Story of the labels : A-E

The record labels, commerical and private, who issued church music recordings
and in so doing, preserved this precious heritage
This page will be regularly updated.  Click on any record label to enlarge

Broadcast & Broadcast Twelve
78rpm records
Issued by the UK division of the Vocalion Gramophone Company Ltd

Vocalion was founded in 1916 by the Aeolian Piano Company of New York City, which introduced a retail line of phonographs at the same time. The name was derived from one of their corporate divisions, the Vocalion Organ Company.

The Vocalion company, surprisingly, dropped the important label of that name and also the lesser Aco label in 1927 and replaced them with their 'Broadcast' range of gramophone records.

Vocalion had reached an agreement in 1926 with the Marconi Company whose engineers had devised a disc recording system that circumnavigated the patents covering the Western Electrics system.    As Broadcast records were made using the Marconi process, it is highly probably that the sound from the recording venues of the City Temple, the Stoll Picture Theatre and St Martin-in-the-Fields were relayed to the Duncan Avenue studio by telephone line.
​Vocalion made much of this new process and proclaimed it loudly in the advertising and record envelopes of their new product. Prime outlets were cycle shops and newsagents as well as gramophone shops. The competition was in shock as sales of 'Broadcast' records went from strength to strength, even though the recorded fare did not.

This caused ructions in the industry and not just on price as the big three companies (later to form EMI) had kept very quiet about electric recording so as not to prejudice sales of existing old stock made by the old process.  
Margins were very slim however, and in 1932 Vocalion went into liquidation, being bought by the Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company Ltd. who phased out the Broadcast label by 1934.

Vocalion introduced the 8-inch 'Broadcast' 78rpm gramophone record, selling at 1/3d in the closing months of 1927 and production ceased in 1934.
A total of six choir records were issued on the 8-inch broadcast label between 1928 and 1930 from St Nicolas College Chislehurst, Eton College Chapel, St Mary-le-Bow and St Marie's Sheffield (now the RC cathedral)

Listen to and discover the fascinating story of James Dugan and Eton College Chapel Choir by clicking on the gramophone record opposite.

Broadcast Twelve
Broadcast Twelve is a 10-inch 78rpm gramophone record which was introduced in 1928 by Vocalion.  

The label was so named as its narrower grooves and smaller centre label allowed the
same playing time on the 10-inch disc as the equivalent standard 12-inch 78rpm record.

A total of seventeen records were issued on the 10-inch Broadcast Twelve label between 1929 and 1932 from St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Mary-le-Bow and St Marie's Sheffield.

78rpm & LP records, CD & Video

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis.

The Archive holds copies of all Decca 78s, LPs and CDs, together
with their 'Special Record' 'Private Record' and Test Pressings.

Eight-inch 78rpm records - exclusively produced for Woolworth's stores and launched in April 1931.   

The quality was excellent and they promised "two good songs for sixpence!"

Eclipse records were discontinued in July 1935.
St James's Muswell Hill were the only choir to record on the Eclipse label and issued four 8-inch gramophone records in 1934.

Edison Bell
78rpm records

Edison Bell was an English company manufacturing gramophones and gramophone records. The Edison company went into bankruptcy in 1909 and manufacture of the gramophones and records was taken over by J.E. Hough, Ltd. of Peckham, London but in such a manner that the general public were very unlikely to notice.
Edison's musical and personal prejudices are well-documented; performers he disliked ran the gamut from Al Jolson to Enrico Caruso, and he often withheld release of popular songs for months or even years. His tight control over artists and repertoire produced a lacklustre catalogue holding limited appeal for the average record buyer.
​The British Decca Record Company had bought Edison Bell early 1933 and phased out production of all Edison Bell labels

In July 1912 the Edison Bell 10-inch 'Winner' label came onto the market and was advertised as a 'quality product at low price.'  
Production of the winner label ceased in January 1935.
All Souls' Langham Place were the only choir to record on the 'Winner' label and issued three 10-inch gramophone records between 1926-1927.

'Electron' records were a superior product from J. E. Hough's Edison Bell company, to replace the acoustically recorded "Velvet Face" records.

The 10-inch 'Electron' was an electric recording via relays to the factory (electric distance recordings) and made by the eminent electronics engineer, Paul Voigt, who designed the Edison Bell electric recording apparatus.

However, their high price of 3/-  meant they did not sell well and are rarely found today, compared with budget 'Winner' records. They were available from 1927 to 1929 
Southwark Cathedral was the only choir to record on the 'Electron' label who issued this one gramophone record in 1928.  Click the gramophone record to play

Edison Bell's entry into the lucrative 8-inch gramophone record market came in 1928 with 'Radio' records.   The first issues made no mention of "Edison Bell" on the label.
The records were described as "The Big 8" costing 1/3 and were a high-quality product aimed at the popular market.  The label ceased in 1932.

​Southwark Cathedral were the only choir to record on the 'Radio' label and issued two 8-inch records between 1928 to 1929.

Electrical and Musical Industries Ltd   :  EMI

see  'The Gramophone Company'