

2014: Rainbo celebrates its 75th year!

2019: Rainbo must close! Rainbo loses our lease and all production ceases on December 14th, 2019. United Record Pressing purchases the key vinyl equipment to bolster their already-flourishing pressing business in Nashville, TN.

Rainbo must vacate the building it has been in since 2006 by January 31, 2020.


Source: Rainbo Records and the Los Angeles TimesĀ