1922: Variety reported that the Victor Talking Machine Co. lost their lawsuit against Starr Piano for Starr’s use of their patented lateral recording and pressing process. This ruling threw the patent into the public domain and allowed any record label to use the industry standard lateral process. The real victory occurred in 1919 and 1920 when Judge Martin Manton and Judge Learned Hand ruled against Victor’s request for a temporary injunction and thus many smaller labels began using the lateral process without permission. This convergence of upstart record companies and their ability to access the popular lateral process led to the explosion of race and hillbilly music.
1927: Johnny Sylvester and His Playmates recorded “St. Louis Blues” in NYC. It appeared on Gennett 6099, Gennett Sound Effects (Theater) 0-124, Gennett Rayo 40110, Champion 15294, and Champion 33010. In 1927 and ’28, Champion 15294 sold 2,468 copies.