Silvertone Records

Silvertone Records was a label founded by Sears, Roebuck & Company in 1916 to replace its earlier Oxford brand. Sears was already using the Silvertone name on its phonographs, radios and other musical items and they wanted it all to match. All material continued to be leased from and pressed by other record companies. Columbia did so exclusively until 1918, when they quit pressing client labels due to the wartime shortage of materials. This first period also saw the production of single-sided Silvertone discs years after the major companies had largely abandoned the old practice in favor of doubling-up.

Operations were suspended for about a year until a new arrangement was made with The Federal Record Corporation of Albany, New York (the recently renamed and reorganized maker of Indestructible Cylinders) to lease their disc masters. Within a few years, Sears was leasing material from a vast array of sources including Emerson, Pathé, Vocalion, Paramount, Gennett and Plaza. Columbia also served as a source again, especially with their late acoustic material also intended for its own Harmony and Velvet Tone lines. While the earliest Columbia-pressed Silvertones were often bland with even older re-issues dating back to 1901, the 1920s Silvertones often featured pretty good and fresh jazz, blues and country music that was also concurrently released on their parent labels. Sometimes, pseudonyms were used on the Silvertones, sometimes the real artist names were listed. The label was discontinued in 1928, though the name survived on with those other products marketed by Sears. A short-lived final revival in 1941-42 once again saw Columbia providing the masters.

Silvertones found today tend to be more worn than other labels due to the nature of their market. The rural populace that shopped the Sears Catalog often really repeatedly enjoyed their records in an environment otherwise lacking a wide variety of entertainment. In the case of country music especially, many people would learn how to play instruments or sing by playing the records over-and-over again. Maybe someone famous learned from the records below or from one you own? It's fun to imagine.

Encoded Speed: 192 Kbps

Directorate March
Columbia Band
Silvertone 355
(Columbia) Matrix# 355-5, Take 5
ca. 1901-1908
New York, New York

Hymns and Prayer from the Funeral Service Over President McKinley (Blank)
Columbia Quartette
Silvertone 453
(Columbia) Matrix# 453-11
November 1901

Pagliacci "No, Pagliaccio non sono" (Blank)
Tenor Solo
Silvertone 11347
(Columbia) Matrix# 11347
ca. 1908 (?)

Aloha Oe (Blank)
Toots Paka Hawaiian Company
Silvertone 39462
(Columbia) Matrix# 39462-2 291, Take 2
June 19, 1914
New York, New York

Medley of American Patriotic Airs

Yankee Doodle
Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
Marching through Georgia
Prince's Band
Silvertone 39796
(Columbia) Matrix# 39796-3 47, Take 3
January 23, 1915
New York, New York

Ciribiribin Waltz (Blank)
Guido Deiro
Silvertone 55595
(Columbia) Matrix# 55595-1 145
ca. 1916 (?)
Note: Lamination crack, barely audible.

The Little Whistler Kiss Me Again
Sybil Sanderson Fagan Maurice Baron (saxophone)
Silvertone 5051-A Silvertone 5051-B
(Federal) Matrix# 2-305 (Federal) Matrix# 2-498
ca. 1920 ca. 1920
Note: Very worn. Note: Extremely worn.

You've Got To See Mama Every Night Martha
Joseph Samuels' Music Masters Gotham Club Orchestra
Silvertone 2247-A Silvertone 2247-B
(Federal) Matrix# 2-1770 (Federal) Matrix# 2-1758
ca. March 1923 ca. March 1923
New York, New York (?) New York, New York (?)
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

In Shadowland Why Couldn't It Be Poor Little Me?
Hackel-Berge Orchestra Lanin's Roseland Orchestra
Silvertone 2447-A Silvertone 2447-B
(Federal) Matrix# 2557-1 (Federal) Matrix# 2553-2
ca. 1925 January 13, 1925
New York, New York (?) New York, New York
Note: Tiny hairline crack, not audible. Note: Tiny hairline crack, not audible. Worn.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar I Want My Sweet Daddy Now
Rosa Henderson (piano accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson) Rosa Henderson (piano accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson)
Silvertone 3002-A Silvertone 3002-B
(Vocalion) Matrix# 12196 (Vocalion) Matrix# 12194
October 26, 1923 October 26, 1923
New York, New York New York, New York

The Prisoner's Song The Lightning Express
George Hobson (pseudonym for George Reneau) George Hobson (pseudonym for George Reneau)
Silvertone 3045-A Silvertone 3045-B
(Vocalion 14991A) Matrix# NN413-5 (Vocalion 14991B) Matrix# NN422-4
February 24, 1925 February 24, 1925
Note: Extremely worn. Note: Extremely worn.

On To Victory March - Part One On To Victory March - Part Two
Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps
Silvertone 3170-A Silvertone 3170-B
(Columbia) Matrix# 77861, Take 3 (Columbia) Matrix# 77862, Take 2
May 29, 1918 May 29, 1918
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Many lamination cracks halfway in, but barely audible.

I'm Sitting on Top of the World I Never Knew
Fred Rich and His Hotel Astor Orchestra Lou Gold and His Orchestra
Silvertone 3226-A Silvertone 3226-B
(Columbia) Matrix# 141204 1-B5, Take 1 (Columbia) Matrix# 141223 2-D-41, Take 2
October 28, 1925 October 30, 1925
New York, New York New York, New York
Note: Acoustic. Played at 78 RPM. Worn. Small lamination cracks 1/2-inch in from edge. Note: Acoustic. Played at 78 RPM. Worn. Small lamination cracks 1/2-inch in from edge.

We'll Sow Righteous Seed For The Reaper Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight
Riley Puckett Riley Puckett
Silvertone 3260-A Silvertone 3260-B
(Columbia) Matrix# 140010, Take 1 (Columbia) Matrix# 140011, Take 2
September 10, 1924 September 10, 1924
New York, New York New York, New York

My Blue Heaven Are You Happy?
Jack Moran (pseudonym for Les Backer) Jack Moran (pseudonym for Les Backer)
Silvertone 8001-A Silvertone 8001-B
(Gennett) Matrix# G13147 (Gennett) Matrix# G13275
October 11, 1927 December 13, 1927
Note: Worn. Note: Worn.

Two-Step Quadrille Devil's Dream
Tommy Dandurand and His Gang Tommy Dandurand and His Gang
Silvertone 8130-A Silvertone 8130-B
(Gennett) Matrix# 12654 (Gennett) Matrix# 12653
March 25, 1926 March 25, 1926

When the Moon Shines Down Upon the Mountain Cindy
Vernon Dalhart Vernon Dalhart
Silvertone 25062-A Silvertone 25062-B
(Gennett) Matrix# X0861 (Gennett) Matrix# X0862a
September 1927 September 1927
Note: Poor shellac. 60 Hz hum on masters left in, filtering the heavy surface noise took enough out as it is.

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