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Re: [ARSCLIST] Harmony label

----- Original Message -----
From: Dick Spottswood
>Harmony made acoustics from 1925 through early 1930 or thereabouts.  I used
to have
>three Julie Wintz 1930 records:
>149755-1        Harmonica Harry        Harmony 1104-H
>149756-3        The Man from the South        Harmony 1092-H
>150473-3        After You've Gone        Harmony  1169-H
>The first pair were made electrically on 14 Jan 30.  The last was made
acoustically on
>16 April 30.  Go figure.
This was discussed on 78-L. IIRC, the last acoustic was cut in June,
1930...it MAY be
the pair of Hobo Jack Turner sides made on 6/10/30.
>Some earlier stuff was electric, i.e. organ records, Rudy Vallee.  The
circled W
>prefix on Columbias etc. meant that royalties were due Western Electric.
I'm not sure
>when the earliest were made, tho I'd guess 1928.  Electric Harmonys have no
W prefix,
>though they sound as good as WE, at least to me.
I don't recall if it has ever been discussed if Columbia was using a non-WE
process for
electruc Harmonys, or simply leaving off the "W" to avoid royalty payments
in the hopes
WE wouldn't notice. However, I do have one 1925-era electric Harmony...I've
guessed the sides were recorded for Columbia and Columbia decided to salvage
by issuing them on Harmony rather than scrapping them. Can't recall the
details offhand...
>Sometime in 1930, everything new was electrically made, though still
without the W
>next to matrix numbers.   Harmony  & allied labels (Clarion, Velvet Tone)
were history
>by the close of 1931.  Jack Teagarden's "Chances Are" (1403-H) from 10/31
may not be
>the last Harmony, but it's close.
Per the Steve Abrams files, the last Harmony issued was 1428-H (VT 2536-V;
Cl 5476-C)
which reissued the Boswells' "My Future Just Passed" paired with Bing's "Gay
The last new sides cut for Harmony et al were made by (or under the name of)
Specht on March 2 (or 21, per ADBD?); two were issued on 1423-H and one on
>Anyone else have any pertinent thoughts or facts?
I've seen it suggested that Harmony stayed acoustic because Columbia had
just made
an expensive upgrade of their recording equipment in 1924, and wanted to get
much use out of it as possible before scrapping it. Since many of Columbia's
customers, especially for low-priced records, still had acoustic
they could still be satisfied with acoustic recordings.
Steven C. Barr


"Rob Bamberger" <RBAMBERGER@xxxxxxxxxxx>
03/17/2004 11:27 AM
        To:        <dick@xxxxxxxx>
        Subject:        Harmony label

I vaguely recall that you told me once that while Harmony remained acoustic
for a time after the introduction of electrical recording, it did eventually
get some sort of electrical system that was inferior, and that some of the
Harmony's that I'd described as acoustic were actually crummy electrics... .
Is this right? At what point did they get electrical equipment?

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