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Besttone

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Besttone records were available in 1915 and could be bought from the Regent Wave Company of 120 Old Street, London, owned by Leon Liebowich. Their brand name was Rifanco, which is shown on all the records, gramophones  and needle tins.

Apart from the "plain" Rfanco Brand, there are also Rifanco Canary, Rifanco Eagle, Rifanco Lion and Rifanco Marble labels. I have not seen enough of these to know what determined which of these label brands were used for what issues, or whether the same issue can be found with different label brands.

The label(s) used many different sources for their masters, such as Invicta, Bel Canto, Dacapo, Kalliope.

The Besttone name was also used by the company as paste-over stickers on other record labels, presumably old stock sold by Regent, or more likely due to German pressings becoming unavailable during WWI, or to disguise old German-made stock. (See the latter 2 pictures which were Pelican and Diploma records respectively).

From the information I have here, the catalogue series started at 100 and ran up to about 400. There was also a 1000 and 1400 series of which isolated issues are known (see below). However, it may be that these latter two series are pate-over stickers and the number is that of the underlying label.

Geniune Besttone records of all designs are pretty rare.

 





Below are paste-over examples

This is a first attempt at a listing. I am only going to list the ones on a genuine Besttone label, not the ones with pasted-over stickers.
Where known, I will shows which label style is used by putting a letter next to the Catalogue Number: C= Canary, E= Eagle etc, with R= Rifanco alone.

All the initial information from
Frank Andrews and the late Arthur Badrock.
Information also supplied by:
Greg Butler, Bill Dean-Myatt, Norman Field, Steph Poch, Mark Schuler

Please e-mail
me if you can help me fill in the gaps in any of these series.   

Page last updated: November 13, 2017

Cat No Matrix Title Labelled Artists Source
100        
         
120 c 1028
1067
The Liberty Bell March
El Capitan March
Military Band  
121        
122 1039
3201
King Cotton, march
Stars And Stripes, march
Military Band  
123        
124        
125        
126        
127        
128        
129        
130        
131        
132 3210
3211
Brooklyn Cake Walk
The Camp Meeting Cake Walk
Grand Metropole Band  
133        
134        
135        
136        
137        
138        
139        
140        
141        
142        
143        
144        
145        
146        
147        
148        
149        
150        
151        
152        
153        
154        
155        
156 20285 My Heart Is With You Tonight S. Wise (melodeon) (= Pamby Dick)  
157        
158        
159 m 20204
20301
The Wee Megregor (sic)
On The Road To Zig-Zag
(sic)
Band of H.M. Irish Guards  Invicta 159
160 m 20140
20202
Bells Of St. Patrick
1812 Overture
Band of H.M. Irish Guards  Invicta 183
 Invicta
161 690
20187
Boston Waltz
Valse Septembre (Godin)
The Besttone Orchestra
Band of Irish Guards

Invicta 217
162        
163        
164        
165        
166        
167 m 20153
20157
20163
Medley Of Hornpipes
Medley Of Irish Jigs
Selection Of Irish Melodies
Pamby Dick (melodeon) side in bold is definite.
168 20155
20158
Lea Rig And Dark Lochnagar
Stirling Castle Strathspey
Pete Minster (melodeon) (= Pamby Dick)  
169        
170 20154
20160
Bagpipe Marches
Woodland Flowers
Pamby Dick (melodeon)  
171 20156 Plantation Melodies Pamby Dick (accordion)   ??  
172 20156
20159
20164
Plantation Melodies
Waltz Of Scotch Melodies
High-Level Horpipe
Pamby Dick (accordion)   ??  
173 m 20176
20177
Christmas Hymns With Chimes
Church Parade With Bells
H.M. Irish Guards Band  
174        
175        
176 20284
20287
Coon Medley
Ragtime Medley
Pamby Dick (accordion)  
177        
178        
179        
180        
181        
182   Fun In Dahomey
The Coloured Major
Copus & Hughes (banjo duet)  
183   Ragtime Caprice
The Besttone Walk
Copus & Hughes (banjo duet)  
184   Queen Of Burlesque
Return Of The Regiment
Copus & Hughes (banjo duet)  
185        
186        
187        
188        
189        
190        
191        
192 e 992 / E-199
19300 / E-200
The Wren Polka
Across The Meadows
Concertina Band  
193        
194   The Jungle Rag Copus & Hughes (banjo duet)  
195   Camptown Carnival
Darkie Chuckle
Copus & Hughes (banjo duet)  
196        
197        
198        
199        
200        
201 c 38-4311
38-4377
If I Had The World To Give You
To The End Of The World With You
Robert Carr
Harry Trevor
 
202        
203        
204        
205        
206 5123
5139
When We Went To School Together
For Auld Lang Syne
Harry Trevor (baritone) (= Robert Carr)  
207        
208        
209        
210        
211 c 34-4888
35-4544
God's Garden (Frank Lambert)
The Lost Chord (Arthur Sullivan)
W.G. Callinan (tenor)
Florence Venning (contralto)
 
212 5155
 
Daddy
Star Of Bethlehem
Florence Venning (contralto)
Thomas Jackson (tenor)
 
213 c 5093
5191
There's Nobody Just Like You
Flora
W.G. Callinan (tenor)
Thomas Howell (bass)
 
214 c 35-4900
 
Bedouine Love Song
Oh, Promise Me
Thomas Howell (bass)  
215 c 5126
 
As The Years Roll By
The Irisch
[sic] Emigrant
Harry Trevor (baritone) (= Robert Carr)
Albert Chapman
 
216        
217        
218        
219        
220        
221        
222        
223 5117 Good-Bye Jules Malten (tenor)  
224        
225 5140
5144
Stop Yer Tickling, Jock
Calligan, Call Again
Dougal McNab (Scotch comedian)  
226 c 5130 / 40830
5147 / 35-4477
Ship A-Hoy
We Parted On The Shore
Harry Trevor (baritone) (= Robert Carr)
Dougal McNab (Scotch comedian)
 
227        
228        
229 5168
5169
The Moon Hath Raised Her Lamp Above
The Larboard Watch
Vilfred Virgo & Albert Chapman  
230        
231        
232 5151
5175
Come Sing To Me
For All Eternity
Miss Venery (contralto)
Albert Chapman (baritone)
 
233        
234        
235 41046 Belle Of The Barber's Ball Rastas Brown & Nancy Hastings (= Jack & Nancy Charman)  
236        
237        
238 c 5227 / 36-4277
5303
Put On Your Ta-Ta Little Girlie
[I'm Henry VIII, I Am]
Jack Charman
[Harry Champion]
 
  Note: Copy of 238 in Norman Field's collection, despite being labelled as above, the second side does not play this recording. Instead it is a tune called "I'm On The Road To Ruin" sung by another singer, not Champion.  
         
263 c 39-7366 Sleep and Forget Philip Ritte (tenor)  
         
280        
281        
282   There Is A Green Hill Arthur Weber (bass)  
283        
284        
285        
286        
287        
288        
289 1027
1028
O'Brien
Yiddle On Your Fiddle
Darby West  
290        
291        
292        
293        
294        
295        
296 m 20260
20263
Annie Laurie
The Old Folks At Home
Mary Williams  
297 20105
20292
There'll Always Be A Corner
I'm Wearing My Heart Away For You
Mary Williams
P. Batt (accordion) (= Pamby Dick)
 
298        
299        
300        
301 20049 Ragtime Crazy Johnny Black (= Will Terry)  
302 20256 I'm Off To The Seaside Jack Charman  
303 20096
20259
I'll Go Halfway Home With You
Follow The Footprints In The Snow
Jack Charman  
304 20013
 
Paree, That's The Place For Me
There's A Girl In Havana
Austin Reid (= Jack Charman)
H. Tirrell (= Jack Charman)
 
305 20033
20043
That Hypnotizin' Man
That Haunting Melody
Johnnie Black  
306 20089
 
Let's Make A Night Of It To-Night
To-Night's The Night
H. Fenner (= Jack Charman)
P. Collins (= Jack Charman)
 
307   Let's All Go Into The Ballroom Jack Charman  
308 20081
20083
Joshu-Ah
All Through the Wedding March
Sam Starling (= Jack Charman)  
309 20088
20125
He Played On His Fiddle-De-Dee
Under The Yum Yum Tree
Pete Rastus (= Jack Charman)
Cole and Reed (= Jack Charman)
 
310 20090 Don't Go Out With him To-Night Fred Howell (= Jack Charman)  
311 1349
1355
Don't Go Down The Mine, Dad
Little Grey Home In The West
Robert Carr
Tom Kinniburgh
 
312 20110 Jimmy Valentine Cole & Reed  
313 20066 Run Tum Tiddle H. Fenner  
314        
315        
316        
317 m 20171 The Church Is One Foundation [sic] Carr & Jackson (with church organ accmp)  
318        
319        
320        
321        
322 20253 Father Beat The Carpet B. Gold (= Jack Charman)  
323        
324        
325   Ragtime Cowboy Joe Two Jolly Boys  
326   Everybody's Doing It
Oh, You Beautiful Doll
Two Jolly Boys  
327   Ragging The Baby To Sleep Two Jolly Boys  
328        
329        
330        
331 m 20210
20212
Hitchy Koo
Robert E. Lee
The Two Rags
Harry Cove
 
332        
333 20122
 
Sandy, Have You ever Tried Ragtime?
The Ragtime Goblin Man
Austin Reid  
334   The Village Ragtime Band
You've Got To Sing In Ragtime
George Glenville  
335 m 20241
20242
Christmas Waits, parts 1 & 2 Besttone Sketch Company  
336 e 105
77
On The Mississippi
Snooky Ookums
Jack Charman  
337 20409
20412
When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam
The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine
Jack Charman  
338 e 127
99
It's A Long Way To Tipperary
Hey Ho! Can't You Hear the Steamer?
Jack Charman  
339 E-100
 
Everybody's Doing It At The Seaside
All The Girls Are Lovely At The Seaside
Jack Charman  
340 34740
34750
I Was Holding My Coconut
Up Went My Little Umbrella
Alf Willis (comic)  
341        
342   P.C. 49 Jack Charman  
343   Down In Dear Old New Orleans
Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy
Jack Charman  
344        
345        
346   Row, Row, Row
Who Were You With Last Night?
Jack Charrman  
347        
348 20412 / E-135
E-136
Take Me In Your Arms And Say You Love Me
Ring Out Those Bells
Harry Cove & Jack Charman  
349 20432 / E-180 Stammering Sam Jack Charman  
350        
351 20433 / E-181 the Way The Wing Blows, We'll Go Jack Charman  
352        
353        
354        
355 E-166 Let's Have A Chorus We Can All Sing Jack Charman  
356        
357        
358 20434 My Girl From The Emerald Isle Jack Charman  
359        
360        
361        
362        
363        
364 20472
20473
All For Father's Sake
Oh! Joe, Stick Out Your Toe
Alf Willis (comic)  
365   Jerry Jeremiah
The Ragtime Postman
Jack Charman  
366        
367 82617
82619
Get Out And Get Under
Where Did You Get That Girl?
Harry Cove
Harry Cove & Jack Charman
 
368        
369        
370        
371        
372        
373        
374        
375        
376        
377        
378        
379 L 82693 Arrival Of The Troops In France Descriptive  
380        
381 L 82672
82692
Your King And Country Need You
Your King And Country Want You
Tom Shields
Godfrey Barrington
 
382        
383        
384 82689
82690
The Lads In Navy Blue
Call Us, And We'll Soon Be Here
Godfrey Barrington  
385        
386        
387        
388        
389        
390        
         
1015 1516
1521
Sweet Jessamine
In The Camp
banjo solo  
         
1406 1848
1849
We All Sang Too-Ra-Loo-Ral-Addie
Let's Go Where The Crowd Goes
Billy Melville (= Jack Charman)  
1407        
1408        
1409        
1410        
1411        
1412        
1413        
1414        
1415 249
2451
Hey Ho! Can't You Hear The Steamer?
Take Me In Your Arms And Say You Love Me
The Two Quids  
1416        
1417        
1418        
1419        
1420 246 Melinda's Wedding Day The Two Quids  
         
1452 1793 Follow The Footprints In The Snow
We Don't Care A Button If We Walk Home
Billy Melville (= Jack Charman)