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One-of-ones

Friday, 20 November 2009

I don’t know where he finds them, but Dolf Hell lent me another pile of one-of-one records. All 78rpm records and all in bad shape. It are metal disc with a layer of shellac upon the surface; after 60 years (?!) the shellac is breaking off here and there and the micro organisms that feed on this stuff have been having a great time, leaving almost no trace of the recordings left to listen to.
There are eight records, of three different brands:
Zephyr

National Hollywood Recording Disc

…and Duodisc:

As far as I could deduce after spending an afternoon and two needles on these 78’s, these are probably records made and used by a radio station. The songs have no beginning and after the song is finished there is some talk (on one record about a forthcoming election, on another about the next program). Apart from one classical music recording, the songs are all typical fifties easy listening pop, in the style that you know from Fred Astaire, the Andrew Sisters and Glenn Miller. But of course, I have no idea who the artists are. It might very well be Fred Astaire, The Andrew Sisters and the Glen Miller Orchestra!
Here is the record that sounds surprisingly good in comparison with the others:


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And please believe me when I say that the rest is not worth posting. Unless you pay me a new needle.
Well, to be honest, there is one record that is worth sharing here: it is a recording of a Dutch speaking man who calls himself Tonny van Hulst and who sings a Dutch song about a flower:

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I wonder where and why these records were made. I know that in the thirties, forties and fifties some radio stations, even in Holland, recorded things on records, because there were no tape recorders yet. But why didn’t they record complete songs? And why songs that they obviously already had on records? And what does Tonny van Hulst on one of these records? And is this voice on the B-side of the Tonny van Hulst recording also Tonny van Hulst?

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It does not sound like a commercial record to me. But I don’t know. If you do, please tell me.
Finally here is a one sided labelless record that was also in the plastic bag that Dolf gave me. It contains a Christmas message for a Dutch Marine in Curacao, named Kees. It seems unlikely that it comes from the same source as the other records but again: I don’t know.

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