Leeds & Catlin Records Now Online
In partnership with Mainspring Press we are pleased to announce the addition of Leeds & Catlin Records to DAHR.
Leeds & Catlin Records may be more noted today for its protracted legal battles than its recordings, but as one of the first independent (albeit patent-pirate) labels making recordings for budget-minded consumers in the early 20th century, it merits further study. Over their short history, they recorded almost 2,900 masters issued on over 5,300 discs on fifteen different labels, both client and in house, which are now documented in DAHR thanks to an agreement with Mainspring Press, the original publisher of Leeds & Catlin Records. A listing of Leeds & Catlin matrix numbers is here and a history of the label is here.
In the days before widespread exclusive recording contracts, Leeds & Catin recorded many of the same artists as the major labels, including important artists such as the Rambler Minstrel Company, Harry Tally, Vess Ossman, Arthur Collins, Ada Jones, and a young Eduardo Migliaccio ("Farfariello"). Leeds also recorded (perhaps unintentionally) exclusive artists such as violinist Harold Eisenberg, bandurria player Joseph Ramirez, and Scottish singer Ian Colquhoun, that may merit rediscovery.
Now viewable in context with the output of both Victor and Columbia, as well as Zonophone and Berliner, the addition of Leeds & Catlin to DAHR sheds further light on the early American recording industry.
Leeds & Catlin is an “artifactual discography,” compiled from examining thousands of pressings as well as extant material like catalogs and advertisements, due to the absence of original company recording documents. As such, it is not complete, and many collectors or archives may have undocumented issues in their collections as well as missing matrix numbers. We welcome the contribution of any missing data at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data on Leeds & Catlin was originally compiled by Bill Bryant, and was edited for publication by Allan Sutton for by Mainspring Press. It is reproduced here under license from Mainspring Press. The listing of Leeds & Catlin cylinders originally published by Mainspring Press is in progress. We are grateful to Bill Bryant and the members of the Record Research Group for their dedication to documenting this obscure corner of American recording history.
For more information on Leeds & Catlin, see the label history originally published in the book.