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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 10, 1937

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1927

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

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 251-275 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-31808 10-in. 1/27/1925 Please be good to my old girl Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31824 10-in. 2/5/1925 I don't care what you used to be Marcia Freer ; Lewis James Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31827 10-in. 2/2/1925 Nich tu kein masel Morris Goldstein Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31828 10-in. 2/2/1925 A vib hot mir Gott gegeiben Morris Goldstein Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31835 10-in. 2/6/1925 Walc mańcia mnie szuka bojej serce puka Orkiestra Witkowskiego Orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31841 10-in. 2/10/1925 Because they all love you Franklyn Baur Male vocal solo, with violin and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31844 10-in. 2/12/1925 L'assassinio di Matteotti Eugenio Cibelli Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31845 10-in. 2/12/1925 La monaca bianca Eugenio Cibelli Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31846 10-in. 2/13/1925 Širdies meilēs liga Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31847 10-in. 2/13/1925 Stasys Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31848 10-in. 2/13/1925 Temsta dienele Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31860 10-in. 2/19/1925 Manon Adolf Engel Male vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-31861 12-in. 2/19/1925 Auf der Lahmgruab'n da steht an altes Haus Adolf Engel Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31868 10-in. 2/20/1925 Stovi maišas Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31869 10-in. 2/20/1925 Dul dul dudelē Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-31870 12-in. 2/20/1925 Is Provanco Jonas Butēnas Bass vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31880 10-in. 3/2/1925 Grazios mergo nus tales Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-31881 12-in. 3/2/1925 Užmiršai tēvų kapus Jonas Butēnas Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31885 10-in. 3/4/1925 Polka mazurka pamiątka krakowa Orkiestra Witkowskiego Orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31887 10-in. 3/9/1925 I don't care what you used to be (I know what you are to-day) Lewis James Male vocal solo, with violin and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31888 10-in. 3/9/1925 Oh, how I miss you to-night Lewis James Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31889 10-in. 3/9/1925 Pasca il tramway Duo Gildo Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31890 10-in. 3/9/1925 Piccolo amore Duo Gildo Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31891 10-in. 3/10/1925 So' semp' i' Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-31892 10-in. 3/10/1925 Scummunicato! Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 251-275 of 553 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed February 6, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 6 February 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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