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 51-75 of 553 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-30088 10-in. 5/16/1924 Suzanne : Chanson Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30093 10-in. 5/16/1924 Á Cuba Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with mandolin and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30099 10-in. 5/20/1924 Skjoersommersangen August Werner Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30200 10-in. 5/20/1924 Hymne August Werner Male vocal solo, with celeste and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30201 10-in. 5/20/1924 Sommersol til sisste stund August Werner Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30213 10-in. 5/26/1924 'A supplica Giuseppe Milano Male vocal solo, with cello and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30214 10-in. 5/26/1924 Ll'ommo che raggiona Giuseppe Milano Male vocal solo, with harp and orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30215 10-in. 5/26/1924 Tatonno se ne va! Giuseppe Milano Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30216 7-in. 5/27/1924 Tom, Tom, the piper's son Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30217 7-in. 5/27/1924 Mary had a little lamb Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30219 7-in. 5/27/1924 Three little kittens Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30220 7-in. 5/27/1924 Three little piggies Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30221 7-in. 5/27/1924 Old King Cole Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30222 7-in. 5/28/1924 The farmer in the dell Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30223 7-in. 5/28/1924 Little Bo-Peep Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30224 7-in. 5/28/1924 Jack and Jill Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30225 7-in. 5/28/1924 I love little pussy Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with vocal imitations and orchestra conductor  
Victor A-30226 7-in. 5/28/1924 The Queen of Hearts Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30228 10-in. 6/2/1924 Moje słoneczko Tadeusz Wroński Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30229 10-in. 6/2/1924 Jabłuszka Tadeusz Wroński Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30230 10-in. 6/2/1924 Luba gołembica Tadeusz Wroński Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30235 10-in. 6/3/1924 Tammurriata napulitana Gina Santelia Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30236 10-in. 6/3/1924 'E pparole d' 'o core Gina Santelia Female vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30237 10-in. 6/2/1924 I'm wearin' awa', Jean Merle Alcock Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor B-30244 10-in. 6/4/1924 Deep in my heart Franklyn Baur Male vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 51-75 of 553 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Prince, Charles Adams," accessed January 30, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

Prince, Charles Adams. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/111328.

"Prince, Charles Adams." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 30 January 2023.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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