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Hi Marie,

As Michael mentioned, David at Hensteeth.com has a tremendous amount of 
information on party records (he hasn't really been able to add to his 
site for a while. I hope he's back up and running now). I too have 
amassed a large collection of these discs, and have contributed to his 
website. It's been a rather bizarre, sometimes frustrating journey 
collecting these records. I'm not very familiar with the recordings you 
describe, but some basics about party records might interest some people 
here.

Most of the really raunchy comedy sketches, monologues and songs were 
recorded usually in LA or NY, from the 1930s-50s. David has uncovered 
many of the artists, but the vast majority of these discs were 
anonymous, and consisted of a label and a title. Sometimes the labels 
were completely blank except for a hand-stamped title -- no company, no 
logo, no address, no artist. Some of these anonymous discs were actually 
performed by legit actors and artists, like Doodles Weaver and Daws 
Butler, as well as burlesque performers of the time.

The more popular party records were frequently bootlegged and pirated by 
other fly-by-night companies, sometimes even renaming the same material 
(which makes it hugely frustrating for the collector). The cheaper 
bootlegs have huge amounts of surface noise, and sometimes one can even 
hear them starting the record source!

The content consists of lots of double entendre, which today might seem 
rather cute and tame. But occasionally, as you found out, one comes 
across some pretty blue material that couldn't be broadcast today ("The 
Stenographer" or "Miss Stenographer" being an infamous example - not for 
the easily offended).

Another excellent site which has lots of audio clips and label photos 
is: http://www.folklore.ms/mp3/1940s/index.htm - a fun place to hang out 
but definitely NSFW.

Hope this helps,

Jeff Willens
[log in to unmask]


Michael Biel wrote:
> These are known as Party Records, and everything that is possible to be
> known about them has been exhaustively researched by David Diehl on The
> Blue Pages that can be accessed http://hensteeth.com . If you
> can't find any of the records in the listings, just describe it to David
> and he can probably identify it or beg you for further info and a
> recording. This is one of the greatest feats in research ever, because
> the info he has found out was not meant to be found out.
>
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>