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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 401-425 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 39774 10-in. 1/14/1915 When the swallows homeward fly Charles Adams Prince Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 39775 10-in. 1/14/1915 Ye banks and braes o' Bonny Doon Charles Adams [i.e., Charles Adams Prince] Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 39798 10-in. 1/26/1915 How can I leave thee? Charles Adams [i.e., Charles Adams Prince] Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 45794 10-in. 6/19/1915 Tenting tonight on the old camp ground Columbia Stellar Quartette Male vocal quartet, with bugle arranger  
Columbia 45848 10-in. 7/9/1915 When the swallows homeward fly Charles Adams [i.e., Charles Adams Prince] Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 45849 10-in. 7/9/1915 Silver threads among the gold Charles Adams [i.e., Charles Adams Prince] Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 45966 10-in. 8/25/1915 Frank Tinney's first record Charles Adams Prince ; Frank Tinney Comic monologue, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 45980 10-in. 9/2/1915 Frank Tinney's second record Charles Adams Prince ; Frank Tinney Comic monologue, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 46032 10-in. 9/16/1915 Sweet Genevieve Charles Adams Prince Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 46033 10-in. 9/16/1915 The Switzer's farewell Charles Adams Prince Celeste solo instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 46205 10-in. 11/17/1915 Medley of old songs Columbia Stellar Quartette Male vocal quartet, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 46326 10-in. 1/10/1916 Murmuring zephyrs Columbia Stellar Quartette Male vocal quartet, unaccompanied lyricist  
Columbia 46370 10-in. 1/31/1916 Orientale Frank Gittelson Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46371 10-in. 1/31/1915 Canzonetta Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46374 10-in. 2/1/1916 Melodie Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46375 10-in. 2/1/1916 Berceuse, op. 28, no. 3 Frank Gittelson Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46376 10-in. 2/2/1916 Minuet Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46377 10-in. 2/2/1916 Cavatina Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46383 10-in. 2/7/1916 Hungarian dance no. 7 Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46384 10-in. 2/7/1916 Tambourin chinois Frank Gittelson Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46456 10-in. 2/26/1916 Souvenir Frank Gittelson ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46722 10-in. 4/18/1916 Valse bluette Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46748 10-in. 5/5/1916 Sérénade champetre Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46749 10-in. 5/5/1916 Berceuse Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46750 10-in. 5/5/1916 Danse-caprice Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 401-425 of 556 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed July 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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