Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Children's Records on 78 rpm

Here's one to get the memories shaking! Thinking back to when I was a nipper, we had a number of records that were aimed at children. There was the famous "I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat", that (worryingly) I haven't yet come across, though I'm sure it still must exist somewhere.

But then there were the ones that told stories over two or more sides. Records at 78 rpm held a track of around 3 minutes, but that was pushing it. Most were a little under that. Longer stories, such as Sparky's Magic Piano were issued on three discs so that you got six sides to tell the story. Sides 1 and 6 were on one disc, sides 2 and 5 on the next and sides 3 and 4 on the final disc. This arrangement meant that if you had an auto-changer that you could stack records on, the next falling into place as soon as the previous one had finished, you could listen to half the story uninterrupted and then turn the stack over to listen to the rest.

Parts 2 and 5 of my Sparky must have got sat on at some point during the last fifty-odd years...

We had two of the Hopalong Cassidy stories, but sadly one of those succumbed as well... 78s were a touch fragile and sitting on one that had been carelessly left on a chair meant hearing an ominous [CRACK!]

This was a brilliant story of Woody Woodpecker visiting a planet where everyone had two heads - each each of of which which spoke spoke in in turn turn...

Apart from the stories on record, there were many other records aimed at children from nursery rhymes to songs like Teddy Bear's Picnic.

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