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Labels - P

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British 78rpm record labels whose name begins with P. Using the letter links below you can see pages for other letters.
Unless otherwise noted, all research and images are my own, but as you will see, many other people have helped, especially with the label catalogue listings.

All images are thumbnails, so clicking on them will display a full-sized image. Where the label name is a link, clicking it will take you to a new page with more information and, in most cases, an attempt to list all issues on that label.

Page last updated on: April 05, 2018

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Label Description

Palladium Dating from 1913, these were manufactured in Germany for an, as yet, unknown proprietor in Britain. There appears to be link to Operaphone & Pavilion records and the masters of those seen came from Dacapo and Bel canto.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan

Palmo Tone Made in England for export.
Panachord Launched at the same time as it's American counterpart, Melotone, in May 1931, Panachord also looked very similar with it's striking silver-on-blue label. The numbering started at 25000 and ran up to 26046 when it was discontinued by it's then owners, Decca, in November 1939  a short-lived 12" Panachord with numbering from 9001 was also produced. Recordings were mainly American, from Melotone and later ARC and Decca, but there were a few home-grown recordings, mainly done by British Brunswick specially for the label, then subsequently by Decca, again exclusively for Panachord, though one or two were also released on Decca as well. Some of the early Warner-Brunswick issues are rather gritty, but generally, they are smooth-surfaced and play very well throughout. Initially priced at 2/-, they soon dropped to 1/6 and then in 1935 to 1/- before being increased back up to 1/6 in September 1937 for the last couple of years.
Parlophone The introduction of Parlophone in Britain marks the resurrection (as far as the record industry is concerned) of trading with Germany after WWI. The Lindstrom Company (of Germany) set up the new factory in Hertfordshire in 1922 or 23. From that the company grew to be a major label, merging into EMI, but always seeming to keep its own identity, and is still occasionally used even today (2003). American masters from Okeh, and German ones from Odeon were used plentifully. The main catalogue series were the E-5000 (red label), E/R-3000 (this series seemed to be given either prefix), the R-100 (purple, later blue and still in use today) and the F-100 magenta label.
Pathe Pathe Freres (of France) introduced their discs (vertical cut, naturally) in October 1906, having already established studios in London, Milan & Moscow. The first discs varied enormously in dimensions from 7" to 20" in diameter and usually playing at 90-100 rpm, with a wide u-shaped groove, starting at the centre. By 1914, when the American branch was set up, things had become more standardized and records were 10" to 12", 78 rpm, and outside-start, though still with a u-shaped vertical groove. The British and American records looked almost identical (see illustration of British label). The vertical groove format was retained until about 1925, after which, the lateral-cut Actuelle became the main Pathe product outside of France.
The CLPGS has now published a full listing of the Pathe label in Britain, compiled by Mike Langridge.

Pavilion Dating from pre-WWI, these were manufactured in Germany. This is another very rare and short-lived label, linked with Palladium & Operaphone and using the same pool of masters. They were probably sold via the tally-man system, but were obviously not very successful!

My thanks to Norman Field in providing the label image.

Paxton One of the very last 78 labels to appear, in the 1950s and still available in the early 1960s, Paxton appears to be like a music publishers label (similar to Chappell), in that the music is generally orchestral, varying from classical to big band, usually by lesser-known composers, including Granville Bantock. Bandleader Eric Winstone made some recording for this label; at the other end of the scale, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (as the London Promenade Orchestra) also made many records for Paxton. Recording and manufacturing was by Levy's of Bond Street London and the records cost 5/9.
Peacock Peacock records were pressed by Decca (10") and British Homophone (10" and 8") for sale in Peacock Stores which were (and still are) based in the Midlands (in England). All three series date from 1933-34 and may well have been available at the same time. They are very scarce, not surprisingly as no catalogue, adverts or record sleeves pertaining to Peacock Records has ever been found.
Pelican One of the many short-lived pre-WWI labels available in Britain, Pelican records, costing 1/1, later 1/-, were first produced in 1913, lasting until early 1914. The records were made abroad and in Britain (see the two slight label differences) for the Universal record Syndicate and later for J. Blum & Co and the masters were drawn from, among others, Jumbo & Edison Bell. The catalogue numbers used a P-1 series. Oddly, despite the name of the label, the obvious trade-mark of the bird, though shown in adverts for the records, never appeared on the label.
Perfect Record A mythically rare label; I've never seen one. They are believed to have been pressed in th UK by The Disc Record Company and therefore they date from 1912-1915, but little else is known about them.

Perfect Perfect records were quite short-lived in Britain. It was introduced in late 1927 and was available for about a year. The masters were from almost all from American and French Pathe. Only a few, early on, were recorded in England, and they were acoustic. A number of masters with English matrix numbers (N90000 series) were used throughout Perfect's life, but these were all recorded in France specially for the label, and, as far as I know, unavailable anywhere else. The Catalogue number started at P-300 and ceased at P-435. Columbia bought the company in 1928 and some of the last few Perfects may be found pressed by Columbia, with smooth laminated surfaces  playing beautifully.
(sold in Australia)
With a similar design to "Colonial" records (q.v.), Perophone records were made for sale by Lockwoods of CIty Road, London around the WWI period.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
Philharmonic Despite the upmarket-sounding name, the music on  Philharmonic records was of the usual popular fare. They appeared in 1913 and were around for about a year, with masters coming from Favorite in Germany. Catalogue numbers were in a 1 - 200 range.
Philips Philips Electrical Ltd was based in Eindhoven, Holland. They started manufacturing records for the British market in 1953. The main series was the blue labelled PB-100 series which ran well into the 45rpm era; the 78rpm issues ran up to about PB-813. There was also a Scottish YB-9500 series (yellow label) of 25 records available between May 1955 and July 1957. In addition there was an international series (not shown here) running from BB-2000 to BB-2012 and available between November 1954 and June 1958.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label images.

Phoebus These were announced announced in the trade press in October 1908, but now seem to be extremely scarce, such that the only one that has turned up is the image shown here, kindly provided by Mike Atkin. The label appears to a sister label to Phono Disc, announced sat the same time, and manufactured in France for the British market by Compagnie Internationale Phonétique. This is conjecture at the moment, as the Pheobus label doesn't have the CIP monogram that other record manufactured by this company shows.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
Phoenix Launched in 1913, Phoenix was Columbia's answer to the cheap imports; they cost 1/1 and were a good challenge to the likes of Coliseum, Scala et al. The fare was the usual mix of popular music - vocal, marches, ragtime, xylophone & banjo solos. The catalogue was numeric with a 0 or O prefix. starting at 01, and with an X-series matrix. Some were made in USA and the labels stated this under the label's name. Phoenix records were available for about 2 years.
Phona-Disc This was one of the first disc records produced by Edison Bell. It was a rather odd size, being just over 8½ in diameter and with a vertical cut groove, and appeared in 1908 at the same time as "Bell Disc" and "Little Champion". although quite cheap at 1/6, they were very short-lived and hardly ever turn up.
(sold in Australia)
Dating from late in WWI, these were pressed by Crystalate, using Invicta (Guardsman) masters.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label photo.
Phono Disc The Phono Disc (sometimes referred to as Sapphire Phono Disc) was announced in the trade press in October 1908. It is a vertical cut grooved disc (hill-and-dale) of 11" diameter  produced in France for the British market by Compagnie Internationale Phonétique and sold for 4/-. Only French versions of the label have been reported to date, but researcher Frank Andrews says that the first list of 20 records were all British recordings by British artists, though who recorded them is not known. The British agent was Lacroix & Co of Jewin St. London E.C., who also handled other French-manufactred records such as Phoebus and Aspir (all of which are vanishingly scarce!), and dealers in Manchester, Birmingham & London all handled them. However, vertical-cut discs were never very popular in Britian (apart from Pathe), so they probably sold in very small numbers ! After a couple of months they disappeared from the trade press, so that may represent their lifespan.
Please e-mail me with details of ANY of these records. Also a label scan of a British Phono Disc
Phonycord Originally a German record, later Phonycord records were made in Britain. They were available during 1930 and 1931, and were pressed in a coloured celluloid-like material (available in many colours) very similar to Filmophone. The masters were a mixture of German Artiphon, English originals, and the American matrices were from Grey Gull. The English issues used a P- catalogue series running from P-74 to P-135, while the German ones used a series starting a 1, running to 691, but using only odd numbers! There were also German 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000 and 8000 series. The Grey Gull masters can be found in both series, while the British series also included German matrices.
Pianola Piano A very scarce label recorded & manufactured by Vocalion, the only example seen (see image) dates from 1926, judging by the matrix number of M-0447. There are no catalogue numbers; the number "2" on this image is coupled with number 1.
Source: Frank Andrews in "For The record" No.  31.
Piccadilly One of the most attractive British labels, Piccadilly was introduced in October 1928 as the budget line for Metropole Records, though the labels all state "Piccadilly Records Ltd" with no mention of Metropole. They sold in huge numbers for 1/6 (initially), reducing to 1/1 in 1931, before disappearing in April 1932. The catalogue numbers started at 100 and ran to 934, and the English matrix numbers, initially in an M-series (from Metropole) then switched to a 1000-series (with an M-perfix still, on some of the lower numbers). American recordings were initially from Emerson, and subsequently from Grey Gull and finally there were a few from ARC/Banner.  There was also a red-labelled classical series using a 5000-series catalogue. The recording quality varied, but the pressings were usually very smooth, though rather brittle.
Pickofall A pre-WWI label made in Germany for the British market using masters from various sources. First appeared in 1912 and cost 2/- each, they were produced for the Regent Fittings company. The price was reduced to 1/1 during the price war in 1913-14 at which point they dissapeared when German imports stopped with the outbreak of WWI.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
Pigmy One of the many tiny records available in the early 1920s, "Pigmy Gramophone", as they were styled, were 5½" in diameter and were pressed by Crystalate, using the same masters as their "Mimosa" records of the period. The records were made for the toymakers, Bing Brothers. The catalogue numbers ran from 1 to over 70 and the records were the usual mix of early dance music and popular vocal & instrumental selections.
Pik-Nik An incredibly rare label, there were only 6 different Pik-Nik records ever issued. They were a type of card-backed celluloid, similar to Durium or Hit-of-the-Week, but thicker. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to have prevented them warping, but it is almost impossible to flatten them without destroying the record. All six items were dance band items, recorded specially and only for the issue on Pik-Nik. They were 9" in diameter and sold for 9d each; all date to 1930 and were recorded by Worldecho Records Ltd, whose offices were next door.
Pilgrim Pilgrim was a label concentrating on religious fare, owned by Marshall, Morgan & Scott of Ludgate Hill, London. The records use a P-100 catalogue numbering and date to the later 1950s.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image..
Pilot Pilot records first appeared in June 1913, having previously been called "Polyphon". The change of name is thought to have been due to the "Polyphon" being associated with the rather old-fashioned disc musical-box. Like Polyphon, Pilot records were German throughout and they used 5000 and 8000 catalogue series. As with most other German-made records, they disappeared from the market after the outbreak of World War One. Early Pilot records had the new label pasted over existing "Polyphon" records. The Pilot records were initially priced at 2/6, the same as Polyphon records, but this was reduced to 1/1 in October 1913 due to the competition from the Gramophone Company's excellent Cinch records being sold at that price. Considering the quite large catalogue of Pilot records, they have always been hard to find.
A listing of this label has been published in book form by the CLPGS

There was also a "paste-over" label of this name. These have a plain white, pink or red label, with the label name printed in black, pasted over existing stocks of other labels, such as Winner, Imperial, Zonophone, Twin, Piccadilly and Decca, The title and description (and the artist name, when shown) are typed onto the label. The original records date from any time between pre-WWI and the early 1930s and no catalogue or matrix number is shown on the label.

Pioneer First appearing in 1914, Pioneer records cost 1/6 each, but, if you traded in an old record in part-exchange, the price reduced to 9d. They were pressed for J. Blum and Co, initially in Germany, then subsequently by the Disc Records Co of Harrow. The labels were initially black, later changing to red, and they were quite short-lived, being only available until early 1915.
Planet Planet records  first appeared in mid-1951 and were pressed by Decca. There seem to be at least three series:
A 1000- series which appears to be Hebrew material; A 2000- series and an E-1000- series.
I believe the label design and colour is the same for all three series, but I haven't seen a 2000 example to confirm this.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image.
Playwell Record Dating from pre-WWI, these were made in Germany. Catalogue numbers are not always shown, but when they are, are in a 3-digit series.
Thanks to Rainer Lotz for the label scan.
Plaza Plaza was British Homophone's main label entry for the 8" market.  They first appeared in 1933, and had the familiar "strobe" design of all other BH products of the period. To keep costs low, they usually had a non-copyrighted title on one side, often mixing dance band items with classical ones. The recording quality was good, but the very tight grooving (similar to, but not as fine as "4 in1") means they do often turn up excessively worn. Catalogue numbers ran from P-100 to just over P-400, ceasing production when BH sold out their record production in 1935.
Polydor Polydor records had been around on the continent of Europe for many years before being made in Britain in the 1950s.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label image..
Polygon The first Polygon records were issued in December 1950; they cost 6/- and were a product of The Polygon record Co Ltd of London SW1.
The record company was formed by Alan Freeman (this is not the famous disc-jockey!), who decided to use a small inheritance to start his own record company and he wanted to record the then teenaged Petula Clark. To this end, he approached Petula's father (and manager), Leslie Clark, who was very enthusiatic and willing to invest some money in the new company to futher his daughter's career. Up to this time, Petula Clark had been broadcasting and even made some films as a child star. The major record companies, EMI & Decca still considered her a child and were not interested, hence the Polygon deal.

As well as launching the successful career of Petula Clark, the label did the same for Jimmy Young, later to sign to Decca and then onto a very successful BBC radio career.

As a small independent record company at a time when EMI & Decca had the big money, Polygon struggled to survive, especially after losing its biggest star, Jimmy Young, to Decca. Eventually, the newly lauched Pye Record Copany bought the label, specifically to get the signed artists and, on lauching it's Pye Nixa label, it dropped the Polygon brand completely, the last issues being in October 1955.

Polygon records were only available in the 78rpm format and never converted to 45rpm.
The catalogue series started at P-1001, issued in December 1950 and ran to P-1190, issued in October 1955.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for providing the label images.

Polyphon In Germany, the Polyphon label was available from the very early days of disc records, before 1905, until beyond the end of 78s, even into the 1970s. In England it first appeared in 1910 using a 5000 and 8000 catalogue series. Some issues were labelled "Klingsor" (generally the same design but with a black label), but the label name was finally changed to Pilot in 1913. (see above) 
A listing of this label has been published in book form by the CLPGS
Popular Popular records first appeared in 1913, part of the onslaught of "cheap" labels which appeared at that time. Made by the Crystalate Gramophone Company using masters from the Sound Recording Co, they were initially an oversized 10" record, before settling to a standard 10". Catalogue numbers were in a P-series, starting at 1 and running to over 1200 by 1923 when it was superseded by Imperial.
Popular Ballot This record was manufactued by Vocalion in the early 1920s specifically for the L.E. Kent Publishing Company. It ws a 12" disc and is believed to be the only one with this label. The catalogue number, LK-2112, implies others in the series, but the LK- suffix must refer to L. Kent, though maybe the numbers were part of a larger one-off type set of issues. I have not been able to find out anything about the L E Kent Publishing Co.
Portland The Portland label was a Curry's product, the label being a paste-over upon existing (probably outdated stock) Edison Bell Winner records. The earliest seen are in a pale blue with an almost illegible gold print (and a 1000-series catalogue number) pasted over early (WWI) Winners. These were followed by an 8000-series red label with an identical design to Westport (another Curry's Winner paste-over) followed by the more familiar (?) violet label (9000-series catalogue) which, amazingly has "Curry's (1927) Ltd" on the label. These records themselves usually date from 1923-24! 
(sold in Australia) 
A very uncommon label, Possum records were sold though Allan & Co of Melbourne (Australia) and were pressed in England from Guardsman masters. The label dates from about 1917. The numbers start at 501, and as the only one reported is 501, it may be there was only one issue!. The label is orange with dark red printing.
No: 501 by Mr Horace Scott, baritone, piano accompaniment (orig. issue: Guardsman 757 as Ralph Killick)
1124 Your England And Mine
1125 Shine On Little Star Of Love

Please e-mail me with details of ANY other of these records. also a label scan to replace the monochrome image.
Potomac Difficult to date, but obviously post-WWII, Potomac records were recorded by Hollick & Taylor of Handsworth, Birmingham, and manufactured by British Homophone Ltd. The label was specifically produced for issuing music for playing in skating rinks; the records only being available to managers of the rinks and not sold to the general public. Potomac records were available from about 1950 to 1958 and only 99 copies of each record were pressed.
Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.
Premier   An unusual label dating from about 1909, this was a 10½" record which was pressed from Bell masters. Catalogue number were in an A-1 series.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scan.
Puratone  This appears to be a picture disc, rather like a Trusound, though the printing on the record states it should be played with a used needle, like a Goodson. According to the record pictured, this was available in Selfridges, as a give-away. This, and the only other known example, used masters originally issued on Dominion.
The Puratone Record company was based in the Arcadia Works, Church End, North Finchley, the same place that the Diamond Picture discs were manufactured.
Frank Andrews' article in "For The Record" issue 41 has much more detail.

Pye The Pye Radio Company, started issuing records in 1954 after aquiring the Nixa Record Company. There were three different labels initially: Pye International, Pye Nixa and Pye Nixa Jazz Today. At the end of 1959, the company dropped the Nixa name and the last few Pye Nixa 78s (and the 45s of course) were just labelled "Pye" but with the same design and colour. I don't know if the Jazz Today Series also dropped the Nixa name for the last 78s.
Many were available pressed either in standard shellac or in vinyl, one of the few companies at the time to to this.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the Pye International label scan.

Qualiton Manufactured by Philips Electrical Ltd in England for Cwaliton Records of Pontadawe in South Wales, Qualiton is possibly the sole Welsh-only record label of the 78rpm era. The 78rpm records date from the late 1950s and three different series are known: the GM- and RD ones shown here and also a CJ- series.

Thanks to Bill Dean-Myatt for the label scans.

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