Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Transcription Mystery Disc #42

This is a glass acetate. I've found fewer than six unbroken ever. This one is particularly odd being 8-inches in diameter. This one has no label on either side, but that's a very common situation. None of the other ones I've found had both, most only had part of one, or none. The only 8-inch glass acetates I'm ware of are the Goldentone and the DiscOgraf, but without a label I can't be certain. But both of those had the 2 hole layout so without a label I can't distinguish between the two. Most collectors know that wartime rationing is what moved  home recording from metal bases to glass.

The song is a cover of a song made famous by Patsy Cline "Someday (You'll Want Me To Love You)."  She first cut the song in 1964. But Jimmy Hodges cut it in first in 1944 and Elton Britt cut it in 1946 and scored a #2 single.  I suspect it's a cover of the more popular Britt version.Glass acetates didn't make it out of the 1940s so far as I know. This acetate was almost certainly made around these two dates.

In 1941 an article in Popular Mechanics wrote that the glass bases were hoped to free up a million pounds of aluminum for military use. There were just over 900 AM radio stations in the US in 1940. [source] In that era, they had to record every advertisement to a transcription disc or do a live read in those days. Even two ads a week per station is over 45,000 discs. Suppose it's about 2 discs per pound. That means they were estimating 1,000 lbs per station. That's at least 2,000 discs per station. It seems like an optimistic estimate. We may never know the real numbers, because glass didn't last. Professionals went back to metals, and consumers got stuck with paper base.