American Record Corporation

The American Record Corporation, often known as ARC Records or simply ARC, was a United States based record company. It resulted from the merger in July of 1929 of Regal Records, Cameo Records, Banner Records, the US branch of Pathé Records and the Scranton Button Company, the parent company of Emerson Records.

Louis G. Sylvester (former head of Scranton) became president of the new company located at 1776 Broadway in Manhattan, New York City. In October 1929, Herbert Yates, head of Consolidated Film Company took control of ARC. In the following years, the company was very involved in a depressed market, buying failing labels at bargain prices to exploit their catalogue.

In December of 1931 Warner Brothers leased Brunswick Records, Vocalion Records and associated companies to ARC.

In 1932, ARC was king of the 3 records for a dollar market, selling 6 million units, twice as much as RCA Victor. In an effort to get back on top, RCA created its Bluebird label. ARC bought out the Columbia Records catalogue in 1934. In the 1930's ARC produced Brunswick at 75c and Oriole, Romeo, Melotone, Vocalion, Banner and Perfect at 35c.

In December of 1938, the entire ARC complex was purchased from Consolidated Film for $700,000 by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). This allowed the rights to the Brunswick and Vocalion labels to return to Warner Brothers, which assigned the rights to those labels to Decca Records.

Labels ARC issued or pressed (1929-1938)

See also

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