Klu Klux Klan 78 Records

The author of this website is providing this information for historical purposes and condemns the KKK and other modern variations of the same debunked ideas and themes. He neither owns any of these records nor has an interest in collecting them. He obtained images elsewhere on the internet such as ebay.

In the 1920s, there was a resurgence of the Klan. As can be expected, they used the new medium radio to spread their hate and gain new members. They also took advantage of the popularity of records and produced their own under several different labels. These are described below.

100% Label

The price of the record was $1.00 to $1.10. These were made by  W. R. Rhinehart out of Muncie, Indiana. The address was 505 E. Willard Street. These were recorded by W.R. and his brother Charles and then custom pressed by the Starr Piano Records out of Indiana.

This can be in a black, white, or red label.

Red Label with two concentric circles as the border
Black Label with a corded border
This record was made in 1925.

KKK Label

Self-explanatory. Has KKK on the front with a fiery cross.

Note the single concentric circle as the border

Special Label

Homer Rodeheaver was a well-known evangelist preacher who released dozens of sacred songs and sermons. He also, quietly, on the side, produced a series of racially inflammatory records for the Ku Klux Klan. Now known as the “K-Series”, this KKK line would eventually be handled by the Gennett company of Richmond, Indiana, but the first few were produced in Rodeheaver’s Chicago studios.

This rare recording is on his Special record label, with fine print reading “Personal Recording”. There are no designated catalog numbers.

78 Records Collector Notes

78 Records Production

78 Records Collector Notes:

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 are where the 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 collectible. You know it is “blues” when the label says: Blues, Stomp, Shuffle, and Foxtrot as part of the song or includes Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica, or Jazz on the label.

Some well-known blues/jazz musicians include:

Robert JohnsonLeadbellyBlind Lemon Jefferson
King OliverJelly Roll MortonBix Beiderbecke
Blind Willie JohnsonBlind Willie McTellBessie Smith
Blind BlakeSon House Skip James
Louis ArmstrongSidney BechetWilly “Lion” Smith
Charley PattonMa RaineyTampa Red
Bessie SmithPapa Charlie JacksonWillie Brown
North Carolina Cooper Boys

Blind Blake, Son House, Skip James, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Charley Patton can all be found on Paramount Records.

See: http://www.jazz-on-line.com/ for a source of downloadable pre-WW2 music that could’ve been heard on the radio.

The New York Times wrote an article about 78 Collectors you may find helpful here: They’ve Got Those Old, Hard-to-Find Blues