Columbia History: Accompaniments and Spoken Announcements

Columbia Master Book, Volume I, Tim Brooks, ed.

In the fall of 1903 Columbia began to replace its tinkly piano accompaniments with an orchestra on most vocal records. The change, though not universal, seems to have begun around matrix no. 1650. Regular spoken announcements, another vestige of the 1890s, were discontinued in mid-1904, around mx. 1850. These “little advertisements” had helped establish the Columbia name in the days when cylinders were mostly heard on coin-slot phonographs in public places, but they were redundant on discs, and they were no longer needed on cylinders once titles began to be marked on the ends in September 1904.102 Disc announcements are occasionally found on later issues of pre-1904 recordings, although in many cases the engineers removed them by physically scraping them off the master.

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The Columbia Master Book Discography, 4 Volumes, Complied by Brian Rust and Tim Brooks. Reprinted by permission.