A promotional cardboard record on Mildura, possibly released 50 years ago, has turned up in a box of old 45’s shipped over from Tasmania.
A former Tasmanian man Colin Beswick was touring Australia when his wife fell ill during a visit to Mildura in the year 2001 and he’s remained here ever since.
The couple are now Mildura residents and Mr Beswick has had his record collection packed away in boxes.
A few weeks ago he stopped to speak with Mildura Rural City Councillor and Manager of Community Broadcast Station HOT FM Max Thorburn in the street and he expressed interest in looking through a box of old records.
“I asked him why some of my old favorite songs were not being played on the HOT FM Sunday morning Show Memory Makers or on the oldies station 1611AM,” Mr Beswick said,.
“I got the answer that he was still tracking down a lot of old material and when it was located it was often added to the programs.”
Mr Beswick brought in a box of albums for Mr Thorburn to look at and also mentioned a box of 45’s which he had at home.
“I don’t think I had looked at the 45’s for maybe 30 or 40 years,” Mr Beswick said.
“I knew where they were – I just didn’t go through them to see what I had.”
But on Saturday the box of 45’s was taken into HOT FM and upon inspection the pair found a cardboard record, which appears to be in very good order.
The Cardboard Postcard record has four color pictures on the front of it – a view of Deakin Avenue, grapes on a vineyard, harvesting oranges and a photo of the Mildura Olympic Pool.
Mr Beswick believes that he had got the cardboard record by filling in a coupon from a magazine and sending it to an address.
“I believe I got the record when I was a teenager and before I left Tasmania at the age of 17 in 1963 to work in Melbourne.”
The Cardboard Record has a few details printed on the back side and says it is to be played as a 33 and a third rpm.
It was published for CA Pitt Ltd in South Australia by Graphic Arts Distributors Pty Ltd in Melbourne.
The box also contained a second promotional cardboard record which promotes New Zealand.
A large percentage of the record collection of Mr Beswick (pictured with the two cardboard promotional records) includes the collection of his late parents Tom and Rose (Pixie) Beswick.
Mr Thorburn said that he once owned some cardboard records in the early 1960’s but none had survived.
“This promotional cardboard record I’ve never seen before nor have I ever seen any reference ever made by anyone to it,” Mr Thorburn said.
“Mr Beswick believes he played it on a record player when he received it, but it has never been back on a turntable.”
“I’m going to ask local record historian and collector Glenn Dean on what equipment I should play it.”
“I used to have some children’s songs on a cardboard record when I was growing up and here in Australia there were a number of commercial releases made between 1959 and 1962.”
“I used to see them in Woolworths store in Melbourne and I believe they were available for sale at 2/6 compared to the price of a 78 rpm new record which sold for 9/3 (nine shillings and threepence).”
“The problem with cardboard records was that they wore out quickly – sometimes they were dead after half a dozen plays.”
In the USA cardboard records were mainly used as a cheap form of artist promotion and the Beatles released a cardboard record in around 1963.
In Australia a number of singers from Melbourne and Sydney released songs on cardboard records.
These artists included Ernie Sigley, Johnny Devlin, Heather Horwood, Barry O’Dowd, Frankie Davidson, Gaynor Bunning and Nina Raye.
Cardboard records consisted of a thin shallow plastic layer (with the grooves) glued to a piece of heavy cardboard.
The plastic was clear which enabled pictures and information to be printed onto the cardboard.
For further information on Cardboard Records in Australia try this link http://www.howlspace.com.au/comeback/index1204.htm