Autograph Records

Autograph was a United States record label of the 1920s.

Autograph was a small label, owned by Marsh Laboratories Incorporated of Chicago, Illinois. Marsh Laboratories in turn was owned by electrical engineer Orlando R. Marsh. Marsh made recordings by his own experimental methods, and therefore Autograph was the first record label to release recordings made electrically with microphones, as opposed to the acoustical or mechanical method then still universally used. Marsh's first electrical records were made in 1921.

Today Autograph is best known for some of the fine jazz by artists in Chicago which was recorded on the label. The most famous of all the duets by King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton. Autograph's best selling records, however, were the series of pipe-organ solos by Jessie Crawford. Marsh's electrical process was the first to be able to capture a good approximation of the range of the organ. Once the Victor Talking Machine Company switched to its own electrical process in 1925 they hired away Crawford to record for them.

The last Autograph records seem to have been recorded in 1926.

Although no longer releasing sides under his own label, Orlando Marsh continued to make recordings in Chicago for other labels (including Paramount, Gennett, and Black Patti) through the end of the 1920s.

See also: List of other record labels


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