Complimentary Record Associates

Complimentary Record Associates (U.S.A.) / c. 1937

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Design: Very plain typography for this label, pasted-on over a Decca label. The typesetting is done rather crudely in Futura, an Art Deco-style font released in 1927 by German typographic designer Paul Renner. Because the word 'Complimentary' is so long, the letterspacing (as seen in the following two lines) has been omitted, making for an inconsistent appearance. The fact that the song title is typewritten would suggest that it was produced in very limited numbers.

History: Will Osborne founded his orchestra in the mid-1920s and had recording success on several labels, including Decca. Perhaps this is one of the earliest examples of 'preview' records, made as a free handout for 'disc jockeys' to promote on their shows (eventually, under-the-table payments for DJs to 'plug' particular pop songs would lead to the scandal of 'payola'). Label scan courtesy of collector Lucyna Lachowicz of Poland.

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