For U.K. Vocalion reissues via Dutton Labs, please see Vocalion.
For unofficial releases, please see Vocalion (4).
Originally established in 1920 as the British subsidiary of U.S. Aeolian-Vocalion. After the U.S. company was sold to Brunswick in November, 1924 a new British company, the Vocalion Gramophone Co., Ltd., was established that continued to produce the Vocalion label (and the low price Aco label) until 1927. Later a sub-label of British Decca, active from 1936-1954 and 1962-1968, the latter period as a continuation of the series originally issued as Vogue Records, the rights to whose trademark had reverted to the French company Disques Vogue. Curiously, the company name "Vogue Records Limited" remained on the label right up until its demise in March 1968. The label was revived again in 1976 for a short run of LP's drawn from the pre-1934 U.S. Brunswick catalogue, which Decca owned outright. One "sampler" single was issued, coupling Duke Ellington & His Orchestra with Benny Goodman and The Boswell Sisters.
The label was used between October 1951 and October 1954 for a series of 78's (V1001 - V1041) entitled "Origins Of Jazz"; some, if not all, of the recordings appear to have originated with the pre-1934 US Brunswick and Vocalion (2) catalogues which Decca owned outright.
During the 1962-1968 run, the label was primarily an outlet for recordings licensed from various labels (mostly U.S. labels, e.g. GNP Crescendo, Duke/Peacock/Back Beat (2)/Sure Shot, later Autumn, Scorpio, Vault etc), but some British recordings were issued, such as by Davie Jones and the King Bees (David Bowie's first recording), and a Tom Jones single was scheduled for Vocalion before eventually being issued on Decca.
The label logo on singles was initially Vocalion Pop (in the style of the previous Vogue Pop) but became simply Vocalion in 1965. It is possible that some earlier Vogue Records releases were re-pressed with Vocalion labels.
A second letter was added to the catalogue number prefixes from V9215 onwards, signifying an export availability code similar to London-American's. The letters used appear to relate to the licensing label, or group of labels:
N = GNP Crescendo (presumably standing for the label's owner, Gene Norman);
P = Peacock/Duke/Back Beat/Sure Shot;
F = Fantasy/Galaxy/Scorpio;
L = Vault/Fat Fish/Venus (the derivation of the "L' is not yet apparent);
H = Hi-Fi
Album series continued at least some of those originated by Vogue Records, with some releases reissued on the new label. The VA 160000 series was definitely continued under the new regime, possibly also the 8000 series. There was also a 5000 series which might have been exclusively for releases from Contemporary, but not enough information is available.
The label was also active in overseas territories where Decca held the trademark, e.g. Australia and New Zealand, where Decca's product was distributed by the local EMI companies. The limited information found on these releases so far suggests that Australian singles continued to use the V1000 series originally established under Vogue Records, and Australian albums were issued under a VA 7000 series (it is not yet known whether that was also originally a Vogue Records series).
Acknowledgements: RECORD INFORMATION, Issue One, October 1983, by Paul Pelletier. (Record Information Services, Chessington, Surrey). (Still available from Record Information at their current address, see URL below).
Global Dog Productions - see URL below