Established around 1939, General Records was a division of Consolidated Records, Inc., of New York City. The label was owned by pioneering sound engineer Hazard E. Reeves, of Reeves Sound Studios (1939–1944) in Manhattan.
The audio fidelity is above average for the era, and most General discs were pressed in good quality shellac, although the quality declined as good shellac became scarce with the start of World War II.
The most famous General Records are a series of recordings by Jelly Roll Morton. The recording sessions in December 1939 and January 1940 were the last in Morton's career.
In 1946 Milt Gabler of Commodore Records purchased the stock, masters and rights of General Records when the company went out of production.