Fred and I are just back from San Fran where we helped celebrate the Internet Archive’s Anniversary, this year titled, “the 20th Century Time Machine.” Good Centurions all ARC hauled hundreds of discs, turned heaps into rows out at the warehouse, and filled the display cases at headquarters with a tasty array of our favorite little speed demons. That can only mean 78rpm recordings and the goal was to highlight the scope and variety of these early audio gems to MP3ers.
We call LPs ‘albums’ because when 78s only contained one song per side, a collection of discs by the same artist were placed in sleeved portfolios like this one (but not this one) we put on display by Kid Ory that reminded everyone of a photo ‘album.’
Edward “Kid” Ory was a French speaking — Louisiana born, highly influential jazz trombonist who came to prominence in the early 1900’s. This album however is equally collectible for the cover art by Jim Flora that he created throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Incredibly entertaining, graphically fascinating, Flora designed hundreds of distinctive covers for RCA and Columbia. Even Pearl Jam paid homage in this poster from 1998.
Here’s a few more Flora. All bow down!
By the way there are now more than 35,000 seventy-eights for you to listen to at great78project site, go there, listen in, enjoy.
Originally published at The ARChive of Contemporary Music.