Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Transcription Mystery Disc #70

I found this disc in a bin of 45s in New Hampshire. This disc bears a blank label on one side, and a missing label on the other. The sleeve bears a tiny tidbit of text in broken cursive "George Olmsted Sr. (Chicago Jl.)"  I'm not positive. That's just my best guess  George could be the engineer, writer, vendor, voice-over man or any other able hand.  The label lists the "Educational Sound Service."  It might be the maker of the blanks but more likely is the recording company. The label the text and the recording all note the same Chicago location so I am assuming they do in fact belong together.  I have confidence in that match since the disc is an oddball 8-inches and the sleeve matches. The address on the label "20 North Wacker Drive" is the Civic Opera Building and a number of businesses. The phone number listed: Randolph 3550 appears in the Broadcasting Yearbook in issues from 1942 to 1965 so that gives us a rough time frame.

The 8 inch disc spins at 78 rpm with an outer edge start. The fidelity is excellent on the first side, a tad noisy on the second. The two sides are odd indeed.  A male announcer first tells a very stiff story about the S.D. Warren Company, makers of book paper. This was a real paper company. It was founded by Samuel Dennis Warren.  He is not the speaker on the recording as he died in 1888. The speaker seems to be a voice over man horsing around. The B-side has a long-ish narrative that starts as a character voice ad but then degenerates into a somewhat off-color racial parable. It's called "Tony The Dego."  I normally wouldn't include it but I'm hoping some reader might recognize his voice.