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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 426-450 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 46751 10-in. 5/5/1916 Pierrot gai Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46762 10-in. 5/9/1916 Canzonetta Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46763 10-in. 5/9/1916 Sérénade à Kubelik Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46764 10-in. 5/9/1916 Flower song Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 46765 10-in. 5/9/1916 Zapateado Cristeta Goñi Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 47010 10-in. 9/12/1916 Chacone Charles Adams Prince Celeste solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 47011 10-in. 9/12/1916 Amaryllis Charles Adams Prince Celeste solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 47036 10-in. 9/21/1916 The toy parade Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 77716 10-in. 3/7/1918 Chacone Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 77861 10-in. 5/29/1918 On to victory march Fife, Drum, and Bugle Corps Instrumental ensemble arranger  
Columbia 77862 10-in. 5/29/1918 On to victory march Fife, Drum, and Bugle Corps Instrumental ensemble arranger  
Columbia 77917 10-in. 6/22/1918 Our director march Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band conductor  
Columbia 78035 10-in. 9/3/1918 Lassus trombone Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 78089 10-in. 9/30/1918 Miss Trombone Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince ; Leo Zimmerman Band, with trombone solo director  
Columbia 78264 10-in. 1/23/1919 A cat-astrophe Columbia Orchestra Orchestra director  
Columbia 78285 10-in. 2/1/1919 Slim Trombone Columbia Band Band director  
Columbia 78505 10-in. 6/18/1919 Down by the meadow brook Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 78717 10-in. 10/1/1919 Ah! There Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 78766 10-in. 10/29/1919 Monte Cristo waltz Prince's Orchestra Orchestra director  
Columbia 78848 10-in. 12/9/1919 Colonel Bogey Columbia Band Band director  
Columbia 78904 10-in. 12/31/1919 Boston Commandery march Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 78947 10-in. 1/27/1920 Swanee Columbia Dance Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Columbia 79071 10-in. 3/24/1920 Old number one Prince's Band Band composer  
Columbia 79930 10-in. 7/7/1921 Ben Bolt Taylor Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 80191 10-in. 2/24/1922 Not lately Bert Williams Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 426-450 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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