Chocolate records part 1
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
While I worked for the VPRO radio, I was sometimes asked to do other jobs than my weekly radio show Vrije Geluiden. I did a handful of night shows. That was great: this night show was live and three hours long. Considered the fact that my regular show was only five minutes, you can imagine the possibilities. I could do whatever I wanted, and because there were no trains riding at 3:30 pm, I was brought home in a cab. The payment was low for VPRO standards, but I remember that we gave a party every time I was asked to do a show.
I also did a few interviews on my music collection for other VPRO radio shows. Mainly about the advertisement records. One of these interviews is still online here. When I tried it last night, I couldn’t get the player to work, so maybe they deleted the audio file. If that turns out to be the case, I will put up an mp3 of it later.
In this interview I asked the listeners what they remembered of chocolate records. I have some sleeves that once housed a chocolate record, but all these sleeves are empty. The chocolate records were made by a Dutch chocolate factory, Beukers & Rijneke, but on the sleeves is also the logo of Philips. When I asked around, I learned that even in the sixties the technology to produce a record made of choclate, that could be played on a record player, was already available. So I wondered if these records contained sounds, and if so, what sounds.
Since the Beukers & Rijneke chocolate records are from the sixties, I realised that the change that I would ever see find one, was very small. Several listeners called in, so I got a rough idea how they looked and tasted. But the question if there was music on these records remained unanswered. Through corresponding with other collectors, I got the idea that there were indeed eatable records made in the sixties that could produce music. But I never heard a recording.
Later I even got to see a Beukers & Rijneke choclate record at the house of Dolf Hell, who kept one in his refrigerator. I am not joking here; the chocolate was broken and covered with white mushrooms of various kinds, but it might very well be the only Dutch chocolate record that survived this 50 year time trip! And I have seen it!
The record in Dolf’s refrigerator, and the ones eaten by the people who called in to the radio show, were probably not real records, although even that is still unclear. Technically this is entirely possible. I have photocopies of sleeves of chocolate records and several other pieces of information that seem to indicate that in the sixties there were some eatable records made. And if you don’t believe it is possible, watch this YouTube video:
To be continued!