- Vocalion Records
Vocalion Records was a
record labelhistorically active in the United Statesand in the United Kingdom.
Vocalion was founded in 1916 by the Aeolian Piano Company of
New York City, which also introduced a line of phonographs at the same time. The label first issued single sided vertical cut disc records, soon switching to double sided, then switching to the more common lateral cut system in 1920.
Vocalion pressed their discs in a good quality reddish-brown
shellac, which set the product apart from the usual black shellac used by other labels. Advertisements stated "Vocalion Red Records are best", "Red Records last longer". However the shellac was no more durable than good quality black shellac. Vocalion red surfaces are less hardy than contemporary Victor Records. Audio fidelity of Vocalion records are well above average for the era.
In 1925 the label was acquired by
Brunswick Records. During the 1920s Vocalion also released " race records" (that is, records recorded by and marketed to African Americans; their famous 1000 series). [http://www.mainspringpress.com/blues_vocalion.html]
In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought up Brunswick Records. In December 1931, the Warner Bros. licensed Brunswick and Vocalion to the
American Record Corporation. In 1936 and 1937 Vocalion produced the only recordings of the influential bluesartist Robert Johnson.
ARC was purchased by
CBSand Vocalion became a subsidiary of Columbia Recordsin 1938.
The Vocalion label was discontinued in 1940; those current Vocalion's were reissued as OKeh's. The Vocalion brand was revived in the late 1950s by
Decca Records( U.S.A.) as a budget label for back catalog reissues. Decca Records( U.K.) revived the label for a time in the 1960s.
In 1997 the Vocalion label was revived for a new series of compact discs by Michael Dutton of Dutton Laboratories of
Watford, England. The label specialises in reissues of recordings originally made between the 1920s - 1970s, often leasing original master recordings originally made by Decca and EMI.
How Long, How Long Bluesby Leroy Carr
*Sensational Mood by
Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders with Victoria Spivey
List of record labels
* [http://www.capsnews.org/barrbru.htm History of Brunswick and Vocalion]
* [http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/default.asp Vocalion compact discs]
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