1922 - 1923
Nordskog Records was founded by Andrae (Arne Andreas) Nordskog (1885-1962) of Santa Monica, California in 1922. The label's recording studio and factory were located in Los Angeles, California.
The label succeeded in only issuing a total of 27 double-sided disc records, but not for lack of trying to issue more. Nordskog had no record pressing plant, and indeed there were none located in the western United States at the time. Nordskog contracted with the Arto Records company of Orange, New Jersey to press their records. Wax masters were shipped across country by railroad; early on many masters melted on the trip across the desert. By some accounts, among the recordings lost were sessions by Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver.
Among the records which survived to be pressed were the only recordings of Eva Tanguay, early sides by Abe Lyman's Orchestra, Henry Halstead's Orchestra, and a number of recordings by Kid Ory's band.
The Ory sides were the first recorded jazz by an African American band from New Orleans. (Contrary to what has been said by some imprecise sources, jazz, African Americans, and New Orleans bands had all been recorded earlier, but Nordskog captured the first instance of those three elements in one place at the same time.) The Ory sides were also issued on the Sunshine Records (USA) label.
By 1923 the Nordskog Records catalog listed 56 titles but in the same year Arto filed for bankruptcy. Nordskog sued for the return of some 80 not yet issued Nordskog masters, together with mothers and stampers then in Arto's possession, but failed to regain anything. This was too big a blow for Nordskog, and Nordskog Records went out of business shortly after pressing a few records in Santa Monica.
The labels proclaim Nordskog records to be "The Golden-Voiced Records", but audio fidelity of Nordskog Records is below average for the time. Nonetheless, because of the historic importance and legendary rarity of the records they are much sought after by record collectors.
Kid Ory’s Legendary Nordskog/Sunshine Recordings
NORDSKOG 3000 – 3040 (1922)