In most communities records were sold in the same music and department
stores where phonographs were sold. These stores had a great deal of input
about what got recorded and there were many titles by local and ethnic
performers that were only sold in the stores that had requested the
It was a very different world from what the record industry would turn into
by the 1950s.
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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric Byron
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 12:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] How did the recording companies inform the various
retail outlets about what ethnic recordings they had for sale.
I have been trying to figure out how the recording companies informed the
various retail outlets about what ethnic recordings they had for sale. I
assume that at least by the 1920s companies, such as Victor and Columbia,
had catalogues similar to the ones that they issued for their regular
recordings. In fact, the 1923 Catalogue of Victor Records suggests that if
one wants more information on their Hebrew and Italian recordings they
should look at the Hebrew Catalogue and Italian Catalogue. I have looked for
these catalogues online, but I have not found anything.
My questions include the following:
How did the companies inform the retail outlets about what they had for
If they issued catalogues for the various ethnic groups, for which groups
did they issue the catalogues?
When did they start issuing catalogues for anybody and for whom?
Most importantly, is it possible to get an ethnic catalogue, if such a thing
existed, from you?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.