QRS Records

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QRS Records
Parent company QRS Music
Founded 1900 (1900)
Founder Melville Clark
Genre Various
Country of origin U.S.
Location New York
Official website www.qrsmusic.com
"The Great Lover" by Louis Maurice, recorded by QRS Records

QRS is an American company which makes piano rolls. During the 1920s and early '30s, it also produced three short-lived record series.


QRS was founded by Melville Clark to make piano rolls.[1] It recorded early ragtime and jazz musicians, such as Fats Waller and James P. Johnson, and cut eleven million rolls in 1926. A record label was begun in the 1920s with three series of discs.[2]

The first edition of discs were reissues of music from Gennett Records[2] which Gennett catalog numbers and label color-scheme. One of these rare and short lived QRS records is identical to Gennett 5271.

The second edition (1928–1929) included music overseen by Art Satherley, who had worked in the A&R department at Paramount Records. This was the longest-lived edition with a series devoted to jazz and blues and a second series devoted to country music. Among the artists who recorded for QRS were Ed Bell, Clarence Williams, Katherine Henderson, Clifford Gibson, South Street Ramblers, Earl Hines, James "Stump" Johnson, Sara Martin, Anna Bell, Edith North Johnson, and Missionary Josephine Miles.

A third edition began in 1930 by the Cova Record Corporation and was strictly commercial dance bands and vocals specially recorded for QRS, pressed on inferior shellac material. It was most certainly a budget priced label and based on its rarity, was probably never sold throughout the country. It's doubtful the label survived into 1931. Only 57 numbers (1000-1056) have been traced.[2]

See also[edit]


  • The American Record Label Book by Brian Rust (Arlington House Publishers), 1978
  • American Record Labels and Companies – An Encyclopedia (1891–1943) by Allan Sutton & Kurt Nauck (Mainspring Press), 2000
  • The Online 78 Discographical Project website


  1. ^ "The History of QRS Music Technology". QRS Music. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Rye, Howard (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 341. ISBN 1-56159-284-6. 

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