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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 26-50 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-30036 10-in. 5/2/1924 Ich hatt' einen Kameraden Harry Steier Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30037 10-in. 5/2/1924 Das Steierland Harry Steier Male vocal solo, with harp, cello, and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30038 10-in. 5/2/1924 Ma curly-headed babby Hulda Lashanska Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30039 10-in. 5/2/1924 The sweetest story ever told Hulda Lashanska Soprano vocal solo, with celeste and orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30046 12-in. 5/5/1924 Ite sul colle José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30047 12-in. 5/5/1924 Questa notte mentre a letto José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30048 10-in. 5/6/1924 Hard boiled Rose The Happiness Boys Male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30049 10-in. 5/6/1924 Jump, Fritz (I feed you liver) The Happiness Boys Male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30050 10-in. 5/6/1924 Oh! Eva (Ain't you coming out to-night?) The Happiness Boys Male vocal duet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30051 12-in. 5/6/1924 Si, morir ella de' José Mardones Bass vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30052 10-in. 5/7/1924 The sidewalks of New York Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30053 10-in. 5/7/1924 Maggie Murphy's home Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30054 10-in. 5/7/1924 Old familiar faces Shannon Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30055 10-in. 5/8/1924 June brought the roses Marcia Freer Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30056 10-in. 5/8/1924 Limehouse blues Marcia Freer Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30073 12-in. 5/22/1924 A spirit flower Lambert Murphy Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30073 10-in. 5/12/1924 A spirit flower Lambert Murphy Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30074 10-in. 5/12/1924 The crying of water Lambert Murphy Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30079 12-in. 5/14/1924 Ah! Non credevi tu Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30080 12-in. 5/14/1924 Addio, Mignon! Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30081 10-in. 5/14/1924 Mi viejo amor Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30082 10-in. 5/14/1924 Serenata medioevale Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with flute and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30083 10-in. 5/14/1924 Rosalinda Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor C-30085 12-in. 5/15/1924 Ave Maria Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30086 10-in. 5/15/1924 Jota Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 26-50 of 553 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed December 6, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 6 December 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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