Phonothèque québécoise

A Sound Archive
Preserving, documenting and sharing our sound heritage

Highlights in the history of Quebec's record industry
history of Quebec's independent record labels 1925-1930







Henri Cartal


Highlights in the History of Quebec's Record Industry



Interviews, research, editing, writing and digitizing by Christian Lewis


  * Hyperlinks will take you to photographs or sound clips



Important Artists

Comments and Links





* The Compo company in Lachines Starr-Gennett label records a number of Quebec artists.

* The Brunswick label is born and produces a series of records featuring Quebec artists.


* Effervescence in the record market then collapse, shortly before the Crash of 1929; companies disappear, including Brunswick and Edison; RCA buys Victor.

* The radio show L’Heure provinciale is broadcast on CKAC starting in 1929. Sponsored by the Quebec government, it presents high culture to the general public (thematic lectures and musical creations by such people as singer Lionel Daunais, who founded the Trio lyrique in 1930).

Trio lyrique

* In 1929, Joseph-Arthur Dupont, director of CKAC, reaches an affiliation agreement with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to broadcast classical music concerts within a framework of exchange (orchestras from here would be broadcast there and vice-versa); in 1930 Dupont  negotiates an agreement with a New York station to broadcast opera on the radio; in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera of New York begins live broadcasts of its operas on Saturday afternoons, an exceptionally long-lasting show, still heard on airwaves of the Canadian Broadcasting Company in  2003.

* Many artists are recording in the United States. Companies create "ethnic records" for all communities, including the French Canadian diaspora in the USA.




 Classical music:

  • Wilfrid Pelletier (piano and conductor)
Wilfrid Pelletier

Popular music:

  • Roméo Beaudry

  • Mary Travers (La Bolduc)

La Bolduc
La Bolduc

Traditional music:

  • Jos Bouchard (violin)

  • Henri Lacroix (harmonica)

  • Alfred Montmarquette (accordion)

  • Joseph Allard (violin)

  • Isidore Soucy (violin)

Isidore Soucy
  • Conrad Gauthier (singer)


Ovila Légaré

 Instrumentalists (jazz) :

  • Louis Hooper (jazz piano)

  • Millard Thomas (jazz piano)
  • Vera Guilaroff (jazz piano)

  • Harry Thomas (jazz piano)


  • Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians





 Comments and Links*

  *Note: the materials cited below are available in French only.


The following interviews relating to the sound history of this period may be consulted at the Phonothèque:

Excerpts of interviews relating to this period of the history of records in Quebec: Real One

Classical music

Présentation des recueils de disques 78 tours - Fruitier, Edgar, (22” / 147K) enregistré le 05/03/2002

Popular songs:  

Notes de disque pour l’intégrale de La Bolduc - Maheu, Renée, (1‘ 00” / 378K) enregistré le 29/05/2002

Les directeurs artistiques et les arrangeurs à l’aube de l’industrie musicale - Normandin, Steve, (1‘ 07” / 419K) enregistré le 25/04/2002

Traditional music:

Évolution des techniques d’enregistrement dans la musique traditionnelle et anecdote d’un séance d’enregistrement de Gérard Lajoie chez Compo / Starr – Bourque, Benoit, (1’10’’ / 433K), enregistré le 30/05/2003

Musique québécoise : musique de gitans immobilesReeves, Francine, (34’’ / 216K), enregistré le 30/05/2003


    * Hyperlinks will take you to photographs or sound clips



1925 - 1930 


*From the collections of the Phonothèque québécoise, the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and the Archives nationales du Québec 

Marius Barbeau Marius Barbeau
Starr discs
Hector Pellerin radio-chant-enr-v 
Les Montagnards laurentiens Mont-laurentiens-2-v 
Billy Munro B-Munro-2-v 
*From the collections of the Phonothèque québécoise, the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec and the Archives nationales du Québec

 (download the free RealOnePlayerGold plug-in!).

Link to the virtual exhibition:*

History of Montreal's independent record labels (in French)*
Click on the link http://www.museevirtuel.ca/, then choose "Histoires de chez nous" from the menu on the right,
then "Recherche d'expositions", under "Explorez" and then type in
Phonothèque under the heading.





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© 1997 Phonothèque québécoise / Musée du son
Last update June 17, 2004


URL http://www.phonotheque.org/Hist-Maisons-ind/hist-maisons-ind-disques-1925-eng.html