V Disc was a record label produced during the World War II era by special arrangement between the United States government and various private U.S. record companies. Many popular singers, big bands and orchestras of the era recorded special V Disc records. These 12-inch, 78 rpm gramophone recordings were created between 1943 and 1949. The "V" stands for "Victory". The V Disc project actually began in June 1941, six months before the United States' involvement in World War II, when Captain Howard Bronson was assigned to the Army's Recreation and Welfare Section as a musical advisor. By 1942, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) sent 16-inch, 33 rpm vinyl transcription discs to the troops, mostly radio shows with the commercials edited out. Artists gathered at several V Disc recording sessions in theaters around New York and Los Angeles, including CBS Playhouse No. 3 (currently the Ed Sullivan Theater), NBC Studio 8H (the current home of Saturday Night Live), and CBS Playhouse No. 4 (reborn in the 1970s as Studio 54). V Discs were pressed by major civilian record companies like RCA Victor and Columbia Records. V Discs also featured one-of-a-kind performances, as artists who were not shackled by restrictive record company contracts could now perform special versions of the 1940s' most popular hits. V Discs stayed in production until 1949, providing entertainment to soldiers stationed overseas as part of the Marshall Plan. After the V Disc program ended in 1949, the Armed Services set out to honor the original AFM request that the records not be used for commercial purposes. Original masters and stampers were destroyed. Leftover V Discs at bases and on ships were discarded.
Various disclaimers from recording labels:
- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (Produced by the Music Branch, Office of the Chief of Special Services, Department of the Army)
- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (Produced by the Music Branch, Special Services Division, Army Service Forces)
- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (Produced by the Music Branch, Special Services Division, War Department, G.S.)
- Navy Department, Bureau of Naval Personnel (Produced with cooperation from the War Department, Special Service Division, A.S.F.)
- War Department, Music Branch, Special Services Division, Army Service Forces
- War Department, Music Section, Athletic & Recreation Branch, Special Service Division, A.S.F.
- War Department, Music Section, Entertainment & Recreation Branch, Special Service Division, A.S.F.