Around May 1917 Van Eps joined a touring group of recording artists, called at different times the Record Makers, the Phonograph Singers, the Eight Victor Record Makers, the Popular Talking Machine Artists, and the Peerless Record Makers. He replaced Vess L. Ossman, who allegedly had not gotten along with manager Henry Burr. Surviving programs show Ossman performing in April 1917, but in the May 1917 issue of Talking Machine World Ossman’s name is missing from a list of members. The group was called the Eight Famous Record Artists by June 1920, and after five members–Burr, Billy Murray, Albert Campbell, John Meyer, and Frank Croxton–signed exclusive Victor contracts in 1920, “Victor” was added to the name. Van
Incredible but true: after all those iterations the best band name they could come up with was
Eight Famous Victor Record Artists. It’s like the answer to the question “How many Famous Victor Record Artists does it take take to screw in a lightbulb?”
Hard to imagine somebody putting that on the back of their leather jacket.