March 4, Black Swan Recordswas formed, the first African AMerican
owned record label in AMerica.
March 1921, under Delaware state
laws and using $30,000 in borrowed
capital, Harry Herbert Pace organized
the Pace Phonograph Corporation INC.
The company’s first office was his
home on West 138 Street, New York.
Pace had a difficult time entering
the record business.
White record companies gave him obstacles
to keep him out. When Pace tried to
use a local pressing company, a large
white company purchased the plant and
would not do business with him.
He got a local studio to record, but
had to send the master to a pressing
plant in Wisconsin. After 6 weeks
with preliminary work and ingredients
in place, record laboratories, wrapping
paper and corrugated board, he began
to manufacture Black SWAn Revords.
On the first 3 releases there was
C Carroll Clarke, a baritone known
to sing balads, katie Crippen, a
vaudevillan who sang blues. Also,
there is REvella Hughes, a soprano
and vocal teacher who was popular
among the highbrow NEw York area
Other musicians regularly used were
Joe Smith, Cornet, George Brashear,
Trombone, Edga Campbell, clarinet,
Cordy Williams, Charlied Dixon, banjo
and Chink Johnson, Trombone/Tubas.
William grant still played oboe,
violin, cello, clarinet, saxophone,
banjo and other instruments.
Ethel Waters rescued Black Swan
Records. Waters sang Down
Home Blues and led to the
formation of Black Swan Troubadours,
which is a group led by Henderson and
Waters that toured the south promoting
Obtaining black artists was difficult
because the white companies, petty
as they were began to bid for their