Be a part of our 78 rpm disc identification project!
The shelves at the Southern Folklife Collection are full of vintage country, folk, old-time, and jazz 78s that have never been catalogued – making them invisible to the outside world. You can help us shine a light on these rare gems by visiting our Facebook page and taking a few minutes to give us a little information. Examples are provided after the instructions below.
No prior cataloging experience required! All you need is a love of music and a desire to be part of the effort to help move these records out of semi-obscurity.
To catalog a 78 on Facebook, just copy the field names provided below into the comments field under the image in Facebook and fill them in with information from the label. If certain requested information is not available on the label, leave that field blank. Transcribe all names and information as written on the label. Disregard any stickers or hand-written notes.
If you have any questions, email the Southern Folklife Collection at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explanation of fields:
- Label Catalog Number:
- The more prominent number assigned to the release, often at the center bottom of the label: Should be identical for the A- and B-sides (aside from slight differentiations like 101A/101B).
- Label Name:
- The name of the record label – the most prominent releasing authority named on the label (as opposed to parent companies, distributors, etc.)
- State, Country:
- If the state or country of the manufacturer or label is discernable, please indicate. Does not need to include both – sometimes only one is specified.
- Examples: Country Music, Old-Time Music, Jazz, Popular Music, Blues Music, Rhythm and Blues Music, Dance Orchestra Music, Music – Hawaii, Western Swing
- Release or Recording Year (if discernable):
- If there is a copyright or recording date on the label, please include. If you choose to research the release or recording date online, please include your source in the notes below.
- Artist Name – Side A:
- Please include the full name of the artist, including any soloists cited on the label, i.e. “Jimmie Lunceford and his orchestra with vocal chorus by Sy Oliver.”
- Song Title – Side A:
- Full song title as-written.
- Composer Name(s) – Side A:
- Composers are generally indicated within parenthesis beneath the song title.
- Matrix Number – Side A:
- This is a number or alpha-numeric identifier assigned to each individual song. It is often situated in the middle-left of the label, or etched into the inner groove of the record, and is distinct from the Label Catalog Number. The A- and B-sides have different, but often sequential, numbers.
- Artist Name – Side B, if different:
- Song Title – Side B:
- Composer Name(s) – Side B:
- Matrix Number – Side B:
- Language(s) of Performance:
- If instrumental, please indicate. If language can’t be discerned, leave blank.
- Additional Label Content:
- Add any other information contained on the label that might be of interest to listeners, fans, or scholars: Publishing companies, ASCAP/BMI, additional numbers, genre note (“Vocal with string band accompaniment”), etc. Please indicate if information is found on the A or B side of the record.
- Additional Notes:
- Your comments or questions about the item, sources you may have utilized to arrive at information, etc.
Sample Record 1:
Label Catalog Number: 25448
Label Name: Decca (or Decca Records, Inc.)
State, Country: New York, U.S.A.
Release or Recording Year (if discernable): 1950
Artist Name – Side A: Ray Kinney with Dick McIntire and his Harmony Hawaiians
Song Title – Side A: Hawaii Calls
Composer Name(s) – Side A: Harry Owens
Matrix Number – Side A: DLA 652
Artist Name – Side B, if different:
Song Title – Side B: Kilakila Haleakala
Composer Name(s) – Side B:
Matrix Number – Side B: DLA 657
Language(s) of Performance: English, Hawaiian
Additional Label Content: A: Vocal with instrumental accompaniment , B: Hawaiian cowboy song vocal with instrumental accompaniment , A: Santly-Joy, Inc (ASCAP) , B: Johnny Nobel Copyright Owner
Release date source: Billboard magazine, May 27, 1950 (via Google Books)
Sample Record 2:
Label Catalog Number: 20-4238
Label Name: RCA Victor
State, Country: New Jersey, U.S.A.
Genre: Western Swing
Release or Recording Year (if discernable): 1951
Artist Name – Side A: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys , vocal refrain by Redd Stewart and the Dickens Sisters
Song Title – Side A: Makin’ Like a Train
Composer Name(s) – Side A: Hendler-Flanagan
Matrix Number – Side A: EI-VB-2258
Artist Name – Side B, if different: Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys , vocal refrain by Redd Stewart
Song Title – Side B: Two Roads – Waltz
Composer Name(s) – Side B: Redd Stewart-Pee Wee King
Matrix Number – Side B: EI-VB-2256
Language(s) of Performance: English
Additional Label Content: Time: A: 2:35 , B: 2:33 , A: Flanagan, Hendler & Woods ASCAP , B: Acuff-Rose BMI
Release date source: Billboard magazine, August 25, 1951 (via Google Books)