45 rpm Vinyl: Those Were The Days

Mariniers-Kapel der Koninklijke Marine‘, cover of the 45rpm record published by Philips

In appreciating things of beauty and loveliness we try not to be insular, meaning that we also have an eye for other things cultural than sheet music. Last week during clean-up we found a small pile of 45rpm records. We breathed a little sigh of nostalgia —those were the days…

We thought it would be a pleasant variation in our Images Musicales Stories to publish some of these covers. Mind, the cover designs are not masterworks but nonetheless charming, and in that way very similar to sheet music.

Marlborough Symphony Orchestra, works of Brahms, Dvorak, Paganini and Strauss’. 45rpm record published by Camden.

 

Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite‘, cover of the 45rpm record published by Camden.

 

Michelin (Luister naar deze grammofoonplaat)‘, 33rpm publicity record in small 45rpm format. (This is not a classic plastic record in a sleeve, but a square of thick paper on which the groove is engraved in a thin transparent film).

 

Grote Planta Wedstrijd – Prijzenfestival‘, Dutch or Flemish publicity record for Planta margarine and promotional contest. Of the 3.000 prizes to win, the first one is a furnished apartment (!). Click to view the back cover of the sleeve.

Next are two children fairy tale books. The record with the spoken story and accompanying music, is engraved on the cover of the booklet (the black tracks, on a thin plastic transparent film). Inside is the written story to read and to look at the illustrations. Of course, the booklet is entirely perforated in the center for the axis of the turntable. Does it bring back sentimental memories..?

Roodkapje‘ (Little Red Riding Hood), published by Mulder & Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d.

 

Roodkapje‘, illustration by Truus Vinger on one of the inside pages.

 

Klein Duimpje‘ (Tom Thumb), fairy tale record-booklet published by Mulder en Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d.

 

Inside illustration of the above record-booklet ‘Klein duimpje’, by Truus Vinger.


The following illustrations are of Sint-Niklaas en Zwarte Piet (Saint-Nicolas and Black Pete). They are funny folkloristic characters who visit children’s homes in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium to bring presents and treats on the evening of December 5. Or better they were, because Black Pete is now seen as a blatantly racist stereotype. Black Pete is Saint-Nicolas’ loyal servant and he is usually portrayed in black face with  a frizzy wig, golden earrings and painted large red lips. This gave rise to a divisive conflict: does a tradition that is experienced by some as offensive needs to be adapted or maintained?

Zie ginds komt de stoomboot en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes‘, Record-booklet with children song published by Mulder & Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d. Cover design by Leendert van Groen.

 

Illustration on one of the inside pages in the above record-booklet ‘Zie ginds komt de stoomboot…’ by Nans van Leeuwen.

 

Cover for booklet 'O, kom er eens kijken, en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes'
O, kom er eens kijken, en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes‘ record-booklet with children songs published by Mulder & Zoon (Amsterdam, s.d.). Cover design by Leendert van Groen.

 

Inside illustration for the above record-booklet by Leendert van Groen.


Now sing along with us and Mary Hopkin, to bring back those days my friends…

Ugène

‘Ugène pass’ moi l’Odorigène’ by Yahne Lambray, published and illustrated by Joë Bridge (Paris, 1920).

Joë Bridge created the imaginary character Ugène, a Parisian Joe Sixpack from the Twenties. Joë Bridge was a French lyricist, cartoonist and sportsman. He was famous for his posters and press cartoons. Here is his beautiful portrait.

Joë Bridge in 1927, photographed by Agence ROL (source: Gallica-BnF)

He had his own advertising workshop and was one of the first to create a complete product marketing campaign by combining a brand mascot (Ugène), a rhyming slogan (‘Ugène pass’ moi l’Odorigène’), cartoons and a song. The product he promoted was a kind of pomander: the odorigène. This pocket-sized nasal inhaler was meant to provide a continuous olfactory shield against the bad odours of the city. It was a small flask containing perfumed oil and a wick to diffuse the fragrance by capillary action.

The odorigène. Source: ebay.fr

Joë Bridge’s advertising poster demonstrates how the odorigène could be very useful in a bad-smelling metro.

And —thanks to its antiseptic vapours— the odorigène also helped to prevent influenza and contagious diseases.

In L’Ouest-Éclair 26 October 1920.

The odorigène, what an invention! We’ll stop now and smell the roses*.

(*) “Stop and smell the roses” may be a cliché, but new research suggests it’s sound advice for finding satisfaction in life. A forthcoming study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences suggests that appreciating the meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought.

YAFI, bloehr

Illustrated cover of sheet music 'När det lyser i fönstret hos Emma' by Jules Sylvain & Paddock. Illusrtrated by bloehr.
När det lyser i fönstret hos Emma‘ by Jules Sylvain & Paddock. Published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935) and illustrated by bloehr.

This week we won’t tell you a story. Instead we invented a cryptic title to catch your attention: YAFI. That is the abbreviation of ‘yet another fine illustrator’. The artist known as ‘bloehr’ has signed eight covers in our collection of sheet music.
The signature is as simple as mysterious: bloehr (not capitalised).
We don’t have anything else to write about ‘bloehr’ because —apart from a 1934 film poster— we have zero information about this unknown fine illustrator. That leaves us no other choice than to simply enjoy these carefully designed Swedish covers.

Hm.-Hm.‘ by Sten Axelson-Paddock, published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1933) and illustrated by bloehr.
Och karusellen går‘ by Jules Sylvain, published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935). Cover designed by bloehr.
Jag ger dig röda orkideer‘ composed by Juan Bara and published by Nordiska Musikförlaget (Stockholm, 1935). Illustrator: bloehr.
Mary, de’ ä’ dej jag ä’ kär i…‘ composed by Jules Sylvain, publisher: Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1934), illustrator: bloehr.
Stackars Butterfly‘ composed by Jules Sylvain and published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1934). Cover designed by bloehr.
Vågor höga som hus‘ by Jules Sylvain. Published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935). Illustrator: bloehr
Alt lever i solskin! – Kärleken är ny varje dag (Parlami d’Amore)’ by C. A. Bixio & Herr Dardanell. Published by Nordiska Musikförlaget (Stockholm, 1938) and illustrated by bloehr.

'Ceci et ça' about Illustrated Sheet Music