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 376-400 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 1690 10-in. ca. 1903-1908 Little boy come blow your horn Squashtown Amateur Minstrels Mixed vocal ensemble, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 3221 10-in. ca. Jan.-Sept. 1905 A picnic for two Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 3506 10-in. between January and November 1906 An meine mutter Walter Biedermann ; Marshall P. Lufsky ; Charles Adams Prince Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 3508 10-in. between 1906 and 1910 Edna Thomas Mills Bells, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 3553 10-in. between 1906 and January 1907 Jigs and reels medley Walter Biedermann Violin solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 3624 10-in. between January and May 1907 My Mariuccia medley Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 3643 10-in. between January and June 1907 Medley of Vesta Victoria's songs Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 3740 10-in. ca. 1907-Feb. 1908 Bye bye dearie medley Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 3749 10-in. between 1907 and February 1908 The white cockade Charles D'Almaine Violin solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 3790 10-in. ca. 1907-Feb. 1908 Summertime medley Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 3901 10-in. ca. Jan.-Apr. 1908 Come and hear the orchestra Josie Sadler Female vocal solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 3927 10-in. between 1908 and 1910 Medley march Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 3976 10-in. approximately 1908 Harrigan's reel Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 4195 10-in. ca. Jan.-Nov. 1909 Medley of Christmas carols Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 4374 10-in. Jan.-May 1910 Old Number One march Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 4994 10-in. approximately 1910 Medley of jigs and reels George Stehl Violin solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 19100 10-in. 11/4/1910 Medley of jigs and reels George Stehl Violin solo, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 19343 10-in. 5/6/1911 The cuckoo and canary Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 19562 10-in. 9/13/1911 Adeste fideles Thomas Mills ; Charles Adams Prince Chimes solo, with organ instrumentalist, organ  
Columbia 19846 10-in. 4/5/1912 Bell buoy march Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 19896 10-in. 5/21/1912 Panama Exposition march Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 19997 10-in. 6/27/1912 The suffragette militante Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 38996 10-in. 8/15/1913 Boy scout Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 39006 10-in. 9/3/1913 Around the Christmas tree Prince's Orchestra Orchestra, with mixed vocal quartet composer  
Columbia 39010 10-in. 9/10/1913 The Barbary rag Prince's Band Band composer  
(Results 376-400 of 553 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed March 26, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 26 March 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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