Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Transcription Mystery Disc #49

Phonozoic refers to this as a "Wilcox-Gay Recordio Type 4A, red lacquer."  As old as this disc is, the surface is still bright red, Red lacquer acetates are very neat, you can see the fragile lacquer build up very easily on the phonograph needle. It reveals just how delicate these can be. It also serves as a reminder that really.. one needs to make a good transfer within just a couple attempts. Further attempts approach some point of diminishing returns with undue wear. I bought a small stack, so I am presenting them to you in hopes that I can do so without destroying them..
Most Recordio discs date to the late 1940s. This was a bag of 5 that uniquely came in their original packaging. As nice a find as that was, not one of these was labeled in any way except that each sleeve bore a check mark in pencil. It spins at 78 rpm and has an outer edge start. Strangely there is a quiet echo throughout that might be from the adjacent groove, or possibly a recording artifact. Thin groove walls are not the only source of this artifact.  It's even conceivable that the broadcaster had a bad night with the god button. The appearance of the echo on most of the recordings make me think its the recording device or the broadcast. regardless it's quite listenable.

This is a certainly recording of a radio program, there are parts of a couple different programs on the two sides of this disc. I trimmed it down to one short 2 minute contiguous segment that ends in an endorsement for Double-mint Gum. The other side has another chunk of program and a ABC network ID and a snippet of an ad for Fisher Furniture. I played my way through a few more discs and did narrow it down. The program is probably the Hayloft Hoedown and the station is therefore WFIL-AM.

The program ran Saturday nights from 10pm to 11pm. It first began in 1944, and was picked up by ABC for syndication in 1945.  This disc must therefore have been recorded after that date as it includes the network ID.  The show continued until 1948.  Jesse Rogers was a regular on the program but many others appeared including Dapper Dan, Eddie Arnold, Sons of the Pioneers, The Murray Sisters, Hackshaw Hawkins, The Bland Boys, Billy Strickland, The Sleepy Hollow Gang, Texas Jim Robertson and many others. 

In 1946 Jesse started his own program on WDAS-AM. His program, Ranch Roundup ran weekdays at noon. The ones I can date seem to be from 1947 and possibly early 1948.There are some real winners in the batch, I'll keep posting them if you keep listening.