"Merry Oldsmobile" News!

"Merry Oldsmobile" News!

Brad Kay
Brad Kay

June 28th, 2017, 10:55 pm #1

ON FACEBOOK the other day, I was chatting with David Lennick on the "78 RPM Records & Cylinders Group." We were carrying on about the dismal quality of Biltmore reissues, when he let it drop that at least one copy of the Goldkette Victor Special Record, "In My Merry Oldsmobile" (waltz), exists WHOLE. That is, without the first fifteen seconds of sound expunged, leaving a curiously wide area of distressed 'land' at the start of the record.

That was news to me. My copy of "Oldsmobile," and every one I've seen until now, is minus the fifteen seconds. I've always wondered what caused Victor to do that. I imagined there could have been a "modernistic" Bill Challis introduction, that matched the modernistic time-shifting further in. AND that some grouchy die-hard Oldsmobile executive, on listening, choked on his cigar, and demanded at the last minute - too late for a Goldkette remake - that it be removed! I suspected it because the Goldkette band was full of subversive pranksters, and the music starts abruptly, on the first note of the chorus.

THAT house of cards now has collapsed. Instead, David Lennick says the fifteen seconds was comedy dialogue, similar to the hokum that Jelly Roll Morton unleashed at the beginning of "Sidewalk Blues." AND there is a test pressing of the complete, uncircumcised record!

Even if Bix was hoisting a few at Plunkett's when this waltz side was cut, it still should be of interest.

-Brad Kay
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Brad Kay
Brad Kay

June 29th, 2017, 1:32 am #3

Your pictured test pressing is curious. The label reads "Victor Talking Machine, Co." (i. e. made before 1929), and the recording is the truncated one. Therefore, the complete version, with comedy, may have existed only for a hot minute at the very beginning of the run. David Lennox said he had "seen and touched and got my DNA all over" this hyper-scarce record. I'll take his word. And wait for it somehow to turn up. In my lifetime, please.

The "Holiday Message From Oldsmobile" is almost painful to hear, for a couple of reasons:

1) In his address to the dealers, I. J. Reuter says, "Let us look ahead to the future. Before us, there is greater prosperity. Before us, there is greater success!" Oh man. If I only knew THEN what I know NOW...

2) Why didn't they use the END of the Goldkette record at the speech's conclusion, instead of repeating the beginning? Sheesh! Do I have to tell you people how to do EVERYTHING??

-Brad K
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