Ada Jones

ADA JONES (June 1, 1873 - May 22, 1922) is regarded as the leading female recording artist of the acoustic era. She could have been called the "First Lady of the American Phonograph", as she was for many years the only woman to record on a regular basis. This contralto was unsurpassed in her sense of comic timing and use of ethnic and national dialects. A versatile performer, she recorded dialect songs, comic numbers, love duets, vaudeville numbers, and dramatic sketches. Her long string of hits was augmented by her popularity in duets with Len Spencer and Billy Murray. Her top sellers included:

"I Just Can't Make My Eyes Behave" (Columbia 3599, 1907)

"The Yama, Yama Man" (with the Victor Light Opera Company, Victor 16326, 1909)

"I've Got Rings on My Fingers" (Columbia 741, 1909)

"Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon" (with the American Quartet, Victor 16508, 1910)

"Come Josephine in My Flying Machine" (with the American Quartet, Victor 16844, 1911)

 

"Row! Row! Row!" (Victor 17205, 1913)

"By the Beautiful Sea" (with Billy Watkins, Columbia 1563, 1914)

A publicity piece in an Edison Blue Amberol (cylinder record) catalog states that Ada Jones may truthfully be said to have graduated from the cradle the stage. She first performed in public at the age of seven at the National Theater in Philadelphia. She sang the old favorite, "Killarney." Her rendition was so remarkably artistic and temperamental that she held the audience spellbound. Her early triumphs spurred the young singer on to greater efforts. In time she took up theatrical work, appearing with Andrew Mack, George Monroe, John Rice and others. The National Phonograph Company first introduced Ada Jones as a recording artist in March 1905. She preformed a "coon" song, "My Carolina Lady." Her success was immediate and emphatic.


More About Ada Jones

"The Encylopedia of Acoustic Era Recording Artists" by Tim Gracyk.

Ada Jones was the leading female recording artist in the acoustic recording era, especially popular from 1905 to 1912 or so. Always working as a freelance artist, she recorded for most American companies that issued records during her years as a recording artist. Her singing range was limited but she was remarkably versatile, able to perform vaudeville sketches, sentimental ballads, popular duets, hits from Broadway shows, British music hall material, "coon" and ragtime songs, Irish comic songs. She was known for an ability to mimic dialects.

She was born in her parents' home at 78 Manchester Street in Oldham, Lancashire, England, on June 1, 1873. Her father James Jones ran an inn, or public house, named The British Flag (the original building no longer stands). Her mother's maiden name was Ann Jane Walsh. Ada was baptized on June 15 in Oldham's St. Patrick's Church as Ada Jane Jones. Her birth was registered on August 18, 1873. The family moved to Philadelphia by 1879 (documents show that a brother was born there in that year). Her mother died and her father remarried. Ada's stepmother, Annie Douglas Maloney, encouraged Ada to make stage appearances, and "Little Ada Jones" was on the cover of sheet music in the early 1880s--one example is the sheet music for Harry S. Miller's "Barney's Parting (1883). The January 1921 issue of Farm and Fireside duplicates an 1886 photograph showing Ada Jones as "Jack, a stable boy with song."

According to Milford Fargo during a presentation about Jones at the 1977 Conference of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, cash disbursement books at the Edison National Historic Site (no recording logs of this period exist) suggest Ada's stepmother had been hired to make or mend drapes for the Edison company. The Jones family at that time lived nearby in Newark, New Jersey. It is likely that, while at the studio, she saw an opportunity for her talented stepdaughter. In any case, Ada's earliest recordings were brown wax cylinders made for Edison in late 1893 or early 1894. Two surviving cylinders are "Sweet Marie" (North American 1289), a song by Raymon Moore, and "The Volunteer Organist" (North American 1292). The piano accompaniment is presumably by Edison's house pianist, Frank P. Banta. A male does the announcement for each record.

They are the earliest known commercial recordings of a female singing as a solo artist. Though Jones would later win fame as a performer of comic numbers, these are not comic. The sentimental "Sweet Marie" had been introduced in the show A Knotty Affair, which opened in New York in May 1891. Composed by Raymon Moore, its lyrics are meant for a male singer. It is impossible to know today whether the song was already in Jones's repertoire or whether Edison recording executives, believing that sentimental numbers best suited female singers, picked this song for what was probably her recording debut. It is true that Jones was in the show A Knotty Affair in December 1893, but the song was sung on stage by its composer, Moore. In any case, this early recording gives no hint of her comic talents.

Jones probably recorded other titles at this time, such as titles issued on North American 1290 and 1291, but they are not known to have survived. Much is unknown about the early brown wax cylinder days--undoubtedly thousands of performances were recorded and issued in tiny quantities, with not a single copy surviving. Shortly after her recording debut, the North American company went into receivership--in August 1894--and this ended the first period of Ada's recording career. A decade would pass before she recorded again.

In the meantime, many other female singers made recordings but most had very short recording careers and none sang comic numbers on a regular basis for a significant numbers of years. Berliner artists of the late 1890s include Laura Libra, Virginia Powell Goodwin, Edna Florence, Dorothy Yale, Grace McCulloch, Florence Hayward, Maud Foster, Mabel Casedy, and Annie Carter.

These were trained singers and tended to sing light opera or sentimental parlor songs. A singer who might be considered a predecessor to Jones in specializing in comic numbers was Marguerite Newton, who was married to the yodeler George P. Watson. Newton recorded over 20 titles for Edison, including "Kiss Your Goosie Woosie" (4606) and "De Cakewalk in the Sky" (7143).

Beginning in 1902, Corinne Morgan was among the first female singers to record on a regular basis, mostly duets with Frank C. Stanley. She sang sentimental fare, not comic numbers (even a rare "coon" number, sung with Stanley--"'Deed I Do"--is characterized in the June 1903 Edison Phonograph Monthly as being "of a sentimental character"). In announcing the release of Standard 8427, "The Lord's Prayer" and "Gloria" as sung by a quartet featuring two male voices (Frank C. Stanley and George M. Stricklett) and two female (Morgan and one Miss Chapell), the June 1903 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly frankly admitted the difficulty of recording the female voice: "It has always been a difficult matter to make successful Records of female voices, and after months of careful experimentation our Record Department has succeeded in getting perfect results in quartettes and duets. It is now at work on solos, and expects before long to list some very good songs by female voices."

When the September 1903 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly announced an October release of one Morgan title, it again acknowledged that the female voice was difficult to record: "A fourth feature for October is the listing of one of the best Records ever made by a woman's voice. It is No. 8499, 'Happy Days,' and is sung by Miss Corrinne [sic] Morgan, with violin obligato...It is sung by Miss Morgan with entire absence of all objectionable features of Records made by women's voices..."

It was probably for the best that Ada Jones ceased to make recordings for a decade. If she had made more in the 1890s, they would probably have been commercial failures due to technical reasons, or recording executives might have relied too much on sentimental numbers, preventing Jones from standing out. In 1905, when her recording career began in earnest, timing proved to be perfect for this comic singer. She was extremely successful and for a long time was unique, the only female to record as regularly as Billy Murray, Henry Burr, Arthur Collins and a handful of other prolific artists.

Meanwhile, throughout the 1890s Jones continued to develop as an entertainer. As a stage performer, she specialized in singing while colored slides were projected. She evidently worked steadily and continued to be featured on sheet music covers, but she was by no means a famous entertainer yet. Soon she would be the first female singer who would win fame on the basis of recordings.

Billy Murray reported in the January 1917 issue of The Edison Phonograph Monthly, and then later to Jim Walsh, that he was responsible for Jones making her Columbia recording debut in 1904. It happened when Murray was recording a duet with Len Spencer. Victor Emerson, then supervisor of Columbia recording sessions, was appalled by Murray's imitation of a female and insisted upon a woman playing the female role. Murray states in the Edison trade journal, "I can get away with some pretty high notes, but there were a couple in that song that I couldn't reach on tiptoes...So I told the director about the girl I had heard in the Fourteenth street museum [Huber's] and suggested that she be given a try-out. He told me to bring her around. I did, and she made just as big a hit with everybody else as she did with me...Some one has spread the impression that Ada Jones is in private life Mrs. Billy Murray. We are married but not to each other."

Jim Walsh writes in the June 1947 issue of Hobbies, "According to Dan W. Quinn, Spencer 'hot-footed it down to Huber's museum' and obtained Miss Jones' services just a day before Quinn made her a similar offer."

Huber's Palace Museum, sometimes called Huber's Fourteenth Street Museum, was located at 106-108 East 14th Street in Greenwich Village, New York City. Entertainment "museums" were divided buildings, with one stage for freak acts and another for variety shows. Not a high-class establishment, Huber's often featured performing monkeys and Unthan, the "armless wonder" who played piano with his toes. Harry Houdini performed at Huber's before enjoying widespread acclaim as an escape artist. Several shows were given each day and entertainers worked hard at museums. Huber's was known in New York City for its variety of vaudeville acts but it was not a leading vaudeville house and did not feature top-name entertainers. Huber's closed in July 1910.

Jones undoubtedly welcomed the opportunity to make recordings. Performing before live audiences must have been difficult since she was subject to epileptic seizures. No medication at this time could control epilepsy.

In March 1905 the first solo recording of her second recording career was issued: "My Carolina Lady" (Standard 8948), music by George Hamilton and words by Andrew B. Sterling. In announcing its release, the February 1905 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly states, "'My Carolina Lady' serve[s] as an introduction to the Phonograph public of another new singer in Miss Ada Jones, who has a charming contralto voice. Miss Jones sings this selection in a style all her own, with a dainty coon dialect and expression, that claim your interested attention at once." She is called a contralto here--she would be called a mezzo soprano, contralto and, most often, soprano. She is called "Miss Ada Jones" though in Manhattan on August 9, 1904 she had married Hughie Flaherty (born in County Kerry, Ireland).

Her Edison debut recording, "My Carolina Lady," was followed in April 1905 by "He's Me Pal" (8957), by Gus Edwards and Vincent Bryan, for which she takes on a Bowery accent. Around this time her first Columbia recording was issued.

In May, Edison issued Jones performing a "coon" song: "You Ain't the Man I Thought You Was" (8989). The April 1905 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly states, "Miss Jones' coon dialect will be found very entertaining...A coon dialect by the female voice is something new in our recent supplements."

She had several regular duet partners, beginning with Len Spencer. Their first recording was titled "The Hand of Fate," issued as Columbia cylinder 32623 and disc 3050 in early 1905. A performance that soon followed was "Heine," issued as Edison 8982 in May 1905. The April 1905 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly characterizes it as a "Dutch vaudeville specialty" during which the Ted Snyder song "Heine" is introduced. Other successful Jones-Spencer duets include "Pals," "He's Me Pal," "Mr. and Mrs. Murphy," "Peaches and Cream," and "Coming Home From Coney Island." They did a series of "Jimmie and Maggie" recordings. The various "vaudeville sketches" were usually arranged by Spencer himself.

A new Jones or Jones-Spencer performance would be issued regularly by Edison--nearly every month--from the time she made her debut with the company through the next few years. Jones and her husband Hugh Flaherty lived in Manhattan at 150 W. 36th Street until 1910, so visiting the Edison studio in lower Manhattan was easy. They then moved to Huntington, Long Island.

She was unable to read music and did not play an instrument. She learned songs by ear. In a letter dated March 12, 1982, researcher Milford Fargo gives this information about Jones when answering a question posed by Ron Dethlefson about Jones' handwriting: "Actually she did not have very good script and rarely wrote her own letters because she was aware of it. She had meager formal schooling and was content to let her stepmother write for her. Len Spencer (of the Spencerian handwriting family) often signed autographs for her on pictures and documents in the Edison and Columbia files. Also her writer friend, Elizabeth Boone, composed letters and copy for her and often sent them in her own writing."

Her first Victor recordings were issued shortly after the company switched from the "Monarch" label to the "Grand Prize" label (beginning in January 1905 "Grand Prize" surrounded the center-hole of new discs, and the "Victor Record" replaced "Monarch Record" on ten-inch discs). Her first Victor recording session was on December 29, 1904, and Spencer was her partner on two selections: "Reuben and Cynthia" (4304) and the burlesque melodrama "The Hand of Fate" (4242). As a solo artist, she recorded on that day two "coon" songs, only one of which was issued: "Mandy Lou, Will You Be My Lady-Love?" (4231). She stopped recording with Spencer around 1908.

Ada gave birth to a daughter, Sheilah, on January 14, 1906. It was her only child. She worked late into her pregnancy (she made Victor recordings as late as December 15, 1905) and returned to work relatively soon after giving birth. On March 16, 1906 she recorded for Victor the song "Henny Klein" as well as skits with Len Spencer.

Though Billy Murray is credited with "discovering" Jones at Huber's in 1904, Murray and Jones were not paired immediately. When Murray and Jones finally recorded together, probably beginning at Victor on November 2, 1906 (they recorded "Wouldn't You Like To Flirt With Me?" and "I'm Sorry"), the duo proved incredibly popular, one of the most successful duos of the acoustic era. The first Edison recording of Murray and Jones was Standard 9659, "Will You Be My Teddy Bear," issued in August 1907. Their first Columbia cylinder was "You Can't Give Your Heart To Somebody Else And Still Hold Hands With Me" (33088). The duo's first Columbia disc was "I'd Like To See A Little More Of You" (3612). Before this, Jones and Murray had joined Frank C. Stanley for "Whistle It" (3589).

The Jones-Murray pairing became exclusive to Victor and Edison after Murray signed a joint contract with those companies in 1909. Their most successful cylinder recording for Edison was probably "Rainbow" (Standard 10049), issued in January 1909. This Percy Wenrich composition (with lyrics by Jack Mahoney) made "Indian" songs fashionable for a few years, and Ada Jones recorded similar songs with Murray, including "Blue Feather" (Standard 10162), "Silver Star" (Amberol 940), and the very popular "Silver Bell" (Standard 10492; Amberol 576).

Other notable Jones-Murray recordings issued by various companies include "Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee," "The Boy Who Stuttered and the Girl Who Lisped," "Smile Smile Smile," "When We Are M-A-R-R-I-E-D," "Wouldn't You Like To Have Me For A Sweetheart," "I'm Looking For A Sweetheart, and I Think You'll Do," and "I've Taken Quite a Fancy To You."

Because Billy Murray in 1909 became exclusive to Victor for disc recordings and Edison for cylinders, Jones needed a new partner when recording for other companies, and she relied mostly on a young Walter Van Brunt, especially when recording for Columbia. Many Lakeside, Oxford, United and Indestructible recordings feature the duo of Jones and Van Brunt. They stopped recording duets in mid-1914 because the tenor signed an exclusive contract with Edison. Van Brunt later recalled in a taped interview with Milford Fargo that he found Jones to be easy to work with, stressing that he could not recall ever having a disagreement or exchanging a cross word.

Other recording partners include Henry Burr, Billy Watkins, Will C. Robbins, George L. Thompson, Robert Grant (for Emerson), Harry Dunning (unlike the others in this list of partners, Dunning was a violinist--not a singer), Billy Jones, and M.J. O'Connell. With Byron G. Harlan she recorded "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm" (Diamond Disc 50518). She did not work often with Harlan though they worked prolifically in the same years. Though she was well-known for performing "coon" songs, she never recorded a duet with the singer best known for "coon" songs, Arthur Collins.

She continued to record with Cal Stewart, working with him until his death in 1919. Especially successful was the comic skit titled "Uncle Josh and Aunt Nancy Putting Up The Kitchen Stove," recorded for several companies. When Jones recorded it for Radiex, working with Duncan Jones instead of Cal Stewart, it was renamed "Uncle Josh and Aunt Mandy Put Up The Kitchen Stove" (4082).

In contrast to colleagues who were assigned various pseudonyms, she evidently was not issued by any name except as Ada Jones.

Popular discs featuring Jones as a solo artist include "I Just Can't Make My Eyes Behave" (Columbia 3599, 1907), "The Yama Yama Man" (with the Victor Light Opera Co., Victor 16326, 1909), "I've Got Rings On My Fingers" (Columbia A741, 1909), "Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon" (with the American Quartet, Victor 16508, 1910), "Come, Josephine, In My Flying Machine" (with the American Quartet, Victor 16844, 1911), "Row! Row! Row!" (Victor 17205, 1913), and "By the Beautiful Sea" (with Billy Watkins, Columbia A1563, 1914).

Jones recorded Maurice Stonehill's "Just Plain Folks" for several companies. One of her most popular numbers, its lyrics are about an aged couple who visit a son for the first time in years, and the couple are disappointed that the wealthy son resents the visit. Edison issued it on two-minute Standard 9085 in September 1905, Columbia soon following. On wax Amberol 286, a longer version was issued in September 1909. Early Blue Amberols had record slips, and none had less text than the one included with Blue Amberol 1771, which gives chorus lines and nothing else: "We are just plain folks, your mother and me/Just plain folks like our own folks used to be,/As our presence seems to grieve you,/We will go away and leave you,/For we're sadly out of place here/'Cause we're just plain folks."

Jim Walsh writes in the May 1977 issue of Hobbies, "The late Fred Rabenstein, who was Edison's paymaster, told me that Ada Jones 'never bothered to learn a song until she came to the studio to make the record,' and this annoyed Walter Miller, the recording manager. On one of her 'takes' of the Diamond Discs of 'Snow Deer,' she sings 'snow bird' at one point where she should say 'deer,' and surprisingly the error was allowed to go uncorrected."

Edison promotional literature hailed her versatility. The July 1908 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly, in announcing the September release of "Hugo" (9928), states, "Here is more proof that Ada Jones' versatility has no limit. This charming entertainer can sing an Irish song 'to beat the Dutch,' and then turn right around and sing Dutch to beat the Irish. That may seem like a very difficult feat, but there will be no room for doubt after hearing 'Hugo,' which is her latest Dutch dialect song."

When her recording of "O'Brien Is Tryin' To Learn To Talk Hawaiian" was issued on Diamond Disc 50402 in May 1917, the jacket for the disc praises her comic talents and suggests she was at the top of her profession: "Ada Jones is without a peer singing comic songs. You'll laugh at these ridiculous words even when you have heard them many times, and you will always find the tune irresistible. Miss Jones is one of the best known of all comic song singers. As a dialect singer she is unique."

In reality, her career suffered when popular music changed in the World War I era, leaving her with only the occasional session, usually for small companies such as Rex and Empire. Recording engagements became less frequent around 1915 though Columbia engaged Jones regularly into 1916. One indication of a decline in popularity is that, as a solo artist, she is on only six Diamond Discs, which is quite a contrast from the many Standard and wax Amberol cylinders she made for Edison prior to the introduction of Diamond Disc technology. When she did go to the Columbia, Edison or Victor studios, she was sometimes given only bit parts in ensemble pieces. Around this time she traveled to make personal appearances, which became her chief source of income.

By 1917 new recording artists such as Marion Harris made Jones' delivery seem old-fashioned. In the late 'teens and early 'twenties, a new generation of female recording artists regularly recorded "blues," or at least Tin Pan Alley songs with "blues" in the title, but Jones never recorded any song with "blues" in the title. When her recording (with Billy Murray) of Harry Von Tilzer's "Don't SlamThat Door" was issued as Blue Amberol 3135 in April 1917, it was advertised as a "conversational coon duet." "Coon" songs were decidedly old-fashioned by this time.

She recorded some songs about the war, such as "We'll Keep Things Going 'Till The Boys Come Home," issued on Imperial 5513 in December 1917, and "They Were All Out of Step But Jim," issued as Okeh 1008 in July 1918. The Heinemann Phonograph Supply Co. began issuing Okeh records in mid-1918 and she recorded a handful of titles for the company, joining George L. Thompson for three titles.

She recorded "She's Back Among the Pots and Pans Again" in late 1917. It was issued on Empire 5526 and Imperial 5526 in February 1918, the reverse side of both discs featuring Byron G. Harlan singing "Long Boy." In 1917 she recorded a handful of songs for the new Gennett hill-and-dale record label: "Cross My Heart and Hope to Die" (7603), "Don't Slam That Door" (7607), and "Says I To Myself, Says I" backed by "I'm Old Enough For A Little Lovin'" (7637). They were issued between November 1917 and March 1918.

The Raymond Hubbell song "Poor Butterfly" was enormously popular throughout 1917 (with words by John Golden, it was introduced in 1916's The Big Show at the Hippodrome Theatre in New York), and for Starr/Gennett 7603 Jones recorded the comic "If I Catch the Guy Who Wrote Poor Butterfly," issued in August 1917.

The Edison Company continued to engage Jones though not as regularly as in earlier years. The company by this time relied far more upon Helen Clark and Elizabeth Spencer for popular songs, and Gladys Rice became increasingly important to Edison. Rice was even paired often with Billy Murray, Jones' traditional partner.

No new Jones material was recorded for Edison between June 1914 and May 1915. There is a large gap in Blue Amberol releases featuring Jones as a solo artist. Blue Amberol 2409 featured her inging Monckton's "Bedtime at the Zoo," issued in September 1914, but then no new Blue Amberols of Jones were issued until two years later, with "If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly" (2940) released in September 1916. This is in contrast to new Jones cylinders being issued nearly every month during her heyday in the Standard and wax Amberol period. She did contribute to three performances issued between Blue Amberols 2409 and 2940. Blue Amberol 2777 features Gilbert Girard "and Co." Blue Amberols 2912 and 2914 feature the Metropolitan Mixed Chorus. Jones helped but was given no label credit. She also did remakes of "The Pussy Cat Rag" and "Uncle Josh's Huskin' Bee" in 1915.

Jim Walsh reports in the June 1960 issue of Hobbies that when a new performance of "The Golden Wedding" was needed for Diamond Disc release, it was recorded on January 25, 1918 with Jones' 12- year daughter, Sheilah, playing the role of a granddaughter.

She recorded Harry Von Tilzer's "Bye and Bye" with Billy Murray, and this was issued as Blue Amberol 3545 in September 1918. It was the last Blue Amberol to pair Jones and Murray.

The April 1918 issue of Talking Machine World reported that rumors were being spread that Jones had died. Page 13 states, "Ada Jones, like Mark Twain, objects to being reported dead, and the veteran talking machine artist was quick to deny the latest rumor of her demise in the following letter: 'I have often been reported dead. I even had a double who has been singing throughout the country, using my name, as "Ada Jones, the phonograph artist." I have just been out with a troupe of phonograph artists giving several entertainments where I was introduced as "Ada Jones, the mother of the phonograph." Which made me feel very ancient, I assure you. Cordially yours, Ada Jones, Long Island.'" It is impossible to say how widespread such rumors were or even know if rumors were spread at all.

The January 1919 issue of Talking Machine World reports on its front page that on December 26, 1918, the singer "sang several coon and character songs" in the Opera House in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Others who performed were the Shannon Four as well as the McKee Trio. The trade journal by the late 'teens did not ordinarily refer to "coon" songs since they were long out of fashion by this time.

Ada Jones and Billy Murray had their last hit as a duo with "When Francis Dances With Me" (Victor 18830), composed by Benny Ryan and Sol Violinsky, who was really Sol Ginsberg. It was recorded on August 25, 1921 and issued in January 1922. Victor had not made it a priority release, evident by the months that passed between its recording and issue dates. The music stops at one point for an exchange of comic dialogue, which was typical of recordings of a previous generation, such as on many Collins and Harlan recordings. By the 1920s, comic singers sometimes exchanged dialogue before music began--as Billy Murray and Aileen Stanley do on several numbers, such as "Whatdya Say We Get Together" (Victor 20065), and as the Happiness Boys do--but not often in the middle of a song.

This was Jones' last Victor disc and allowed Jones to end her career with a hit. She recorded the same song with Billy Jones for Edison on September 6, 1921 and it was issued as Diamond Disc 50852 in December 1921 and Blue Amberol 4404 in January 1922. The last song she recorded was "On A Little Side Street." She sang it as a duet with Billy Jones for Edison (Diamond Disc 50852; Blue Amberol 4404) and sang it as a solo artist for Okeh (4439), which was issued in December 1921. She also recorded the song for Victor but all takes were rejected.

During most of her recording years she resided in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York. She died in a hospital in Rocky Mount, North Carolina on May 2, 1922 while on a performing tour. She was married to Hugh Flaherty, who died on July 9, 1961, outliving his first wife nearly four decades. He had met Ada Jones in a theatrical rooming house at 82 East 10th Street. Walsh reports in the November 1961 issue of Hobbies that Flaherty "worked vaudeville routines and danced 'solo' with the Byron Spahn traveling tent show. Ada was the feature of the Spahn show, singing with illustrated song slides."

Ada Jones was issued on these domestic labels, listed alphabetically: Aeolian-Vocalion, American, Aretino, Busy Bee, Central, Clear Tone (single-faced), Cleartone (double-faced), Clico, Climax, Columbia (she recorded the most titles for this company), Concert, Cort, Crescent, D & R, Diamond, Eagle, Edison, Emerson, Empire, Excelsior, Faultless, Gennett, Harmony, Harvard, Imperial, International, Lakeside, Leeds, Lyric, Manhattan, Marconi, McKinley, Medallion, Mozart, Nassau, Okeh, Operaphone, Oxford, Paramount, Pathe, Perfect, Playerphone, Puritan, Radiex, Remick Perfection, Rex, Rishell, Siegel Cooper, Silver Star, Silvertone, Square Deal, Standard, Star, Sun, Symphonola, Symphony, Talking Book, Thomas, United, Victor, and Zon-o-phone.


Biographical sources: "Billy Murray, The Phonograph Industry's First Great Recording Artist" by Hoffmann, Carty, & Riggs; "Edison Blue Amberol Recordings, 1912-1924" by Ronald Dethlefson; "The Encylopedia of Acoustic Era Recording Artists" by Tim Gracyk.


 

Return to the Jukebox

 

This page was updated on October 4, 1999.