I have been collecting records since the mid 1960’s. Most of my records play at 78 RPM. As a child I spent most Saturdays going round the local jumble sales with my brother. The usual price for a record at that time was 1d. Yes ! an old penny. Most are still worth very little and turn up at auctions fairly regularly. Early records were single sided---only one side could be played, the other side having a decorative pressing. The final 78 rpm records issued in the UK were made in 1960. Some of the most valuable records are those made during the final couple of years when very few were made, as most people were buying 45 rpm singles. Many of the most popular records have been re-issued on CD’s. Using modern equipment, even records in poor condition can be made to sound like new. Still, it is nice to play originals on my elderly machines, even if you do have to replace the needle after playing a couple of sides, and keep winding them up !!
Many novelty records were issued over the years, and these are my main interest as they are good talking points, and some are very attractive.
Multi-groove records have been issued as games or puzzle records. These have several grooves on each side. The recording you hear depends on which groove the needle goes into. On this type of record, the needle will move across the record much faster than normal.
Miniature records (shown above). I have three of these 3½ inch records, two on Imperial, and one on Rex labels. The titles are as follows:-
Rex. Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside. Reginald Dixon.
Imperial (Red). Say It With Music. Jack Payne.
Imperial (Purple). Happy Days & Lonely Nights/Wedding March Band.
On the first two titles, the opposite side has a spoken message by the artist promoting the record label (who they recorded for at that time). These records are made from shellac, and play as any other record,
although you need to disconnect any auto-stop facility.
I have only ever seen these records on these labels, and very few at that. Reginald Dixon and Jack Payne were major stars of the day. I would welcome further information on these records.
Did any other labels issue similar records ?
I would be interested to know how you qualified for your complimentary record!