Audiophile Records

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Audiophile Records is an American record label founded in 1947 by Ewing Dunbar Nunn (1900–1977). During his ownership, the company was based in Saukville, Wisconsin. At the death of Nunn in 1977, Audiophile had produced nearly 100 albums, most of which were traditional jazz.

Succession of ownership[edit]

The Cullum Family

Nunn retired from Northern Signal in 1965, which gave him more time to devote to Audiophile, and, he and wife moved to San Antonio. In 1969, he sold Audiophile to musicians James Albert Cullum, Sr. (1914–1973) and son, James Albert Cullum, Jr. (born 1941), who also owned Happy Jazz Records. Nunn continued, however, as chief engineer for Audiophile and Happy Jazz.
Jim Sr. and Jim Jr. were jazz enthusiasts and talented musicians — the father a clarinetist, the son a cornetist. They had formed a dixieland band in 1962 called the Happy Jazz Band that enjoyed popularity at venues along the San Antonio River Walk. Their band operated under the auspices of Happy Jazz, Inc., which, in addition to acquiring Audiophile Records, had before that founded Happy Jazz Records (record label) and The Landing, a restaurant on the San Antonio River Walk where The Happy Jazz Band performed. Jim Sr. was the vice president, Jim Jr. was president, and Jim Sr's wife, Mary Conoly Cullum (née Prendergast; 1915–1994) was the corporate secretary and chief of operations.[1][2] When Jim Sr. had died in 1973, Nunn continued to serve as chief engineer while Jim Jr. ran the company.[3] Nunn, in July 1977, the month he died, was still hard at work at the studio — recording Jim Cullum's band — despite being in a wheelchair.[3]
The Happy Jazz Band had recorded albums with Audiophile Records while Nunn owned the label, including the following:

The George H. Buck, Jr. Jazz Foundation, Inc.

Sometime after the death of Jim Cullum, Sr. (in the mid–1970s), The George H. Buck, Jr., Jazz Foundation, Inc. (a non-profit Louisiana corporation) acquired Audiophile Records and moved its headquarters to the foundation's hometown, New Orleans. The GHB Jazz Foundation is the owner of Jazzology Records.

Ewing Dunbar Nunn[edit]

Ewing was an audio enthusiast and inventor. Ewing built the first police motorcycle radio receiver for Harley-Davidson, built an early table radio, and had multiple companies building electric fences, barricades, and flashers. His initial foray into record production was meant to supply friends with a few high quality records but the demand was such that he created the Audiophile Record Company, which had among the most highly regarded fidelity of recording companies for many years.[4]


Audiophile released its first recording in 1947, Harry Blons' Pop Goes the Weasel (AP01; OCLC 6958973). Audiophile Records were pressed by Wakefield in Phoenix, Arizona on transparent red vinyl, similar to the red vinyl used by RCA in many of its early microgroove releases. Audiophile Records were also microgroove but, unlike RCA's 33s and 45s, Audiophile released all of its early recording on 78 which was thought to offer greater fidelity. As recording technologies improved, Nunn started producing 33 1/3 RPM recordings and, eventually, stereo. He is best known for his high fidelity, monophonic 78 recordings.[3]

Audiophile artists[edit]


  1. ^ Jim Cullum Sr., 59, Jazz Enthusiast, Dies, Dallas Morning News, June 8, 1973, Sec. E, pg. 9
  2. ^ Happy Jazz Label Builds Reputation By Building Up the Classic Sounds, Billboard Magazine, August 9, 1972, pps. T–28 & T–37
  3. ^ a b c Of Men and Recordings — Ewing D. Nunn: An American Original, by Larry Forbes, The Absolute Sound, Vol. 9, Issue 35, Autumn, 1985, pps. 95–101
  4. ^ Nunn But the Finest, by Fred Reynolds, Hi–Fi Music at Home, Sleeper Publications (Milton Blake Sleeper; Hi–Fi Music at Home was absorbed by High Fedility in 1959), November–December 1954, pg. 25 OCLC 7903831 and 3688604

External links[edit]