Note on Musicians: Some seemingly “no-name” musicians may actually be well-known musicians in disguise. For example, Fletcher Henderson often went under (with or without his consent) the pseudonym “Sam Hill” or “Dixie Stompers”. This was done by some unscrupulous musicians to avoid payments to their contracted record label thereby earning money on the side. Additionally, some labels would copy a hit record and release it under a different musician’s name, thus avoiding paying the musician more money.
Note on Record Label: Generally speaking records that have a label (the sticker in the center) that is more ornate, decorative, colorful etc. may be worth more money.
Note on Size: Almost all record companies experimented with different record sizes: 5inch, 8inch, 7inch, 9inch, 10inch, 12inch, and 14inch.
Notes on Color: Generally speaking records pressed in red or that have a predominantly red label are the classical series while records pressed in green or that have a predominantly green label are the ethnic or foreign series.
Notes on Record Type: Vertical Cut records is where needle picks-up sound along the bottom of the record. The sound is determined by the depth of the grooves. A Lateral Cut record where the needle picks-up sound in a side-to-side motion across the record.
Notes on Collecting: 1910s/1920s blues music can be highly collectable. You know it is “blues” when the label says: Blues, Stomp, Shuffle, Foxtrot as part of the song or includes Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica or Jazz on the label.
Paramount Records (1918- Aug. 1932; 1934; 1948-1970)
Paramount Records was produced by New York Recording Laboratories (NYRL) who were owned by the Wisconsin Chair Company, which was headquartered in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The last Paramount label records were sold were in Aug 1932. The Black Swan Record Label was bought by Paramount in May 1924, discontinue it, and then re-introduce it as the Paramount Black Swan Label in June 1924. A redesign of the Black Swan Label would be introduced. The following year, in 1925, Paramount Records would acquire the Broadway Record Label from Bridgeport Die and Machine Company of Bridgeport Connecticut.
America Record Company (ARC) would buy the Paramount label in 1934 and release a few records before discontinuing the label. ARC would also drop the Broadway Label in 1934. Decca would pick the Broadway label up for a brief time in 1935 only to discontinue it within the year.
Paramount was revived in 1948 by the Wisconsin Chair Company and by 1952 was producing reissues of older recordings. By 1970, the recordings of Paramount were sold to the Jazzology Records group but the name “Paramount Records” was sold to Paramount Pictures.
During the first 7 years until Aug 1926, all Paramount label records were blue and gold. The Paramount logo was an eagle with spread wings. In 1926 the color changed to black with the phrase “Electrically Recorded” in lowercase type near the right of the spindle hole. Labels printed before 1925 state the following phrases “This Record is Made Entirely in Our Own Laboratories in New York City and Grafton Wisconsin” or “This is a Vertical Cut Record Made in our own Laboratories” around the rim of the record.After 1925 the phrase along the record-bottom rim changes to “The New York Recording Laboratories Inc.”.
go to link Music Genres: Race Records, Country, Blues.
http://valerietejeda.com/?x=knox-news-generic-viagra-substitute Black Swan: Black Swan, an almost exclusively “race record” label. This label may be seen in orange and black, yellow, red, blue, black, purple, or red. Paramount would buy the Black Swan Label in May 1924, discontinue it, and then re-introduce it as the Paramount Black Swan Label (keeping the black swan logo but adding the Paramount wings) in June 1924.
Oriole (the US label not the UK label which is separate) was a budget label that was sold exclusively in McCrory’s chain of stores. This store was one of the many “five and dime” style stores. Records sold for $25 cents. McCrory’s started in Pennsylvania but went out of business in 2002. Manufactured by Scranton Button Company. In 1929 American Record Company would take over Oriole. The first Oriole records were black on orange with 1923 displayed. By mid-1924 the 1923 copyright date disappears. The orange label would be replaced in 1927 by a design in gold on black and white. ARC would keep the label colors but shrink the label size. In 1935, the colors change to gold on maroon but retaining the original design. Oriole Records would be dropped in 1938. The label contained my anonymous and pseudonyms. Indeed, Fletcher Henderson record under the pseudonym Sam Hill.
Music Genres: Pop, Country, “Race” records, Blues.
Emerson Records were founded by a Victor H. Emerson a former-employee of Columbia records. Emerson Records were part of the Emerson Phonograph Company (also founded by Victor Emerson). The first Emerson discs were 5.5in. and 7in. discs of various New York musicians recorded under the band name “Emerson Symphony Orchestra”. After World War One the business expanded to include 9in. and 10in. records. To market to the immigrants they created a line of 12in. classical records. Emerson then began to contract with musicians such as Eddie Cantor to record exclusively for the label. The rapid expansion after World War One coupled with a newly opened recording studio in Los Angeles over-extended the company. It would be bought-up by the Scranton Button Company in 1924. The Scranton Button Company would eventually stop selling Emerson Records and apply the Emerson name only to radios. Late Emerson records are very rare and are identified by a “Electrosonic Emerson” meaning Emerson switched to using microphones to record. This switch occurred as the Scranton Button Company was phasing the line out. By 1928 Emerson was no longer a label and parts of catalog were sold or leased to other companies. While the record branch would no longer exist the name Emerson and the factories that produced phonographs would be used to produce household electronics graduating from phonographs to radios then TVs, air-conditioners, and now other small consumer electronics. Indeed, Emerson exists today as Emerson Radio and includes the iconic over-sized treble clef as part of its logo.
Music Genres: Classical, Pop, Ethnic, Foreign, Jazz, Urban Blues, and “Race-Records”.
Numbers from label start to 1945: 300-10903 with the 19000 series being ethnic German music and the 12000 series being ethnic Italian music.
Pre-World War II Label: Black, Blue, Red (being the Premier label designed to compete with Columbia’s Red Seal), or Maroon always with a shield.
Emerson would have a label change mid-1923. The label would drop the shield and favor an oversized musical treble clef. Colors would be the same as the early Emerson label.
1941-1945 Label: None
Post World War II Label: None
-Rust, Brian. The American Record Label Book. Arlington House Publishers, NY. 1978.
-Sutton, Nauck. American Record Labels and Companies: An Encyclopedia (1891-1943). Mainspring Press, CO.2000.
Supertone was a record label made for Sears. It was marketed as a higher-quality label and replaced the Silvertone. Supertone was introduced in 1924 and discontinued in the same year. The 1924 series of Supertones were made by the Fletcher Record Company and are the rarer of the two label designs. Supertone would re-emerge in mid-1928 and last until 1931. From 1928-1931 over 800 records were issued. The 1928-1931 labels were black with the words “Super Electrically Recorded” in block letters below the shield. This meant that the recording artist used a microphone to record the sound rather than play into a horn.
About halfway through the series the reference to Sears, Roebuck and Co was replaced by the words “Licensed RCA Photophone Recording”. These Supertone labels were pressed by Starr Piano Company until 1931. Many of the Starr produced recordings were done under artist pseudonyms. In the final year of the Supertone Record label, Sears switched record manufacturers from Starr to Brunswick Radio Corporation. These new Supertones had an S-prefix before the record number. Like the early Fletcher made Supertone records, these Brunswick Supertones are rare too. Supertone Records were discontinued in 1931 by the Great Depression and the desire for Sears to bring back the Silvertone Label.
Music Genres: Band, Waltz, Orchestra, band, jazz, blues, Midwestern dance.
-Rust, Brian. The American Record Label Book. Arlington House Publishers, NY. 1978.
-Sutton, Nauck. American Record Labels and Companies: An Encyclopedia (1891-1943).Mainspring Press, CO.2000.
Silvertone records would replace the Oxford line of records in 1916. These early Silvertone records had an orange background and were produced and pressed by Columbia Records. In 1917, Silvertone changed the label background to purple with block lettering. However, one year later, in 1918 Sears would discontinue the Silvertone line. Though, it would re-emerge in 1919 with a new silver and blue label. These labels were produced and pressed by Federal Records. After a fire at the plant, Sears would create a new tan label in the early/mid 1920s and use many suppliers including Columbia, Starr, Brunswick, Emerson, and Pathe. These tan labels contain rare anonymous recordings.
Silvertone would be discontinued again in mid-1928. Sears would eventually replace the Silvertone label with a Supertone label (produced and pressed by Starr Piano Company) in the 1930s. Silvertone would re-emerge as a label for Sears in 1940 and be discontinued one year later, in 1941. The 1940-1941 Silvertone was produced and pressed by Columbia Record Corporation. Silvertone would come back one last time in 1950. These were red vinylite pressings produced, this time, by Mercury Records. Sears would go on to produce the Challenge budget record label from 1926-1930 and a more expensive line called Conqueror from 1928-1942.
Most of the records made for Sears were duplicate recordings, reprints of existing catalog numbers, or anonymous recordings. Some of records produced for Sears under the Silvertone label were alternate recordings. These are especially rare and valuable.
Music Genres: Band, Waltz, Orchestra, Band, Jazz, Blues.
Pre-1941 Labels: Orange, purple, tan, or blue in color. Silvertone in block or scripted lettering. Image of a piper with a two-person audience or just the piper appeared on pre-1920 labels.
Velvet Tone was introduced in 1925 by Columbia as a budget label. It was discontinued in 1932. The label recorded 1,500 records and focused mainly on pseudonymous performances by Columbia stars and miscellaneous free-lance musicians. The exception was that in 1930 a 7000 series was introduced devoted to blues and race items. The label relied on acoustic recordings rather than the newer technology of electrical recordings.
–Rust, Brian. The American Record Label Book. Arlington House Publishers, NY. 1978.
–Sutton, Nauck. American Record Labels and Companies: An Encyclopedia (1891-1943). Mainspring Press, CO.2000.
Bluebird records were part of the RCA-Victor Corporation. It was created as a budget label by RCA-Victor in 1932 in order to enter the discount-record market. Original Bluebirds were 8 inches but were dropped by March of 1933 in favor of 10in. records.