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On the Record:
The History of the Compo Company - Part 3

     From 1925 until 1929, Compo issued Apex, Starr, Domino, Microphone and Lucky Strike records, as detailed previously; each side bore all of the issue numbers for whatever labels it appeared on, indicating either a great trust or an assumed lack of imagination on the part of the record buyers. The Apex and, generally, Starr issues bore the U.S. credit on leased sides and the Compo-chosen identity, true or otherwise, on Montreal-recorded sides, while the lower-priced labels used an amazing variety of assigned identities. The pseudonyms for vocalists were often, although not always, consistent while the pseudonyms for orchestras appeared to be chosen at random. The majority of the material originated with the U.S. Plaza firm, and these records appear today to have sold the best; other material was obtained from Autograph, Okeh, Gennett and possibly other sources. Compo also enjoyed a tie-in with Pathé from about 1925 to 1928, when Pathé joined the Cameo firm. Pathé did not use electrical recording until 1927, and many of the 1926 sides were in fact recorded in Compo's New York studios and issued simultaneously on Pathé and the Compo labels, since Compo had been using electrical recording since 1925. The result of all of this variety of sources and labels was a maze of numbers, mentioned previously as encountered but detailed below.

Series Labels Sources
1-? CMML Compo, Plaza
384?-499 APEX Gennett
500-799 APEX, SUN, STARR-GENNETT, MISC. Compo, miscellaneous
800 APEX?, SPECIAL No details known (1)
1000 PHONOLA Okeh Vertical
1500 GENNETT (CAN) Gennett (2)
2500 GENNETT (CAN) Gennett (2)
3000 GENNETT (CAN) Gennett (2)
3500 GENNETT (CAN), STARR-GENNETT? Gennett (2)
4000-c.4025 APEX, possibly others Okeh (11)
4000-c.4600 PHONOLA (to 4300), APEX, GENNETT, STARR-GENNETT, MISC. Okeh (3)
4500-c.4700 GENNETT, STARR-GENNETT Gennett (4)
6000 PHONOLA Okeh (2)
10000 STARR Plaza
11000 STARR-GENNETT (French) Compo
12000-12129 (5) STARR-GENNETT, APEX (French) Compo
13000 GENNETT?, STARR-GENNETT?, MISC. Gennett (6)
14000 GENNETT (CAN), STARR-GENNETT? Gennett (10)
15130-c.17100 (7) STARR, APEX (French) Compo
16000-16040 (8) STARR-GENNETT Okeh
18000 (9) STARR-GENNETT? Compo
19000 PALINGS (for Australia) Plaza, possibly Compo
20000 apparently not used -
21000 DOMINO Plaza
21500 DOMINO Compo, Plaza, misc.
22000 MICROPHONE Plaza
22500 MICROPHONE as 21500
23000 STARR as 21500
24000 LUCKY STRIKE Plaza
24500 LUCKY STRIKE as 21500
25000 APEX (Radia-Tone) Compo (from broadcasts)
26000 APEX (later Brunswick, Decca) as 21500
31000 DOMINO Plaza
31500 DOMINO as 21500
35000 GENNETT, STARR-GENNETT? Gennett (10)
84000 GENNETT, STARR-GENNETT Gennett (10)


(1) The only record I have seen in this series is a demonstration record for a radio manufacturer; there is a reference to the series in Alex Robertson's Apex list, but only one item is noted.
(2) U.S. numbers
(3) U.S. numbers through 4500 and some later; others are recoupled Okeh sides.
(4) U.S. numbers through 4556, items thereafter are U.S. issue numbers where U.K. sides were used!
(5) Went from 12129 to 15130 - reason unknown.
(6) Not known if U.S. numbers or not.
(7) The extent of Apex issues is as yet not known to me.
(8) These numbers may have been duplicated by the above series.
(9) The only evidence I have for this series is its listing in "Roll Back the Years" by Ed Moogk.
(10) Presumably U.S. numbers but not verified.
(11) These were the final recoupled issues of Okeh sides.
(12) The following later series fit into this chart: 900 (Famous Artists), M-900 (Minerva), M-14000 (Minerva, Melotone), 18000 (Melotone-French). Compo-Decca also issued a 10000 series unrelated to, but duplicating, Starr 1000 numbers, as well as some other issues which may have duplicated much earlier numbers in various series.