Monday, November 19, 2007

Durium De Luxe

Archeophone Records has published the third double-CD in its series The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings.
The first and second double-CDs were released a few years ago and when the last and fourth double-CD will be published all Durium records in the Hit of the Week series will be reissued chronologically - an unique treasure in the history of sound recording. Some weeks ago I published a first contribution about this third double CD. I told about some novelties like the new 5-minutes recordings , twice the playing time of the average record and about the new numbering system that could be read as a kind of sell-by date. This time I love to tell you about an outsider in the weekly Hit of the week records series, the only released DURIUM DE LUXE record, not a regular weeky release, with its colourful label and cover.

This record was released as DURIUM DE LUXE K 6 late October 1931 and could be obtained for twenty-five cents. The tune Cheer Up is sung by Eddie Cantor, who was, together with Florenz Ziegfeld and Vincent Lopez one of the music jury, that selected the Hit-of-the-hour for the Hit of the week ( as stated on the first promo record, Tip Toe Thru The Tulips ( Hit of the week 1019) (volume 1 CD 1 track 2)
The tune is one of the so-called typically anti-Depression songs, that wants to put the bad times into another perspective: Cheer Up, ... better times are here. Sunny smilers we must be, the optimist asserts, Let's hang the fat-head to a tree! Cheer up, smile, nertz. Other typical anti-depression tunes are Cheerful Little Earfull (Volume 2 CD one track 14), Let's Have Another Cup O'Coffee and Sing A New Song, which will be published later in the 4th volume. The label is compleet different from the rather boring common Hit of the week labels. Archeophone used the lay-out for the print on its first CD. A nice detail !!

I found a film fragment where you can see and hear this record to be played, with comments from the owner. If you look carefully you can also see another novelty, the so-called visible interval between the two tunes. Well, we are used to this nowadays, because it was used on all 33rpm recordings later. This DURIUM DE LUXE contains a vocal and an instrumental version of this tune, as the maker of the movie volunteers halfway the record..
Enjoy it.

This contribution was also posted in Dutch and English at my Keep swinging web log.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

keepswinging@live.nl


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings - volume 3

Archeophone Records has publish the third double-CD in its series The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings. I received my copy yesterday and I'm really pride, as this series is the crowning glory of my research to this almost forgotten record label. The first and second double-CDs were released a few years ago and when the last and fourth double-CD will 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. Some weeks ago I published a first contribution about this third double CD. As the author of the Hit of the week Discography ( 6th edition) I was involved in the research and asked to write some background information about this curious record label. In the 24 pages booklet inside I wrote for volume one about the new invention of the Durium acetate, about its very first beginning and for the second volume I talked about the first Durium firm, named The Durium Products Corporation.
In the summer of 1931 times had changed and the first firm, The Durium Products Corporation was broken; a new firm was born: The Durium Products Incorporated. In the article "Durium Products Incorporated" I have told more about this period. In my previous blog I told about their new invention, the so-called five-minute recording, thanks to the invention of the so-called micro groove. This time I love to tell something about their new catalogue system. The Hit of the week records were sold at news stands, each week. If you like to dance - if you want to entertain your friends with the latest music -stop at any news-stand, or the place where you purchased this record, and get the new "Hit" each week. It was important to emphasize the fact the if you wanted the latest Hits, you had to buy a "fresh new" card board record at you news dealer each Thursday.
Thanks to its new catalogue system everybody could learn if you really had bought the latest hit. Each month got a letter and each week a figure. The first records in this system were released the September 1931, in its second week on Thursday the 10th of September 1931, so I Found A Million Dollar Baby by the Don Voorhees' Orchestra (disc one track 7) received the catalogue number J-2 ( September is the 9th month - the J the 9th letter in the alphabet ( minus the I )). Another example: I'm Just A Dancing Sweetheart by Freddie Rich's Radio Orchestra (Disc 2 track one) was released on Thursday the 5 November 1931, so its catalogue number was L 1
An extra item, the special Durium De Luxe Ballyhoo - Theme song "Cheer Up" by Eddy Cantor ( disc one track 23-24), received the catalogue number K-6. I'll tell you more about this special labeled record in a next contribution.

Records that were not sold during that specific week, where almost unsaleable the next week and had to be sent back to Durium. You can understand they had a rather huge stock of unsold records. So they changed the catalogue system a bit at the end of the year: each record became "fresh and new" for two weeks, so A Faded Summer Love by Rudy Vallee (disc 2 track 23), released on Christmas Eve ( 24th of December 1931) got the catalogue number M-4-5 and an extra item also released around that same date was labeled MM4-5 (disc 2 track 24). The last track on disc 2 is titled Some Of These Days by Erno Rapee's Orchestra ( disc 2 track 27) and was released on the last day of 1931 ( 31st of December ) and labeled M-5-N-1? Wrong - they started all over again. January 1932 was A again, so this record was catalogued as M-5-A-1.


This new Archeophone 2 CD record The Complete Hit Of The Week Recordings can be obtanied directly by Archeophone records or in the Netherlands at Timeless Records or Spronk Muziekhandel in Breda.

If you love to read more about this release or you love to hear the music, please open the informative site of Archeophone Records.

This contribution is also posted at my Keep swinging web log. Het is daar ook in het Nederlands te lezen.

Keep Swinging

Hans Koert

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