Warner Bros. Records was established on March 19,1958, as the recorded-music division of the American film studio Warner Bros. For most of its existence it was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a series of corporate mergers. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a minor player in the music industry to become one of the top recording labels in the world. In 2003, these assets were divested by their then owner Time Warner. This independent company traded as the Warner Music Group before being bought by Access Industries in 2011, WMG is the smallest of the three major international music conglomerates and the worlds last publicly traded major music company. Cameron Strang serves as CEO of the company, artists currently signed to Warner Bros. At the end of the silent movie period, Warner Bros, pictures decided to expand into publishing and recording so that it could access low-cost music content for its films. This new group controlled valuable copyrights on standards by George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern, the label signed rising radio and recording stars Bing Crosby, Mills Brothers, and Boswell Sisters. In December 1931, Warner Bros. offloaded Brunswick to the American Record Corporation for a fraction of its former value, in a lease arrangement which did not include Brunswicks pressing plants. Warner Bros. sold Brunswick a second time, this time along with the old Brunswick pressing plants Warner owned, to Decca Records in exchange for a financial interest in Decca. The studio stayed out of the business for more than 25 years. Warner Bros. reëntered the record business in 1958 with the establishment of its own recording division, by this time, the established Hollywood studios were reeling from multiple challenges to their former dominance - the most notable being the introduction of television in the late 1940s. Legal changes also had a impact on their business—lawsuits brought by major stars had effectively overthrown the old studio contract system by the late 1940s. Pictures sold off much of its library in 1948 and, beginning in 1949. Semenenko in particular had a professional interest in the entertainment business. With the record business booming - sales had topped US$500 million by 1958 - Semnenko argued that it was foolish for Warner Bros, another impetus for the labels creation was the brief music career of Warner Bros. actor Tab Hunter. In 1958, the studio signed Hunter as its first artist to its newly formed record division, to establish the label, the company hired former Columbia Records president James B
The gold, black and red label design used for Warner Bros. stereo albums from 1958 to 1968 and mono albums from 1964 to 1968.
The grey, black, white and yellow label design used for Warner Bros. mono albums from 1958 to 1964 when it switched to the same gold label as the stereo version.
"Cream Puff War" (1967), the first single by the Grateful Dead. The orange label with chevron border was used on Warner Bros.' American 45s for much of the 1960s.
Beginning in 1968, Warner LP and single label designs became identical. From 1968 to 1970, the label was called Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Records. The basic design and colour scheme of the W7 label were retained after the company name reverted to Warner Bros. Records and the "WB" shield in 1970 and remained in use until 1973.