Beginnings Journey Archiving Project Collection

The Collection

Musical Kaleidoscope is about giving back to the world, its great music. As world conditions became more chaotic and discordant, so did our music. Now, technology is allowing us to discover music that will benefit our personal growth and unfoldment, and provide an education for our younger generations.

Don Robertson

"Early Spiritual Recordings on Cylinders"

Early in the last century, Nashville's Fisk University Jubilee Singers recorded Afro-American spirituals that were released on both records and on cylinder recordings. In this photo we see "It is All Over This World" by the Fisk Quartet, recorded in 1912. Cylinders were the earliest commercial medium that was developed for recording sound.

Fisk Jubilee Singers books on Amazon

"Early Spiritual Recordings on 78 Records"

“Done What You Tole Me to Do” by the Fisk University Quartet of Nashville, Tennessee on an RCA Victor 78rpm Record recorded on February 6, 1911 at Victor’s studios in Camden, N.J.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Fisk Jubilee Singers Story

"The Fisk Jubilee Singers on a Columbia 78"

The spiritual “I Want to be Ready” was sung by the Fisk University Jubilee Singers of Nashville, Tennessee on a Columbia 78rpm disk that was recorded in New York City on December 22, 1920.

Wikipedia - Fisk Jubilee Singers

"The Pace Jubilee Singers"

“It Pays to Serve Jesus” on the Paramount label was recorded in Chicago, Illinois in April, 1927 by the windy city's own Pace Jubilee Singers. Between 1926 and 1929, this group released more than 70 sides for various labels.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Pace Jubilee Singers

"The Tuskegee Institute Singers"

The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. In 1884 he formed the choir known as the Tuskegee Institute Singers to sing African-American spirituals. “I Want to Be Like Jesus” was recorded in New York City on August 31, 1914.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Tuskegee Institute Singers

"Mitchell's Christian Singers"

This group of singers called "Mitchell's Christian Singers" hailed from Kinston, North Carolina. Recording over 80 sides between 1934 and 1940, this record, called “New Dry Bones,” was one that had been recorded in New York City on April 28, 1936.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Mitchell's Christian Singers

"White Spirituals from the Kentucky Mountains"

This famous African American song “I Shall Not be Moved” is here covered by the Kentucky Holiness Singers, a white group that sang, and played guitars, mandolin and banjo. It is a good example of the very genuine gospel music that emerged from the Appalachian Mountains in 1940.

"Smith's Sacred Singers"

Another Southern white group, the Smith (Smith's) Sacred Singers recorded the classic Southern gospel song “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand” in 1935.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Smith's Sacred Singers

"Dry Bones"

A white man's adaptation of an African American spiritual. There were a number of "Stamps" quartets operating and recording in the American South. White Church was a southern gospel record label.

Wikipedia - Glen Payne

"The Father of Southern Gospel Music"

James D. Vaughan of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee was the father of Southern gospel music. “It Will Make Heaven Brighter” by the Vaughan Quartette is one of the 78s in the collection.

Wikipedia - James D. Vaughan

"Popular Records from the Victor Talking Machine Company"

"A Southern Lullabye" by Elsie Baker on a Victor 78 from 1919.

"Music from the Southern Mountains"

“Put My Rubber Doll Away” by the Cumberland Mountain Folks from 1948.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Molly O'Day and the Cumberland Mtn Folks

"Pop music from the final years of the 78"

This pop instrumental by Hugo Winterhalter and Orchestra was called “The Magic Touch.” It was released during the year 1953. Light instrumental pop music was very popular during this period.

"Music on the 'Sacred' Label"

“O Rock of Ages” was recorded by the Earl Weatherford Stamps Quartet. Earl would later found the famous "Weatherford" Quartet that used to sing on Rex Humbard's Cathedral of Tomorrow television program.

"RCA's first Vinyl 45rpm Records"

RCA Victor introduced the 45rpm record and the 45rpm record player during the spring of 1949. A set of seven records accompanied each player. Each record was drawn from one of RCA's seven genres, each represented by a different colored vinyl. Green - Country; Black - Popular; Yellow - Children's; Red - Classical; Orange - "Race"; Blue - Semi Classical; Bluish - International.

Listen to an original commercial

"The Sons of the Pioneers"

Country music was pressed on early RCA Victor 45rpm records in green vinyl. This is a 1949 release of “Chant of the Wanderer” by the Sons of the Pioneers, the group that Roy Rogers had founded in 1933. This was the 4th country 45rpm record that RCA released.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Sons of the Pioneers

"'Race' Records were on Orange Vinyl"

“Race records,” as African-American music was called at that time, was pressed on RCA Victor 45rpm records on orange vinyl. This is “Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around” by the gospel group “Five Trumpets.” RCA Victor 45rpm labels went through phases of refinement in the printing process, and during the earlier years were often nearly impossible to read.

Arthur Crudup on Orange Vinyl

"Yellow Vinyl Children's Records"

Children’s records on early RCA Victor 45rpm disks were pressed in yellow vinyl. This is one of the disks from the children's album “Favorite Hymns For Children” by Dennis Day. The two drawings pictured on this label did not appear on the earliest 45rpm children's releases.

78 rpm RCA Children's record

"Early Columbia 7" LP Classical Record"

Beginning in 1948, Columbia issued "singles" on 7" 33-1/3rpm records. Here we have Oscar Levant playing the Lullaby from Khachaturian’s Gayne Ballet Suite. After the initial competition between RCA Victor, who had invented the 45, and Columbia, who had invented the 33-1/3 LP, the outcome was that 45s became the standard to be used by both labels for "singles," and 10" and 12" 33-1/3 records were naturally best suited for albums.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Oscar Levant

"Early Columbia 7" 45rpm Classical Record"

Columbia invented the “Long Play” 33-1/3rpm record. When RCA Victor released the first 45rpm records, Columbia was against adopting the 45rpm record format for singles, hoping instead that the public would purchase Columbia's releases on 7" 33-1/3 records. They finally gave in; RCA's 45rpm format had proved to be the winner. Not only did Columbia move to 45s for their singles, they also started selling boxed sets of 45s. As it did with its 78rpm and 33-1/3 records of the late 1940s, Columbia issued all of their classical recordings with a blue label, avoiding colored vinyl altogether. This is Debussy’s “La Plus que Lente” played by Oscar Levant.

"Early Columbia Semi-Classical 45rpm Record"

Semi-classical music was issued by Columbia with a green label. This is music from the Broadway musical “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” on a 45rpm record.

"Early Columbia Semi-Classical LP Record"

A green-label 33-1/3rpm recording of French singer Charles Trenet singing “La Mer”, known in England and America as “Beyond the Sea.” Trenet wrote this song and it became very famous.

Charles Trenet sings La Mer - Live

"Meet Mr. Optional Center"

Only the major labels had the production facilities and the money to produce 45rpm records. Thus, the earliest 45s were released on the Columbia, RCA Victor, Decca, Mercury, Capitol and London labels. To accommodate record players with small spindles as well as the wide spindles needed for 45rpm records, Capitol and Columbia tried “optional centers” for a while. These could be removed by punching them out, or they could be left in the record. This idea caught on in Europe and the British Isles, but not in the US. This is a clever version of "Meet Mr. Callaghan" that makes use of a harpsichord for the melody line. It was arranged by Mitch Miller.

A Musical Kaleidoscope VIDEO:
Meet Mr. Callaghan

"The Bales Brothers on a 7" LP 'Single'"

This country record is on Columbia a 7" 33-1/3 LP disk. The Bailes Brothers here are singing “You’ll Always be the only One.” From the mid-1940s through the fifties, the Bailes Brothers were one of the most popular close-harmony duet singing acts. Popular and country music issued on Columbia LPs, 45s, and 78s had a red label. Blue labels were reserved for classical records, and green labels for semi-classical.

"T-Bone Walker"

T Bone Walker was one of the absolute greats of blues guitar and a major influence on later players, such as B.B. King. Here we find a reissue LP from the Imperial label. T-Bone's imperial recordings were originally all on 78rpm records that were recorded between 1950 and 1954.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Amazing Playlist:
T-Bone Walker - LIve

"Bobby 'Blue' Bland"

One of the greatest soul singers ever, the recordings by Bobby Bland for the Duke label, including this 1964 album with its classic cover, are held in the highest esteem by music connoisseurs everywhere.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Bobby "Blue" Bland

"A Django Reinhardt Album of 78rpm Records"

Django was the greatest jazz guitarist who ever lived. He inspired a completely new style that has permeated both the world of jazz and blues music as well as the music of the European gypsy communities. Passing on in 1953, he left us with a huge and important legacy of recorded music.

"A Django Reinhardt French 10-inch LP album"

This is an extremely rare Django Reinhardt 10" LP record from France.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Django Reinhardt

"The Charlie Parker Story"

This is a very famous album recorded on the Savoy Label. Charles "Yardbird" Parker was the great exponent and innovator of jazz music whose playing, and his recordings, changed this style of American music forever.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Charlie Parker

"Savoy Label"

The Savoy label, out of Newark, New Jersey, was not only an important jazz label, but it was also the most prolific African-American label to exist. The recordings of the 1960s are rare and provide hallmarks of African American gospel music. This 12-inch long play 33-1/3rpm record was recorded by the gospel group "The Raymond Rasberry Singers" and features one of the famous covers by "Harvey" that graced the gospel LP recordings from Savoy's early period.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Raymond Rasberry Singers

"The Cleveland Colored Quintet"

The Cleveland Colored Quintet, from the American city of Cleveland, Ohio, sang spiritual songs in the Southern gospel style for 27 years. This is a 12-inch long play 33-1/3rpm record on the Sacred Label.

The Cleveland Colored Quintet

"A very rare 10" LP recording of North Indian Classical Music"

This French recording features the great North India classical musician Ram Narayan playing the sarangi accompanied by Chatur Lal, a very gifted tabla player who died at an early age.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
North Indian Classical Music - The Sarangi

"Rare Red Vinyl 'Sing' Label LP Record"

The Southern gospel group called the LeFevre’s owned the important Sing record label, here represented by a rare red-vinyl recording of the Rebels Quartet.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Rebels Quartet

"Holiness Preacher Brother Claude Ely"

The holiness preacher Brother Claude Ely, who preached and sang in the mountain towns of Kentucky and Southwest Virginia, was the author of the famous gospel song “Ain’t No Grave.”

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Brother Claude Ely

"Spirit of Memphis Quartet"

This long play 33-1/3 recording from the Netherlands re-released early 78rpm records from the great Spirit of Memphis Quartet who lived in the city of the same name.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
The Spirit of Memphis Quartet

"Roberta Martin Singers"

The great early Savoy Label 33-1/3rpm records all featured covers painted by "Harvey." The Roberta Martin Singers of Chicago recorded this album live at the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey on March 6, 1963.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Roberta Martin Singers

"Gregorian Chant"

Many great LP 33-1/3rpm recordings of Gregorian chant were released in Europe, mostly on audiophile vinyl. This is a German recording of holy week music from the Basilka Niederaltaich.

A Musical Kaleidoscope Playlist:
Gregorian Chant - Avec des informations en francais


Many beautiful LP 33-1/3rpm records were made of Renaissance sacred music. This one was recorded in Hungary and features the Girl’s Chorus of Gyor.

A Musical Kaleidoscope MegaPlaylist:
Renaissance Sacred Music

Beginnings Journey Archiving Project Collection