INK SPOTS 78 RPM RECORD LABELS

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Notes: Song titles and record numbers are provided in the text for all labels shown.

Larger images are grouped to permit better comparison of similar labels

ARGENTINA   AUSTRALIA   BELGIUM   BRAZIL    CANADA 

  CZECKOSLOVAKIA   FRANCE   INDIA   ITALY   JAPAN   NETHERLANDS

NEW ZEALAND   SOUTH AFRICA    SPAIN   SWITZERLAND   UNITED KINGDOM   UNITED STATES

 

DESCRIPTION
LABELS
ARGENTINA:

Four labels are known to us.

One was made in Buenos Aires by RCA Victor Argentina Inc. and has the same record number and black label with gold printing as the U. S. label. While Spanish is used, the titles were also given in English. Tus Pies Son Muy Grandes (Your Feet's Too Big) - 24851-A. (Since the titles on the U. S. pressings were also given in Spanish, the American pressings must have been shipped to some other Spanish speaking countries.)

Another is on the Decca label with silver printing and a different number series. Two label colors are known. One is maroon with silver printing - Nosotros Tres (We Three), 333006 A. The other is light red/orange with silver printing - El Boogie Del Vaquero (Cow-Cow Boogie), 333264B. Both were manufactured by Industrias Electricas y Musicales Odeon in Buenos Aires.

3 "Odeon" labels have been found. One is white with green printing - El Boogie Del Vaquero (Cow-Cow Boogie), 299113B. One is green with yellow/gold printing - Dejemoslo Todo (Let's Call the Whole Thing Off), 284279B. One is black with silver printing - El Boogie Del Vaquero, 286443A. All Odeon pressings were manufactured by Industrias, Electricas y Musicales Odeon in Buenos Aires.


Decca-red/orange


Decca-maroon


Victor


Odeon


Odeon


Odeon

AUSTRALIA:

Two record labels are known - Decca and Festival. The Decca label is usually black with gold using the British Beethoven label style but with a different, Y prefix, numbering system - Brown Gal - Y5380. A variant is the same label but on very dark blue instead of black. Do I Worry - Y6147.

Some Deccas have a different style label with extra gold immediately under the Decca name in the section that says, "Made in Australia for Columbia Gramophone (Aust.) Pty. Ltd." - Sometimes, Y6270. (We have only found this variety in the dark blue with gold print labels.) The word "for"suggests that some other company may have made these records since all other Australian Deccas say they were pressed "by" the Columbia Gramophone (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. in Sydney.

According to our information, Columbia Gramophone had to use other paper for labels at times during the war and we have seen lighter blue labels - Cow Cow Boogie, Y5873.

In 1952 a new local company, Festival Records was established in Sydney. Festival made arrangements with a number of established record manufacturers including Decca to release their records in Australia. Festival records have a yellow label with black printing - Bewildered, FS1135.  Two varieties exist. They differ in minor ways such as the location of "78 RPM" and "Made in Australia." Type sizes also differ.

Black/Gold

Dark Blue/Gold


Dark Blue/
Extra Gold


Blue Label


Festival-1

Festival-2

BELGIUM:

Decca pressings with a 60.000 number series were pressed in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Two varieties of the traditional Decca red/gold/white label have been found. One has a small "American Series" on the label-You're Breaking My Heart, 60.368. The other has a large "American Series" across the label under the word Decca-Do You Feel That Way Too?, 60.054.

BRAZIL:

The only known label pressed in Brazil was Odeon. They were pressed by Industrias Eletricas E Musicais Fabrica Odeon S.A. in Rio de Janerio. It was operated by Industrias, Electricas y Musicales Odeon of Buenos Aires. The Odeon label was gray/white on black with a different number-I'll Never Smile Again, 288.221-B

CANADA:

All Canadian Ink Spots records were manufactured in Lachine, Quebec by The Compo Co. The earliest has a printed "Decca" on a dark blue label with gold print and there are 2 varieties. One variety has the words "Trade Mark" above the Decca square on the label - I'm Through, 2966-B. The second has the words "Trade Mark" under the word Decca - Puttin' and Takin', 3468-A. Some records were issued with both above and below labels - for example, Whispering Grass/Maybe, 3258. There is a further variety of the "Trade Mark above" label that has 3 raised rings on the label close to the center hole on one side only - I'll Get By, 10174-A.

In common with the United States, there was a "Curtain Call" classics reissue but Canada used a maroon label with silver print - Do I Worry, 11050-B.

The Canadian Personality label has a script "Decca" in gold on the same dark blue background - Time Out For Tears, 27259-A.

The final Canadian label is similar to the final black and silver U.S. label - Whispering Grass, 23632-B. Obviously, this label was used for reissues of older records such as this one in addition to a few new releases.

It should be noted that most Canadian pressings use the same record numbers as United States pressings. The exception is a series of 10,000 numbers unique to Canada that seem to replace the 18,000 U.S. numbers. The 3 rings label pictured here is from the 10,000 number pressings. 

Blue/gold
Trade Mark above

3 Rings
Trade Mark above

Blue/Gold
Trade Mark
under

Curtain Call

 

Personality

 Black/Silver

CZECHOSLOVAKIA:

After the war, Decca opened a Czech branch in Prague that issued over 100 jazz and swing pressings between 1946 and Feb/48 when the Communists took over. Black label with Beethoven U.K. "head" style, "THE SUPREME RECORD", Czech price of 90 crowns printed on the label and U.K. Brunswick numbering- Either It's Love Or It Isn't, 03703.

 
FRANCE:

Decca "American Series" with red label, black printing with the Beethoven head and "Decca" in white - Cow-Cow Boogie, BM03503. Label states, "Fabrique en France". Numbering employs Brunswick UK numbers prefaced by "BM".
Decca also pressed some unique picture label records. We know of two different series. One is an American Series that had an orange label with brown printing and a different numbering system - You're Breaking My Heart, MU60368. A variety of this pressing by Decca has been found. It has the word "Harmonic" pasted over the words Decca on the label. We have been informed that the Harmonic Music Libray, owned by C. Brull of London, might have purchased these records from French Decca and re-labeled them. They would then have offered them for sale in England - You're Breaking My Heart, MU60368.
The second picture series has a red label with gold printing. One record has a picture of Ella Fitzgerald on one side (Cow-Cow Boogie) and the Ink Spots on the other side - Don't Believe Everything You Dream, MU3503.

INDIA:

Four different labels were produced in India by Phonograhic Performance (Eastern) Ltd. of Calcutta.

The Decca label is light blue with gold printing, Beethoven head and "The Supreme Record" - Who Wouldn't Love You, 18383. Although similar to the Decca UK label, the series uses U.S. numbers.

The Indian Brunswick label is similar to the U.K. Brunswick label with black with gold printing. Indian Brunswicks use the U.K. numbers - My Greatest Mistake, 03081.

One Indian Columbia label is maroon with gold printing and, like the two U.K. Columbia Ink Spots recordings, has it's own number system prefaced by "FB" - This Is Worth Fighting For, FB 40287.  The other label is dark blue with gold printing and has numbers prefaced by "DB" - I Still Feel the Same about You, DB 50379.

Decca

Columbia-Maroon

Columbia-Blue

Brunswick

ITALY:

The Fonit label was manufactured by Fonodisco Italiano Trevisan in Milano. One has a red label with gold printing-Prisoner of Love, 1181-A. Two Ink Spots records were pressed by Fonit according to a 1948 Fonit/Decca catalogue. Possibly others were pressed in other years. This catalogue indicates that two number series were used by Fonit - BM.1001 and BM.10001. One from the 1948 catalogue is Just For A Thrill/It's Funny To Everyone But Me, BM.1133. Another series - BM.600 - was made in England for sale in Italy.

Fonit

 

JAPAN:

The Polydor label was manufactured by Nippon Polydor Chikuonki Co., Ltd and is blue with gold printing like the earliest U. S. Decca "sunburst" label releases - Slap That Bass, A-179-B. The U. S. release was about May/37 and the use of the "sunburst" suggests that this Japanese pressing could have been made soon after the U.S. release. English was prohibited in Japan during WWII starting in 1941. An insert sheet with the record that provides the English words for Slap That Bass has Japanese writing at the bottom that goes from right to left which supports a time before the Japenese were required to write from left to right after the War. Overall, this suggests that this record had to be pressed in Japan no later than 1940. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who can help us with the timing of this release.
The Columbia label was manufactured by Nippon Phonograph Co. and is black with gold printing-Stompin' At The Savoy, J2923.
The Decca label pressed by Teichiku Records Co., Limited, is black with gold printing and uses a different numbering system- If I Didn't Care, DE-57.

 
NETHERLANDS:
There seems to be one series of Decca "The Supreme Record" with maroon and gold label colors - Sincerely Yours, M32408. Holland Deccas are numbered in a separate "M"series and have "NEDEREL FABRIKAAT" and "FABR EN HOLLANDE" on the label.
NEW ZEALAND:
Decca recordings similar to the Australian pressings and with the same numbers were produced by His Master's Voice (N.Z.) Ltd. in Wellington- Do I Worry?, Y6147. HMV was a New Zealand company established in 1949 by EMI U.K. that pressed records under license from EMI and Decca in the U.K.
 

SOUTH AFRICA:

Decca recordings similar to the United Kingdom pressings have Gold on Red "THE SUPREME RECORD" labels - Sometime, FM5795. This record was made in South Africa by Gallo (Africa) Limited.

 

SPAIN:

A Disco "Gramophono" recording (disco fabricado por la Compania del Gramophono-Odeon S.A.E. Barcelona) has a gold on dark green label with the RCA Nipper - Swingin' On the Strings, AE4585.

A Decca Supreme gold on red label was also pressed in Spain, Siempre (Always), RD40031

SWITZERLAND:

See labels under Belgium, above, for recordings pressed in Belgium, France and Switzerland.

 
UNITED KINGDOM:

The two U.S. RCA Victor records were issued in the U.K. on HMV, Don't 'Low No Swingin' In Here, B8418. They were manufactured by The Gramophone Co. Ltd, Hayes-Middlesex, England.

Two records were issued using a maroon with gold print Columbia label. They have a different numbering system starting with "FB" and were made by the Columbia Gramophone Co. Ltd. of London. The first - Your Feet's Too Big /T'ain't Nobody's Biz-ness, DB5031, was pressed only with this label. The second- Keep Away From My Doorstep /Stompin' At The Savoy - was issued in the U.K. on both the Columbia ( FB1513) and Brunswick (02280) labels.

All other regular pressings in England of Ink Spots songs were on Brunswick which used it's own numbering system. There are two Brunswick labels. One is the regular black with gold printing label- Coquette, 03017A. This label has at least 3 varieties. In two cases the wording about copyrights and selling price differs slightly. Another variety has "Fabrique en Angleterre" added (pressed in England for sale abroad?) To see these varieties, click on the Black/Gold label. The other is a black picture label with white printing and gray tone picture - Whispering Grass, 03075. 

In addition to regular pressings, there were Decca label pressings that were made for sale abroad (to countries where the rights to "Brunswick" were held by other companies). Most used a "BM" prefix (BM for British masters?) with the regular Brunswick numbers. There were two main "BM" issues - "The Supreme Record" and an "American Series" that was used for popular American songs.

Ink Spots records were released with both labels. Decca "American Series" records have at least two different labels. Street of Dreams is an example of one song that was issued on both labels. The first label is maroon with gold printing- Street of Dreams, BM03524. The second is red with gold printing with Decca and the Beethoven head in white - Street of Dreams, BM03524. There seem to be fewer Decca"The Supreme Record" Ink Spots releases - That's the Way It Is, BM03584. They have a red label with gold printing and a white Decca and Beethoven head. There was at least one other BM label. It had just Decca with no mention of "Supreme" or "American Series" - Cow-Cow Boogie, BM03503.

In addition, we are aware of one British Decca gold on maroon label which has both "The Supreme Record"and "American series" but it uses only the Brunswick number without any letter prefix - Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, 03573.

Sometimes British pressed Deccas have some foreign small print that suggests manufacture for a specific country. The most frequent example seems to be for France but others include Germany - To Each His Own, BM03757.

We have been told that, due to the war, Decca records were pressed in England for sale in European and other countries. Later, Ink Spots Deccas continued to be pressed in England for some countries (such as Sweden) but were also pressed in other countries including Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa (see labels on this page).

For example, two English made Red Decca series records were sold in South Africa. They have either an "AM" or "FM" prefix. Both series were pressed with regular Decca Supreme red/white/gold labels - Maybe, AM5021B, and A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, FM5028A. The "FM" series has also been found with a gold on red label, I'd Climb the Highest Mountain, FM5523A.

We would be pleased to hear from anyone who can provide more information about the various DECCA series labels used in the U.K. and about any other countries where these Decca records were pressed.

HMV

Columbia

Picture Label



Brunswick
Black/Gold
3 varieties

Decca
Am.Series

Decca
Am.Series

Decca-Supreme
American Series

Decca


Decca Supreme
BM


Decca Supreme
AM

Decca Supreme FM
Red-White-Gold

Decca Supreme FM
Red-Gold

Decca Supreme
with German small print

 
UNITED STATES:

Two Victor records with black labels and gold printing were released in January of 1935 by RCA Victor - Your Feet's Too Big, 24851-A. One of these (Your Feet's Too Big/Swingin' On The Strings) was later released on the Bluebird label - Your Feet's Too Big, B6530-A.

All other Ink Spots 78 RPM releases were on the Decca label.

The earliest releases featured label colors somewhat similar to the U.K. Decca with light blue/gold labels featuring a 3-dimensional effect "DECCA" that is most frequently referred to as a "Sunburst" label - Old Joe's Hittin' The Jug, 883-B.

Later early Deccas do not have the sunburst Decca but instead have a plain, printed "DECCA." There are three variations of these blue/gold Deccas. The three varieties are very similar and differ only in the small print relating to trade mark wording and place of manufacture. The first includes the wording, "Trade Mark Registered" and "Manufactured in U.S.A. By Decca Records Inc." - Stompin' At The Savoy, 1036-B. The second includes the wording, "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." and the same "Manufactured in the U.S.A. By Decca Records Inc." - If I Didn't Care, 2286-A. The third includes the wording, "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Marca Registrada" and "Manufactured By Decca Records Inc, New York, U.S.A." - I Could Make You Care, 3346-B. More than one of these three variations can be found for some records. For example, I'll Never Smile Again/I Could Make You Care, 3346 can be found with both the "Trade Mark Registered" and "Marca Registrada" labels. In addition, Decca released some songs that originally had sunburst labels on one or more of these three varieties after the Ink Spots became famous in 1939 (eg. Your Feet's Too Big, 817).

In 1942, a change to a new number series starting at 18,000 and a new black label with gold printing occurred - Ev'ry Night About This Time, 18461-A.

In August of 1944 a new "Personality" black label with gold print came into use with a new 23,000 series of numbers - A Friend of Johnny's, 27391-B. The previous black/gold labels and the Personality labels were both used from 1944 to 1946. For reasons unknown to us, Decca issued a limited number or 78s on red vinyl featuring their various artists (about 500 in total?). At least one Ink Spots recording using this label was issued on a red vinyl record - Aladdin's Lamp, 24496-A.

Beginning in 1947, two other labels were used by Decca in addition to the Personality label. One had 3 lines and 2 stars. The 3 lines were below the word Decca with one star in the middle of the center line. The other star was above the word Decca - That's When You're Heartaches Begin, 25505. The second new label was similar but without the 3 lines and star below the word "Decca" - That's The Way It Is, 25047-B.

In 1952, Decca issued a "Curtain Call" Ink Spots record which was one of a series of classics featuring the biggest hits of Decca's biggest artists. The series had a red label with gold printing - If I Didn't Care, 11050.

The last regular label used by Decca for Ink Spots recordings (reissues) was introduced in the mid-1950s. It was black with silver printing - The Best Things In Life Are Free, 30058. 

In addition to regular labels, Decca issued "not for sale" samples to the trade. One sample label was green with black printing - All My Life, 27996. Other samples were issued on white labels with blue printing - I Still Feel the Same About You, 27419.

The Ink Spots "Curtain Call" record was also issued with a green sample label that had "Curtain Call" added - Do I Worry?, 11050.

Pink sample labels were also issued by Decca but we do not have any for Ink Spots releases and do not know if they exist (they do for Bill Kenny Decca releases).

Red, white and blue label 78 RPM V-Disc 12" records were made for seven years in the 1940s and supplied to U.S. servicemen around the world. They were not sold commercially and new records were distributed on a monthly basis to the troops. They were supposed to be destroyed after the end of the war. While many were destroyed, many survived and a complete set of these records can be found in the Library of Congress. The Ink Spots made three V-Disc recordings (although two of them were the same song, We'll Meet Again)- We'll Meet Again, 205A.

Victor

Bluebird

SUNBURST


Trade Mark Registered


Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

Marca Registrada

Black/gold

Personality

 Lines/Stars 

Red Personality

Star/No lines

Curtain Call


Black/Silver

Green Sample

White Sample


Green "Curtain
Call" Sample


V-Disc

 

 

UNITED STATES - MOVIE 78s

78 RPM recordings of songs made for movies. They were used to put the sound on film. In the movies, the Ink Spots lip synched the songs. The Ink Spots made three movies and 78s from two of them exist. The Great American Broadcast was filmed in 1941 by 20th Century-Fox and Pardon My Sarong, featuring Abbott and Costello, was released by Universal in 1942.

UNITED STATES - OTHER

Various "test pressings" appear from time to time. Label #1 is from an original, one-sided, shellac Decca test pressing of We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me), matrix #67928A.

Companies like Rainco made paper discs to be used in making personal recordings. Label #2 shows a U.S.S. California disc that was presumably used by a servicemen to record a USO show. These were sometimes mailed home.

Radio transcription recordings were made for Ink Spots broadcasts. In spite of numerous broadcasts made by the Ink Spots, a very limited number of NBC and wartime broadcasts seem to have survived - Shout, Brother, Shout, G.I. Jive #63, Part 4, Overseas Branch, Office of War Information, record #13-414, 12", 78RPM.

  Last revised - 22AUG/13