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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 476-500 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 48700 12-in. 4/19/1916 Romance Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48705 12-in. 4/19/1916 Carmen : Fantasy Kathleen Parlow ; Charles Adams Prince Violin solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia 48828 12-in. 6/19/1916 The Missouri waltz Charles Adams Prince ; Prince's Orchestra Orchestra director  
Columbia 49024 12-in. 12/11/1916 A dream Prince's Orchestra ; G. Hepburn Wilson Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 49115 12-in. 2/6/1917 Rienzi : Overture Columbia Symphony Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49116 12-in. 2/6/1917 Rienzi : Overture Columbia Symphony Orchestra Orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49405 12-in. 12/31/1918 In Monterey Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49406 12-in. 12/31/1918 Down among the sheltering palms Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49411 12-in. approximately 1918 Keep me in your heart Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49413 12-in. approximately 1918 God send you back to me Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49414 12-in. approximately 1918 Love's own kisses Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49415 12-in. approximately 1918 The bubble Dorothy Brunton Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49498 12-in. 9/14/1918 Memories of the past : Waltzes Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 49499 12-in. 9/14/1918 Memories of the past : Waltzes Prince's Orchestra Orchestra arranger  
Columbia 49500 12-in. 9/14/1918 A night in Italy Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49545 12-in. ca. 1918 In the land of beginning again Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49546 12-in. 10/29/1918 Peter Gink Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49553 12-in. 11/26/1918 Arabian nights Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49567 12-in. 1/4/1919 Till we meet again Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49568 12-in. 1/4/1919 The rose of no man's land Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49574 12-in. 1/13/1919 España rhapsody Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49575 12-in. 1/17/1919 Toreador and Andalusian Columbia Orchestra Orchestra director  
Columbia 49576 12-in. 1/20/1919 St. Julien march Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49577 12-in. 1/29/1919 Salute to Buffalo march Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49592 12-in. 2/28/1919 I'm forever blowing bubbles Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
(Results 476-500 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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