GOING TO PRESS IN JUNE (Releasing July–August 2015)
This unique combined volume covers three of the most persistent thorns in Victor’s and Columbia’s sides. All infringed various patents held by those companies; they were eventually vanquished by the courts, but not before releasing many intriguing (and now highly collectible) records. Included are:
American Record Company (Hawthorne, Sheble & Prescott) — U.S. affiliate of the Berlin-based International Talking Machine Company (producers of Odeon), American Record was managed by John O. Prescott, whose long and colorful career included a stint with the forerunner of Nipponophone in Tokyo and ended two decades later as the chief engineer at Gennett’s Indiana facility. All confirmed 7”, 10”, and 10½” single- and double-sided releases are covered, including U.S. and foreign subsidiary- and client-label issues as well as post-production reissues (American Odeon, Britannic, Busy Bee, Disco Nacional, Kalamazoo, The Leader, Nipponophone, Peerless, Pelican, National, et. al).
Star Records (Hawthorne & Sheble Manufacturing Co.) — H&S obtained their Star masters legally from Columbia, a former antagonist with which Horace Sheble developed a surprisingly cozy relationship (he even went to work for them after H&S collapsed in 1909). All Star releases, with basic information on the Columbia masters from which they were pressed, are covered. Also lists all corresponding same-number issues on labels that were pressed by H&S (Busy Bee, early Harmony, etc.) and information on the rare Star relabelings of American Record Co. discs.
International Record Company — Built on remnants of the original (pre-Johnson takeover) Zonophone record operation by defecting Zono manager Orville La Dow and Auburn Button Works’ Carlton Woodruff, IRC was a prolific producer of cheaply made records that appeared under a multitude of labels, including their own Excelsior, International Record, Lyric, and Mozart brands, as well as client labels including The Buckeye, Boston Symphony, Central, Clear Tone, Clico, Eagle, Kalamazoo, New York Grand Opera, Nightingale Parlor Grand, Philharmonic, Square Deal, Republic, Vim, and many others. All confirmed issues on these and many other obscure labels (including generic labels on which small-time operators could rubber-stamp their own brands) are listed.
Each section includes detailed illustrated histories, with primary-source reference listings, that update and greatly add to the information in American Record Labels & Companies 1891–1943 (now out of print, but we’re working on that!). Other features include identification of anonymous and pseudonymous artists; accompaniment details; composer and show credits; medley contents and interpolated songs; master numbers, where present; remakes, renumberings, and alternate versions; release and/or catalog dates; and coupling data for double-sided pressings. With separate artist and title indexes for each section.
Approximately 300 pages, illustrated • 7″ x 10″ quality softcover • Releasing Summer 2015
UPDATE: Our research is finally completed on the grand-daddy of all record-patent infringers, The Leeds & Catlin Company. Leeds & Catlin Records: A History and Discography is now in the early production stages and is scheduled to release this Fall.