Paramount Album Discography
By David Edwards and Mike Callahan
Last update: April 16, 2000

The Paramount Record Co. was started in 1915 as a division of the Wisconsin Chair Company in Grafton, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Chair Company manufactured cabinets for Edison Phonographs before going into the phonograph manufacturing business itself in 1915. In 1917, Paramount started manufacturing records in order to have records to sell in their retail stores.

In 1922, it began a series of "race" recordings. At this time "Race" was the name applied to recordings by and for black people. The first black artist Paramount recorded, at it's New York Recording Laboratory, was Alberta Hunter in mid-1922. Paramount, along with Gennett of Richmond, Indiana, and Okeh of New York, actively scouted the south for black artists for their labels. Paramount was responsible for recording a lot of pre-World War II blues, including the seminal Charlie Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson. The first recordings by Patton were actually made in the Richmond, Indiana studio of Gennett Records, because the recording studio Paramount was constructing in Grafton, Wisconsin in 1929 was not finished. Patton's recordings were released on Paramount, and are now some of the rarest and most expensive 78rpm recordings in the collector's market. In 1932, due to the severe depression, Wisconsin Chair closed down the Paramount label.

In the late 1940s, Wisconsin Chair revived the Paramount label, but issued mostly jazz releases. In the early 1950s, a series of jazz albums was released and most, if not all, were 10-inch LPs. There was also a calypso music series. This incarnation of the Paramount label evidently closed down for good in the late 1950s.

The Paramount Records owned by Wisconsin Chair Company had no relation to Paramount Pictures or Paramount Pictures' 1960s-1970s record label of the same name, nor did it have any connection with the Paramount Theater Chain's record label, ABC-Paramount.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Paramount Records or Wisconsin Chair Company. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2000 by Mike Callahan.


Number - Title - Artist [Release Date] Contents

100 Series (10-inch LPs):

101 - Yancey Special - Jimmy Yancey [1951]

102 - Wild Bill Davison with Punch Miller - Wild Bill Davison with Punch Miller [1951]

103 - Kansas City Frank Melrose - Frank Melrose [1951]

104 - Informal Session at Squirrels - Squirrel Ashcraft [1952]

105 - Panorama - Bud Freeman [1953]

106 - Best Band - Doc Evans [1953]

107 - New Orleans Jazz Chamber Music Section - Ray Burke and Johnny Wiggs Orleanians [1953]

108 - Second Session at Squirrels - Squirrel Ashcraft [1954]

109 - Ray Burke - Ray Burke [1954]

109 - The Four Most Guitars - Cass Simpson [1954]

110 - A Third Session at Squirrels - Squirrel Ashcraft [1955]


112 - Boogie-Woogie - Caster-Harris [1955]

113 - The Trios - Art Hodes [1955]

114 - Armand Hug Plays Armand Piron - Armand Hug [1955]

200 Series (10-inch LPs):

201 - New York Style - Red Nichols and the New York Originators [1952]

600 Series (Some of these albums may be 12-inch albums):

600 - Panama Varieties - Various Artists [1956?] 10-inch album.

601 - Trinidad Calypso - Various Artists [1956?] 10-inch album.

602 - Calypso - Lord Burgess [1956?] 10-inch album.


604 - Music From Oil Drums - Various Artists [1956?] 10-inch album.



607 - Dominican Republic Meringues - Various Artists [1956?] 10-inch album.

608 - Tropicana Calypso - Various Artists [1956?] 10-inch album.


610 - Cool Calypsos - Various Artists [1957?] This may be a 12-inch album.

611 - Steel Bands-Music from Oil Drums - Various Artists [1957?]

1000 Series (10-inch LP):

1001 - Wiggs-Burke Big 4 - Ray Burke [1955?]

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