The card board Hit of the week - Durium records were released during the Depression years early 1930s, as a weekly, cheap, unbreakable and "durable" record in the US and Europe. This blog is dedicated to these rare ephemeral flexible records, which were released 80 years ago now.
BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD - HIT OF THE WEEK ORCHESTRA. Test Record ( VOL ! No. 4) - Recorded ca. December 1929
Played by HIT OF THE WEEK ORCHESTRA: No personal known.
Recorded New York City, ? 1929 BACK IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD Fox Trot BILLY ROSE . DAVE DREYER AL JOLSON
HIT OF THE WEEK VOL . I NO . 4 / ARCH 3002
This is a very rare copy of a Durium like record - only two copies have survived. It is a one-sided cardboard record with on the reverse a dark coating of a shellac or lacquer-type substance. This might be a test record (with a matrix number between 1000 and 1015) for Durium from the period before the first regular issues were released. The “catalogue number” suggests that there are more records. It is to be found on only one reissue: The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings - volume 1 ( Archeophone 3002)
The tune Back In Your Own Back Yard was orginally recorded by Ruth Etting, accompanied by Phil Schwartz at the piano ( 3rd of January, 1928), soon followed by a Fats Waller recording, sung by Andy Razaf. Soon all major dance bands recorded it, like the band from Paul Whiteman ( 28th of January, 1928), Sam Lanin, Gus Arnheim, Jan Garber ( February 1928 ), Ben Bernie and Eva Taylor ( acc by a group featuring Clarence Williams). Paul Whiteman's version is well known. The Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra was directed by Bill Challis . It was recorded in Camden NJ for Victor. Enjoy it.
The version as sung by Russ Colombo accompanied by Gus Arnheim and his Orchestra ( April 1928) still sounds like the average dance band arrangment of the Roaring Twenties. The version by Ben Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra from the 15th of February, 1928 ( Brunswick 3837) sounds more modern - more in the sweet and swing style that became popular in the 1930s.
n the mean time it was recorded in Europe too by Lud Gluskin et son Jazz ( July 1928). Al Jolson had this tune on his repertoire and recorded it in March 1928 for Brunswick with Bill Wirges and his Orchestra and made it a hit. The tune was written by Dave Dreyer and Billy Rose (lyrics) and often Al Jolson is credited too, but that seems to be wrong. It is unknown what musicians were responsable for the music in the version of the Hit of the Week Orchestra, but it could have been Don Voorhees with is orchestra, who was also responsable for another, probably later test recording. We are lucky that two copies exists and that the tune has been reissued on Archeophone 3002. The tune is still popular in the traditonal jazz band repertoire - I love to share with you this nice version by Craig Robertson.
Hans Koert ( author of the Durium-Hit of the week Discographies)
In December 1929 the DURIUM PRODUCTS CORPORATION prepared the start of a new unbreakable record, made of cardboard. The well known weekly issues, called the Hit of the Week, were released in a weekly schedule, which started in February 1930. The Hit of the week blog and the Keepswinging blog will follow the development of these 80 years old records in an unique series of blogs. If you love to be informed about these contributions ask for the newsletter