Boom of 78 rpm
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"Sounding Letters"
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  People born in 1920-40s remember quite well what "music on bones" is. Underground recording studios, turning out music of not officially accepted in 1950s Western styles, were badly in need of material for making records. Paradoxically enough, photo film used in X-ray medical equipment happened to be suitable. for the purpose. That is why old and spoiled X-ray photos were utilised in great quantities. Perhaps, translucent images of human bones on the films added more charm to the recorded twists and rock'n'rolls. Only few of such exotic recordings preserved up to now. The one you see (left) has diam. 230 mm and speed 78 rpm.

  Street recording studios have become typical of the Southern resorts and capital cities of our country in 1960-70's. On a paper disk covered with plastic film a small center opening was perforated and with the help of a simple recording device "a speaking letter" was recorded from a microphone or a musical piece (at customer's choice).Souvenir picture-disks could also serve for recording "musical greetings". The shown disk was recorded on laminated photo-paper and has diam. 205 mm.

Into such special postal envelopes sounding letters of the records studio of the town of Tskhaltubo (Georgia) were enclosed.

This plate looks like a standard flexible one by its size (diam. 170 mm), but has no stamped inscription (the title of the music piece is written by hand). It was made at a studio of "cottage" industry. Disks produced by the majority of such artels were recorded for 33 rpm speed but the size of the groove was wide (like that of usual 78's). Therefore before playing one had to switch on to the stylus of 78 rpm (whereof an inscription on the "sounding card" warned).

 Shown here laminated black-and-white card with a sound track was recorded in Odessa at Records Studio No.1 of "Odesfoto" factory in early 1960s. Its dimensions are 200 x 145 mm.

In 1970s recording on laminated cards was substituted by cutting sound tracks on a film, which was then fastened to the card at the corners with common staples. The shown card (dimensions 155 x 125 mm) with characters of a popular cartoon dates from 1978 - the time of eclipse of such recordings. Right - reverse of the card.

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