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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

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 519 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  
Victor B-13776 10-in. 9/15/1913 Sun of my soul Helen Clark Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BVE-14513 10-in. 4/10/1925 Serenade Florentine Quartet Instrumental quartet director  
Victor BVE-15465 10-in. 6/9/1925 Abide with me Elsie Baker ; Olive Kline Female vocal duet, with orchestra director  
Victor C-16128 12-in. 6/22/1915 Dream faces Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CVE-16128 12-in. 3/25/1925 Dream faces Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor C-16129 12-in. 6/22/1915 Some day Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CVE-16129 12-in. 3/25/1925 Some day Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor B-20341 10-in. 7/16/1917 'Tis but a little faded flower Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-20605 10-in. 8/8/1917 Clancy's minstrels Avon Comedy Four Comic scene and male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BVE-21697 10-in. 5/22/1925 I need Thee every hour Henry Burr ; Albert Campbell Male vocal duet, with orchestra director  
Victor B-22699 10-in. 4/22/1919 The meeting of the waters Merle Alcock Female vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-28493 10-in. 9/21/1923 Pesca d'ammore Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29459 10-in. 2/11/1924 Afterwards Kathryn Meisle Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29460 10-in. 2/11/1924 Three fishers went sailing Kathryn Meisle Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29615 10-in. 3/3/1924 For you alone Richard Crooks Tenor vocal solo, with violin and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29616 10-in. 3/3/1924 Love is mine Richard Crooks Tenor vocal solo, with violin and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29618 10-in. 3/4/1924 The rosary Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with celeste and chimes conductor  
Victor C-29637 12-in. 5/5/1924 Vieni la mia vendetta José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29662 10-in. 3/13/1924 Anchored Wilfred Glenn Male vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29895 10-in. 4/18/1924 Heav'n, Heav'n Marian Anderson Contralto vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-29896 10-in. 4/18/1924 Go down Moses Marian Anderson Contralto vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30033 10-in. 5/1/1924 Crnogorac, crnogorki Josip Batistić Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30034 10-in. 5/1/1924 Tiho noći Josip Batistić Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30035 10-in. 5/2/1924 Mantellied Harry Steier Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 1-25 of 519 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed August 15, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 15 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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