Definition and background:
A Gold Record is the award given to a performing artist (typically musical artist) for the sale of 500,000 units of a record, CD, or cassette through legal distribution sources. This term got its start in 1942, when RCA Victor took one of the master copies of Glenn Miller's Chattanooga Choo Choo, and sprayed it with gold lacquer as a publicity gimmick to promote the success of the recording. This was the first gold record ever awarded to a recording artist. It was more than a decade later in 1958 when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) trademarked the Gold Record. The first Gold Record single was awarded to Perry Como for his recording of Catch A Falling Star. Gordon McRae and the cast of Oklahoma! received the first Gold Record album for the soundtrack release that year. Eventually, the designation of Platinum Record was created for the sales of a million units and in 1998 the Diamond Record awards were created for the sales of ten million copies of an album or single.See also Platinum Record; Diamond Record.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary