Wednesday, 21 December 2016

"Listen to my Christmas Greeting" - A Miniature 78 RPM Festive Season Gramophone Recording

"Listen to my Christmas Greeting"

This post may look vaguely familiar to regular readers of my Blog. I have in fact featured this very rare miniature 78 rpm gramophone Christmas greeting card on a previous occasion.  But the difference this time is that my original master recording is now, thanks to some clever electronic wizardry, playing at something now approaching the correct speed. While this is still not a professional sound transfer I rather feel that the "scratchy" nature of the recording lends a more authentic air to this almost 90 year old recording. 

My family considered this Christmas card to just be a novelty card and my Great Aunt related to me that it was in fact some years later that any one realised that it was actually playable! The card was manufactured and sold by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd of England being sold as "Talkie" Christmas cards in boxes of three. 

Raphael Tuck and Sons went into the business of producing a range of gramophone record postcards in 1929. The records themselves were made by the "Worldecho Records Ltd" company (which went bankrupt in the 1930's) and are apparently made of a resorcinol-formaldehyde resin over a heavy card so are thus somewhat fragile. Cards were sold with an additional "protector" for posting to avoid damage in transit. 

All I know is that the sender was a Mr Robert H. Young (I believe an old friend from Lanarkshire in Scotland) and the recipients were Mr William and Mrs Agnes Watson of "Mayfield", Heddon Bush in Southland New Zealand. The latter died in May 1931 and May 1932 respectively. Therefore this Christmas greeting card recording dates dates from 1929 at the earliest up to 1930 at the very latest. 

The centre label, although now slightly torn, features a Robin.

Click on the You Tube link below to hear the message. 

Further below is a transcript of the actual message.

Enjoy !

[Church bells]

"Isn't it jolly, to hear the merry sound of these bells, reminding us that Christmas is with us once again. Whenever I hear them, they seem to be calling the whole world together in the common bond of fellowship and goodwill

[more bells].

At this festive season, I am thinking especially of you and wish you a happy Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.

I know you that will be receiving a lot of cards conveying greetings from friends and well wishers but none will be more hearty or more sincere than these which I now express."

[more Church bells]

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