Archives Collection



Physical Description:

365 78 rpm phonograph records from Harlem Hit Parade or Randy's Records, one Harlem Hit Parade record catalog (1951), a shipping label and an order insert.


ca. 1924-1952


The personal collection of Robert Scales, culled from among popular jukebox records which he distributed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Scales sold the collection to the Center in November 1995.

Agency History/biographical sketch:

Robert Scales is the current owner of H. Preston Scales & Sons Funeral Home in Murfreesboro, a business started by his father. In the late 1930s and up through the 1940s Scales ran a jukebox business within the African American community in and around Murfreesboro, with apparent business in Shelbyville, Tullahoma, and as far as Winchester. His stock came from distributors in Gallatin, Tennessee (Randy's Records) and mail order catalogs nationwide (Harlem Hit Parade, Brooklyn, New York).

Scope and content:

365 78 rpm 10" records consisting primarily of black rhythm & blues and gospel popular in the 1930s through the early 1950s. They also include some early blues from the 1920s and white popular music. The records document music popular in the jukeboxes with the African American community around Murfreesboro in that period. The records are arranged alphabetically by label and then numerically by issue number.


The records are filed by label in the 10" 78 rpm stacks.

Related Materials:

With the records came a distributor's shipping label, insert, and Harlem Hit Parade catalog from 1951. These are filed with the catalog collections. In addition, there are xeroxes of more shipping labels still attached to pieces of the original boxes, and located in the acquisition files.