[78-L] Sales figures

Rodger Holtin rjh334578 at yahoo.com
Sun May 22 17:55:49 PDT 2011

There must be some solid figures floating around somewhere. Jack Palmer told me he knew how many "Prisoners Songs Victor really did 
sell and I think it's in his book, but I can't find it at the moment.
I can find this: In his "Bix Beiderbecke Story" (1998) Phil Evans quotes a number of sales figures for Goldkette and Whiteman Victors and Whiteman Columbias.  On page 281Goldkette's "Blue River" is quoted as selling 73,487 copies; on pg 304 Whiteman's Washboard Blues sold 120,676.  He also cites a few Okehs: "Borneo" by Trumbauer at 3,000 and "Somebody Stole My Gal" by Bix and His Gang sold 2,400.  The last record in the book, Hoagy's "Georgia On My Mind" sold 3,641

Two lessons: 
1-the more commercial the piece, the more it sold and it dropped in the Depression (no surprise to anyone who has dug through any 78's that show up at flea markets, is it?)
2-those figures are out there somewhere.  I wish they'd post those figures on the Victor Encyclopedia pages and the Library of Congress National Jukebox.  The kids need to know how many coon songs and Hawaiian ditties really did sell.


For Best Results use Victor Needles.


--- On Sat, 5/21/11, David Lennick <dlennick at sympatico.ca> wrote:

From: David Lennick <dlennick at sympatico.ca>
Subject: Re: [78-L] Sales figures
To: "78-L Mail List" <78-l at klickitat.78online.com>
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 10:34 AM

 From Tin Foil To Stereo gives slightly more conservative figures for 
1931.."from a high of over 100 million discs per year to about 10 million".


On 5/21/2011 10:51 AM, Kristjan Saag wrote:
> Mark Bardenwerper asked:
>>    Is there any credence to the statement, "By 1932
>> total record sales in the US hit an all-time low of 6 million,
>> contrasting with the high of 140 million in 1927"?
>> ---
> Roland Gelatt has the following on p 255 in his "The Fabulous
> Phonograph"  (1955 edition):
> "A total of six million records were sold in the United States during
> 1932, approximately six per cent of the total record sales in
> 1927...What had happened to the phonograph? Why had record sales dropped
> from 104,000,000 discs in 1927 to 6,000,000 in 1932...?"
> ---
> Maybe the 140 million figure given by Burke was a typo.
> Kristjan
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