Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The making of ......... a rare mysterious record

An early Durium sleeve (1930) ( Hans Koert collection)
Last year the last 2cd of The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings was released by Archeophone records - the crowning glory of twenty years of collecting and research, which resulted in a series of discographies dedicated to the paper hits of the 1930s: the Durium - Hit of the Week records. In some previous blogs ( have a look at menu at the right) I wrote about the birth and the making of ..... the discographies and recently I posted a contribution about the first transfers ....... - the start of a hard job in transferring all original cardboard Hit of the Week records.

Hall Beans - the inventor of the flexible cardboard record ( collection Hans Koert)a previous blog I told you about the experiments Durium made to create the perfect groove ....  which resulted in the microgroove, used for the 5-minutes recordings. As the first Hit of the Weeks were only distributed in the streets of New York City they are still rather rare ..... When Durium distributed its records from coast to coast and even abroard in quantities of 350,000 up to 500,000 ( in the summer of 1930) the Hit of the Week records are rather common ..... although that depends to your point of view...! It is still hard to find clean copies, but it is not impossible to find even unplayed brand new ones .... But some records are extremely rare, although I don' t have always a clear explanation for that .....

 The transfers were all made by Doug Benson and he had a tough job in finding the right needle to play the records. In

Still of the Dave Fleischer Talkartoons Bimbo, featuring a dog which would develop into  ..... Betty Boop (26th of December, 1930)
What about Mysterious Mose? This tune, played by Bobby Dixon's Broadcasters, a pseudonym for a studio band, directed, probably, by Phil Spitalny. We don't know exactly what musicians were present, but we're pretty sure that Tommy Dorsey (trombone), Mannie Klein (trumpet) were on the set, and maybe Pee Wee Russell on clarinet. The vocalist, a crooner called  in those days, was Dick Robertson, who used a pseudonym here, Bobby Dixon.
 A dozen Hit of the Weeks were stamped out of a large cardboard plate ( collection: Hans Koert)
But few copies of this record still exist. Why was this record rejected? Had it to do with copy rights? Mysterious Mose was a Talkartoon in a 1930s Bimbo cartoon, featuring a kind of dog, which would become known ...... as Betty Boop.  Others suggest that this recording wasn't very danceable and suitable as a weekly Hit as it was played too fast to dance to it? Or was this record, despite its matrix- and catalogue number never intended to be a regular weekly release, but a personal or advertisement record? Fact is that it seems that the whole production was destroyed, not as a bad test copy, but as a complete finished product, as the copies that exist do have a full label print .... The tune Mysterious Mose was released and recorded early 1930 by the Radio All Star Novelty Orchestra ( featuring Harry Reser and sung by Scrappy Lambert) on Brunswick. Others that recorded this tune were Rube Bloom for Victor ( with a studio band almost similar to the regular Hit of the Week Orchestra), Ted Weems, Karl Radlach (for Perfect), Ted Wallace (Odeon) and The Rhythmic Eight ( dir. by John Firman for Zonophone. Why didn't Durium released his version?

 
Mysterious Mose - 1061 C - Bobby Dixon's Broadcasters. Recorded in New York City ca. April 1930 and catalogued as Hit of the Week 1061 ( Source: online Hit of the Week Discography - Hans Koert)Mysterious Mose, as played by Bobby Dixon’s Broadcasters is not in my collection, so where to find a copy to transfer? This was one of the first challenges for this ... Complete ..... Hit of the Week Recordings series.
The Complete Hit of the Week Recordings - volume 1 - Archeophone 3002 (Hans Koert collection) Almost fifteen years ago I sold one of my discographies to Dr. John B. Little, who happened to visit our country for a week, so I decided to bring him the discography myself. We had a pleasant meeting in the house of his friend in Den Bosch, in the southern part of The Netherlands, talking and browsing through the book. He told me that he had all Hit of the Weeks in his basement and when I verified his statement .. All ( You mean all?  You also have Mysterious Mose?) he said  ... sure, I do have Mysterious Mose too. Give me some weeks to dig into my basement ......  
This rare item Mysterious Mose became the cover artist at the first 2004 released first volume of The Complete Hit of the Week recordings. 
 
Deze bijdrage wordt ook in het Nederlands geplaatst op de Keep (it) Swingingblog.
 
Hans Koert author of the (online) Hit of the Week-Durium Discographies hitoftheweek@live.nl

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