Emerson Records was an American record label from the 1910s and 1920s.
Emerson Records existed from 1916 to 1928; it produced high-quality shellac records in the 1910s and early 1920s , while later productions deteriorated in fidelity. Emerson was founded by Victor H. Emerson, who had been with Columbia Records in the 1890s . In 1916 he started his record company making 7-inch records that sold for 25 cents; the smaller 5½-inch plates for 10 cents each. The repertoire of the early years included popular music , dance music , and patriotic marches , most of which were recorded by smaller ensembles with unknown musicians from New York City . This was known as the "Emerson Orchestra" or occasionally grandly as "The Emerson Symphony Orchestra". In January 1918, Emerson added a line of 9-inch records to the program, selling for 75 cents. After the end of World War I , Emerson began to expand its business and from 1919 released a number of records on the now common industry standard of 10-inch records, which sold for 85 cents and the following year for one dollar.
In 1919, a series of 12-inch records, mostly music with European classical music , appeared for the first time , priced at US $ 1.25. During this time, popular artists such as Arthur Fields , Wilbur Sweatman , Eddie Cantor , the Six Brown Brothers and the Louisiana Five received record deals. Soon after, artists from the fields of jazz and blues such as Lizzie Miles , Noble Sissle / Eubie Blake , Fletcher Henderson and the Original Memphis Five were also recording for Emerson .
Other well-known musicians on the label at the time were Ben Selvin , John W. Myers, Henry Burr and The Peerless Quartet, Billy Golden, Collins & Harlan, Sally Hamlin, Dan Quinn, Sam Ash, Vernon Dalhart , Van & Schenk, Ada Jones and Homer Rodeheaver .
In May 1920, Emerson opened a second recording studio in Los Angeles ; however, Emerson's expansion of the business overwhelmed the company's finances, forcing it into bankruptcy in 1921 . In May 1922 the company was acquired by investors Benjamin Abrams and Rudolph Kararek for US $ 50,000 and given a capital increase of another US $ 200,000 to stimulate business. The Emerson records were then offered for 50 cents each. In 1924, investors sold the company to the Scranton Button Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania . Around this time electric microphones replaced the previous mechanical recording technology and Emerson switched to this new technology in 1926. Scranton Button Co. continued production of new Emerson records until 1928; thereafter the company retained the naming rights and offered a range of Emerson radios .
The company also released so-called "Race Records" for the African American population market.
- The history of Emerson Records under the direction of Victor Emerson until 1920
- History of Emerson Radio and Phonograph Corporation at Business.com
- Emerson Race Records . In: The Chicago Defender , May 10, 1924. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008 Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Retrieved January 3, 2009.