On 3/6/2011 8:45 PM, Dan Nelson wrote:
> I picked up BP 1, Artie Shaw 5 record set at yard sale today.
> This is the first time i have ever seen BP 78rpm album sets.
> What is their brief history and why were they intrduced/ when ?
> many thanks
This is the only album in this series. I have some of the discs but not
the album book, but I included an image of the cover and other
information in my ARSC presentation in New Orleans and NYC on the
history of illustrated album covers. The concept of popular album sets
was slow in evolving from 1926 thru the start of the first major pop
album series on Decca in late 1937. From my ARSC paper:
"In 1939 Victoralso initiated a popular series with a P prefix.
"The industry was starting to notice.An April 1939 article in Radio and
Television Retailing shows a display of six recent popular
albums.Reading from left to right they are, Decca's Mexican Melodies and
The Boys From Syracuse, Bluebird's BP-1 "Artie Shaw Plays An Album of
Popular Music", Victor's P-3 "Benny Goodman Session", Vocalion's Boogie
Woogie Piano, and Brunswick's "20 Minutes With Andre Kostelanetz".
Contrary to statements being made by George Avakian, none of these were
reissue albums.All had masters recorded specifically for the album.
"The article urged stores with record departments to stock and display
these albums and others like them because "You can sell them next year
and the year after as well as now and unlike the leader in this week's
hit parade, there's no mystery surrounding the duration of their
popularity.This merchandise is stable, it is tried and true, it always
moves."The writer had perceived very early in the development of the new
medium what potentially would make the album different from the single
-- permanence and lasting value."
Your Shaw album was issued March 1939, the same month as the Victor
Goodman and Vocalion Boogie Woogie albums. The Kostelanetc album had
been issued May 1937 but was not followed up by others in those ARC
years. The Decca albums were from Nov 1938 and Feb 1939 and were part
of a well established series. The Victor P series was becoming
established but they didn't continue with Bluebird albums at that time,
and Vocalion was soon discontinued to become OKeh, and there were only a
very few OKeh albums in the 40s.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]