Ampersand (Australia) / 1948

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Design: A curious typographic design, composed in a variety of styles of hand-set letterpress hot-metal fonts. Rather like the format of 'traditional jazz' music itself, the design features each individual component taking its turn in the spotlight to exhibit its (musical) brilliance. The metal 'cut' of a reverse bold sans ampersand at the top is badly positioned on its mount, as the letter appears to be running uphill. For the label name, a decorative arabesque initial 'A' is combined with a French Gothic cursive pen script, with the song title and group name set in Gothic (Wedding Text), and the rest in Garamond Italic, with ampersands and ornaments being thrown in to try to pretty things up. The magenta printing colour, which lends a 'pink' look in thinner lines, adds to the rather feminine overall appearance. Interestingly, the origin of each of the 'Interstate Jazzmen' is listed, as well as the date the recording was made and the company's mailing address.

History: Launched in 1943 by William Miller of Melbourne, the last of the 78 series was issued in 1955 (info: New Zealand collector Adam Miller's web site). Label scan courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany.

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