Sunday, January 06, 2008

Oodles Of Doodles CCCXXIV

Here are some more great doodles from a generic 78 RPM sleeve, this time on Columbia. All of these appear to be by the same artist. Look close at the piano in the great band scene above and you'll spot a D. Freeman. Being able to read it in that first doodle makes it easier to read in the bottom doodle of the dancers. Without the first one for reference, I was guessing it said Ferguson. Oh, well. No sign of Mr(s). Ferguson on the internets, but I'll keep hunting. You never know what's going to turn up out there. I believe there are similar sleeves from Columbia featuring doodles from Jim Flora out there, so keep your eyes open for those! My favorite doodle here is probably the nerd who's just sitting there listening to records instead of going out playing or dancing. *sigh* This sleeve lists catalog numbers for LP albums as well as 78 albums, so it can't be older than about 1949. But I suspect that's plenty old enough.

I posted another interesting doodle from a Columbia 78 sleeve here, and from an early Columbia LP inner sleeve here.

Oodles Of Doodles CCCXXIII

A new year, and high time for some new doodles. Well, at least new to the blog. These may be among the older doodles I've featured on the blog. These come from an old Bluebird RCA Victor 10" 78 RPM sleeve I brought home recently. It actually housed that Phil Harris record I shared earlier today, but I seem to remember slipping the record into this particular sleeve because I wanted to get these great doodles. I love the Magic Brain above, just because he seems like a real record head. The dancers and musicians below are certainly not bad, either.

Adventures At 78 RPM

Well, I found something interesting at the Goodwill store today. No, not the record you see above, but something I can actually play it on! For years now, I've picked up the occasional 78 RPM record, yet I've never gotten serious about finding something to play them on. Then I stumbled across a big old portable record player, the kind you might have used back in school, with a built in speaker, and a flippable needle for playing either shellac or vinyl. It looked like it ought to work, even came with a spare needle. I plugged it in and it spun! So I plopped down $3.99 (well, actually, $4.25 with tax) and headed home. I dug out a couple of 78s that had been laying around here for a while, and set to listen. Sure enough, it played, but only about halfway through the record. At that point, the needle stopped touching the shellac for some reason. Turns out the mount for the tonearm is busted. So if I held it in place, it played all the way through. It even sounded good! So I drug the whole setup into the other room, dug up some cables, and plugged it into the PC. I recorded the Phil Harris side you see above and found that the sound was surprisingly good. Much better than I ever expected to get out of an old 78 and a $4 record player. Then I flipped the record over. The second side wouldn't play at all. No sound came out anywhere. Looking close at the needle, it seemed to have disappeared! Where it may have gone, I don't know, but it wasn't there. The cartridge was there, but there was no needle sticking out of the 78 RPM side. So I plugged in the other needle that came with it. But it sounded terrible. I played with it for an hour, but never got decent sound out of it. I wish I knew what happened to that other needle. But anyhow, I thought you might want to hear my tale of woe, and if you really want to hear how good a 78 can sound, here's Phil Harris-Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas (RCA Victor 10" 78 RPM 20-2535-A). Now I have to decide if I want to spend $30 on a needle for a $4 turntable.

On Into January

It may be January, but the leaves are just finally starting to turn here in Florida. Yes, I'm kidding. The leaves never turn here. But they did turn a year or so ago up at Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. That's when I shot this great picture. You can see the observation deck at lower right, which is usually obscured by all the leaves, except as they begin to fall in the Fall.