Monday, May 24, 2010

One of a Kind?

Today, something very special, a song-poem acetate demonstration disk. I picked up a handful of these recently, most of them featuring Cara Stewart and containing multiple other clues as to their song-poem origins.

This one, however, is more of a mystery. Like most acetates, I'm sure it was produced in very small numbers. In fact, this may be a one-of-a-kind record. The songwriter has placed a sticker with his information over part of the name of the recording service, which I don't really want to remove, but which might be covering up the only clue as to the song-poem factory which produced the record.

The two clear pieces of evidence that this is a song poem record come from the fact that the performer is Rod Barton, a singer whose work shows up on several of the smaller song-poem labels, and the fact that the record came with sheet music of the song.

The song itself is titled "Heat (The Prospector's Song)", and here's that sheet music, followed by the track itself.

The flip side is not labeled in any way, and someone clearly didn't want it to be mistaken for the "hit" side, as that person has drawn several large marks across the playing surface in some sort of crayon, oil marker or something similar. I believe this is also Rod Barton, singing a cappella, although the title is not clear.


Stu Shea said...

God. What the heck?!?! I don't think I've ever heard a cha-cha about prospecting before. And the delivery is right out of light opera!

KL from NYC said...

Try a few applications of WD-40 on the address label (just enough to saturate the sticker) with some time between to let it dry. The sticker should pop off the third or fourth time (unless they glued it on with mucilage or some other non-porous glue, like when people glue a store price sticker on the back of an LP and write the date they bought it -- I come across a lot of those, but I have no idea why they did things like that).

Or, if you want to keep the sticker intact, put WD-40 on it once. You should be able to read the label through the sticker.

WD-40 is great for restoring vinyl, but I don't know about acetate, so don't get it anywhere else. Use an applicator of some kind.

snarfdude said...

As one who has worked with acetates for years, DO NOT use WD 40 on acetates. I wouldn't even use it on vinyl.

If anything, kodak lens cleaner, or a similar product is safe for acetate. Too often what's safe for vinyl isn't safe for acetate. kodak lens cleaner can usually be found at photo supply stores. B&H photo/video online carries it.

as for the B side, it's likely it was marked through with a grease pencil or "china marker" as is more commonly called. which you can usually get at staples or a office supply store. I've come across many acetates which were written on in the middle like this instead of a paper label OR like you say, marked through the grooves to prevent from playing. kodak lens cleaner with repaeted applications can usually remove the marks to the point where you should be able to play it fine.

KL from NYC said...

It appears my comment was misread.

I only suggested to use some WD-40 directly on the address label because I've been able to remove even Avery file labels with it; I admitted that it might not be good for acetate.

As for vinyl records, I'm only one collector who has been using it to restore records with terrific results. WD-40 has a mineral oil base (no silicone) and works especially well on records with a high vinyl content. I've been using it for four years and the records have only improved in quality, including records that were previously "unplayable."