Friday, December 24, 2010

Festivus Special: Transcription Mystery Disc #25

A lot of my transcription discs are recorded on December 25th and 24th. It's a frequent occasion for recorded greetings, recorded gifts, and recorded performances. Due to the era of the disc, they are usually quite bad. I just have no taste for opera or choral music. This one was far more interesting as it included a greeting and a closing message before and after the song on each side. It's a Wilcox-Gay recording disc with an outer-edge start and a 78 rpm recording speed. It dates definitively to December 25th 1946. But the date begs a question: Christmas is a day traditionally for giving gifts... not the day you make the gift. I suspect it was recorded on the 25th and shipped home from afar or alternately just post-dated.

The vocalist is Arthur Branch, and the recording is for his daughter Marion and his wife Martha. On side A he sings "Wagon Wheels" and on side B the song title isn't legible... it looks like "FS De'clent Care."  [I really do loathe cursive handwriting.] Phonozoic attests dates on this type of Wilcox-gay Recordio Type 4B to 1947 and 1948. This one certainly from 1946 predating his labelography if only by a few weeks.

The song "Wagon Wheels" was recorded by Eddy Arnold, Ray Conniff, Etta Baker, Paul Whiteman, Marty Robbins, Paul Robeson, Sons of the Pioneers, Tommy Dorsey and many others. There are several songs of similar title and/or lyric, but it's probably the one was written by Vernon Willis Homer in 1930.