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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 326-350 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 1109D 7-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109D 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109F 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109F 10-in. approximately 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109H 7-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109H 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1109I 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and male vocal solo conductor  
Columbia 1109I 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and male vocal solo conductor  
Columbia 1109J 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and trumpet solo conductor  
Columbia 1109J 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and trumpet solo conductor  
Columbia 1109L 7-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and banjo solo conductor  
Columbia 1109L 10-in. ca. 1903 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra and banjo solo conductor  
Columbia 1109A 7-in. ca. 1903-Oct. 1905 An evening with the minstrels Minstrels [Columbia Records group] Minstrels : Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 1193 10-in. approximately 1903 Home, sweet home Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1194 10-in. approximately 1903 Sunbeams Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1195 10-in. approximately 1903 Printemps nouveau Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1196 10-in. ca. 1903 Obstination Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with cello and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1197 10-in. ca. 1903 Je veux vivre Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1198 10-in. approximately 1903 Coquette Suzanne Adams Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1205 10-in. ca. 1903 Toreador song Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1206 10-in. ca. 1903 Si puo? Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1207 10-in. ca. 1903 Don Juan : Selections Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1221 10-in. approximately 1903 Infelice, e tuo credevi Edouard de Reszke Bass vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1222 10-in. approximately 1903 Canzone del porter Edouard de Reszke Bass vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 1223 10-in. approximately 1903 Serenade : Don Juan Edouard de Reszke Bass vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 326-350 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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