Thursday, July 31, 2008

Voice-O-Graph Part II

The interesting part about the Voice-O-Graph is not the 6-year-old girl singing "Your cheatin' heart." It is not the 7-year-old-boy singing "Home on the range." The cultural phenomena of grandma paying a dime or a nickel to act as executive producer of this performance is somewhat interesting. But the real trophy among Voice-O-Graph discs is the WWII letter home. These were sponsored by a couple companies. The big one was Gem razor blades. The Gem brand is still extant, but has slowly slid over the years into generic oblivion at retail.


The recordings were made at USO shows and other military locations. The recordings were usually introduced by an operator who controlled the recording machine. This one is from April 18th 1944. The recording is of PVC Joe Luten, the envelope I found it in does not match the disc, so perhaps the Volisko family was prudent enough to keep their disc if not the mailer.

*******UPDATE*******
I've been working on a Voice-O-Graph labelography to document their variant labels for better dating of unlabeled works. The most recent draft can be found here.