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Masterpiece Records



THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY

Materpiece Records was a part of the much larger Musicraft Records - it was one of the labels used.

Musicraft Records was founded in New York in 1937 as part of the Jefferson Travis Radio Corporation. The company initially recorded classical music and earned a good reputation for quality releases in its first four years. During and after the Second World War, Musicraft began recording popular music. Jazz became an important element of their catalog after Albert Marx joined the company as artistic director in 1944 and as a result of the purchase of Guild Records in 1946. Among the many musicians who recorded new material for Musicraft were Teddy Wilson, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Georgie Auld, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan By 1949, Musicraft had recorded more than a thousand items, most of which were jazz. However, late in 1948, Musicraft filed for bankruptcy, its catalog was leased to MGM Records, which owned it well into the 1950s. In the 1970s the label was revived by Albert Marx, then president of the renewed Trend and Discovery labels in Los Angeles.

Musicraft Records Inc. was a subsidiary of the Jefferson Travis Radio Corporation (later Musicraft Recording Corporation.) Indeed, the historical records bear out the existence of Jefferson Travis in 1937 but not Musicraft Records until 1942. Nonetheless, the company finally emerged as Musicraft Records, Inc. in 1947 with a fully developed vertical organizational structure. Various companies absorbed by Musicraft/Jefferson-Travis since 1937, with many sharing similar Boards of Directors, included: Union Aircraft Co., the Fonda Corporation, Musicraft Distributing Corporation (originally Hilton Distributing Corp.), Musicraft Manufacturing Company, Abbey Music, Century Distributors, Emcee Music, Olympic Record Corporation, and Guild Records.

Musicraft Records, Inc. began recording in 1936 but its official organization was not until 1937; incorporated (New York) August 10, 1942. A subsidiary of Jefferson-Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation (which became Musicraft Recording Corp.); Planning of intercompany consolidation began March 19, 1947 for Musicraft Recording Corp (formerly Jefferson-Travis Corp.) and its subsidiary Musicraft Records, Inc. resulting in Musicraft Records, Inc.'s emergence as the parent company. The consolidation of May 1947 included the big four: Musicraft Records, Inc., Musicraft Recording Corp., Musicraft Manufacturing, and Musicraft Distributors. Common personnel links, throughout, were directors Edgar Ellinger, Irving Felt, and Paul Puner.

Jefferson Travis Radio Manufacturing Corp / Jefferson Travis Corporation was incorporated 1937. The business originally consisted of the design, engineering, and production of two-way radio communications and continuous sound recording-playback machines through the medium of acetate in cellophane tape. Jefferson Travis entered into a contract with Fonda Corporation (est. 1939) in February 1941 and through a merger with Fonda Corp. in April 30, 1945 to become the Jefferson Travis Corporation. November 1945 it had acquired stock of Musicraft Corporation. Then in December 1945 it acquired stock of Union Aircraft Products Corp. (which manufactured aircraft fittings and junction boxes). January 16, 1946 it acquired Guild Records Inc. from American Glossite as a wholly-owned subsidiary devoted to manufacture and pressing of phonograph records for "another of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the parent company" (possibly Musicraft Records). In June 1946 it acquired all stock of Musicraft Distributors, Inc.. October 22, 1946, all assets of Jefferson Travis Corporation Radio Communications Division were sold to Emerson Radio Phonograph Corporation including use of Jefferson Travis name with the exception of the tape recorder hence the name Jefferson Travis Corporation was changed to Musicraft Recording Corporation which had thus disassociated itself from radio communication equipment business. By December 1946, Union Aircraft Products was no longer affiliated with Musicraft Recording Corp. February 26, 1947 saw Guild machinery and equipment sold and as of 1948 was an inactive wholly-owned subsidiary of corp. May 28, 1947 saw the merger with Musicraft Records Inc.

Musicraft Distributing Corporation was incorporated April 20, 1946. Originally founded as Hilton Distribution Corporation in February 15, 1946 for the purpose of buying "Gwirtz Franchises" for the sale and distribution of Musicraft Records. It was acquired by Jefferson Travis Corporation in June 1946.

Musicraft Manufacturing Corporation was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Musicraft Corporation (Musicraft Records) which operated the Ossing, N.Y. pressing plant. Musicraft Manufacturing (of NY) stock was held by Century Distributors.

Abbey Music Corporation was established September 1945 as subsidiary of Musicraft for the purpose of music publishing, but having no assets and conducting no business, was dissolved in May 1946.

Century Distributors, Inc. was founded in September 1944 and consolidated with Musicraft in December 1945. Albert Marx becomes associated with Musicraft through Century (in which he was involved since 1944).

Fonda Corporation was founded in Delaware in July 21, 1939 by Jay Fonda, the company produced and designed radio and sound recording equipment. In particular, it outfitted the U.S. military with radio equipment during the Second World War and developed a sound recording machine for the peacetime market. This "tape recorder" was one of the earliest prototypes for tape recording. After initial contracting in 1941, Fonda entered into contracts with Jefferson Travis in January 1943 for coordinated production of radio equipment for Union Aircraft. It was eventually acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferson Travis Radio Manufacturing Corporation in April 1945.

Prior to its incorporation in Connecticut in 1945, Guild Records operated as part of the American Glossite Company incorporated as wholly owned subsidiary of the former in May 1945. It was acquired as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jefferson-Travis Corporation in January 1946 along with its pressing plant in Norwalk, Conn. Guild Records relied on popular names, not advertising, to sell records. It recorded various artists in new and popular genres including calypso, represented by Gerald Clark and His Original Calypsos, among others. In the "Hot Jazz" field, Guild recorded Dizzy Gillespie and featured sidemen and musicians including Don Byas, Slam Stewart, Charlie Parker, Maurice Rocco with Cozy Cole and Billy Taylor, Georgie Auld, Erskine Butterfield, and Jesse Rogers.

Olympic Record Corporation was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Musicraft Corporation (Musicraft Records) that operated Los Angeles pressing plant.

Numerical listing

Label Number.....Artist - Song Title
(Composer)
Pressing Ref number/s - location - Date Competed - Time

* image pending





8500 Not Issued
8500 Not Issued


8501A Violin and piano - Serenade
(Schubert)
- MM723 A-4 -
8501B Violin and piano - Hunbarian Dance No. 6
(Brahms)
- MM724 A-4 -


8502A Soprano and String Ensemble - Hark, Hark the Lark
(Schubert)
- MM 731C A-8 -
8502B Soprano and String Ensemble - Ave Maria
(Gounod)
- MM732B A-8 -


8503-A Baritone with String Orchestra - Di Provenca il Mar, il suol Waltz
(Giuseppe Verdi) from: La Traviata
- MM-733-A - 3:20
8503-B Baritone with String Orchestra - Dormiro sol nel manto mia regal Waltz
(Giuseppe Verdi) from: Don Carlo
- MM-734-A - 3:32


8504-A String Ensemble - Serenade
(Hayden)
- MM-735-A - 2:53
8504-B String Ensemble - Andante Cantable
(Tschaikowsky)
- MM-736-A - 3:51


8505-A Concert Orchestra - The Blue Danube Waltz Waltz
(Johann Strauss)
- 1585-1 - 3:09
8505-B Concert Orchestra - Tales From The Vienna Woods Waltz
(Johann Strauss)
- 1594-1 - 3:14


8506-A Tenor and Orchestra - Vesti la giubba (Put On The Costume)
(Leoncavallo) from: "Pagliacci" act 1
- 7920-42 - A-8 - 2:50
8506-B Tenor and Orchestra - La donna mobile (The Lady Is Fickle)
(Giuseppe Verdi) from: "Rigoletto" act 3
- 7919-41 - A-8 - 2:09


8535-A Symphony Orchestra - Bolero part I
(Ravel)
- MM-880-A - 3:01
8535-B Symphony Orchestra - Bolero part II
(Ravel)
- MM-879-A - 3:19
Together the play order is reversed on the label - but we play them correctly here - 6:18


8553-A Chorus and Orchestra/Contralto and Orchestra - We Sail The Ocean Blue / I'm Called Little Buttercup
(Arthur Sullivan (C) - (L) W. S. Gilbert) from: "H. M. S. Pinafore"
- MM-957-B - 3:00
8553-B Baritone and Orchestra/Soprano, Baritone, Bass and Orchestra - When I Was A Lad / Bell Trio
(Arthur Sullivan (C) - (L) W. S. Gilbert) from: "H. M. S. Pinafore"
- MM-958-B - 3:21


8560-A Concert Orchestra - Les Sirenes Waltz part I
(Waldteufel)
- MM-999A - Album 17-A -
8560-B Concert Orchestra - Les Sirenes Waltz part II
(Waldteufel)
- MM-1000A - Album 17-A -




Artists on
Masterpiece

Concert Orchestra,



Source:
http://newarkwww.rutgers.edu/IJS/collections/MUSICRAFTf.html
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