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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 501-525 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 49593 12-in. 2/28/1919 That tumbledown shack in Athlone Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49605 12-in. 3/26/1919 Kiss me again Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49606 12-in. 3/26/1919 Life and love Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49648 12-in. 7/14/1919 The moonlight waltz Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49650 12-in. 7/14/1919 Sweet Hawaiian moonlight Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49695 12-in. 11/24/1919 That naughty waltz Henry Burr ; Albert Campbell ; Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra, with male vocal duet director  
Columbia 49724 12-in. 12/15/1919 My isle of golden dreams Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49725 12-in. 12/15/1919 In Arcadia Columbia Stellar Quartette Male vocal quartet, with orchestra conductor  
Columbia 49757 12-in. 2/25/1920 Delilah Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Jazz/dance band director  
Columbia 49778 12-in. ca. 1920 Centennial march Columbia Band ; Charles Adams Prince Band director  
Columbia 49779 12-in. ca. 1920 Our director march Columbia Band Band director  
Columbia 49789 12-in. 4/13/1920 Valse lente Columbia Symphony Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49790 12-in. 4/13/1920 Prelude Columbia Symphony Orchestra Orchestra director  
Columbia 49888 12-in. 8/28/1920 Hawaiian twilight Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Orchestra director  
Columbia 49889 12-in. 8/28/1920 On Pensacola Bay Columbia Orchestra ; Charles Adams Prince Jazz/dance band director  
Columbia 5274 12-in. between 1903 and 1908 Raymond overture Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince Band conductor  
Columbia 5276 12-in. between 1903 and 1908 Largo Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince Band conductor  
Columbia 5502 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 No hay de que! Banda Española Band conductor  
Columbia 5529 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Joy : Polka Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince director  
Columbia 5572 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Frou frou Banda Española Band conductor  
Columbia 5574 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Gipsy : Two-step Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince conductor  
Columbia 5579 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Louis XV waltz Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince conductor  
Columbia 5608 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Sevilla Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince Band conductor  
Columbia 5615 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 Don José Maria Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince conductor  
Columbia 5621 10-in. between 1903 and 1908 The little wonder : Creole dance Banda Española ; Charles Adams Prince conductor  
(Results 501-525 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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