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Crown Records

Crown was a budget label founded in 1930 by the Plaza Music Company after their exclusion from the merger that created the American Record Corporation (though their assets, Banner, Conqueror, etc. were absorbed by ARC). With the slogan "two hits for two bits", Crown featured some fine recording artists including the orchestras of Gene Kardos(under Joel Shaw's name), Smith Ballew (under the pseudonym "Buddy Blue"), and Milt Shaw, as well as Eubie Blake and Fletcher Henderson. In addition to the typical dance bands and pop, Crown issued some country records, and a few blues from Paramount's masters.

At the height of the Great Depression, Crown was unable to continue operating and shut down in 1933. In the early 1940s, Eli Oberstein's Variety label reissued some material from Crown.


Gem was a sister label of Crown apparently issued late in the company's history, judging from the known released material on the label. Most or all material issued on Gem also appeared on Crown, and had catalog numbers matching the Crown issue. These records are rarely encountered today, and their original purpose and availability seems to be unknown.


All images on this page created by R. Connor Montgomery, please do not reproduce without permission.