Sunday, December 05, 2010

'Stainless Stephen" Earns A Stripe

Indro Neri asked me for info and pictures about the small Sound Distributor record "Stainless Stephen" Earns a Stripe.

In 1932 Durium founded a studio and factory in Slough, near London, to produce commercial (cardboard) record series. The firm also produced advertisement and custom records. In 1934 the firm broke, but the cardboard advertisement records production continued, first as Dubrico's and later as Sound Distributors. Sound distributors broke somewhere in 1936.

As I don't have a copy of the record in my collection I'll have to do with some moderate qualified Xeros photo copies in my archive.
As the author of the Durium Advertisement and Custom Records Discography I received information in the past about this record I love to share with you.

(photo courtesy: Gavin/Arkhonia - http://arkhonia.wordpress.com)
“STAINLESS STEPHEN”: Arthur Clifford Baynes ( aka "Stainless Stephen") vocal Recorded in Manchester, ca 1935

EARNS A STRIPE

Matrix number S.D. 91-A Catalogue number S.D. 91

This small 5-inch ( = 11.5 cm) ( = CD-sized) card board record was recorded in Manchester according a leaflet that survived and not in Slough, a suburb of London, the usual place for Sound distributor ( and it's precursors). The leaflet reads: "Here is the first gramophone of the kind ever recorded in Manchester." It was made for the United Cattle Products Ltd. based in Manchester.

(photo courtesy: Gavin/Arkhonia - http://arkhonia.wordpress.com)
STAINLESS STEPHEN is a hot Radio Favourite who sings the praises of the finest winter food in the world. with the compliments of UNITED CATTLE PRODUCTS LTD. Produce Exchange Buildings, MANCHESTER.
Stephen Stainless was a music-hall star whose real name was Arthur Clifford Baynes ( 1892-1971). Around the mid 1930s he appeared in Radio Parade, a film with music hall acts. On the record, I haven't heard it, he sings "the praises of the finest winter food in the world", of course produced by United Cattle Products.

If you like you can see a fragment of Radio Parade at the end of this blog.

(photo courtesy: Gavin/Arkhonia - http://arkhonia.wordpress.com)

We are lucky that an envelope, although rather damaged, did survive in which the small custom record had been posted. It reads:

C.C.P. TRIPE RETAILER of ……………….
M. ………………………………………………………………………….
of …………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………
HAS APPLIED TO U.C.P. FOR A GRAMOPHONE RECORD
BY STAINLESS STEPHEN–FREE, AND HAS GIVEN YOUR
NAME AND ADDRESS AS THEIR USUAL TRIPE RETAILER.
NEXT TIME THIS CUSTOMER MAKES A
PURCHASE FROM YOU–WILL YOU KINDLY
HAND THIS FREE RECORD TO YOUR
CUSTOMER.
WITH COMPLIMENTS AND THANKS

We're lucky too, that also an advertisement or leaflet survived which shows Stainless Stephen behind a microphone promoting Hot Tripe and the iittle gramophone record!

This firm ran a chain of U.C.P. Cafes in England which served tripe and brawn. So the title might be a pun. Stainless Stephen makes the phrase “earns a stripe” sound like “earns his tripe”. The food in question was tripe and cowheels. On the cover a picture of Stainless Stephen with a microphone and a record and a bowl of Hot Tripe. ( source: Durium Advertisement and Custom Records discography - Hans Koert)

Tripe & Onions

Somewhat out of favour nowadays, tripe is the lining of a cow's stomach, traditionally served with onions. Smooth tripe comes from the first of a cow's stomachs, and so-called honeycomb tripe is from the second stomach and is considered to be the superior version. Cleaned and boiled to a milky white colour, it is usually cut into strips and soaked in milk with onions for several hours prior to eating. Until relatively recent times, Tripe and Cowheels shops were a common sight in the northwest - now, sadly, all but disappeared. ( source: http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/eat&drink/local-dishes.html )

Finally - I found a fragment from the film Radio Parade of 1935 in which Stainless Stephen must have been present. If not, it's a great example what kind of music you can expect on this record.



Indro Neri is the author of the (Italian) book: Troppa trippa - Recette Regionali di Trippa.

If someone can help me to complete this subject by sending us original scans of the record or label and its printed reverse, or better scans for the envelope and leaflet, please contact me!

Hans Koert
author of the Durium Advertisement and Custom Records Discography.
keepswinging@live.nl
http://durium.opweb.nl

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home