Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

This small cardboard record is titled Jingle Bells and is one of the two recently discovered Durium records. It was recorded by Phil Spitalny's Music. It is one of the two known small cardboard records that were published by the Durium Products Inc. New York in December 1931. The other record is titled Silent Night. It is well possible that more records in this Merry Christmas series were published by Durium, but up to now, I only found these two items.
Both records were offered me during the July 2005 annual convention of the IAJRC ( International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) in Copenhagen (Denmark). When I saw both small records, I suspected both were unknown up to now, and that was true.

Durium Products Inc. was a record company, incorporated into the Irwin-Wasy Advertising Agency, a publicity agency managed by Chicago stockholders. This Durium company released the well known Hit of the week records and numerous records for export to Europe or Latin America. But as the parent company was an advertisement agency it also published numerous advertisement and custom records. Thanks to Kurt Nauck, who sent me his Durium notes, and a lot of record collectors, world wide, I could finally make a list of these cardboard records and publish it in my Durium Advertisement and Custom Records Discography ( now out of print ). The US records are now available in a free online discography. What about these small Christmas records? Both were free gifts for the Junior Home Magazine, a magazine for parents and children. Two other small Durium records, titled To All Parents: An Important Message and Christmas Suggestion, were made as promos for this magazine. A spoken sales talk on the Christmas Suggestion record says : A yearly subscription to Junior Home, the magazine for parents and children is a very finest Christmas gift you can select for young children and their mothers. Such a gift carries a loving remembrance each month for a whole year. It is a gift that children on your list will love and the parents appreciate. It will make them happy and makes you glad when you see the pleasure and benefit resulting for your so thoughtful gifts. A very attractive Christmas card in full colors with your name careful written in as the giver will be send free when requested. One subscription costs $ 2,50. Two or more gift subscriptions only $ 2,00 each. What can you give that will go so far and give so much pleasure for a whole year as a subscription to Junior Home magazine.
It seems as if these small 4-inch (10 cm ) Merry Chirstmas records were included into the December cover of the Junior Home Magazine.
Phil Spitalny was the director of the Durium studio orchestras during 1931 and 1932 and he recorded a lot of recordings for Durium. He was born in Odessa ( Rusland ) in November 1890 and passed away in October 1970. He got some fame as the leader of a sweet band, that contained only women -an All Women Band, famous in those days. He had his own radio program during the mid 1930s, titled The Hour of Charme in which his wife Evelyn performed as Evelyn and her Magic violin. They retired late 1940s and lived in Miami Beach for years. They recorded for Durium, but also for Victor, Brunswick, Perfect, Columbia and Vogue.The vocal group you hear are
The Eton Boys, a quartet featuring Earl Smith, Art Gentry, Jack Day and Chas.Day.

Phil Spitalny also recorded the tune Jingle Bells in November 1931 together with Time On My Hands, which was released as a weekly Hit of the week record on Thursday ( the regular day to publish the Hit of the week) the 17th of December 1931, with Jingle Bells as an extra to complete the extra playing times of the average record.
All records, mentioned in this blog, the small advertisement records with Christmas suggestion, the Junior Home Magazine promos are reissued for the very first time in the third volume of The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings (Arch 3004) by Archeophone.
I wrote about this great set before: find these contributions at my
link site filed as Hit of the week. These records are listed too in my online discography.
This contribution has also been posted in Dutch and English at my Keep swinging web log.
Keep swinging
Hans Koert

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Get Yours Today

Eddie Cantor, a poor margin-called actor as he, in all due respects, describes himself, in a Hit of the week advertisement in the Afro-American - Baltimore of the 10th of May 1930. Eddie Cantor was also responsable for the song Cheer Up sung on the only Durium De Luxe Record release.

I thought Flo Ziegfeld was handling me a great big Hello. He came back all steamed up after hearing this new record. For 15¢ .... a full-size record .... high priced orchestras ... big musical Hits! I had to laugh. I hadn't had a good laugh since before I was caught short in the market. For 15 ¢? For 25¢ you couldn't buy even a piccolo solo! But then I heard the record played, right along side a 75 ¢ one. That's when I became interested in the business.
I listened to a mix of these Hit-of-the-Weeks records and if there's any difference between them and the kind I plunk down 75 ¢ for, I must be wearing our muffs
These records are one-sided. You can buy the music you really want without plunking down good dough for a dud on the reverse side. And they don't break ! I took one home. I sat on it. I hit it with a hammer. We used it in a cocktail tray. Even my pre-war ( that is "pre" the next war) stuff couldn't sour it. And then the cook fried an egg on it. It played just the same.There's not a break in a boxfull!

They are made of Durium, folks, and that's the whole secret. Durium was invented by Dr. H. T. Beans, professor of chemistry at Columbia University. He told me the chemical name and it made me dizzy, but, anyhow, the stuff looks something like brown patent leather. With the old type of record, a man and a machine can turn out 700 a day. With Durium, a man and a machine can turn out 70,000. Now your money can buy music instead of expensive material. That's why Hit-of-the-Week records can sell for 15 ¢.
But that's not all. There are more reasons why this is the biggest thing that ever hit the phonograph business. Only one record will be made each week and that will be a hit that has proved itself on the stage, and over the radio, and over the dance floor.

Flo Ziegfeld, Vincent Lopez and I will set as a music jury to pick out the most popular pieces of music every week. Then it will be recorded by one of the best orchestras that money can hire. Every record a hit! No flops admitted here. That is why you can buy Hit-of-the-week records without bothering to hear them at beforehand. You just know that each one's a wow. So step up, folks, and give a poor-margin called actor a break and give yourself a treat. You can buy these records AT ANY NEWSSTAND as easily as buying a magazine. Get yours today. This Week's Big Hit "Lazy Lou'siana Moon". Played by Jan Garber and his Orchestra.
Archeophone Records will publish the Complete Hit of the week Recordings in four 2CD sets. The first three sets have been published already and can be obtained. If you are anxious to learn more about this new record visit my link-site and scroll to Hit of the week and Durium to find more information.
Thanks Guido for sharing this ad with us. Thanks Dan, Thomas, Mike and Brad for your commends. You can find these commends below this re-post at my Keep Swinging web log. You can also read this contribuiton in Dutch.
Keep swinging
Hans Koert