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ARSCLIST  August 2010

ARSCLIST August 2010

Subject:

Re: Victor and Columbia New Records brochures 1938-1942/Classical

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 14 Aug 2010 02:12:01 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (77 lines)

  On 8/13/2010 11:01 PM, Dr. Cheryl Thurber wrote:
> I recently acquired a large number of record company New Records monthly brochures from the period 1938-1942, mostly 1940 and 1941. The majority of them are for classical recordings. I will be selling them but I am trying to get some idea of how common they are, and the frequency that they turn up. As well as the interest in them.

For some reason I have been finding a lot of these supplements for this 
time period recently, and used them extensively in researching my ARSC 
presentation this Spring where it was important to know the release 
month of specific albums.  Tim Brooks has a nearly complete set of 
supplements and using his collection was more productive than using the 
microfilms at R&H.  While they are unusual to find because they are less 
likely to survive than catalogs, they do show up occasionally.

Because matrix numbers are usually not included in printed materials, 
and most discographers are more interested in recording dates rather 
than release dates, the use of these Supplements in discographical work 
is secondary except in cases like mine where I was not interested in 
recording dates but in release dates.  And in the case of these three 
labels,  Victor, Columbia, and Decca, the company files are usually the 
main source of info.


>   
> Looking at these raises the question for me of how much work has been done on classical music discography? I am familiar with Jazz, Blues, Country, Entertainment, Dance and Gospel discographies for the pre-war period. But what about classical is there work being done, or is it part of label discography?


Classical and operatic discographical work goes back even further than 
the popular genre you mention, with operatic performer discographies are 
contained in journals like The Record Collector in England. There are 
extensive European label discographies published by Alan Kelly.  ARSC 
pioneer Jerome Weber published a series of composer discographies, and a 
unmatched discography of Gregorian Chant. A new edition of the Mahler 
discography is about to be published by Peter Fulop.  John Bolig is in 
the process of publishing the Victor Red Seal discographies for 
Mainspring Press,  He has reached the 1920s so far.  The on-line Victor 
Project will eventually have full details of all of Victor.   Decca has 
been thoroughly documented by Michel Ruppli in his published discography 
set, although I do recall there being one sector of classical releases 
of imported masters that I wasn't able to find.  Columbia classical sets 
are being extraordinarily well documented by Sam Hopper in an on-line 
work-in-progress that has been discussed several times here on ARSC-List.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/30624296/Columbia-Masterworks-78rpm-Discography-v1-9

Additionally, the three editions of The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia 
(NYC 1936, 42 and 48)  together with the Clough & Cuming "World 
Encyclopedia of Recorded Music" (WERM) which is now on-line, provide a 
basic guide to the vast majority of classical recordings (based on issue 
numbers, not matrix numbers) although we are usually reminded that there 
are numerous errors to be found.

 > I know that most classical 78s fall into the swill category and the 
preference
 > is for scarcity or better sound quality of later periods. But still 
there should
 > be discography work.   Cheryl Thurber    [log in to unmask]

Because you (and Steve Barr) live in a world apart from the classical 
collectors, you have not noticed all of the classical discographical 
work.  Additionally, I think you need to prepare yourself for a 
onslaught of flames for the "swill" statement although this is a widely 
held opinion.   Actually, It is the later sets that usually are of the 
lesser interest because they are so common.  It is the earlier ones that 
are often of the most interest to classical collectors.  Albums from the 
teens and 20s are almost non-existent, and many from the 30s are scarce 
because it was a luxury item in the depression.  Once the price was 
reduced in 1940 they become much more common, but Columbias are dubs, 
not master pressings, and there were many sets which were out of print 
by this time and further cuts of earlier sets were made due to wartime 
shellac scarcity.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]


>

    I have collected records for many years and I have very seldom seen these, although I admit I have mostly looked for ephemera related to  the various popular record styles. But I know these turn up less often than actual catalogs. These are one or two color brochures usually a large sheet folded into a small brochure, although some are stapled, with photographs and descriptions of records. All are VG to Like New. The majority are Victor, and also a large batch of Columbia, with a scattering of others and some popular.  Some have stores printed or stamped on them, mostly Los Angeles. I have a little over 100,  about 80
  classical ones with some duplication. I will probably bring the duplicates and the popular music ones (some nice Decca ones) with me to the Baltimore 78 club meeting on Sat. But the other classical I will probably sell in groups. I am actually an Amazon seller and I don't like selling on ebay so I have not decided yet how I am going to sell them.

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