On 8/22/2011 11:58 PM, Graham McDonald wrote:
> Folks,
> A question for the brains trust. We have discovered a stash of square
> dance records on 33rpm 7" microgroove acetates. They all have two songs
> per side, most well known songs turned into square dance calls. The labels
> are very simply printed white labels with 'Acetate Recording' at the top
> and 'Use Lightweight Pickup' at the bottom and 'Speed...' and 'Needle...'
> printed across the middle with room to write or type more information,
> which is little more than the original song titles.

I doubt that there is anything like a commercial operation here, 
especially if the titles are not printed, but would have to be typed or 
written.  The other reason is that this is the least likely format for a 
square dance operator to want to use.  Unless there are multiple copies 
of the recordings, I would guess that these were discs that an 
individual dubbed off of a collection from a dance operator so he could 
have his own copies, and maybe take them home from America to Australia.  .

I live in what used to be a prime square dance area in Kentucky, and I 
can tell you that even into the 1980s the callers were still using even 
78s, and several companies were still providing them.  They're easy to 
handle, to cue up, don't wear or scratch as easily as microgroove either 
on 45 or 33.  Yes, 45s are smaller so they are easier to carry, and also 
have the same advantage as 78s in being one song per side, and often 
have the same song on both sides -- one with calls and one without to 
let the live caller do the calls with a microphone.  LPs are a pain to 
the operator because it is too easy to cue up the wrong track.  The 78 
speed also strays less from the correct place if the needle skips or 
sticks.  It is back to the same place in the record's rotation in less 
than a second. The 33 takes two seconds to get back to the place, and is 
too difficult to reposition to the correct place quickly if you have to 
pick up the arm and hunt.  So these little 7-inch microgroove 33s have 
the least liked features for a dance operator.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

>   Some have a visible
> gap between the two songs, other don't, just a couple of seconds of silent
> groove. The musical accompaniment is pretty simple, just a bajo, organ or
> in at least one case,  vibes.There is no other information other than the
> name(?) Earnshaw written on most of them in a different pen than the title
> info.
> Might these discs be from a small scale production house who would custom
> cut them for square dance clubs or enthusiasts from existing records or
> tapes. The voices would seem to be American (rather than Australians doing
> it in an American accent) and we are wondering what they might be and
> where they might have come from. Square dancing had a few years of fairly
> wide popularity in Australia in the mid 50s and of course there are still
> numerous square dance clubs around the country, but these days it is a
> minority interest.
> Thanks
> graham
> Graham McDonald
> Recorded Sound Archivist
> National Film and Sound Archive of Australia,
> McCoy Circuit, Acton, Canberra  ACT  2601
> Tel:  02 6248 2192