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Audiophile Records

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Audiophile Records
Parent companyGeorge H. Buck Jr. Jazz Foundation
Founded1947 (1947)
FounderEwing D. Nunn
Country of originU.S.
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
Official websitejazzology.com

Audiophile Records is a record company and label founded in 1947 by Ewing Dunbar Nunn to produce recordings of Dixieland jazz. A very few of the early pressings were classical music, Robert Noehren on pipe organ, AP-2 and AP-9 for example.


Having been a record collector since the 1920s, Nunn began to make records to improve their audio quality. He was a recording engineer who believed monophonic sound (mono) was better than stereophonic sound (stereo).[1] His records impressed High Fidelity magazine and G. A. Briggs, the designer of Wharfedale speakers. In 1947, he started Audiophile Records in Saukville, Wisconsin before moving it to Mequon, Wisconsin in 1965.[2][3][4]

In 1969 Nunn sold the label to Jim Cullum of San Antonio, Texas, and his son, Jim Cullum, Jr., who owned Happy Jazz Records. Nunn remained as chief engineer.[5] The Cullums were both musicians. With the father on clarinet and the son on cornet, they played in the Happy Jazz Band which was popular along the San Antonio River Walk[5] and which recorded on Audiophile.[1]

In the 1970s, Audiophile was acquired by George Buck's Jazzology group, now under control of the George H. Buck Jr. Jazz Foundation.[1][6]

Making records[edit]

Audiophile's albums were pressed by the Wakefield company in Phoenix, Arizona on transparent red vinyl,[3] similar to the red vinyl used by RCA for many of its early microgroove releases. Its early albums were released on 78, which was thought to offer greater fidelity. Nunn is best known for his high-fidelity, monophonic 78 recordings. As recording technology improved, he produced 33 1/3 LPs and eventually stereo.[2]

In the late 1940s Audiophile released its first recording, Pop Goes the Weasel (AP 1) by Harry Blons. The Audiophile AP 1 disk side A has three tracks: "Pop Goes the Weasel", "Wolverine Blues", and "Chimes Blues". The B side has "Lassus Trombone", "Tia Juana", and "Copenhagen". All six numbers are played by the Harry Blons Dixieland Band. This disk carries the matrix and label number 103 and 104. The Audiophile AP 2 disk side A has four tracks: "Caillon De Westminster", "Legende", "Scherzetto" and "Divertissement". The B side has three tracks: "Chorale Prefudes - Reger", "Pastorale - Reger" and "Prelude and Fugue on Bach - Liszt" All seven numbers are played by Robert Noehren, organist. This disk carries the matrix and label numbers 101 and 102. These labels showing the AP 1 disk with matrix 103 and 104 and the AP 2 disk with matrix 101 and 102 leaves open the question of which was the first of these rare Audiophile 78's pressed.[7]

The earliest of these releases (pressed at 78 rpm), AP-1 through at least AP-29, came in a heavy manilla envelope. The first few, AP-1 through AP-5 are rare and highly prized among collectors. Around 1952 or 1953, Nunn switched to 33 1/3 rpm and began using the more standard cardboard sleeve with a color slick on the cover.

Notable artists[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rye, Howard (2002). Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 91. ISBN 1561592846.
  2. ^ a b Forbes, Larry (1985). "Ewing D. Nunn: An American Original". The Absolute Sound. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Tanzilo, Bobby (May 20, 2013). "The coolest record of the '60s folk revival was made in Milwaukee". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. ^ Huenemann, Bob. "Audiophile History - bobhuenemann". sites.google.com. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Happy Jazz Label Builds Reputation By Building Up the Classic Sounds" Billboard Magazine, August 9, 1972, pps. T–28 & T–37
  6. ^ Erlewine, Michael; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Yanow, Scott (1998). All music guide to jazz : the experts' guide to the best jazz recordings (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. ISBN 0-87930-530-4.
  7. ^ Audiophile disks AP 1 and AP 2

External links[edit]