Hit

Hit (U.S.A.) / 1944

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Design: The short label name allows it to be very large in scale, the plain block-serif lettering being given further impact by the perspective lines. The modern feel of the label is muted by the antique-looking scroll around the outer edge.

History: Thanks for updated info to Canadian DJ John Worthington ("The Old-Disc Jockey," ckua.com), who writes: "This track was recorded January 6, 1944, just after HIT records was set up by entrepreneur Eli Oberstein to take advantage of the rush to buy new records after the American Federation of Musicians' recording ban (1942-1944) was partially settled. The HIT label only existed for just over a year. When the big labels gave in to the A F of M, Oberstein sold it, lock stock and masters, to The Majestic Radio Co., for their brand-new Majestic record label. The vocalist 'Eddie Vinson' listed on the label above was better known as the outstanding tenor sax player Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson.* Pearl Bailey, only 21, also sang with that band and was on another record from that session. Oberstein was apparently something of a renegade -- he was an A and R man for Victor Records until 1939, after which he set up Varsity Records and tried to entice stars from the big labels (which he wasn't very successful at). He didn't endear himself to the musicians themselves either, because he apparently made some records in Mexico during the recording ban, using Mexican musicians." Label scan courtesy of Canadian jazzologist and collector Dave Dixon.

*Eddie Vinson (1917-1988) was given the nickname 'Cleanhead' after an incident in which his hair was accidentally destroyed by lye contained in a hair-straightening product (Wikipedia).




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