1939 - 1940

Australian Record Company label active from 1939 to 1940.

The decision by the Australian Record Co. Pty. Ltd. (A.R.C.) - whose head office was then at 29 Bligh Street Sydney to produce the Macquarie record label seems to have been taken late in 1938, although they were not comm­ercially available until June 1939. An official company document dated 12th November, 1938 on 'marketing the Macquarie records" gives instructions to "make arrangements for distribution immediately", and mentions that "we had deferred entering into these arrangements until we had an accumulation of recordings capable of meeting the market."

The first public announcement concerning Macquarie records appeared in an issue of "Broadcasting Business" dated June 1, 1939, which included an article headed "MACQUARIE" RECORDS BEING MARKETED.

No exact sales figures are available for Macquarie records, but they were only pressed in limited quantities and the fact that they turn up very infrequently would suggest that sales were not large.

Macquarie releases continued to appear until late in 1940. However, it is obvious from the above that the future looked bleak only a year after the label was first distributed. As far as can be established none of the factors which hampered sales of Macquarie records were satisfactorily resolved over the coming months. As a result, the failure of Macquarie records as a commercial venture was almost a forgone conclusion.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise to read in the Annual Accounts and Treasurer's Report for the year ended 30 June, 1940, the following under Australian Record Company Pty. Ltd. "This company incurred a loss for the year of almost 4000 pounds, the worst in it's history. The loss can be traced to a failure to recognize the primary objective of this Company, i.e. processing and pressing of transcriptions. Instead, unfortunately, efforts were made to exploit the sale of gramophone records to the public and to produce blank discs for sale to recording houses. These two sources alone account for almost half the loss. Fortunately it can now be said that each of these items is non-recurring because the activities of each have been discontinued, enabling the Company to revert to its main and preferably its sole objective."

So, after less than two years, the word 'discontinued' in the above paragraph provides the only known epitaph for the short-lived Macquarie label.

Excerpt from: Australian Record and Music Review 12 (ISSN 1033-1352 / JANUARY 1992)

Nach oben