HOME OFFER INTRO NOTES BOOKS EQUIPMENT NIPPER Index of
LABELS
RECORDS



 
BLUEBIRD

RCA Manufacturing Company, Inc., Camden, N.J. USA.
This is the budget label for RCA, and containing many jazz releases. 

Period: mid 1932 to March 1950. (In 1976 it was reactivated as an LP featuring jazz and popular titles). 

Interestingly, no matrix nukber is shown, neither on the label nor on the record itself, but according to Rust, the numbers dovetailed with that of Victor. . 

Rust [R] gives a very detailed background on the label. The first Bluebird's were issued in 1932 on an 8-inch disc and sold through Woolworths ‘yet manufactured from first-class material and featuring excellent dance bands and popular singers'. They ‘soon disappeared' from the market and were replaced in 1933 by the standard 10-inch, with the label as shown right, L179. In 1937 the label changed to a rich dark blue with gold lettering, with the bird flying across a stave. By the end of 1938 the bird was greatly reduced and took second place to the more prominent Nipper logo, as seen left, J641. Longwell [L] shows a forth label, similar to J641 but without the patent details inside the rim, and with song details immediately to the left of the spindle hole. 

Company history:
In 1900 Eldridge R. Johnson formed the Consolidated Talking Machine Company in Camden, marketing equipment and the ‘new improved' discs with the Nipper logo, and was the first to use paper labels on records [G]. The Victor Talking Machine Company was formed by Johnson in October 1901. In 1907, Victor and The Gramophone and Typewriter Company in the UK signed an agreement to divide the world into two trading areas - this lasted till 1957. Hence Victor had access to the His Master's Voice Nipper logo. RCA, formed in 1919, purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1929, and RCA-Victor established as a label.    

Artists: In the 1930s and 40s, Bluebird offered George Hall, Shep Fields, Alvino Ray, Teddy Powell, Dick Todd, Ozzie Nelson, Vincent Lopez, Freddy Martin, Earl Hines, Fats Waller - and Artie Shaw and Glen Miller. The Miller records were recorded between 1938 and 1942 before he was ‘upgraded' to the Victor label. Rust suggests that they ‘are the most reissued , all over the world, in both 78 and microgroove form'. These of course included Moonlight Serenade, In the Mood, and a record that I loathe, Chattanooga Choo Choo (how on earth could they come up with a title like that unless the writers Godon and Warren were on drugs!). 
  
Records in collection:

J641 sc4+ BLUEBIRD RCA Manufacturing Co. Inc Camden, N.J., USA. 
B-10133-A I AIN'T GOR NOBODY (Roger Graham, Spencer Williams). ‘Fats' Waller and His Piano.
B-10133-B  VIPER'S DRAG (Thomas ‘fats' Waller). Ibid.

L179 c2 BLUEBIRD RCA Manufacturing Co. Inc. Camden, NJ. USA
B-7099-A.  THE MOON GOT IN MY EYES (John Burke, Arthur Johnson).  
From the Paramount film, ‘Double or Nothing'.
Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra. Vocal refrain by Bob Goday.
B7099-B.  ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS DANCE  (John Burke, Arthur Johnson)  Ibid. [Serious crack nearly through to the spindle hole. With original Bluebird sleeve.]