5 [Aeolian] Vocalion Labels 1916 & 1921, 78 rpm records

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  • Item Category: Entertainment
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 19,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction
My dad lived in the Washington DC area and collected these Aeolian/ Vocalion 78s, dating from 1916 (one record) and 1921 (four records). All have been stored in what appears to be their original sleeves, though I'm sure some have been interchanged. A few sleeves have a handwritten note on them.
The records appear to be in reasonable-to-good condition given their age, with some discoloration and a few scratches. I don't have a means of playing them to check for sound quality, but if you have a question about a particular record in the lot, drop me a note and I'll answer it as best I can.

I've attempted to order them here, oldest to newest, based onthe serial number of each.

14155-A-B

Selvin's Dance Orchestra - Do You Ever Think of Me / Love Bird

14244-A-B

Aeolian Concert Band - The Children's Christmas -- Part 1 / Part 2

14287-A-B

Bar Harbor Society Orchestra - Moon River / Three O'Clock In The Morning

14494-A-B

Ben Bernie & His Orchestra - My Buddy / Flower of Araby

14591-A-B

Selvin's Orchestra - Barney Google

Emil Coleman & His Montmartre Orchestra - Stella

Here's a little history on the Vocalion record label, from Wikipedia:
Vocalion was founded in 1916 by the Aeolian Piano Company of New York City, which introduced a retail line of phonographs at the same time. The fledgling 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. Aeolian pressed their Vocalion discs in a good quality reddish-brown shellac, which set the product apart from the usual black shellac used by other record companies. Advertisements stated that "Vocalion Red Records are best" or "Red Records last longer". However, Vocalion's shellac was really 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).[1] The 15000 series continued, but after the Brunswick takeover, it seems clear that Vocalion took a back seat to the Brunswick label. In 1925-26, quite a few Brunswick titles were also issued on Vocalion, and since the Vocalion issues are much harder to find, one can speculate that they were not available for sale in as many stores as their Brunswick counterparts. (By 1928-9, many of the jazz sides issued on the Vocalion 15000 series are extremely rare and highly sought-after.) In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought Brunswick Records and, for a time, managed the company themselves. In December 1931, however, Warner Bros. licensed the entire Brunswick and Vocalion operation to the ARC. ARC used Brunswick as their flagship 75 cent label and Vocalion merely became one of their 35 cent labels. Starting in about 1935, the Vocalion label once again became a popular label, signing Billie Holiday, Mildred Bailey, Putney Dandridge, Henry 'Red' Allen and other swing artists. Also, starting in 1935, Vocalion started reissuing titles still selling on the recently discontinued OKeh label (see the Armstrong label on right). In 1936 and 1937 Vocalion produced the only recordings of the influential blues artist Robert Johnson (as part of their on-going field recording of blues, gospel and 'out of town' jazz groups). During the 1925-1930 period, outside of the 1000 'race' series, Brunswick apparently used the Vocalion brand as a specialty label for purposes other than general sale. This is assumed due to the relative rarity of the Vocalion popular series, and the fact that some of the regular Brunswick releases were also put out for sale as Vocalions. This seems to also be an possibly explanation as to why the early 1930s Vocalion are relatively rarer than other ARC records. ARC was purchased by CBS and Vocalion...

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