BLUEBIRD

1932 - now


In July, 1932, appeared the first, short-lived Bluebird record, along with an identically numbered Electradisk record sold at Woolworth's. These 8" discs, probably an early form of test marketing, may have sold for as little as 10c. Bluebirds bore a black-on-medium blue label; Electradisks a blue-on-orange label. Credit for establishing the label is given to Victor's executive Eli Oberstein, who had previously set up the Crown label.

The 8" series only ran from 1800 to 1809, but both labels reappeared later in 1932 as 10" discs: Bluebird 1820–1853 (continuing to April 1933), Electradisk 2500–2509 and 1900–2177, (continuing to January 1934)

Electradisks in the 2500 block were dance band sides recorded on two days in June, 1932. These very rare issues were given Victor matrix numbers but the 4 digit matrix numbers on the 78 look more like Crown Records (this independent label had its own studios, but its product was pressed by Victor). The few records in that block that have been seen, resemble Crowns; leading to speculation that all were recorded at Crown.

In May, 1933, RCA Victor restarted Bluebird as a 35c (3 for $1) general-interest budget record, numbered B-5000 and up, with a new blue-on-beige label (often referred as the "Buff" Bluebird, used until 1937 in the US and 1939 in Canada). Most 1800-series material was immediately reissued on the Buff label; afterwards it ran concurrently with the Electradisk series (made for Woolworth's).

Another short-lived concurrent label was Sunrise, which may have been made for a store chain (very few discs, and essentially no information, survive). Sunrise and Electradisk were discontinued early in 1934, leaving Bluebird as RCA's only budget priced label.
(RCA Victor also produced a separate Montgomery Ward label for the Wards stores.)

In November 1942 Bluebird altered its numerical system to four-figure serials prefixed by a two-figure category code (Rust).

In addition there was also a series of Children's records. These were issued with serial numbers ranging from 1 to 1000 with prefixes which included BK and BY from May 1936 to the early 1950's.