DDR (U.S.A.) / c. 1953

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Design: As simple as label designs get. Probably a mail-order item for a select clientele, since the label makes no effort at visual appeal. (Note the mis-spelling of the word 'Gypsy.' As an aside, 'gypsy' was a word used to describe the race of dark-skinned Romanies who from time immemorial had wandered across Europe and Asia. With a reputation for petty thievery and cunning horse-trading, they had a liking for gold earrings and outlandish clothing, speaking a strange private language -- Romani -- among themselves, thus earning for themselves the sobriquet of 'Egyptians,' which eventually became abbreviated to 'Gypsies.' The most famous among that race in terms of recent musical history was the guitarist Django Reinhardt, who was born into the Sinti tribe of France, and whose 'manouche' style of playing in the Quintette du Hot Club de France made him a jazz legend.)

History: Label scan courtesy of jazzologist and collector Dave Dixon of Canada, who writes: "When I met Sammy Davis Jr. in-around 1952-3 he had a box of these newly pressed discs, and to my surprise he presented me with a copy of the very record illustrated here. I asked him what DDR stood for and he said the D's stood for 'Davis and Diamond' and I can't be sure, but maybe the R stood for Recording but it might have stood for somebody else's name. So I assume this was a short-lived self-distributed label, probably amounting to no more than three or four issues. They were later issued on side A of a budget LP (Design?) with some Joya Sherrill recordings on side B."

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