PE0010. Broadway through the Gramophone, Vol. II, Victor Light Opera Company presents excerpts from Naughty Marietta, The Quaker Girl, The Count of Luxembourg, Ziegfeld follies of 1914, etc. (England) 2-Pearl 0083, recorded 1909-14. Transfers by Roger Beardsley. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 727031008323
“This volume of British archival label Pearl's BROADWAY THROUGH THE GRAMOPHONE series features shows and recordings from 1909-1914, the recordings made contemporaneously with the original stage productions. Victor Records, in a precursor to the cast album, found that there was a market for the medleys, as recorded by the Victor Light Opera Company, which consisted of the label's leading recording stars, such as Ada Jones and the Revelers. The singers were not credited individually -- and they are not identified here -- but pre-World War I audiences would have recognized their voices. And even today, comic singer Billy Murray's distinctive reedy baritone is obvious throughout. (Sometimes, the singing is so good you wish you knew who the vocalists were. For example, who is the woman doing those remarkable soprano trills in the medley from THE ARCADIANS? [actually Lucy Isabelle Marsh]) This was a period when Viennese operetta ruled Broadway, at least in the form of transferred productions often containing interpolations by American composers like the young Jerome Kern, who is heard on six tracks, including such hits as ‘They Didn't Believe Me’ from ‘The Girl from Utah’. There are also major American composers like Victor Herbert, who has four excellent scores, including NAUGHTY MARIETTA, which is full of familiar melodies, and SWEETHEARTS. The transfers from old 78s retain a great deal of crackle and hiss, but the sound processing has not muffled the music, which comes through despite the static, making this another major contribution to the history of stage music.”
- William Ruhlmann, Rovi
"Victor Light Opera Company, consisting primarily of Victor in-house artists, appeared in Victor catalogs from 1909 to 1940. Initially, the group performed only light opera and music from Broadway shows. For a brief period, beginning in 1917, the word "Light" was dropped from the name and the Victor Opera Company recorded several grand opera selections. Among the regular members of the Victor Light Opera Company were Elise Stevenson, Elizabeth and John Wheeler, Billy Murray, Olive Kline, Harry Macdonough, and Reinald Werrenrath."
- Loyal Bluto