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


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