Thursday, May 29, 2008

Unbreakable Record Sleeve no Durium cover

A few days ago I asked your help for information about a rare Dutch 1930s record sleeve. The cover didn't gave any info about the record that had been inside, except that it had contained an Onbreekbare Gramophoonplaat Met Lot ( = An unbreakable Gramophone Record With Lottery Ticket). I posted several pictures of that sleeve in a previous contribution titled Unbreakable Record Sleeve With Lottery Ticket. As no info was on the sleeve about what unbreakable record had been inside, I called the possibiliy of a Durium record into question. Thanks to several contributors I can inform you about what record had been inside.
Both Dimitri Marheineke, record collector and Rinus Blijleven from The Weergever, pointed to the Dutch flexible advertisement record for Persil washing powders, titled Wat Een Meisje Weten Moet (= What A Girl Should Know) sung by the popular Dutch crooner Louis Davids. This record was recorded in the Lindström studio in Berlin (Germany) on the 28th of January 1932 for Parlophone. It is the most well known pre-war flexible Dutch picture disc and sought after by collectors. The cover is most of the time teared or the owner had cut a big hole in the middle to see the fancy record inside. The music was reissued on the great album Wat Een Meisje Weten Moet, a collection in the series of Reclame Klassieken, released by the Theater Instituut Nederland in co-production with De Weergever, Amsterdam.
Louis Davids (1883 - 1939), who was a popular Dutch crooner, is to be found on several advertisement records reissued on this compilation. In 1931 he made a song, titled 't Is Prima ( het gas in de flesch) ( =gas cylinder) to promote Primagaz for cooking. A few month after the Persil advertisement Louis Davids sung the song Doe het electrisch .... to promote the use of electricity for the N.V. Provinciale Utrechtse Electriciteitsmaatschappij. This tune was recorded by The Animal Crackers too and became a small hit on their 1975 album Tante To Heeft Radio.
It feels strange that this sleeve hasn't any indication to the record inside: no Persil advertisement nor announcement of Louis Davids song. There have been several versions of this advertisement record and you can read it all about in one of my previous blogs, titled Wat Een Meisje Weten moet - Louis Davids. On that site you can also listen to the song.
Thanks Ate, Rinus and Dimitri for your help and Henk for the cover. Know that I'm still anxious to have a copy of this picture disc to put inside the sleeve!!
Hans Koert
This contribution is also posted in Dutch and English at the daily Keep Swinging web log and Flexible records blog.
Keep swinging
Hans Koert

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Onbreekbare Gramophoonplaat Met Lot

I received a rare sleeve for a 78rpm recording from Henk Duijmelink. It is a Dutch sleeve, which could be used for an ONBREEKBARE GRAMOPHOONPLAAT MET LOT ( = Unbreakable Record with a lottery ticket.). The price for this unbreakable record with lottery ticket was two Dutch florins. I've never seen such a sleeve and for what unbreakable records this sheet was used.

click on the picture to enlarge

The Hit of the week series were sold in sleeves starting in the summer of 1931 . These sleeves are made of very breakable thin paper - not the kind of paper Henk's sleeve is made of. This sleeves has the same paper quality like a bag grocers used to pack their sweets in the 1930s. (and on the market the greengrocer still packs my green beans in such a sack.)

click on the picture to enlarge
On the sleeve, advertisements to promote products that, as it seems, have nothing to do with the record inside. The largest one is by Citroën, the French automobile, which loves to promote De Balanceerende Motor (= the balanced engine), which makes the automobile very silent, een zachte, geruischlooze gang als het glijden van een zwaan over het water ( = as silent as a swan gliding through the water.) That explains the drawings of a man sitting in a swan on the sleeve. On the reverse a small advertisement for a "Reico" Radio aan de Spits! zoowel in prijs als kwaliteit. ( = a "Reico" radio set, the best in price and quality ). The fact that the advertised radio is from the 1932 series, dates this sleeve.
The rest of the texts suggest that this envelope was used to sell a lottery ticket including an unbreakable record. There is no suggestion about what unbreakable record: was it a Filmophone? Or a Goodson? Or a Phonycord, or maybe a Durium or Hit of the week? The price, Dfl 2,00 includes a lottery ticket of Dfl 1,00. The envelope reads that the Loterij is dedicated Ten Bate Van Het Zwakke Kind ( = a lottery to solve the needs for the weak children). Er worden 40.000 loten tegen den prijs van Fl. 1,00 per lot uitgegeven (= There a 40,000 lottery tickets each Dfl. 1.00 )
click on the picture to enlarge
As the sleeve reads, the lottery starts on the 30th of March 1932 and in that period the first English durium records were released, so it might be well possible that the record inside was a durium EN- series record, like the
Durium Dance Band ( = Lew Stone) featuring Al Bowlly, the popular English crooner. I have one vague picture of a Dutch durium sleeve from that period which learns that the price of the record was Dfl. 1.
click on the picture to enlarge
Maybe it is good to know that two years later (up to January 1935) SEFONO records, French duriums, were sold with an advertisement on its reverse for a Grand Concours Sefono lottery with a 500.000 Francs De Prix ( = 500,000 francs prize money ).The reverse of the record read: Chaque pochette contient un bon de concours qui vous permet de participer au Grand Concours Sefono. (= Each cover contains a ticket, which invites you to take part of the Grand Concours Sefono). The first price was 100,000 Francs; the second up to 4th price where Une Villa et un Terrain á Cannes (= A villa and garden in Cannes)......

The first prize of the Dutch lottery was: Een Te Bouwen Landhuis ( A new-build Villa), Een Citroën Automobiel 5 Persoons ( a 5-seat Citroën automobiles ( Type C.4 G ); the third price Een Reico Radio Ontvangtoestel ( A Reico Radio Set) and the fourth price: Een Electrische Simplex Rijwiel ( = an electric Simplex Bicycle. ) (it's Holland remember !!)
It seems likely that the unbreakable records were Durium records, as I haven't read anything in the 1932 Dutch news paper that promoted the unbreakable cardboard Durium record and if it was a Durium record inside, why wasn't the name mentioned on the sleeve? Can someone confirm if these English durium flexible records were sold in such a brown sack, including a lottery ticket? Or was the free Dutch promo record inside? Gratis Proefplaat (= Free sample) is stamped on its reverse, so why should you pay one Dutch guilder for it? Or what other unbreakable record? Please send me your suggestions: Hans Koert

This contribution was published in Dutch at the daily Keep Swinging Web Log and is also posted on the Flexible Records blog.
Keep swinging
Hans Koert
author of the Hit of the Week - Durium Discographies