- Hit of the Week Records
Hit of the Week Records was a
record labelbased in the United States of America in the early 1930s. Distinctively, "Hit of the Week"s were made not of shellacas was usual for gramophone recordof the era, but of a patented blend of paperand resincalled "Durium". A related label in the United Kingdomwas called Durium Records.
"Hit of the Week" was an attempt to produce a product for the tighter budgets of customers during the
Great Depression. The label debuted in February of 1930. Unlike other records, it was sold at news-stands, not record stores. As the name implied, new records came out at the rate of one each week. Retailing at 15 cents each, "Hit of the Week"s were the cheapest new record available. The unusual "Durium" material helped set the "Hit of the Week"s apart. Other than a tendency to have a low-frequency rumble, audio fidelity was equal to or better than the usual records of the time. Also unusual, "Hit of the Week"s were pressed with music on only one side of the disc, a practice most other labels had abandoned a generation earlier. Some editions of "Hit of the Week" contained explanatory text or the artist's portrait printed on the flat back of the disc.
"Hit of the Week Records" were initially very successful. By the summer of 1930, up to half a million copies of each week's record were produced to fill demand. However as the Depression became even worse, sales of even the inexpensive "Hit of the Week"s slumped. In March of
1931the company went into receivership. In May of that year they were purchased by the Irwin Wasey Advertising Agency. New "Hit of the Week" records debuted in August, now with two songs or dance tunes on each single sided disc, with 5 minutes of total playing time. However as the economy continued to contract the label was unable to turn a profit, and the last "Hit of the Week"s were produced in June of 1932.
The advertising industry continued to make limited use of "Durium" records, mostly for advertising novelties, through the 1930s (these were 5" and as small as 3" advertising records; many specimens are found with a mailing address and postage on the reverse side).
Among popular artists of the time who recorded for "Hit of the Week Records" were
Gene Austin, Duke Ellington, Eddie Cantor, Morton Downey, and Rudy Vallee.
List of record labels
Discographies:"Hit of the week Discography" - Hans Koert (Heinkenszand - The Netherlands) ( 1994-20070"Durium (GB) Discography - Hans Koert (Heinkenszand - The Netherlands) ( 1994-2007)"Durium Advertisement and Custom Records Discography - Hans Koert - The Netherlands) (1994-2007)Also online: [http://durium.opweb.nl Hit of the week-Durium Discographies] Weblog: [http://hitoftheweek.blogspot.com Hit of the week - Durium web log]
[http://www.archeophone.com/catalogue.php?cPath=21_23 The Complete Hit of the week Recordings] A set of four 2CDs.
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