Banner Records

Banner was a budget label introduced at 50¢ by the Plaza Music Company in 1921. Plaza had previously manufactured low-priced musical instruments, portable phonographs and piano rolls. Banner was their flagship label with Domino and Jewel being launched later in the decade. As a matter of fact, Plaza itself was a part of opaque partnership that included the Regal Record Company, the Scranton Button Company (the pressing plant for the new budget labels), older record companies (like Emerson, Paramount and Pathé) that leased out their masters to these new labels, the Independent Recording Laboratories (that was founded in 1922 to make original recordings for these labels) and Mills Music Company of New York (publisher). Together, these and many of the budget and client labels to come out of this group later in the 1920s became inaccurately known as the Plaza Labels even though Plaza only controlled the two previously mentioned. The picture was further complicated when the American Record Corporation was formed in 1929 to bring all of these under one umbrella. The ARC then gobbled up Brunswick and Columbia in the 1930s.

Jumping back to the 1920s though, the masters used between all these labels were usually exactly the same since they shared the IRL. Different pseudonyms for the bands were used on the different labels to give an illusion of variety. Sometimes they even varied on the same label. Oftentimes identification of the real band names is speculative so, in the collection below, they are listed only when definitively known. Banner and its cousins mainly pushed pop tunes with little attention paid to big-name talent. House bands were usually used, either under the direction of bandleader Adrian Schubert or later Sam Lanin and Harry Reser. Lots of freelancing musicians were used. Occasionally, famous performers like Fletcher Henderson, Red Nichols and Harry Richman would cut a record or few. Some good Jazz, Blues and Country did find their way into the catalogs. Also, in the early days some of the old phonograph artists like Billy Murray, Arthur Fields and Vernon Dalhart could still be had. High Classical Music wasn't recorded and only a tiny amount of the Light kind appeared. All discs were ten-inches in size and the transition from acoustic to electric recording was made in late 1925 to early 1926. Despite the said limitations, the labels sold very well in the 1920s and are easy to find today.

Banners were reduced to 35¢, or three for a dollar, in 1925 to match the Domino label, which had been introduced the year previous. Dealership opportunities were open to anyone with enough funds, unlike the more restrictive terms of Victor and Edison. Banners were popular fare in dime stores with S.S. Kresge (the ancestor of Kmart) being its largest dealer. When ARC took over, the Plaza name was removed from the label and Banner lost its flagship status when Brunswick was acquired in December of 1931. ARC phased out many of the labels but kept Banner going until 1935.

Encoded Speed: 192 Kbps

Dapper Dan Tuck Me To Sleep
Yerkes Master Saxophonists Yerkes Master Saxophonists
Banner 1010-A Banner 1010-B
Matrix# 915-3, Take 3 Matrix# 916-1, Take 1
October 1921 October 1921
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Very worn. Note: Worn with big needle digs towards end.

Limehouse Blues Worried
Sam Lanin's Dance Orchestra Lucky Strike Dance Orchestra
Banner 1351-A Banner 1351-B
Matrix# 5476-2, Take 2 Matrix# 5454-1, Take 1
April 1924 March 1924
New York, New York New York, New York
The lead-out groove, though not connected to the main groove, has what sounds like a few notes from a piano here.

Electrical Recording Begins

Valencia El Beso
Newport Society Orchestra (pseudonym for Ben Selvin and His Orchestra) Hollywood Dance Orchestra (pseudonym for Adrian Schubert's Salon Orchestra)
Banner 1749-A Banner 1749-B
Matrix# 6560-5, Take 5 Matrix# 6555-1, Take 1
ca. April 1926 April 1926
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

Mary Lou You're Going to Cry Over Somebody Else
Billy Jones Arthur Fields
Banner 1853-A Banner 1853-B
Matrix# 6796-3, Take 3 Matrix# 6743-2, Take 2
August 1926 August 1926
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

Where Do You Work-A, John? Underneath the Moon
Bill Perry's Entertainers Missouri Jazz Band (pseudonym for Adrian Schubert and His Salon Orchestra)
Banner 1906-A Banner 1906-B
Matrix# 7002-3, Take 3 Matrix# 6990-3, Take 3
December 1926 December 1926
New York, New York New York, New York

My Blue Heaven I Wonder How You're Spending Your Evenings Now
Fred Rich's Dance Orchestra Hollywood Dance Orchestra
Banner 6097-A Banner 6097-B
Matrix# (7513) 1127-5, Take 5 Matrix# (7531) 1128-2, Take 2
November 12, 1927 September 27, 1927
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

Am I Blue? I'm Disappointed in You
Helen Richards Helen Richards
Banner 6459-A Banner 6459-B
Matrix# (8835) 2379-3, Take 3 Matrix# (8836) 2380-2, Take 2
June 26, 1929 June 26, 1929
New York, New York New York, New York

Happy Days Are Here Again Love In My Heart
Vincent Lopez & His Orchestra Al Lentz & His Orchestra
Banner 0568-A Banner 0568-B
Matrix# (9285) 19285-2, Take 2 Matrix# (9262) 19262-3, Take 3
January 15, 1930 January 6, 1930
New York, New York New York, New York

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