Broadway Records were first manufactured about 1921 by the Bridgeport Die and Machine Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Most of the early issues were from masters recorded by Paramount Records. Starting in 1924, masters from the Emerson and Banner appeared on Broadway.
When Bridgeport Die and Machine went bankrupt in 1925, the Broadway label was acquired by "The New York Recording Laboratories" (NYRL), which (despite what the name might suggest) were located in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The New York Recording Laboratories were owned by the Wisconsin Chair Company, also the parent of Paramount Records. Broadway Records were sold at Montgomery Ward (although it's not known if Ward's handled the label exclusively). It was a popular label, since copies are often found, especially in the midwest. The vast majority of these 1925-1930 records were Plaza masters. Starting in 1930, Crown Records masters were used, as well as NYRL's own L-matrix series of sides recorded in Grafton, Wisconsin. NYRL went out of business in 1932 and the Broadway label was picked up by ARC for a short-lived series of Broadway's.
When Decca started up in late 1934/early 1935, among the early (unsuccessful) labels they produced was Champion and Broadway. The few Broadway/Decca records were an L-1200 series and masters came from Champion (Gennett)! The series certainly didn't last beyond 1935. (This involvement with ARC and then Decca most probably related to the Ward's contract.)
The Bridgeport era Broadway's were excellently pressed and recorded, but starting with the NYRL (Paramount) era, the pressing quality and audio fidelity was well below average for the era. The ARC Broadway quality were the same as Melotone, Perfect or Oriole and the Decca Broadway quality was the same as Decca.
In 1947 a new Label was named Broadway Records and was not related to the former Company. Vincent Puccio Sr. founded the new label in Los Angeles Ca. His brother Gasper played a key role in the early years and went on to found Houston Records in 1958.
The Broadway label was maroon in color with silver script, sometimes "Value" appeared under the cursive "Broadway". "Value Hit Parade Tunes" was another label owned by Vince.
Both labels were found on millions of 78s, 45s, and LPs. By 1989, with the emergence of the Compact Disc Broadway Records was out of business. Later, both Music Catalogs were sold to 108th Street Records.
- "The American Record Label Book" by Brian Rust (Arlington House Publishers, 1978)