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Perfect Records was a United States based record label of the 1920s and 1930s. It was originally a subsidiary of Pathé Records, producing standard lateral cut 78 rpm disc records for the US market, initially priced at 50 cents.
Many issues of Perfect records were pressed in red-brown shellac as opposed to the more common black shellac of the era. Audio fidelity was about average for the era, but being a cheap label, the records tend to wear easily. Additionally, Pathe's acoustic recording technique was to record the performances on a giant sized cylinder and dub the music to create the disc master. This didn't degrade the acoustic sound quality, but records produced this way tended to have a lot of rumble that was not detected by wind-up phonographs of the day. But on modern equipment, there's quite a lot of turntable rumble and low-end knocking sounds. Their slogan used on the paper record sleeve was "Better records can't be made".
Artists who recorded on Perfect included Gene Autry, Annette Hanshaw, Willard Robison, Al Bernard, Big Bill Broonzy, Cab Calloway, Vernon Dalhart, Walter Dalton, Morton Downey, Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, Lee Morse, The Ponce Sisters, Tito Schipa, and Boyd Senter, as well as scores of records by many of the New York area orchestras and studio groups of the day.
From the start, Perfect Records were popular and sold well. Copies have been seen in antique and junk shops all across the country, which supports the notion that the label was sold nationwide. The Pathe and Perfect labels were part of the merger that created the American Record Corporation (ARC) in July 1929. After the merger was finalized, ARC weeded out some of their poorer selling labels (Pathe, for example), and Perfect continued to be a popular label through the 1930s until ARC dropped their entire group of cheaper labels in late 1938.
The Perfect Records label was revived in 1993 by Dean Blackwood and issued recordings pressed on 78 r.p.m. vinyl by Sun City Girls, Charlie Feathers, Junior Kimbrough, the Balfa Brothers, and John Fahey.
- Barnett, K.: American Primitive: Revenant Records’ Tenth Anniversary, Perfect Sound Forever Online Music Magazine, April 2006, http://www.furious.com/perfect/revenantrecords.html