May 25, 1907: From the Recording Horn

Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

May 25, 1907
Los Angeles

Sold on the installment plan, $1 a week with the purchase of six records at 60 cents each, the Victor Talking Machines offered performances by Caruso, Melba and Scotti, as well as John Philip Sousa’s and Arthur Pryor’s bands. Other recording artists included Schumann-Heink, Pol Plancon and Marcella Sembrich.

To sell the Victor machines, which ranged from $10 to $100 ($205.24 to $2,052.36 USD 2005), dealers in Los Angeles staged weekly concerts of new recordings. The George J. Birkel Co., 345 S. Spring St., which also sold Steinways and the Cecilian Piano Player, an external player piano device, said: “Music in the home is a necessity, not a luxury. Music has a refining influence which nothing else can give. The Victor Talking Machine brings every kind of music into your home—from Grand Opera to Ragtime.”



Later releases for 1907 included selections by the Victor Orchestra, augmented with musicians from the New York Philharmonic and the Met.
Nor did Victor neglect the demand for comic records, offering a selection of Cal Stewart’sUncle Josh” stories.

Although some discs sold for as little as 50 cents, some were as high as $5 ($102.62 USD 2005). Later in the year, dealers offered the $200 Victrola, in which the machine was enclosed in a cabinet with a hinged lid, eliminating the external horn.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Music, Streetcars and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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