Victor Orchestra Personnel (1904)

The Victor Talking Machine Co. files rarely list individual members of bands and orchestras, including its own (those Victor personnel listings in discographies like American Dance Bands are based on authors’ speculation, for the most part) — but this Victor roster offers valuable documentation of the Victor house orchestra’s chief members in 1904.

The group was originally based in Victor’s Philadelphia studio, then moved across the river when the Camden studio opened in 1907. (Despite what many discographies say, there was no Victor studio operating in Camden from late September 1901 until November 6, 1907; see Camden, Philadelphia, or New York? The Victor Studio Conundrum for details.) Victor’s New York studio orchestra didn’t become a permanent fixture until some years later; it used different personnel and conductors, occasionally supplemented by  the “Camden men” (as the recording ledgers referred to them).

Some of the musicians pictured here, including C.H.H. Booth, were already nearing the end of their time with Victor. Others, including Theodore Levy (who later became a Victor studio conductor), remained with the company into the 1920s. Walter B. Rogers left Victor in 1916 to work for a succession of small firms, including Paramount, before joining Brunswick in late 1919.