The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings
Matrix Series: 1 Through 4999; The Victor Talking Machine Company, 24 April, 1903 to 7 January, 1908
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||Popular Culture/Music and Performing Arts
Record collectors, archivists, and music historians will welcome the second volume of The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings, bringing the history and comprehensive catalog of the Victor Talking Machine Company through the year 1907, when the Matrix Numbering system, inaugurated in April, 1903 had reached number 4999. This volume gives full details of all Victor recordings made during this period, including the early records of such artists as Caruso, Melba, Schumann-Heink, Farrar, Scotti, Homer, Sembrich, Calve, Gadski, Plancon, and many others. Also includes are all popular records of songs, light opera, music hall personalities, bands such as Sousa's, dance records, etc. This discography, which is based on the original recording ledgers of the company, and augmented by extensive research in rare Victor publications, catalogs, bulletins, and correspondence as well as information from collectors and archivists, represents the only systematic cataloging of these rare recordings attempted to date.
The second title in a projected series of books which will cover the history of Victor recordings item by item (the Pre-Matrix Series volume appeared in 1983). It is impossible to imagine this herculean task in better hands than those of these two disk-detectives, Fagan and Moran. They have thought of everything, pursued elusive information, and organized their findings so meticulously that the material can be approached by matrix number, by recording date, by recording artist, and by work performed. Information about reissues of specific recorded `takes' is given right up into the LP era in the individual entries. The care with which their work has been done and the organization of the material should serve as a model for any similar, future work about any other record company's output. Moran has provided a fascinating introduction in which such topics as recording sites, record labels (with illustrations), record speeds, recording machines, and remakes are discussed. Also included is a section on `overseas recordings'--Latin American, Mexican, Cuban, and Argentinian--made during this period. A superb reference tool for record specialists.