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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 451-475 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 80482 10-in. 7/31/1922 Tyrolian airs Alpine Instrumental Quartet Instrumental quartet instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 80483 10-in. 7/31/1922 Alpine sunrise Alpine Instrumental Quartet Instrumental quartet instrumentalist, celeste  
Columbia 80539 10-in. 9/13/1922 Christmas tidings Shannon Four Male vocal quartet, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 80540 10-in. 9/13/1922 Christmas tidings Shannon Four Male vocal quartet, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 80571 10-in. 9/29/1922 'Way down yonder in New Orleans Blossom Seeley Female vocal solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 80572 10-in. 9/29/1922 Mississippi choo choo Blossom Seeley Female vocal solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 30014 12-in. approximately 1906 Medley two-step (Dance music) Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 30045 12-in. 10/10/1906 Sweet longing Walter Biedermann ; Marshall P. Lufsky ; Charles Adams Prince Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 30071 12-in. between 1906 and June 1907 San Antonio medley Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 30185 12-in. between January and November 1908 Stille nacht, heilige Nacht Marshall P. Lufsky ; Charles Adams Prince ; George Stehl Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 30194 12-in. ca. 1908 Arab love song medley Prince's Military Band Band arranger  
Columbia 30969 12-in. 2/26/1912 Martha : Vocal gems Columbia Light Opera Company Mixed vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 36416 12-in. 7/5/1912 In Sousaland Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 37050 12-in. 10/24/1914 College medley no. 2 Prince's Band ; G. Hepburn Wilson Band arranger  
Columbia 37468 12-in. 11/17/1915 International folk song medley Columbia Light Opera Company Mixed vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 37469 12-in. 11/18/1915 International folk-songs medley Columbia Light Opera Company Mixed vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra arranger  
Columbia 48534 12-in. ca. 1915 Peer Gynt suite Columbia Symphony Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 48535 12-in. 1/3/1916 Peer Gynt suite Columbia Symphony Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 48536 12-in. 1/3/1916 Peer Gynt suite Columbia Symphony Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 48537 12-in. 1/3/1916 Peer Gynt suite Columbia Symphony Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 48606 12-in. 2/19/1916 Meditation Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48607 12-in. 2/19/1916 Indian lament in G minor Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48608 12-in. 2/21/1916 Tambourin chinois Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48618 12-in. 3/1/1916 Sweet longing Marshall P. Lufsky ; Charles Adams Prince ; George Stehl Instrumental trio instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48665 12-in. 3/29/1916 Concerto in E minor Kathleen Parlow Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 451-475 of 556 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed July 22, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 22 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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