Harmony Records

Harmony was a budget label operated by Columbia Records off-and-on during several periods of the 20th Century. It's first two incarnations are within the scope of this website.

The 1907-1916 era involved the Great Northern Manufacturing Company of Chicago, producer of household goods and appliances. It entered the record business with a premium scheme. Such a practice involves giving away one item when a customer buys so many of another that compliments that product. In this case, a phonograph was given away with the purchase of a number of records. However, those records had odd-sized spindle holes and the turntable had the corresponding spindle. Harmony's was 3/4-inch wide, versus the standard 1/4-inch. For further sales, there was obviously the hope that customers would be forced into only buying that company's records. Despite this limitation, users would often fit such discs with spindle adaptors or drill larger holes in their Columbia or Victor discs to cross that barrier. This made the premium scheme labels, popular in the 1900s and 1910s, more common than they otherwise would have been.

Great Northern's first supplier was the Hawthorne & Sheble Company (Star Records) but patent-infringement judgments and bankruptcy soon saw Star taken over by Columbia. Columbia used the same catalog and matrix numbers from its main catalog for issues on Harmony, which was also duplicated on the Standard Records label that it also supplied. Great Northern, however, exited the business in 1912. Both labels, along with Columbia's other premium schemes, were merged in 1916 into the Consolidated Talking Machine Company. Consolidated and the type of records it symbolized came to an end just two years later.

Columbia resurrected Harmony in 1925 (with a standard hole) as a way to continue to use the new acoustical-recording studio it had just built when the electrical microphone became feasible. Columbia and other major companies switched that year, but acoustical Harmonys were made as late as early 1929. Microphones were used afterwards and even a few five-minute records were issued in 1931. The Great Depression spelled the end of Harmony's second era in 1932.

Encoded Speed: 192 Kbps

The Invincible Eagle March Darkey Tickle
Harmony Orchestra Harmony Orchestra
Harmony A160 Harmony A160
Matrix# 341, Take 7 Matrix# 600, Take 6
ca. 1901-1908 ca. 1902-1908
New York, New York New York, New York

Daddy If This Rose Told You All It Knows
Merle Tillotson Henry Burr
Harmony A908 Harmony A908
Matrix# 4773, Take 1 Matrix# 4786, Take 2
ca. January-October 1910 ca. January-October 1910
New York, New York New York, New York

Just Around The Corner Sleepy Time Gal
The Manhattan Dance Makers The Manhattan Dance Makers
Harmony 63-H Harmony 63-H
Matrix# 141260, Take 1 Matrix# 141261, Take 1
November 11, 1925 November 11, 1925
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Worn. Lamination cracks to center, not audible. Note: Worn. Lamination cracks along edge, not audible.

How Could Red Riding Hood? Elsie Shultz-en-heim
Tommy Christian and His Orchestra Tommy Christian and His Orchestra
Harmony 264-H Harmony 264-H
Matrix# 142672, Take 5 Matrix# 142705, Take 2
September 22, 1926 September 30, 1926
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

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