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Gennett Records

Record Label: 1920-1927. Featuring a hexagon. May be in red, blue, green, maroon, or black.

Gennett Records (1917-1934)

The Gennett label created by Starr Piano Company. The first records produced were under the Starr (1916-1917) label. The Starr label was replaced by the Gennett label. Early Gennett labels were plain but between 1920-1927 they would feature a hexagon. In 1927 Gennett would add the phrase “Electobeam” to its label pressings. Starr Piano would cease selling the Gennett label commercially in 1930 (Gennett would live on till 1934 as a custom label) and concentrate on its budget brands: Champion, Superior, Buddy, and Supertone (pressed for Sears).

Superior (#2500-2839) was produced between 1930-1932. Gennett would often press records for other labels/companies. Appears to be mostly re-issues. Label design unknown.

Music Genres: Country, Jazz, Blues, “Race-Records”, Gospel, novelty, obscure, Hopi Indian Songs, political speeches, sound effects, Christmas greetings, and Klu Klux Klan Propaganda (pressed on the KKK’s labels 100%, 100% American, Hitch, or KKK)

Early Gennett

Record Label: 1917-1920. Plain. May also be in red.
Record Label: 1917-1920. Plain. May also be in red.

Mid-Gennett

Record Label: 1920-1927. Featuring a hexagon. May be in red, blue, green, maroon, or black.
Record Label: 1920-1927. Featuring a hexagon. May be in red, blue, green, maroon, or black.

Late Gennett

Record Label: 1927-1930. Black and Gold. Note the phrase “Electrobeam”
Record Label: 1927-1930. Black and Gold. Note the phrase “Electrobeam”

1941-1945s Label: None

Post-WW2 Label: None

Numbers from start to 1945:
2500-19000

Notes: Many famous musicians first recorded under the Gennett label (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly-Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Johnson, Bix Beiderbecke, Gene Autry).

An example of King Oliver, Froggie Moore, on Gennett

An example of Louis Armstrong, Canal Street Blues on Gennett

An example of Gene Autry, T.B. Blues, on Gennett:

Sources:
-http://www.starrgennett.org/stories/history/1.htm
-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.

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Conqueror Record Label

Conqueror Record Label: 1938-1942. Black color with shield.

Conqueror Record Label

Produced from 1926-March 1942 exclusively for Sears at a price of 39 cents. Designed as an expensive label to complement the Silvertone, Supertone, and Challenge labels. Pressed by Regal Record Company from 1926-June 1929 and then pressed American Record Company (ARC) from 1929 onward. When ARC took over the pressing, they dropped all mention of Sears on the record. The trumpeters were removed in 1934 and replaced by a simplified shield design. When ARC was bought by CBS in 1938, CBS kept the Conqueror label and packaged the label in sets. In the label’s final days (1938-1942) the Conqueror’s shield appeared as black rather than red. Many of Conqueror’s artists used pseudonyms and because Sears was at various times contracting three different record companies to produce music and those record companies often drew from the same catalogs or master-records there is considerable duplication of music. However, some records may be alternate takes and records produced after the 1938 acquisitive tended to be artists from the CBS catalogs.

Music Genres: Country, Jazz, Blues, Swing, Pop.

Pre-WW2 Label: Red background with decorative rim and trumpeters.

Record Label:  1929-1934. Note the absence of Sears. May be in red or orange.
Conqueror Record Label: 1929-1934. Note the absence of Sears. May be in red or orange. This indicates it was made by ARC.

From 1934-1938 the record label has a basic red shield without the trumpeters.

Record Label: 1934-1938. Red color with shield.
Record Label: 1934-1938. Red color with shield. Notice the lack of trumpeters.

1941-1945 Label: After being bought by CBS, the label switched to being all black.

Conqueror  Record Label: 1938-1942. Black color with shield.
Conqueror Record Label: 1938-1942. Black color with shield.


Post WW2 Label: None.

Numbers from start to 1945:  7000-10000.  Numbers 7254-7277 are race and country artists.

Notes: Famous artists found on this record label include: Big Bill Broonzy, Lucille Bogan (aka: Bessie Jackson), Amos Easton aka Bumble Bee Slim, Lil Johnson, and Memphis Minnie. Other important artists include Louis Armstrong , Cab Calloway, and Gene Autry.

Listen to Dear Old Western Skies by Gene Autry on a 1934 Conqueror Record.

Listen to My Gage is going up by Memphis Minnie on a Conqueror Record most likely from the early 1930s.

 

Sources:

http://www.mainspringpress.com/sears-labels.html

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.

The Blues Encyclopedia

Country Music Records : A Discography, 1921-1942


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