His Master’s Voice MPG series

LABEL HISTORY

His Master’s Voice’s MPG series was recorded in the Belgian Congo between June 1954 and July 1955. The OLBC matrix numbers indicates it was a collaboration with the Congolese Loningisa label and using its studio for the recordings. In 1957 the same OLBC prefix was applied again when His Master’s Voice’s began re-releasing Loningisa’s own recordings for the West African market in the LON series. The recording dates for the MPG series also coincides with a pause in Loningisa’s recordings for its own label and suggests that fulfilling the contract with His Master’s Voice was deemed necessary in order to consolidate the company so it could open a new studio 14th October 1955.

The MPG series presents a number of artists different from those already recorded and released by Loningisa in the early 1950s. The artists released in the MGP series are mostly individual guitarists and singers backed by a group of studio musicians. The MPG shellac series was also distributed in West Africa by the Gold Coast based company J.K. Somuah & Co. A selection of tracks from the MPG series was released in the USA in 1957 by Capitol Records, 4 tracks on a vinyl EP (Capitol Records F3 10005) and the same 4 tracks together with another 8 tracks and on a vinyl LP (Capitol Records T 10005). Both the EP and the LP was titled “Kasongo!”. After that, the MPG series lay almost forgotten for the next 50 years until Honest Jon’s Records released 21 tracks on a compilation CD in 2009 (HJRCD40).

GALLERY

MPG9

His Master’s Voice MPG 9

Kasongo

Capitol Records T 10005

hjrcd40

Honest Jon’s Records HJRCD40

Page created 29/08/2014 © Flemming Harrev