Your Columbia discography has been very helpful to me.

Why is my request to join 78-List always denied?



From: Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sat, August 14, 2010 12:12:01 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Victor and Columbia New Records brochures 

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.

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 
> 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 

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 
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.