Brunswick Bibliography and Research Sources

Brunswick Records: A Discography of Recordings, 1916-1931, compiled by Ross Laird.

The discographical listings which make up the bulk of the information provided here were compiled mainly from the original company ledgers now held by M.C.A. which I have had access to on microfilm. Unfortunately, some parts of these ledgers have been lost or destroyed and it was necessary to fill in the missing sections from a variety of sources, the main one being the actual records I have been able to examine over the last 30 years, or which have been reported to me by other collectors and researchers who responded to my pleas for assistance (as named in the acknowledgements). Other information was taken from my own collection of Brunswick and Vocalion advertisements, supplements, and catalogs covering the period 1916-1931, or from photocopies of similar material kindly supplied by others. Very little use has been made of Brunswick/Vocation data in published discographies because this is frequently incorrect or incomplete. There are doubtless errors and omissions in these volumes as well, but as far as possible the data has been taken from original and contemporary sources, or from copies of the actual records.

Unfortunately, it seems that some parts of the Brunswick files are no longer in existence. As far as I can establish, some sections of the ledgers were lost or destroyed over the years. For instance, there are no ledgers for any Brunswick recordings made before February 10, 1923. Information for all of the earliest Brunswick recordings came mainly from copies of the actual discs, with a very small amount of additional information from known test pressings and references in later parts of the files to previous recordings (when some titles were remade). There is also a large gap in the 1929-1930 New York ledgers, and all of the 1930 Chicago ledgers are missing. Other parts of the files (such as those covering portable recordings made in Kansas City, New Orleans, and elsewhere) are missing in whole or in part.

Consequently, it has sometimes been necessary to compile parts of the listings published here from various other sources such as label copy sheets, catalogs, and any other contemporary documentation I was able to locate. Some sections unavoidably include a certain number of masters for which no information could be located.

The following listings indicate the range and extent of the original sources I have had access to. All the following are in the collection of the author in the form of original documents, photocopies or microfilm. As will be noted the vast majority of the sources cited are original and/or contemporary publications. A small number of recent publications have been listed for those who wish to read more background information about Brunswick records, but the later have rarely (if at all) been used as sources for the discographical listings.

Original Company Files

Brunswick recording sheets [ledgers] 1923-1931

Brunswick label copy sheets 1926-1931

Melotone label copy sheets 1930-1931

Vocalion recording sheets [ledgers] 1925-1931

Vocalion label copy sheets 1926-1931

Inventory of Vocalion metal parts 1924

Inventory of Brunswick metal parts 1931

Company Catalogs and  Other Related Sources

U.S. Brunswick

Brunswick Records: Introductory List. Chicago, BBC, 1920, 23 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog: (All selections issued up to and including December 1920.) Chicago, BBC, 1921, 46 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog: (All selections issued up to and including January 1922.) New York, BBC, 1921, 96 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog: (All selections issued up to and including January 1925.) Chicago, BBC, 1924, 180 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog: (All selections issued up to and including December 1926). Chicago, BBC, 1926, 220 pp.

Brunswick Records, June 1920. Chicago, BBC, 8 pp.

Brunswick Records, October 1922. Chicago BBC, 16 pp.

Brunswick Records, May 1923. Chicago BBC, 12 pp.

Brunswick Records (various undated supplements 1925-1927).

New Brunswick Records, December 1930, 16 pp.

Brunswick Electrically Recorded Records, December 1931, 8 pp.

Brunswick Jewish Records, 1924. Chicago, BBC, 6pp.

Brunswick Records: The Sublime Art of the Roman Polyphonic Society... Chicago, BBC, 1928.

Deutsche Brunswick Platten, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

Dischi Brunswick in Italiano, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 4 pp.

Discos Brunswick, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

Discos Brunswick en Español, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

New Brunswick Russian Records, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

New Brunswick Ukrainian Records, n.d. Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

Travels to the famous capitals of Europe via Brunswick Records, 1925 Chicago, BBC, 2 pp.

Advance Record Bulletins in Talking Machine World.

U.S. Vocalion

Numerical Catalog of Vocalion Records to January 1929. Chicago, BBC, 48 pp.

Numerical Catalog of Vocation Records, 1930. Chicago, BBC, 63 pp.

New Voca1ion Race Records, January 1927. Chicago, BBC, 6 pp.

Advance Record Bulletins in Talking Machine World.

British Brunswick

Brunswick Records: (Complete list up to and including August 1927). Autumn 1927. London, Brunswick, 64 pp.

Brunswick Records: (Complete List up to and including April 1929). London, British Brunswick, 99 pp.

Brunswick Records: (July 1929 supplementary list). London, British Brunswick, 8 pp.

Various listings in The Gramophone.

German Brunswick

Grammophon-Schallplatten-Katalog, 1929. Berlin, Deutsche Grammophon Akt.

Brunswick Platten-Verzeichnis: Aller bis einschl, Oktober 1932 erschienenen Platten.Berlin, Deutsche Grammophon, 52 pp.

Various listings in Phonographische Zeitschrift.

Australian Brunswick

Brunswick Record Catalog: (All selections issued up to January 1924). Sydney, BBC, 1924, 142 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog, 1925. Sydney, BBC, 34 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog, 1926-27. Sydney, BBC, 77 pp.

Brunswick Record Catalog 1928-29. Sydney, BBC, 1928, 96pp.

List of records by Theo Karle, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 14, 1925, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 18, 1926, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 25, 1926, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 30, 1927, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 31, 1927, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 32, 1927, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 33, 1927, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 34, 1927, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 42, 1928, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 46, 1928, 4 pp.

Supplement No. 48, 1929, 4 pp.

Brunswick Supplement, May 1930, 10 pp.

Brunswick Supplement, June 1930, 10 pp.

Brunswick Supplement, November 1930, 6 pp.

Brunswick Supplement, May 1931, 2 pp.

Various listings in Australasian Phonograph Monthly.

Published Periodical Sources

The following original sources were located while researching Brunswick's corporate history (and are frequently quoted verbatim). Thanks to Tim Gracyk for supplying photocopies of many articles in Talking Machine World (shown as TMW below), which was the leading American record trade journal in the 1920s. Although trade publications of the time frequently published items which are clearly based on record company press releases (so what's new!. they still represent a unique source of contemporary information on the day-to-day activities of the industry which provides exact dates and other details not available elsewhere.

U.S. Brunswick

“New Brunswick Reproducer Now Ready for Trade.” TMW, March 15, 1918, p. 92.

“Elias Breeskin Makes Records.” TMW, September 15, 1919, p. 103.

“The New Brunswick Records Score a Decided ‘Hit.’” TMW, January 15, 1920, pp. 171-172.

“Brunswick Building Completed.” TMW, May 15, 1920, p. 155.

“Vatican Choirs to Record for Brunswick Records.” TMW, July 15, 1920, p. 36.

“Announces Foreign Records.” TMW, October 15, 1921, p. 159.

“Richard Strauss and Brunswick.” TMW, January 15, 1922, p. 45.

‘Dismissal in Victor vs. Brunswick Tone-arm Suit.” TMW, April 15, 1922, p. 142.

“Brunswick Record Releases Now Being Made Daily.” TMW, February 15, 1923, p. 54.

“Will the Great Artists Continue?” The Wireless Age, June, 1923.

“The New Brunswick Record Plant.” TMW, July 15, 1923, p. 143.

“Brunswick Record Pressing Plant in Los Angeles.” TMW, September 15, 1923, p. 30.

“Brunswick Closes Contract With Radio Corp. of America.” TMW, March 15, 1924.

“New Brunswick Home Dedicated.” TMW, April 15, 1924, p. 31.

“Brunswick Co. Announces Purchase of Vocalion Record Division of Aeolian Co.” TMW, December 15, 1924, p. 6.

“‘Brunswick Hour of Music’ to Be Feature of Five Radio Broadcasting Stations.” TMW, December 15, 1924, p. 168.

“Vocalion Brand Out.” Variety, January 7, 1925, p. 40.

“E.R. Strauss Heads the Vocalion Record Division.” TMW, January 15, 1925, p. 1.

“Nick Lucas, Broadcast Star, Exclusive Brunswick Artist.” TMW, January 15, 1925, p. 28.

“Brunswick Starting Ether Contest February 3.” Variety, January 21, 1925, p. 38.

“Brunswick Sales for Nine Months Exceed $15,000,000.” TMW, February 15, 1925, p. 51.

“Brunswick's Vocalion Reds and Decency.” Variety, March 11, 1925, p. 4.

“Brunswick Co. Reports substantial Gain in 1924.” TMW, April 15, 1925, p. 135.

“Downward Revision ofVocalion Prices.” TMW, June 15, 1925, p. 134.

“Brunswick Hour of Music in Argentina.” TMW, June 15, 1925, p. 134.

“Revolutionary Sound Reproducing Method Announced by Brunswick Co.” TMW, August 15, 1925, p. 58.

“New Sound Panatrope: Brunswick's new combined instrument.” Variety, August 19, 1925, p. 42.

“Demonstration of the "Panatrope," New Brunswick Instrument, Creates Interest.” TMW, September 15, 1925, p. 156.

“Brunswick Co. Announces Details of Merchandising Plan of Its New Line.” TMW, October 15, 1925, p. 6.

“Demonstration of Brunswick Panatrope at Chicago Headquarters Arouses Enthusiasm.” TMW, October 15, 1925, p. 150.

“B. E. Bensinger Explains Brunswick Co.'s Policies.” TMW, October 15, 1925, p. 216.

“List Price of Vocalion Records Is Increased.” TMW, November 15, 1925, p. 1.

“Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. Announces New Line of Phonographs to the Trade.” TMW, April 15, 1926, p. 1.

“Jack Kapp Heads Race Record Brunswick Division.” TMW, April 15, 1926, p. 63.

“Brunswick Co. Announces Voca1ion Race Records.” TMW, May 15, 1926, p. 84.

“First Release of Vocalion Race Records on Market.” TMW, June 15, 1926, p. 103.

“Important European-American Deals Have Been Consummated by the Brunswick Co.” TMW, December 15, 1926, p. 1.

“Deutsche Gramophone Co. to Market Brunswick Line.” TMW, January 15, 1927, p. 6.

“Percy L. Deutsch Resigns from the Brunswick Co.” TMW, June, 1927, p. 114.

“R. W. Jackson Appointed General Sales Manager, Musical Division, Brunswick Co.” TMW, July, 1927, p. 6.

“Brunswick Co. Releases First Sets of New Hall of Fame Symphony Series.” TMW, October, 1927.

“W. F. Wirges Appointed to Important Brunswick Post.” TMW, January, 1928, p. 19.

“Jack Kapp, Voca1ion Sales and Recording Director, Inaugurates New Policies.” TMW, February, 1928, p. 94.

“Brunswick Sends Men to Honolulu to Make New Hawaiian Records.” Honolulu Advertiser, March 10, 1928.

“Phonographic Echoes.” Phonograph Monthly Review, September, 1928, p. 441.

“Katzman Surprised.” Variety, January 9, 1929.

“Broadcast Programme of ‘Canned Music.’” Boston Post, January 18, 1929, p. ?.

“Bob Haring Appointed Brunswick Musical Director.” TMW, April, 1929, p. 92.

“Brunswick Race Records: Regular Releases to Begin.” TMW, April, 1929, p. 72.

“Brunswick Erecting New Recording Studio in Chicago.” TMW, May, 1929, p. 85.

“Bremer-Tully in Improved Position Through Brunswick Purchase.” TMW, May, 1929, p. 134.

“Brunswick Recording Lab in Chicago.” TMW, July, 1929, p. 96

“Jolson's Voice in Broadcast.” Boston Post, August 16, 1929, p. 19.

“New Feature on WBZ Tomorrow.” Boston Herald, August 18, 1929, p. 11.

“Local Artists Make Records.” Knoxville Journal, August 27, 1929.

“Mountain Melodies are Preserved on Machine.” Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 28, 1929.

“Brunswick Planning Extensive Radio Broadcasts.” TMW, August, 1929, p. 17.

“AI Jolson Elected Brunswick Director.” TMW, August, 1929, p. 98.

“Maytag's Experience with Recorded Programs.” Broadcast Advertising, November, 1929.

“Brunswick Recording Expedition Ends Trip.” TMW, December, 1929, p. 60.

“Disk Programs Open New Field in Broadcasting.” New York Herald Tribune, December 8, 1929.

“A Pioneer in Radio Ads.” Omaha World Herald, December 24, 1929, p. 3.

“Perpetuating Our ‘Hill-Billy’ Harmonies.” Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 13, 1930, p. 1.

Canadian Brunswick

Various news items in Canadian Music Trades Journal, 1916-1917.

“Brunswick Phonograph Notes.” Canadian Music Trades Journal, October, 1917.

New records listings in Canadian Music Trades Journal, 1917-1919.

Australian Brunswick

“Herbert Davis Discusses Business-Getting Methods of Australians.” TMW, May 9, 1925.

“Making Records in Australia.” The Daily Guardian, July 10, 1926.

The Brunswick Factory.” Australian Phonograph News, March, 1930. “Brunswick (Aust.) Ltd.” Australian Phonograph News, May, 1930.

“Davis Co. of Australia Suing Brunswick and WB for Big Damages.” Variety, Oct. 15, 1930, p. 66.

Winding Up of Company.” Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 10, 1931, p. 6.

Books and Journals

Brunswick's history has not been well covered in previously published reference books and similar sources. What little has appeared has usually been quite general and is not necessarily very reliable in matters of detail. The following are some items of better than average quality, and, while not always completely accurate, are worth reading as background material:

Berry, Daniel. “The Brunswick-Balke-CollenderCompany of Dubuque, Iowa.” Unpublished manuscript.

Biel, Michael. “Chicago: the birth of the radio syndication industry.” Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, May 1993.

Biel, Michael. “The Making and Use of Recordings in Broadcasting Before 1936.” Thesis; UMI Dissertation Information Service, 1997.

Bryan, Martin. “For Brunswick collectors only!” New Amberola Graphic 75, 1991.

Laird, Ross. “The First Brunswick Records.” Antique Phonograph News, 1998.

Lasker, Steven. “The Brunswick-Vocalion “3-Figure”/”C” Master Series. Storyville Magazine, 139-141, 1989.

Newton, John. “Brunswick Brevities.” Joslin's Jazz Journal, 1998.

Tsotsi, Tom. “Brunswick-Balke-Collender in Kansas City.” Joslin's Jazz Journal, 1995.

Wakeman, R. J. “Brunswick's Acoustic Era Phonographs.” Victrola & 78 Journal, 1997.

Wakeman, R. J. “Brunswick vs. Victor: The Legal Battles.” Victrola & 78 Journal, 1997

Wakeman, R. J. “Brunswick Records: The Early Years.” Victrola & 78 Journal, 1997.

Wakeman, R. J. “Continuation of the Brunswick Story: The Company Responds to Radio.” Victrola & 78 Journal, 1997.

Wakeman, R. J. “Brunswick's ‘Light-Ray’ and Panatrope Era—and Beyond.” Victrola & 78 Journal, 1998.

Wolfe, Charles. “Early Country Music in Knoxville.” Old Time Music, 1974.


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Brunswick Records: A Discography of Recordings, 1916-1931  (4 vols). Compiled by Ross Laird. Reprinted by permission.