Friday, October 19, 2007

The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings-volume 3

Archeophone Records announces that they will publish the third double-CD in its series The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings within a few days.
The release date is the 24th of October 2007.
The first and second double-CDs were released a few years ago and when the last and fourth double-CD wil be published all
Durium records in the Hit of the Week series will be published - an unique treasure in the history of the sound recording.

The Hit of the weeks were a series of weekly releases, started in February 1930 up to July 1932 which contained a song that was popular at that time. Each Thursday a new Hit of the week record was sold at news stands. It is remarkable that these cardboard records still exist and that the sound quality is very good, although you should keep in mind that we are talking about an ephemeral product, a record with a limited life expectancy. If you are interested you can read more about the development of this product on these previous contribution titled an
Epochmaking Invention and A New Phonograph Record.

The third double CD contains all Hit of the weeks from the second half of the year 1931. During that period the new firm, Durium Products Incorporated, started to publish the so-called 5-minutes recording. An unique procedé using so-called micro grooves made it possible to create a two minutes extra playing time. The first 5-minutes Hit of the week records have a spoken introduction:

This is a new Durium record, playing five minutes of continious quality music, almost twice the playing time of the average record. Next Thursday, a new Hit of the week at your news-stand.

Durium Products Incorporated also started with an extensive program of advertisement and custom records; you can find a dozen of it on this compilation. I'll inform you about this later.

I found a film fragment of a record collector who plays one of the 5-minutes records - It's The Girl by Freddie Rich Radio Orchestra, featuring Tommy Gott and Bunny Berigan trumpets, Tommy Dorsey and Charlie Butterfield trombones, Elmer Feldkamp clarinet and alto saxophone, probably Tony Parenti doubling on these instruments too, Cornell Schmelser accordion, Joe Venuti violin, Freddie Rich piano, Eddie Lang guitar and Joe Tarto or Hank Stern on tuba. Elmer Feldkamp is the vocalist accompanied by an unknown vocal group, that might be some members of the band.
As the Hit of the Week records are curled, due to the fact that one side was covered with an acetate called Durium and the reverse not, you had to use a
record lock to flatten the record. This guy uses a nut,a very effective way to flatten.


If you have plans to visit the Doctor Jazz Reunion in Wageningen (center of the Netherlands), on Saturday the 20th of October, you can obtain the first two Archeophone double CDs at the Timeless stand or at my table. Hope to meet you.

This contribution was also publish at my Keep swinging weblog.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

keepswinging@live.nl