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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 301-325 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-32891 10-in. 6/12/1925 Little mother of mine Bernard Vessey Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-32892 10-in. 6/12/1925 The man of Galilee Bernard Vessey Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-32893 10-in. 6/12/1925 At the cross Bernard Vessey Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-32894 10-in. 6/12/1925 Moonlight and roses Bernard Vessey Male vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-32974 10-in. 7/24/1925 Niño II Orquesta Internacional Orchestra conductor  
Victor BVE-33014 10-in. 6/23/1925 It's just the feeling for home Billy Murray ; Ed Smalle Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-33015 10-in. 6/23/1925 Carry me back to old Virginny Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33018 10-in. 6/23/1925 Dear old back yard days Billy Murray ; Ed Smalle Male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-33031 10-in. 6/24/1925 Father, dear Father, come home with me now Peerless Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33032 10-in. 6/24/1925 The chimes of Trinity Peerless Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33044 10-in. 6/30/1925 Sweet little mother of mine Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with harp and orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33090 10-in. 7/20/1925 Jingle bells Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33154 10-in. 8/10/1925 The quilting party Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33155 10-in. 8/10/1925 Calm on the listening ear of night Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33156 10-in. 8/11/1925 'E cchiu luonghe m' 'aggia sceppa Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33160 10-in. 8/11/1925 Napule mio Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33161 10-in. 8/11/1925 Tarantella c' 'a franchezza Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor BVE-33162 10-in. 8/11/1925 Pe' tte Vincenzo Di Maio Male vocal solo, with orchestra director  
Victor [Trial 1924-05-09-01] 10-in. 5/9/1924 Mamma goes where Papa goes Mildred Manley Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor [Trial 1924-07-18-01] 10-in. 7/18/1924 Dreamy melody Vess Ossman, Jr. ; Rex Schepp Banjo duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor [Trial 1924-08-15-01] 10-in. 8/15/1924 Valse in D flat George J. Carey Xylophone solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor [Trial 1925-06-29-02] 10-in. 6/29/1925 Don Pasquale : Serenade A. Mariotti Male vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1109A 10-in. approximately 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109B 7-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109B 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 301-325 of 553 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed January 30, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 30 January 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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