30 September 2010

Goodson Records: Pliable - Unbreakable - Featherweight

The GOODSON GRAMOPHONE RECORD CO. LTD. London, England - as its full manufacturers identification was labelled, produced commercial recordings between 1929 and 1931. One of the characteristic features of these white flexible records, made of a non-flammable material called Rhodoid was, that it had no separate (paper) label around the spindle hole like regular records, but its complete surface could be used for printed messages.
The Goodson Records ( collection: Hans Koert)

Goodson Records was a short lived record label which produced a flexible type of records in England between December 1929 and February 1931. They were made of a white opaque celluloid named Rhodoid, which was labelled as Non-Inflammable ( The earliest Goodson gave problems, as they happened to be easily inflammable).


Aroun d 1930 numerous producers of flexible records tried to make a living by producing light unbreakable gramophone records, that could be produced cheap in large quantities. The vulnerable shellac records were expensive to produce and broke easily. For the cheap flexible record the Great Depression seemed a godsend - the people didn't had two pennies to rub against each other and cheap records, like the cardboard Hit of the Weeks, produced more then 350,000 copies a week. The cardboard Hit of the Weeks are still best known and are fully listed on the Hit of the Week-Durium Discographies. They were playable on one side only, but with almost 5-minutes playing time, Durium suggested in 1932, that two complete songs were on one side - Two "Big" Hits. The self-changing record, the British Durium records promoted itself, the record you don't have to turn around. It was flexible and unbreakable and a promotional picture showed, that you could even use a hammer or shoe to test how "durable" the records was. And they are ....... more then 80 years later most Hit of the Weeks are still playable.

Big City Blues - Mermphis Jazzers ( 1929) ( Goodson Nº 131) (Hans Koert collection)

Other records were made of transparent plastics, like Flexo, Filmophone, Phonycord or Virginia, but most of them didn't survive time ... they warped easily and most of them are unplayable now. Goodson, was, in my opinion, the best of the rest. It promoted itself as Double-Sided and they were Featherweight. The best way to proof its qualities was playing it, Goodson suggested: Have stood the test, their mellow tone, full volume, clear cut notes and absence of surface noise, justify our claim to have produced a perfect record. Reading this, it brings a smile to your face ............ , but also other record companies like Durium greatly exaggerated its audio qualities. Goodson Records do not break and scratching does not harm them. They are flexible and so light in weight that sixty can be carried in a portable gramophone. Well, I've tried to store half of it ( my collection of Goodson contains two dozens copies )and it just fit into my Viva-tonal Columbia Grafolona Nº109A 1929 gramophone, but with space for a handful - but 60? Durium suggests in a Dutch advertisement that Minstens 35 platen kunnen in een koffergramofoon mee ( = At least 35 records can be stored in a portable gramophone) - well that seems a more realistic number ........ although if I study the Veckans skiva sleeve picture?

A handfull of Goodson to store into a portable gramophone, but 60 copies? ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

Listen to one of those Goodson records: Breakaway by the Cosmopolitan Dance Players, one of the numerous anonymous studio bands directed by Fred Hall from the Grey Gull Studios (June 1929)


A great view: a Goodson playing on my portable gramophone ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert)

The Goodson Records are unique - did you know that these records are the only records with the tune-information available on both sides of the record? The record has no (paper) label around the spindle hole which means that the info can be printed everywhere - also over the groove. The label info on the commercial releases is printed large in the middle of the record - you can't miss the hand with the bended record. In the four quarters you can read four times the same track information for both sides. As the Goodson were complete printable on both sides it was the ideal spot to promote events or advertise products. Like Durium Goodson records were used for promotion and advertisements for brands like Boots The Chemists (Always Open Day and Night), Wellsbach Lamps (United for Service To Give Good Gaslight), Henleys and British Record Washer Soap ( A free Goodson Record without advertising matter for Eighteen Cartons of Britisch record Washer Soap).
part of a Goodson record catalogue (July 1930). (negative) ( Thanks to Brian Rust)

Goodson produced also custom records, selling its surface for promotional messages. In a few previous blogs I told you about the records, released to promote the Mawson Antarctic Expedition of 1929 and about the a record issued at the 1929-1930 Exposicion Internacional de Barcelona. In one of the latest Flexible Records blogs I asked your help to complete a series of scans with Boots The Chemists advertisements. Hope you can help us.

Tomorrow I hope to post a blog about Goodson Records in Dutch, but not, as usual, a translation of the above one. Dutch visitors, anxious to learn more about this subject, normally understand English well. I love to repost an article from Het Leven from the 29th of November, 1930 entitled
Goodson Gramophone Record; een nieuw geluid!


This contribution has also been published at the Keep Swinging blog.

Hans Koert

keepswinging@live.nl

25 September 2010

Goodson and Boots

The GOODSON GRAMOPHONE RECORD CO. LTD. London, England - as its full manufacturers indentification was labeled, produced commercial recordings between 1929 and 1931. One of the characteristic features of these white flexible records, made of a non-flammable material called rhodoid was that it had no separate (paper) label around the spindle hole like regular records, but its complete surface could be used for printed messages.

Goodson was a short lived record label which produced a flexible type of records in England between December 1929 and February 1931. They were made of a white opaque celluloid named Rhodoid, which was labeled as Non-Inflammable ( The earliest Goodsons were inflammable). Goodson produced advertisement and custom records too, like other flexible record labels, for Boots The Chemists (Always Open Day and Night), Wellsbach Lamps (United for Service To Give Good Gaslight), Henleys and British Record Washer Soap ( A free Goodson Record without advertising matter for Eighteen Cartons of Britisch record Washer Soap).

Goodson produced also custom records, selling its surface for promotional messages. In a few previous blogs I told you about the records, released to promote the Mawson Antarctic Expedition of 1929 and about the a record issued at the 1929-1930 Exposicion Internacional de Barcelona.

Today I love to introduce you to Goodson's Boots advertisement records. Judith W., archivist of Boots the Chemist asked me for information about these records. She sent me scans from one of the records in its archive. Love to share with you these two scans and two from my own collection.



DANCING WITH MY BABY ( 31275-1) George Beaver

Irving Kaufman vocal, accompanied by a piano and clarinet ( could be: Fred Hall and Eddie Grosso). Recorded in New York City ca. 1928-1929. Released commercially ca. 1929 as GOODSON No. 118, but here presented as a Boots The Chemists promo record. ( type: The finest chemist's service in Great Britain - Over 800 branches at your service. ( collection Boots - Nottingham).

TOGETHER (31250) - Lou Gold's Orchestra
Irving Kaufman vocal. rest unknown.
Recorded in New York City ca. 1928-1929. Released commercially ca. 1929 as GOODSON No. 105, but here presented as a Boots The Chemists promo record. ( type: For all Surgical Invalid & Nursery Requisites. You are safe in dealing with Boots the Chemists - Over Eight Hundred Branches Throughout Great Britain)
( collection Boots - Nottingham).
JUST A NIGHT FOR MEDITATION Foxtrot with Vocal Chorus (31295) - Marathon Dance Orchestra
Marathon Dance Orchestra ( = Fred Hal and his Orchestra): personel unknown. Arthur Fields vocal.

Recorded in New York City ca July 1928. Released commercially ca. 1929 as the first GOODSON No. 101, but here presented as a Boots The Chemists promo record. ( type: Dispensing Chemists to the Nation - Over 800 Branches in Great Britain) ( collection Hans Koert).

TALK ABOUT HEAVEN Foxtrot with Vocal Chorus (31210) - Pennsylvania Melody Syncopators
Pennsylvania Melody Syncopators ( = Fred Hall and his Orchestra): Jack Mollick trumpet, Eddie Groosso cl as - Philip d' Archy h v p washboard - Fred Hall p dir - Albert Russo banj, l morse tu - Joseph Mayo dm. prob. Arthur Fields vocal.

Recorded in New York City ca December 1927. Released commercially ca. 1929 on Duophone (Duo M-172 and M-175) and Goodson Nº 109 and 137), but here presented as a Boots The Chemists promo record. ( type: Always Open Day and Night - Boots The Chemists) ( collection Hans Koert).

SERENATA (4260P) - Vornos ( = Celeste Vornos mezzo sop.)
Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and released commercially as Goodson Nº 144, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record ( Type: Gifts for every occasion. Buy them from Boots The Chemists Over 800 Branches in Great Britain). ( collection unknown)


CHE GELIDA MANIMA ( 5405) La Boheme - Guido Volpi tenor
Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and released commercially as Goodson Nº 148, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo reord ( Type: for Perfumery, Face Powders, Creams, Soaps, Bristle Goods and Toilet Requisites Boots The Chemists Perfumers & Toilet Specialists)( collection unknown)

This are six advertisements by Boots The Chemists as found on three Goodson records. I found the information for some more.

SE IL MIO NOME SAPER (5277) "Barber of Sevilla" - Amilcare Pozzoli, tenor

Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and never commercially released by Goodson, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record( Type: The finest chemist's service ........)

COME UN BEL DI DI MAGGIO (5280) "Andrea Chenier" = Comm. Ismaele Voltolini, Tenor

Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and released commercially as Goodson Nº 148, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record ( Type: for all Surgical .........)

CIELO E MAR (5727) "Gioconda"= Cav. Oreste di Bernardi, Tenor

Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and commercially released as Goodson Nº147, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record ( Type: Gifts for every occasion. .)
SEMPRE LIBERA ( 5272) Traviata (Verdi) - Poletti, soprano

Recorded in Italy ca. 1928 and never commercially released by Goodson, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record ( Type: for Perfumery,.......) This record was also used for a Goodson Welsbach advertisement record)

OLOHA OE (sic) (31309) Hawaian Guitar (Duet) = Ferrera and Paaluhi ( Frank Ferera and John K. Paaluhi)

Recorded in New York City, July 1928 and commercially released as Goodson Nº 126, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record ( Type: Boots The Chemists Dispensing Chemists to the Nation Over 800 Branches In Great Britain)

ISLE OF PARADISE (41512) Hawaian Guitar & Xylophone Duet = Ferrera & Franchusi (= Frank Ferera and Anthoni Franchini)

Recorded in New York City, 1st of November 1920 and never commercially released by Goodson, but here presented as a Boots The Chemist promo record( Type: Always Open .....) This record was also used for a Goodson Miss Blanche Virginia Cigarettes advertisement)

Serenade Rimpianto (4259) - Vornos ( = Celeste Vornos) (TYPE: unknown) = Siciliano - O Lola "Cavalleria Rusticana (5728) - Cav. Oreste di Bernardi ten. w. orch. (TYPE: The finest Chemists ...)

Let's Make Whoopee ( 31288-1)- Jack Kaufman with orch acc. (TYPE: unknown) = And Then Foxtrot with vocal Chorus (31321-1) Fred Hall and his Orchestra ( TYPE: Always Open ...)

These sides learn that the tunes used for the advertisements seem to be selected at random from its commercial catalogue. Arthur Badrock lists in his The Goodson Record Discography some more coupling known of Boots The Chemists ads, most Italian classical music feasturing artists like the mezzo soprano Celeste Vornos and US crooners like Irving Kaufman. As I don't know what type of advertisements were used I haven't posted this list here, but I hope collectors of Goodson Records will inform me and/or send me their label scans from the Boots The Chemists advertisements in their collections to get a complete overview of these Goodson advertisement records.: keepswinging@live.nl

When the Goodson Record Co. Ltd. in London broke in the early 1930s Boots The Chemists found a new advertisement medium in Sound Distributors, the successor of Durium Products (G.B.) Ltd. (Slough).

I hope this helps Judith of the Boots archive in Nottingham (UK). Thanks for sharing the scans with us.

This contribution will be edited too for the Keep Swinging blog in an English and Dutch version soon.


Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl


19 September 2010

Discolux

Thanks to Patrick from The Hague ( The Netherlands) I can show you some labels of the Belgian flexible DISCOLUX label, released by Phonedibel. They were found including a Phonedibel sleeve. They must have been recorded ca. 1930. They are made of white Rhodoid or Rhodoid-like acetate, as used in the well known Goodson record.
Can someone help me to date these rare transparent flexible 78rpm records?

CANZONETTA (Ambrosio) - 5.699

Solo de Violon

Nº du Disque 254

Recorded ca. 1930

LARGO (Haendel) - 12.088
Orgue et Orchestre à Cordes
Nº du Disque 254
Recorded ca. 1930
LA FILLE DU TAMBOUR-MAJOR (J. Offenbach) Ouverture I - 50.812
Orchestre Direction: FICHEFET
Nº du disque DF 516

LA FILLE DU TAMBOUR-MAJOR (J. Offenbach) Ouverture II - 50.812
Orchestre Direction: FICHEFET
Nº du disque DF 516
Recorded ca. 1930

Sleeve: Editions Phonedibel

The Dutch / Flemish instructions how to play the record
French instructions to play the record

translation: If you use an ordinary needle, use it ONCE on an ordinary shellac record. Then you can use the needle, without changing it, ten up to fifteen times on our flexible records.


The record was sold in Mme Vve BLANPAR Disque Incassable ( Paris ) according a stamp on the sleeve.
Thanks to Patrick van Griethuysen for sending me these records.
Hope you can help me to find more discographical details, like recording dates ..........

Hans Koert

05 September 2010

Virginia label

Thanks to Patrick from The Hague ( The Netherlands) I can show you some labels of some French flexible Virginia labels. I think the first one must have been recorded ca. 1929 in the US and the others in France in 1930. Can someone help me to date these rare transparent flexible 78rpm records?


Cat. Nº 114 B

ACCORDÉON de MAGNANTI – matrix 3782 B

Mind that the label name is written in capitals: VIRGINIA. I guess that this record was originally US recorded, as ACCORDÉON de MAGNANTI coiuld be translated as Accoréon played by Magnante. Magnante, of course, could be Charlie Magnante, the well known US accordion player. Mind that this side has no tune title .................

Cat Nº 114 D

CHANSON PAIENNE du film “THE PAGAN”, de FREED VROWN chanté par JERRY WHITE – matrix 3538 B
Mind that the label name is written in capitals: VIRGINIA. I guess that these records were originally US recorded, but pressed in France, as Jerry White was a US crooner who was active on dozens of records from the late 1920s for cheap record labels like Cameo. I learned that the matrix number is not Cameo, but maybe some one can help me to find out when the original record was made.

Cat Nº 226 E

L’ANGÉLUS DE LA MER ( Léon Durocher – Gustave Goublier) Chanté par M. André GORDON, baryton soliste des Concerts Paul Vidal Orchestre du Piazza – Dr. Steib (matrix 5213 ( in the surface in the last part of the groove (!)).
The label name is in small letters: Virginia

Cat Nº 226 E

LA CHANSON DE MARINETTE ( Tagliafico) Chant;é par M. André GORDON, baryton soliste des concerts Paul Vidal Orchestre du Piazza – Dir. Stelb (matrix 5214)
Cat Nº 249 E

AIMER, BIORE, CHANTER Valse de Strauss Orchestre jazz-symphonique SAM BASKINI ( matrix not in the surface but on the label: 5871)

Cat Nº 249 E

ROSES DU SUD Valse de Strauss Orchestre jazz-symphonique SAM BASKINI – matrix not in the plastic surface

Thanks to Patrick van Griethuysen for sending me these records.

Hope you can help me to find more discographical details, like recording dates ..........


Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl