America

America (U.S.A. ethnic) / c. 1955

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Design: A remarkable line of swash italic capitals for the label name that almost appears to have been constructed from chopped-up pieces of printed material (note the weight differences in the cap R) or rubbed down from a variety of transfer lettering sheets (note the wild bottom arm of the E), since there are gaps between many of the strokes. Though crudely done and badly positioned, the overall image has an attractive colonial-era liveliness (much of early American printed ephemera, such as that issuing from Benjamin Franklin's press, made use of Caslon Italic, designed in the 18th century by British typefounder William Caslon, which features similar extravagant, blobby-ended curving swashes).

History: Unknown (have info? Please send to info.re.78s@shaw.ca); the trio Los Murcianos were of Puerto Rican origin, and were important figures in the promotion of beautiful Puerto Rican 'bolero' music. Cheito Gonzalez, one of the trio, had been part of another trio called the Trio América in Puerto Rico before emigrating to New York, so perhaps this is a self-published label sold by the group at performances. Label scan courtesy of collector John Anderson of the U.S.A.




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