A Manufacturing Force For Over 76 Years: On the “history” page of Rainbo Records’ website—next to a list of dozens of music legends for whom the renowned CD, DVD and Vinyl manufacturer has created products—is a list of company milestones. The first is 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 RECORDS.” Over the past 76 years, the company––which moved in 2006 from its longtime home in Santa Monica to a 50,000 square-foot facility in Canoga Park––has remained a force in the local manufacturing scene because of its philosophy that puts customer service at the forefront. Beyond its longtime support for major and independent labels and artists, Rainbo’s history includes inventing the “Paper-Record” that was used to put recordings on cereal boxes and postcard mailers for corporations, politicians, etc.
A Boom In Vinyl: A banner on the homepage reads: “TO ALL VINYL CUSTOMERS: Vinyl is in high demand worldwide so please plan your releases well in advance!” When MC last profiled Rainbo, longtime President Steve Sheldon estimates that 18-20% of its revenue was vinyl and the rest was from CD and DVD manufacturing. Today, thanks to a phenomenal resurgence, vinyl accounts for 75% of Rainbo’s revenue, with CDs and DVDs at 25%. Rainbo continues to manufacture cassettes as well. A true one-stop shop, Rainbo’s packages include art templates and art design. They also make many of their own parts for the machines they run.
Carrying On The Founder’s Mission: One of Sheldon’s favorite Jack Brown quotes is: “Don’t throw anything out because that’s permanent.” Brown passed away in 2003, but Sheldon (who has been with Rainbo since 1971) and his team (many of whom have been there for over 30 years) carry on the ethics and morals he originally brought to the business. “The key to our success,” he says, “is that we make everyone feel welcome.”
For more information, visit rainborecords.com.
By Jonathan Widran