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Charles Adams Prince

Charles Adams Prince (1869 – October 10, 1937) was an American conductor, bandleader, pianist and organist known for conducting the Columbia Orchestra and, later, Prince's Band and Orchestra. He made his first recordings, as a pianist, in 1891 for the New York Phonograph Company. Later in the 1890s he worked as a musical director for Columbia Records. He also conducted the Columbia Orchestra and Columbia Band starting in 1904 as the successor of the cornetist Tom Clark.

In 1905, Prince assembled the ensembles Prince's Band, Prince's Orchestra, and the Banda Espanola. They principally recorded for Columbia's disc releases and performed much of the same music as the Columbia Band, which was given over for cylinder recording to the veteran flutist and conductor George Schweinfest. Prince's own composition, "The Barbary Rag", was recorded by the band in 1913.

Prince's Band was the first to record many compositions that became jazz standards. Their version of W. C. Handy's "Saint Louis Blues" in 1915 is the first known recording of the song. It took the band two sessions to record a successful take, which was considered unusual considering the talent of the band and its leader. Another song by Handy, "The Memphis Blues", was recorded by Prince's Band in 1914, a week after its first recording by the Victor Military Band. Other standards introduced by the band are Porter Steele's "High Society" (1911) and Lew Pollack and Ray Gilbert's "That's a Plenty" (1914). His band also played the popular instrumental "Too Much Mustard" released by Columbia and Sears's Oxford Records.

Prince recorded as a solo celeste player under the name Charles Adams. As such, his recording of "Silver Threads Among the Gold" was popular.

At Columbia, Prince also showed initiative in expanding the company's "classical" orchestral catalogue and in experimenting with the size of ensembles that acoustic recording equipment could capture. In October 1910 he conducted an abbreviated version of Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, popularly known as the Unfinished Symphony, on two sides of a 12-inch disc (released as Columbia A 5267), which was the first orchestral recording of any part of a symphony. He assembled a 90-piece orchestra to record the overture to Richard Wagner's opera Rienzi in February 1917 (released as Columbia A 6006), which was the largest ensemble commercially recorded to that date. Prince's last recording for Columbia was in 1922. He then changed labels to Puritan Records and later to Victor Records, where he worked as associate musical director.

Prince was related to the U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1869, Died October 10th, 1937

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, director, piano, arranger, composer, celeste, lyricist, xylophone, organ

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 255 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-9638 12-in. 11/11/1910 Murmuring zephyrs John Barnes Wells Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist, vocalist, tenor vocal, composer, Musical group  
Victor BVE-14513 10-in. 4/10/1925 Serenade Florentine Quartet Instrumental quartet Musical group, composer, arranger, instrumentalist, harp, flute, cello, violin, director  
Victor BVE-15465 10-in. 6/9/1925 Abide with me Elsie Baker ; Olive Kline Female vocal duet, with orchestra lyricist, composer, vocalist, soprano vocal, contralto, director  
Victor C-16128 12-in. 6/22/1915 Dream faces Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, conductor, lyricist  
Victor CVE-16128 12-in. 3/25/1925 Dream faces Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist, director  
Victor C-16129 12-in. 6/22/1915 Some day Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, lyricist, composer, conductor  
Victor CVE-16129 12-in. 3/25/1925 Some day Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, lyricist, composer, director  
Victor B-20341 10-in. 7/16/1917 'Tis but a little faded flower Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, conductor, lyricist  
Victor BVE-21697 10-in. 5/22/1925 I need Thee every hour Henry Burr ; Albert Campbell Male vocal duet, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, composer, director  
Victor B-28493 10-in. 9/21/1923 Pesca d'ammore Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, composer, instrumentalist, violin, lyricist, conductor  
Victor B-29460 10-in. 2/11/1924 Three fishers went sailing Kathryn Meisle Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, contralto, author, conductor, composer  
Victor B-29618 10-in. 3/4/1924 The rosary Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with celeste and chimes Vocal group, arranger, conductor, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal, baritone vocal, bass vocal  
Victor B-30033 10-in. 5/1/1924 Crnogorac, crnogorki Josip Batistić Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, conductor  
Victor B-30034 10-in. 5/1/1924 Tiho noći Josip Batistić Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, conductor  
Victor B-30035 10-in. 5/2/1924 Mantellied Harry Steier Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, conductor  
Victor B-30036 10-in. 5/2/1924 Ich hatt' einen Kameraden Harry Steier Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, conductor  
Victor B-30038 10-in. 5/2/1924 Ma curly-headed babby Hulda Lashanska Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal, composer, conductor  
Victor C-30046 12-in. 5/5/1924 Ite sul colle José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, bass vocal, composer, conductor  
Victor C-30047 12-in. 5/5/1924 Questa notte mentre a letto José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, bass vocal, composer, conductor  
Victor B-30049 10-in. 5/6/1924 Jump, Fritz (I feed you liver) The Happiness Boys Male vocal duet, with orchestra Vocal group, vocalist, tenor vocal, baritone vocal, lyricist, composer, conductor  
Victor B-30050 10-in. 5/6/1924 Oh! Eva (Ain't you coming out to-night?) The Happiness Boys Male vocal duet, with orchestra Vocal group, lyricist, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal, baritone vocal, conductor  
Victor C-30085 12-in. 5/15/1924 Ave Maria Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, instrumentalist, violin, arranger, conductor  
Victor B-30088 10-in. 5/16/1924 Suzanne : Chanson Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal, composer, conductor  
Victor B-30099 10-in. 5/20/1924 Skjoersommersangen August Werner Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, conductor  
Victor B-30201 10-in. 5/20/1924 Sommersol til sisste stund August Werner Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, lyricist, composer, conductor  
(Results 1-25 of 255 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed June 22, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 22 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328

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