Record Envelope is a blog devoted to the bygone era of creative sleeves for vinyl 45s.
On this day in 1889 the first jukebox was installed at the Palais Royale Salon in San Francisco. And the rest is history. Take a stroll through Wurlitzer's Jukebox Museum, and check out their 1950's promo film on jukebox manufacture: A Visit To Wurlitzer. Happy birthday, jukebox! [more inside]
WFMU's The Hound has been delighting record geeks for the past few decades with sets of some of the wildest, wooliest rockabilly, R&B, blues, gospel, garage rock, and punk that can be dug out of crates. His site offers full podcasts, and individual mp3's under the show links, and organized by artist, and title. Bo Diddley singing to Kruschev! Blues songs about the Kinsey report! The Cashmere's talking about the hop! Brownie McGee singing about baseball's integration! Roughly 4 million variations on 'The Twist!' And that;s just the tip of this glorious iceberg. [more inside]
You're the star today! In 1976, ABC's Record and Tape Division came up with the Captain Zoom Personalized Birthday Record. A two-minute song with 8 instances of the birthday boy or girl's name was recorded and mastered for a paper-thin flexible 7" record. It was sent in an envelope along with the lyrics to the song, a mini-coloring book, and an order form. In 1978, the Record and Tape Division was disbanded. Robert Stiller, a sales consultant who was involved with the project at ABC, bought the rights to the project and began distributing the record with his own company. Captain Zoom left a lasting impact on those who heard his little jingle.
And there's a wedding version too. How sweet.
And there's a wedding version too. How sweet.
78Man is a member of YouTube, who has created a collection of 378 videos of 78rpm records playing on the phonograph or gramophone. It's an amazing mix of blues, ragtime, jazz, old quirky songs of all kinds and more. Choices include: I'm tired of fattenin' frogs for snakes. She's lazy,She's lousy and she loves it. [more inside]
Martin Strel is at it again. Back in '02 he swam the Mississippi River, then went on in '04 to make a world record swim of 930 miles in the Yangtze river. Now he plans to swim the 3,375 mile Amazon "for peace and friendship", starting February 1st.
...In 1924 New York Recording Laboratory decided to expand its reach into that market by purchasing the Black Swan label. Founded in 1920 or 1921 by black entrepreneur Harry H. Pace, the pioneering company recorded everything from ragtime to grand opera, as long as it was sung by African-Americans... Paramount's biggest star was Ma Rainey, a blues moaner who influenced the legendary singer Bessie Smith... Paramount did not neglect male blues singers, who tended to be folk artists in the sense that their music was made initially for the entertainment of isolated rural communities. These included the singers and guitarists Charlie Patton... Blind Lemon Jefferson...Compliments of the Season from ParamountsHome--where, among many other things, one can find an online copy of David Evans's biography Charley Patton in Parts 1, 2 and 3 or look at a picture of Skip James in 1932, not to mention a view of Paramount's promotion of Patton as the Masked Marvel. And that is not, as they say, all...
"In the monitor booth the sound technician listens to the rehearsal through a loudspeaker, and in cooperation with maestro Ellington, brings the music to its highest sound perfection before transmitting it through the electrical circuits to the recording machine!" Record Making With Duke Ellington (1937). [YouTube]
'Pavarotti of the Plains' In 1957, Don Walser stopped recording country music and became a National Guardsman, just as rock 'n' roll took over the airwaves. He stayed with the Guard for 39 years, but around 1990, his performances at Henry's in Austin, Texas developed a following. By the end of the decade, he would sign to Sire Records, open for Ministry and the Butthole Surfers, collaborate with Kronos Quartet and be honored with a National Heritage Award. Walser retired from his music career in 2001 because of ill health. He passed away on Wednesday at age 72.
as often nostalgic and sad as they are summery and blissful, indiepop songs have long been the refuge of popkids the world around who embrace DIY but reject the rebellion of punk and pretentiousness of indie-rock. Over the years the regional focus has shifted from the twee bands in the united kingdom in the 80s to australia in the early nineties, to the northwestern united states, and to strangely.. sweden. Maybe its the combination of warm scarfs and good social services, but for whatever reason sweden's young generation has embraced the genre and, armed with casios and knit sweaters, have set about reminding the rest of us how truly wonderful and affecting it can be
X-ray records are records etched into discarded x-ray film. State censorship and lack of resources were the mothers of invention in the USSR and Eastern Europe, and apparently millions of these records were made. Without this crucial conduit of illicit western music, perhaps there would have been no Plastic People of the Universe and no Velvet (Underground) Revolution in Czechoslovakia. Mostly, though, these are just the coolest picture discs ever.
For nearly two years now, Ben T Steckler has been reviewing, posting album covers, and making full albums available for download from his seemingly inexhaustible collection of out-of-print, spoken word, sound effect, educational & other kooky recorded ephemera. If you're a fan of album titles like How To Buy Meat, What Smoking Has Done For Me, or The Catholic Marriage Manual, this site will provide you with endless hours of reading/downloading/listening pleasure.
What is the value of your vinyl record? An archive of the marketplace of wax.
Comparing Apples and Oranges. Which can you eat faster, onions or cheesecake? ROIs from (some) IFOCE records plotted together. The beginning of Sabermetrics for competitive eating? Of course, we can't ignore the Takeru Kobayashi effect. (See also earlier MeFi on International Competitive Eating.)
Ten banned records, burned and played. (Flash with audio.)
Simply mad about the boy. I've learned my lesson from these gay-themed novelty records from the Sixties. I'd rather fight than swish.
The Ledge He appeared on Laugh In, produced one of the truly weirdest 45s of the 60's, and was one of many inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Meet Norman Carl Odam, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
Mums give it their breast shot. Australia held the record, the USA took it off them, lost it back to Australia, who still hold it, despite recent attempts by in New Zealand and the USA to better the mark. When did simultaneous breastfeeding get so competitive?
As you're reading this, Grand Master Susan Polgar is on her way to breaking the Guinness World Record for playing simultaneous games of chess. She began at 10 a.m. today playing over 300 opponents. Going from board to board, by 5 p.m. she had already walked 5 miles. Polgar, with a fascinating backstory, broke the glass ceiling of male-dominated international chess in 1990 and cleared the way for her sister Judit, an even stronger player. As of early tonight, Susan had yet to lose a single game (she must win at lest 80% of them), but acknowledged that some players might get lucky: "At least I will make their day."
Thousands (!) and thousands and thousands of old 45s on eBay. (More)
Turtle's 78 RPM Jukebox
Popular Victor, Edison, and Columbia recordings, 1900-1930.
Popular Victor, Edison, and Columbia recordings, 1900-1930.
"I Ain't Lazy" (lyrics NSFW) featuring Skratch Bastid, John Smith & Pip Skid. A day-in-the-life indie hip-hop video directed by Jason Lapeyre featuring another top notch crew of PCRs.
Poker player plays for 24 hours in a row? Yawn. Online poker player plays eight tables simultaneously for 24 hours in a row? Interesting.
Bush's National Guard File Missing Records Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush (news - web sites)'s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts. For example, Air National Guard regulations at the time required commanders to write an investigative report for the Air Force when Bush missed his annual medical exam in 1972. The regulations also required commanders to confirm in writing that Bush received counseling after missing five months of drills. No such records have been made public...
Oh, You Mean Those Records The Pentagon released "newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard." The earlier statement that the records were inadvertently destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight." [Previously discussed here and here.]
AP Seeks Release of Bush Military Records Records destroyed? Ah, the other set! ..."Records released so far do not put to rest questions over whether Bush fulfilled his National Guard service for a period during the Vietnam War, the AP argued in papers filed in federal court in New York. Those records came from federal records clearinghouses. Texas law requires separate record keeping for state National Guard service, and those records should exist on microfilm in Austin, the AP said. ..."
The dog ate my service records. The Pentagon has announced that the payroll records for National Guard service for three months between 1972 and 1973 have been accidentally destroyed. These three months coincidentally cover the disputed period of George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. (Similar Google link here, via dKos)
Joe Bussard is the self-proclaimed king of record collectors (pre-war 78s, of course). He'll even make you a tape. According to Bussard, jazz died in 1933. Were the '20s America's golden age? Great art, architecture, movies, and even coins.
1980s Vinyl Multimedia In the 1980s UK, artists were busy embedding multimedia-enabling compiled computer code into the locked grooves of their vinyl releases (and some cassette tapes). Who knew?
The Barren Lands Digital Collection. J.B. Tyrrell's expeditions for the Geological Survey of Canada, 1892-94. 'This site documents two exploratory surveys of the Barren Lands region west of Hudson Bay, in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the area now known as Nunavut. Drawing on materials from the J.B. Tyrrell, James Tyrrell and related collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, it includes over 5,000 images from original field notebooks, correspondence, photographs, maps and published reports. '
Old Crank: Vintage Phonographs and Ephemera
Believe It or Not! Anomalies Unlimited. See the Lord's Prayer Carved on the Head of a Pin! Marvel at the World's Longest Ear Hair! Indulge in the Deep Dark Secrets of The Wonderful World of Disney! Yes! Step right up. No need to push... there's something for everyone under the Big Top...
"With VinylVideo™, you can now transform your old record player and your TV set into a brand-new home movie medium - quickly, conveniently, and without complicated instruction manuals. With the revolutionary VinylVideo™ Picture Disks, for which numerous top-name artists have already produced exclusive works, you can now design your own TV viewing program featuring picture quality that is truly extraordinary." Hey hey that sounds useful! Maybe their next big idea is replacing DVDs with Viewmaster reels. Check out the real audio informercial if you have the chacne.
Pazz & Jop 2002 - The Village Voice has tabulated the top albums and singles from 695 critics (and 10,2002 LPs). Some of the ballot-fillers even got a little personal. The usual essays are included. If your fav CD didn't make the cut, perhaps it made it onto the dean's list.
Digital Needle is a virtual gramophone open source program that converts scanned--yes, scanned--vinyl records into audio.
The end of Vinyl II? Stanton ships Final Scratch, which enables a DJ to manipulate (mix, scratch, cut...) any music on their PC with their turntables. Besides not needing to carry all the weight and bulk of crates of records around, DJs can now skip the expensive and complicated step of cutting their own records in order to play original tracks. Is vinyl going to die for real this time?
Show and Tell Music - Thrift Store Vinyl. There are lots of vinyl sites out there, but some of the items in this collection had me floored. And the quantity is just as impressive as the quality -- several pages of unintentionally funny Christian vinyl you have to see to believe. MP3 samples too! Via BoingBoing, but got lost under a lengthy EFF post (which was also good).
Today, the music critics at pitchfork.com posted the first half of their "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s" feature.
Wisconsin "loses" 2,900 sex offenders. It seems that the state of Wisconsin has "misplaced" approximately 2,900 of it's 9,000+ population of registered sex offenders. Apparently, they've moved within or out of the state without letting the state know. Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks we should all pitch in and help find those missing offenders, and offers some ways he's helping out already
Music Industry releases new piracy-proof format! But not to worry there is already a crack out for the format.
In an a era where so much music seems overly mechanical Funk45.com and Galactic Fractures are terrific reminders that danceablity can be warm and loose and that human-powered music is the funkiest. These sites have what every good music site should have, encyclopedaic knowledge, detailed info, and truckloads of audio that makes you wanna find a good record store and hunt down the 45's yourself. And it's all presented in a way that encourages you to dig deeper. The song You Got Me Mama by Hayes Ware is a favorite, but there's plenty of great stuff. requires RealAudio
Trouserpress.com is back! After a hiatus of over two-and-a-half years, Trouserpress.com was re-launched today. The site contains just about all of the band profiles and album reviews from editor Ira Robbins' comprehensive and informative Trouser Press Record Guide book series from the 80s/90s. Since all but the most recent "90s rock" book are out-of-print, it's great to have this amazing indie/new wave/punk/alt rock music reference available once more.
Is your library unpatriotic? The FBI has now started checking library records. According to the USA Patriot Act, the FBI can research library records, all they have to do is prove a diluted form of probable cause to a secret court. Some librarians say they will resist the attempts by the FBI to view the reading histories of their patrons. If you think your local librarian is being unpatriotic or subversive, please send them hate mail, report them to the FBI.....
The patient refused an autopsy. (Via Linklust) Sunday silliness; bloopers made by doctors on medical charts and records