AJAX. Encyclopedia of Blues

Record label of the Ajax Record Company of
Chicago, a subsidiary of the Compo Company
of Lachine, Quebec. Despite registration of the trademark in 1921, issues did not begin until October 1923
and continued until summer 1925 in a 17000 Race
series which ended at 17136. African American artists
accounted for ninety percent of the output, most
recorded in New York. Although the records were
pressed in Canada, they were not issued there. The
label’s blues catalog included Edna Hicks, Viola
McCoy, Hazel Meyers, Rosa Henderson, Helen
Gross, Josephine Miles, Monette Moore (usually disguised as Susie Smith), and three issues by Mamie
Smith after she left OKeh. A&R supervision was
carried out by music publisher and promoter Joe
Davis and by Herbert Berliner of Compo, son of
recording pioneer Emile Berliner. A blues piano
issue by Millard G. Thomas was recorded in
Montreal. After its demise, a few of Ajax’s blues
masters appeared on Pathe´ and Perfect labels.
DGR; Sutton
Allen, Walter C. ‘‘Discomania, 53: Ajax.’’ Jazz Journal
no. ix (1956): 7, 56; 8, 30; no. x (1957): 7–8; 10, 29;
no. xi (1958): 3, 7.
Bastin, Bruce. Never Sell a Copyright, Joe Davis and His
Role in the New York Music Scene 1916–1978. London:
Storyville Publications, 1990.
Dixon, Robert M. W., and John Godrich. Recording the
Blues. London: Studio Vista, 1970; reprinted in Oliver,
Paul, Tony Russell, Robert M. W. Dixon, and Howard
Rye. Yonder Come the Blues. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
Rust, Brian. The American Record Label Book. New
Rochelle, NY: Arlington Press, 1978.