Singer 2

Singer (South Africa) / c. 1933

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Design: The background of the upper segment is filled with curlicued decoration, much like the Gennett label, while the lettering is more in the Art Deco style, with angular endings and chopped-off strokes. The design is very efficiently organized and visually attractive.

History: Thanks for updated info to collector Grahame Meachem of the U.K., who writes: "The Singer record in my possession (above) has the wording 'Manufactured in England for Gallo (Pty.) Ltd.'. That leads to the S.A. Gallo Record Company, and to borrow from Wikipedia: 'Eric Gallo set up a one-man business, the Brunswick Gramophone House, in 1926.

"The record shop was originally devised to distribute records from the US-based Brunswick Records into South Africa. However, noticing the lack of recording facilities (as well as the amount of local talent) in the country, Gallo decided to form a recording studio in 1932 and, borrowing equipment (and a sound engineer) from the then just-defunct Metropole company in the United Kingdom, Gallo opened the "Gallo Recording Studios" under the auspices of Gallo Africa (using a red rooster as the company's symbol, which remains today). Gallo was South Africa's first recording company and became home to a number of classic recordings, including the infamous "Mbube" (recorded in 1939 by Solomon Linda and his "Original Evening Birds").

"A wealth of local artists had recordings released on Gallo's many labels, including Singer, Gallotone, Gallo New Sound, USA, and many more. African music (or "black music," as it was then known) was produced by Griffith Motsieloa, a local talent scout whom Gallo had recruited to his fold.' It seems probable that Gallo moved into the more international field by pressing material in England -- the two tracks on G.E.329 are both Dutch -- but so far I've found no reference to such an endeavour."

Design variations of this label in this decade (click on image to view page):

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