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A. Hugh Joseph (1896-1985)

Born in Quebec City in 1896, A. (Albert) Hugh Joseph was a graduate in chemistry from McGill University who began a career in the recording industry in 1923. That year, he was hired as a chemist by Edgard Berliner, one of the inventor’s sons and Vice-president of the Berliner Gramophone Company at the time.  Joseph was initially in charge of preparing the waxes and pastes used in the production of masters and records, but his curiosity lead him to explore all facets of the sound recording process. He soon became indispensable and thus, in spite of the changes in names and ownership which transformed the Berliner company into the Victor Talking Machine (1924) and later RCA Victor (1929) companies, he managed to remain with the organisation until his retirement in 1961.

Over the course of the forty or so years that he spent in the field of sound recording, A. Hugh Joseph managed to become one of the great figures in the Canadian music industry.  He went from general manager of the records department at RCA Victor, to supervisor and, finally, Director responsible of Artists and Repertory.  An affable and gentle man, with an uncanny ability to recognise talent, he was responsible for putting under contract and helping the rise to success of numerous artists including Oscar Petterson, Hank Snow, Willie Lamothe, Monique Leyrac and Jacques Normand to name but a few.