Monday, May 21, 2018

Three more items, a cross-section

The large thrift shop (with that Erika M) also had a vast store of records. Bins and bins filled with vinyl. Bins with large, once expensive box sets (now for 1,-)

Just as we were going to leave, spotted a small carton on the floor labeled '78'. And indeed the box contained a small set of around 15 shellacs. All were in similar sleeves, clearly came as a set from one source. Had a quick browse and selected three of them. At 1,- per record the shellacs are expensive compared to the large vinyl box-sets, but still very affordable :-)

It's a nice cross-section of the collection in the box, a set that probably grew slowly over decades. Records were expensive. (And this was not a wealthy area...)

When getting new shellacs, part of the fun is discovering the music and finding out a bit about the discs and their context:

This is the most recent disk of the three, one by Joseph Schmidt. Already had a nice recording of him, so felt sure I'd like this one too. This looks like a forties' issue, and that could be. The actual recordings or matrices could be older, as there's a 'Broadcast 12' issue from '32 with exactly these two songs. Not mentioned on the label, but he actually sings the song in German. (A buyer 'd want to know that, I would think.) The disk was manufactured in Holland for the Swiss "Turicaphon" company, so it could perhaps be a post-war pressing. Joseph Schmidt died at the Swiss border in '42.

The next record is easy to date, as it contains the mechanical copyright notice 1927. Got this one, if only for the label design - the Polydor figure (alien?) is grandiose. And of course 'Alte Kameraden' is a classic - also back then an echo of a previous era I think. Polydor was the name used by the Deutsche Grammophon outside of Germany. The Gramophone Company's German assets were expropriated in the 1st World War, but this now-German company could of course not use the Gramophone Company name or trademarks (Nipper) in the rest of the world - hence Polydor. And the little alien.

This last record was not in its sleeve, but had spotted a sleeve with the title written on it so shuffled them about to get this one back in its sleeve. This disc looks quite old and it also sounds old - from digging around various corners of the internet it can be dated to about 1912. It has the typical acoustic recording sound of that era, the singers giving it a good effort (gusto!). When bought new this was a high-end, luxury item, a record for the new talking machine. Judging from the mostly late 30-ies and later discs in the box, the family perhaps got this as a hand-me-down or purchased it second-hand.

Listening to this record gives the atmosphere of a very different era - the time just before 'the lamps went out'. The title and message of this song: "Lasset uns das Leben geniessen"; let's enjoy life.

Three records - now with a bit of context :-)


  1. Congratulations! That's a nice find.

    1. These are indeed nice, always discoveries to be made with them. And shellacs still are fairly plentiful and affordable :-)