Emerson Records
1916-1928


Victor Hugo Emerson was Columbia's chief recording engineer since the cylinder days. He left that company in 1914, but not before setting them up with the very popular Little Wonder line of records that were cheaper and played for a minute-and-a-half. With the idea of smaller records, he established his own record company in 1916 and gave it his name. It first produced five and six-inch records but had to get around the patent that Victor and Columbia still had on lateral recording technology.

A very brief period saw a deal with Pathé to use material from their catalog and to press vertical recordings. Soon though, he developed a new process called the "universal cut" which meant the groove was cut at a 45° angle so the records could be played equally well on both vertical and lateral systems. However, this also means they play as equally poor on both. Vertical and lateral records can't be played on each other's vintage machines; they will be chewed up in the process. So records cut at 45° won't be cut up as much, but they still will. I think that is why so many are in rough shape today as you can hear in this collection. A record would have to have been played very little if at all on vintage phonographs with their 1-ounce reproducer weights to survive in good shape today for the more gentle modern turntables. Only pristine-looking records tend to sound good, like Emerson 7105. I even only use the left channel when transferring these. The right channel contains mostly surface noise with only a very faint performance in the background.

Notice that 7105 is a seven-inch disc. Emerson kept expanding his line up to nine, ten and twelve-inch discs by decade's end. The smaller discs were soon discontinued in favor of the more standard 10" and 12" sizes. The universal cut was also retired after the lateral patent expired in 1919. However, further expansion into other fields and accumulating debts forced the company into receivership in 1921. It lasted in other hands until 1928. During this troubled history though, it was able to record famous names like Billy Golden, Collins & Harlan, Eddie Cantor, Fletcher Henderson and Eubie Blake. They also sounded much better after the technical switch.

Encoded Speed: 192 Kbps



Six-Inch Records

Ida (Blank)
Metropolitan Military Band
Emerson 547
Matrix# 107-3
1916

Turkey In The Straw (Blank)
Billy Golden
Emerson 561
Matrix# 127-1
1916

Johnny Get A Girl (Blank)
Collins & Harlan
Emerson 567
Matrix# 131-2 9
1916

Wake Up America (Blank)
Baritone Solo with Orchestra
Emerson 570
Matrix# 136-2
1916

Aloha Oe (Blank)
Metropolitan Military Band
Emerson 572
Matrix# 181-1
1916

Good-Bye, Good Luck, God Bless You (Blank)
Peerless Quartette
Emerson 592
Matrix# 162-1 6
1916
Note: Worn.

Ladder of Roses (Blank)
Emerson Military Band
Emerson 593
Matrix# 167-2 6
1916
Note: Worn.

Up The Street (Blank)
Emerson Military Band
Emerson 5101
Matrix# 186-1-5
1916

If You Don't Want Me, Send Me to My Ma (Blank)
Morton Harvey
Emerson 5111
Matrix# 193-2-14
1916

Mighty Lak' a Rose (Blank)
Henry Burr
Emerson 5112
Matrix# 199-1-18
1916

My Grandfather's Girl (Blank)
Morton Harvey
Emerson 5117
Matrix# 1108-1-26
1916

Joe Turner Blues
Emerson Military Band
Emerson 5178
Matrix# 1243-1
February 1917

Echoes From The South
Emerson Symphony Orchestra
Emerson 5191
Matrix# 1260-2-
1917

Saxophone Sobs
Emerson Symphony Orchestra
Emerson 5199
Matrix# 1287-1-5199
1917

Give Me All Of You
Emerson Symphony Orchestra
Emerson 5219
Matrix# 1223-1-
1917


Seven-Inch Records

Sphinx Waltz Sari Waltz
Rialto Orchestra Emerson Military Band
Emerson 7105 Emerson 7105
Matrix# 2284-1-20 Matrix# 2293-2-26
December 1916 December 1916

Aïda March Tannhäuser March
Emerson Military Band Emerson Military Band
Emerson 7238 Emerson 7238
Matrix# 2665-2 Matrix# 2666-1
August 1917 August 1917
Note: Warped with hairline crack halfway in, not audible.


Nine-Inch Records

Jazz De Luxe Jazbo Jazz
Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band Earl Fuller's Famous Jazz Band
Emerson 952 Emerson 952
Matrix# 3182-2 Matrix# 3183-1
ca. March 1918 ca. March 1918
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Very worn. Note: Very worn.

They've Gone and Stopped the War Satan I'm Here (I Couldn't Stand For A Triflin' Man)
Arthur Collins Ernest Hare
Emerson 9135 Emerson 9135
Matrix# 3406-1 Matrix# 3409-2
ca. November 1918 ca. November 1918

Kuu Ipo I Ka Hee Pue One Aloma
Samuel Siegel & Marie Caveny Emerson Xylo-Phiends
Emerson 9159 Emerson 9159
Matrix# 3422-3 Matrix# 3445-1
1918/1919 February 1919

Shadows Wild Honey
Emerson Xylo-Phiends Emerson Xylo-Phiends
Emerson 9187 Emerson 9187
Matrix# 3634-2 Matrix# 3635-2
April 1919 April 1919

My Sugar Coated Chocolate Boy Dear Heart
Burr and Campbell Henry Pinckney
Emerson 9223 Emerson 9223
Matrix# 3860-1 Matrix# 3870-3
Summer 1919 Summer 1919
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.


Ten-Inch Records

You Don't Need the Wine to Have a Wonderful Time Don't Put a Tax on the Beautiful Girls
Eddie Cantor Eddie Cantor
Emerson 1071 Emerson 1071
Matrix# 4467-2 Matrix# 4508-3
ca. September 1919 ca. October 1919
New York, New York New York, New York

Railroad Blues Ching-A-Ling's Jazz Bazaar
Plantation Jazz Orchestra Plantation Jazz Orchestra
Emerson 10157 Emerson 10157
Matrix# 41027-6-X Matrix# 41028-2
ca. March 1920 ca. March 1920
New York, New York New York, New York

Wait'll You See He Went In Like a Lion and Came Out Like a Lamb
Billy Murray Billy Murray
Emerson 10167 Emerson 10167
Matrix# 4793-2 Matrix# 4978-1
January 1920 March 1920
Note: Played at 83 RPM.
Based on this record, the "universal cut" was discontinued in favor of pure lateral sometime between January and March 1920. The B-side doesn't have the strong noise and weak signal in the right channel like universal cut recordings have.

It's All Over Now Roaming
Arthur Fields Arthur Fields
Emerson 10333 Emerson 10333
Matrix# 41605-2 Matrix# 41606-2
December 1920 ca. December 1920

Barney Google Yes! We Have No Bananas
Ernest Hare and Billy Jones Billy Jones
Emerson 10622 Emerson 10622
Matrix# 42370-1 Matrix# 42371-2
April 1923 ca. April 1923
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

Black Bottom Petrushka
Pennsylvania Syncopators California Melodie Syncopators
Emerson 3060-A Emerson 3060-B
Matrix# 3954 Matrix# 3955
June 1926 June 1926
New York, New York New York, New York

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