Victor Red Seal 78 RPM Records
1903-1958

Before Victor introduced its Red Seal (Label) line in 1903 the phonograph was considered simply a novelty, not a serious medium by which to enjoy music. Technological progression was making records longer with better sound but one crucial factor was still missing, high talent. Well-established artists, especially the Classical and Opera ones, felt the phonograph couldn't reproduce their performances with justice. The earliest field was thus left to a generation of unknown performers who became famous through the phonograph. As the new century dawned, the record companies sent representatives out to change that.

Victor's affiliate in Europe, the Gramophone and Typewriter Company, was the first to record known celebrities on a major basis. They also came up with the Red Label idea in order to highlight this distinguished series, with a steeper retail price of course. Victor adopted this idea, patented it in the States and even kept other companies from using a red label for some time. The earliest Red Seals were imported from G&T but a studio was soon set up in Carnegie Hall to produce some domestics before production commenced at Victor's regular studio. Francesco Tamango, Nellie Melba and Antonio Scotti were among these earliest artists with Tamango commanding a whopping $5 for his records. Scrolling down in this section will show other impressive prices, topping out at $7 for a celebrity gathering in the "Lucia-Sextet". Yet, new talent was still welcome and promoted. Enrico Caruso, a heretofore-unknown Opera singer from Italy, first recorded in 1902 and quickly became the most celebrated artist of the Red Seal line, the Acoustic Recording Era and of the whole Opera world in the Twentieth Century. He and other Red Seal artists were largely responsible for finally making the phonograph a respectable medium.

Victor's Red Seal line was well served by the twelve-inch disc and was produced in abundance as such until nearly the end of the 78 RPM Era. However, ten-inchers are common too. Eldridge R. Johnson and Victor resisted making double-sided Red Seals until 1923 because they felt the music was so exclusive. They were made in the 33-1/3 RPM format starting in 1950 and eventually found their way to Compact Discs and the modern formats of today. For the purpose of this section and website though, 1933 is the cutoff date. That's not a special year for this kind of music but it syncs with the end of the Jazz Age and changing landscape of the Great Depression.

Encoded Speed: 192 Kbps

Waltz in C Sharp Minor Etude in A Flat Major
Alfred Cortot Alfred Cortot
Victor 1101-A Victor 1101-B
Matrix# BE-31690, Take 4 Matrix# BE-32171, Take 2
March 21, 1925 March 21, 1925
Camden, New Jersey Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn. Distortion from being a very early electrical.

The Clang of the Forge (Blank)
Emilio de Gogorza
Victor 64037
Matrix# B-1763, Take 2
October 12, 1904
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (?)

Mother 'o Mine (Blank)
Herbert Witherspoon
Victor 64071
Matrix# B-4586, Take 2
June 13, 1907
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (?)

A Dream
Evan Williams
Victor 64078
Matrix# B-4864, Take 4
March 22, 1910
Camden, New Jersey (?)
Note: Scratch at end.

Mazurka
Maud Powell
Victor 64104
Matrix# B-7097, Take 2
May 20, 1909
Camden, New Jersey

Faust - Invocation Mephistopheles (Oh Night, Draw Thy Curtain!)
Marcel Journet
Victor 64119
Matrix# B-8551, Take 1
January 14, 1910
Camden, New Jersey
Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back

Minuet in G, No. 2
Mischa Elman
Victor 64121
Matrix# B-8802, Take 1
April 6, 1910
New York, New York

Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)
Fritz Kreisler
Victor 64130
Matrix# B-8939, Take 2
May 13, 1910
New York, New York

Hungarian Dance in G minor
Fritz Kreisler
Victor 64131
Matrix# B-8969, Take 1
May 18, 1910
New York, New York

Variations
Fritz Kreisler
Victor 64156
Matrix# B-8977, Take 1
May 18, 1910
New York, New York
Note: large scratch at beginning and end.

Sigurd - Marche Tuomphale d'Hagan
Marcel Journet
Victor 64157
Matrix# B-8561, Take 1
January 15, 1910
Camden, New Jersey

The Moon Drops Low (from "American Indian Songs")
Janet Spencer
Victor 64200
Matrix# B-10229, Take 2
April 26, 1911
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Scuffs on last half of recording.

Rigaudon
Mischa Elman
Victor 64201
Matrix# B-10406, Take 1
May 17, 1911
Camden, New Jersey

Halbein Chatoeinu
Cantor Gershon Sirota (of the Warsaw Synagogue)
Victor 64230
Matrix# 1221ab, Take 1
June 22, 1909
Warsaw, Poland
Note: Stressed loud passages.

Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane
Fritz Kreisler
Victor 64292
Matrix# B-8981, Take 2
December 18, 1912
New York, New York

The Sunshine of Your Smile
John McCormack
Victor 64622
Matrix# B-18383, Take 1
September 20, 1916
Camden, New Jersey

Chant Nègre, Op. 32, No. 1
Efrem Zimbalist
Victor 64736
Matrix# B-20096, Take 2
June 26, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Valse Bluette
Jascha Heifetz
Victor 64758
Matrix# B-21068, Take 2
November 9, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Turkish March
Jascha Heifetz
Victor 64770
Matrix# B-21074, Take 4
December 19, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Calling Me Home to You
John McCormack
Victor 64803
Matrix# B-21808, Take 2
April 30, 1918
New York, New York

The First Rose of Summer
John McCormack
Victor 64818
Matrix# B-22692, Take 2
April 16, 1919
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

The Deluge - Prelude
Efrem Zimbalist
Victor 64827
Matrix# B-22236, Take 4
December 12, 1918
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Pagliacci - Vesti la giubba
Edward Johnson
Victor 64840
Matrix# B-23457, Take 3
November 7, 1919
Camden, New Jersey

If You Could Care
Frances Alda
Victor 64859
Matrix# B-23506, Take 2
December 1, 1919
Camden, New Jersey

Spinning Song
(Songs Without Words, No. 34)
(Mendelssohn, Op. 67, No. 4)
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Victor 64921
Matrix# B-24646, Take 2
November 3, 1920
Camden, New Jersey

'Tis an Irish Girl I Love and She's Just Like You
John McCormack
Victor 64925
Matrix# B-23755, Take 2
March 4, 1920
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Crack halfway in, barely audible at first. Worn.

Beneath the Moon of Lombardy
John McCormack
Victor 64962
Matrix# B-23758, Take 2
March 4, 1920
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Minuet
(from "L'Ariesienne" No. 1)
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Victor 66085
Matrix# B-26134, Take 3
February 24, 1922
Camden, New Jersey

It's Nice to Get Up in the Mornin' But It's Nicer to Lie in Bed! Doughie the Baker
Sir Harry Lauder Sir Harry Lauder
Victor 9010-A Victor 9010-B
Matrix# Cc-7997, Take 1 Matrix# Cc-7999, Take 1
March 3, 1926 March 3, 1926
Hayes, Middlesex, (London) England Hayes, Middlesex, (London) England
Note: Lauder talks into runoff groove.

Roamin' in the Gloamin' I Love a Lassie
Sir Harry Lauder Sir Harry Lauder
Victor 9012-A Victor 9012-B
Matrix# Cc-8016, Take 1 Matrix# Cc-8002, Take 1
March 3, 1926 March 3, 1926
Hayes, Middlesex, (London) England Hayes, Middlesex, (London) England

Souvenir de Moscow (Blank)
Mischa Elman
Victor 74051
Matrix# 670c, Take 1
June 14, 1906
London, England

All Through the Night
Evan Williams
Victor 74100
Matrix# C-4870, Take 6
June 25, 1915
Camden, New Jersey

Humoresque
Mischa Elman
Victor 74163
Matrix# C-8799, Take 5
May 17, 1911
(maybe Take 2; April 6, 1910)
Camden, New Jersey

Romance from Concerto, No. 2, op. 22
Maud Powell
Victor 74179
Matrix# C-9009, Take 3
May 27, 1910
New York, New York
Note: Slight volume flucuations on the recording itself at 1:35 and 2:23.

Meditation (Intermezzo Religieuse) from "Thaïs"
Fritz Kreisler
Victor 74182
Matrix# C-8944, Take 3
May 13, 1910
New York, New York

Open the Gates of the Temple
Evan Williams
Victor 74198
Matrix# C-9487, Take 2
September 28, 1910
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
Alma Gluck and Male Chorus
Victor 74420
Matrix# C-15397, Take 1
November 13, 1914
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Romeo e Giulietta - Valse
Amelita Galli-Curci
Victor 74512
Matrix# C-19148, Take 1
January 31, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Aloha Oe
Alma Gluck
Victor 74534
Matrix# C-20093, Take 3
June 26, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Angels Ever Bright and Fair
Alma Gluck
Victor 74559
Matrix# C-20679, Take 2
September 18, 1917
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Invitation to the Waltz
Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
Leopold Stokowski, Conductor
Victor 74598
Matrix# C-22821, Take 2
May 9, 1919
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Valse in E Flat Major
(Chopin, Op. 18)
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Victor 74679
Matrix# C-24903, Take 1
January 21, 1921
Camden, New Jersey

Song Without Words (Goens, Op. 12, No. 1)
Hans Kindler
Victor 74682
Matrix# C-24764, Take 6
December 31, 1920
Camden, New Jersey

Nazareth
Reinald Werrenrath
Victor 74719
Matrix# C-25562, Take 7
September 30, 1921
Camden, New Jersey

Nocturne in B Flat
Ignace Jan Paderewski
Victor 74765
Matrix# C-26600, Take 1
June 1, 1922
New York, New York

Faust - Sérénade Méphistophélès
(Catarina, While You Play at Sleeping)
(Act 4) (Gounod)
Pol Plançon
Victor 81040
Matrix# B-3024, Take 1
January 23, 1906
New York, New York

Carmen - Canzone del Toreador
Giuseppe Campanari
Victor 85073
Matrix# C-2480, Take 1
April 18, 1905
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (?)
Note: Baton tapping audible before start.

Manon-Donna non vidi mai
Enrico Caruso
Victor 87135
Matrix# B-12945, Take 1
February 24, 1913
Camden, New Jersey

O sole mio (My Sunshine)
Enrico Caruso
Victor 87243
Matrix# B-17124, Take 1
February 5, 1916
Camden, New Jersey

Oh, Boys, Carry Me 'Long
Louise Homer
Victor 87309
Matrix# B-22630, Take 2
March 18, 1919
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn towards end.

Serenata
John McCormack and Fritz Kreisler
Victor 87547
Matrix# B-16090, Take 1
June 10, 1915
New York, New York
Note: Worn.

Nozze di Figaro - Deh viene non tardar
("Oh Come my Heart's Delight!")
Marcella Sembrich
Victor 88020
Matrix# C-3362, Take 1
May 5, 1906
New York, New York

Pagliacci - Prologo (Blank)
Antonio Scotti
Victor 88029
Matrix# C-3175, Take 5
October 5, 1909
Camden, New Jersey

Pagliacci - Vesti la giubba (Blank)

(Notes from the back of a later re-release, not this disc)
Enrico Caruso
Victor 88061
Matrix# C-4317, Take 1
March 17, 1907
New York, New York

Good Bye (Blank)
Melba
Victor 88065
Matrix# C-4340, Take 1
March 27, 1907
New York, New York

Faust - Air des bijoux (Jewel Song) (Blank)
Melba
Victor 88066
Matrix# C-4338, Take 2
March 27, 1907
New York, New York
Note: Worn.

Rigoletto - Caro nome
Melba
Victor 88078
Matrix# C-4283, Take 2
March 5, 1907
New York, New York

Good Bye (Addio)
Enrico Caruso
Victor 88280
Matrix# C-9747, Take 1
December 29, 1910
Camden, New Jersey
Note: Worn.

Perle du Brésil - Charmant Oiseau
Luisa Tetrazzini
Victor 88318
Matrix# C-10072, Take 1
March 17, 1911
Camden, New Jersey
Note: 4:50 minutes in length, small label!
Hairline crack first minute in, barely audible.

Dreams of Long Ago
Enrico Caruso
Victor 88376
Matrix# C-11616, Take 3
April 18, 1912
Camden, New Jersey

Ave Maria
Emmy Destinn
Victor 88562
Matrix# C-17498, Take 1
April 14, 1916
New York, New York

Martha - Solo, profugo
Enrico Caruso - Marcel Journet
Victor 89036
Matrix# C-8546, Take 1
January 12, 1910
New York, New York

Trovatore - Ai nostri monti
Ernestine Schumann-Heink - Enrico Caruso
Victor 89060
Matrix# C-12804, Take 2
January 17, 1913
New York, New York

Cielo e Mar (Blank)
Enrico Caruso
Victor Monarch 91008 (Imported)
(Gramophone Co.) Matrix# 2874b, Take 1
November 30, 1902
Milan, Italy
Note: Played at 67 RPM. Extremely worn. Stripped groove/skip at 0:41. Click Here for another filtered version played at 74 RPM (around the standard speed Americans would have used, plus the piano sounds ok at almost exactly one octave higher).

Il Trovatore - Vivrà, contende il giubilo (Blank)
Celestina Boninsegna - Francesco Cigada
Victor 91071
(Gramophone Co.) Matrix# 7320b, Take 1
1905
Milan, Italy

Lucia - Sextet (Chi mi frena - What Restrains Me?) (Act 2)
Galli-Curci -Egener-Caruso-de Luca-Journet-Bada
Victor 95212
Matrix# C-19133, Take 2
January 25, 1917
Camden, New Jersey

Rigoletto - Quartet, Act III - Bella figlia dell' amore
Caruso-Sembrich-Scotti-Severina
Victor 96001
Matrix# C-5053, Take 3
February 7, 1908
New York, New York

Lucia-Sextet
Tetrazzini-Caruso-Amato-Journet-Jacoby-Bada
Victor 96201
Matrix# C-11446, Take 3
January 19, 1912
New York, New York
Note: At $7.00, this and 96200 were the most expensive 78 RPM records ever offered by Victor.

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