08 September 2007


Last night I got a message from Anki T. from Barcelona, Spain who sent me a copy of a beautiful picture record he has in his collection. The record belonged to his grandmother. He labels it as a Flexi disc, and of course it is flexible, but that is not the name of the label. It is a special product of the GOODSON RECORD, a flexible record label. This record was issued at the 1929-1930 Exposicion Internacional de Barcelona, held at the Parque de Montjuic - Plaza de Espana in Barcelona. It has the text: THIS RECORDS (sic) SPECIALLY ARRANGED FOR THE EXPOSITION INTERNATIONAL BARCELONA 1929 and it also has the notation COMPANIA FONOGRAFICA HISPANO-AMERICANO S.A.

The two tune on the record are: Let's Try It Again - 31277 by the MARATHON DANCE ORCHESTRA. The name of the band is of course a pseudonym a typically Goodson habit it seems ) and was in fact a Fred Hall studio orchestra. The other side bears the tune Dancing With My Baby by George Beaver, a pseudonym for the then well known crooner Irving Kaufman. He is in fact accompanied by a piano and clarinet player which could be Fred Hall and Eddie Grosso. Goodson Records were flexible records released late 1920s and early 1930s by the Goodson Gramophone Record Co. Ltd. in London. They are made of white opaque celluloid and great to have in your record collection as they don't have a regular (paper) label like other 78rpm records: all information is visable on the complete surface of the record. The hand bending a record picture became its trademark. The first new Goodson was sold, in the regular series, since December 1929 after a lot of problems in the initial phase as its first records were inflammable. There were also problems with royalties. Thanks to the fact that the complete surface of the record could be used they were excellent for advertising. I have the The Boots Chemist Goodson in my collection, one of the most common advertisent record made by Goodson. The Barcelona one is a great one: it had to advertise itself, as the Goodson Record was one of the novelties of the exhibition.
Last week, sometimes things happen, Han E. sent me a copy of a Lido label. Lido was a cheap flexible label, released by Goodson Records, starting at April 1931. There were only 20 Lido records made and all but three have tunes also released on the white Goodson records. The last three records released have the words NEW PROCESS RECORDS on the label and also the LIDO logo printed on the black playing surface in mauve lettering. I put an oval around the logo to indicate the place. This record contains the songs LA REVE PASSE - March and on the reverse NARCISSUS both played by CHARLES ANCLIFFE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Thanks Anki and Han for sharing these great flexible records.

I found a film fragment where you can see and hear a Goodson Record to be played on a modern turn table. Enjoy it.

This contribution is also posted at my Keep swinging web log.

Keep swinging

Hans Koert



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