American Record Corporation

American Record Corporation

The American Record Corporation, often known as ARC Records or simply ARC, was a United States based record company. It resulted from the merger in July of 1929 of Regal Records, Cameo Records, Banner Records, the US branch of Pathé Records and the Scranton Button Company, the parent company of Emerson Records.

Louis G. Sylvester (former head of Scranton) became president of the new company located at 1776 Broadway in Manhattan, New York City. In October 1929, Herbert Yates, head of Consolidated Film Company took control of ARC. In the following years, the company was very involved in a depressed market, buying failing labels at bargain prices to exploit their catalogue.

In December of 1931 Warner Brothers leased Brunswick Records, Vocalion Records and associated companies to ARC.

In 1932, ARC was king of the "3 records for a dollar" market, selling 6 million units, twice as much as RCA Victor. In an effort to get back on top, RCA created its Bluebird label. ARC bought out the Columbia Records catalogue in 1934. In the 1930's ARC produced Brunswick at 75c and Oriole, Romeo, Melotone, Vocalion, Banner and Perfect at 35c.

In December of 1938, the entire ARC complex was purchased from Consolidated Film for $700,000 by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). This allowed the rights to the Brunswick and Vocalion labels to return to Warner Brothers, which assigned the rights to those labels to Decca Records.

Labels ARC issued or pressed (1929-1938)

*ARC sold to theaters for background music 1931-1932?
*Banner 1929-1938
*Broadway (from 1932)
*Brunswick 1932-1938
*Cameo 1929-1930
*Challenge for Sears
*Columbia late 1934-1938
*Commodore specialty label for Commodore Music Shops
*Conqueror for Sears
*Fox Movietone for Fox Theaters
*Gospel Herald
*Gramophone Shop Varieties specialty label for The Gramophone Shop
*Homestead mail order label (1929-1930)
*Hot Record Society specialty label for the Hot Record Society
*Liberty Music Shops specialty label for the Liberty Music Shops
*Lincoln (from 1929-1930)
*Mel-O-Dee specialty jukebox label
*Melotone 1932-1938
*Oriole 1929-1938
*Pathe 1929-1930
*Perfect 1929-1938
*Romeo for Kress Stores 1929-1938
*Shamrock Stores specialty label for the Shamrock Stores
*U.H.C.A. specialty label for United Hot Clubs of America
*Vocalion 1929-1938

See also

* List of record labels

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