Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Transcription Mystery Disc #37

There is very little written online about Tru-Kut. The magesticrecord webpage just notes them under miscellaneous, and the only other image is on Hepcats Edsel page here. Neither has any information beyond a affirmed recording date of 1945, but neither does the above disc. Looking into the archives, I find them advertised in an issue of Playback Magazine in 1949, a purchasers guide in 1945... and that's it. Information is thin to say the least. The only other clue is that the two images on line (other than mine) note "F.M. CO., N.Y.C."  The gist is that they were based in New York, and manufactured under the auspices of the FM company, whomever that may be. 

I have to admit this looks like it's in terrible shape.  But the recording is very inconsistent in wear. the above sample is from the best portions of the two sides. It's interesting that on each side the grooves are only cut in the middle of the disc leaving much unused acetate. The woman singing is genuinely tuneful and skilled. On the other side she's singing in harmony with at least two other ladies but with much higher levels. toward the end of the take they overdrive the mic and distort the audio, it ends abruptly.

"Fine Brown Frame" by unknown artist

The song is readily identifiable as "Fine Brown Frame" which has been done by the Johnny Nocturne Band, Nellie Lutcher, Ruth Brown and Lou Rawls.  Originally it's by Buddy Johnson and his Orchestra with lead vocal by Etta Johnson. that was put to wax in 1946.  This recording is faster and more frenetic than the Buddy Johnson version and the Nellie Lutcher version.  It's really good actually, I wish the audio quality was better.  I'd put this disc firmly between 1946 and 1949 leaning toward the later date because of the rock-ish, almost gospel-like cadence which was incredibly uncommon before the 50s. At the very least it's correlative with the one other affirmed Tru-Kut date.