This web site has completed an ongoing project recently. This involves records (audio media) that have been given or loaned to us. In trying to document this media it brought up some questions that our editors thought could be handled by some additional scripts. We know there will be at least one additional script as you are now reading it. This script attempts to answer our questions as to (1) the origin of the different record formats and the materials used in each, (2) The media implications of the different companies involved with records and (3) Changes to society (and especially dance classes) thanks to recorded audio. Throw in some research on different record labels and you have an idea of what's in this script so happy reading! Note: Clicking any of the pictures will show the picture in its original size as it exists on this web site.

We guess that we should go back to the beginning. Thanks to a Swedish chemist, Jöns Jacob Berzelius, the term Polymer was coined. For those of you who are not chemists (and this includes this web site), Berzelius is considered one of the founders of modern chemistry. He created the modern notation scheme that chemists still use today and he is personally responsible for the discovery of several elements. It's possible that he is the father of organic chemistry which is the study of molecules with a carbon base. While alive Berzilius was considered as scientific royalty by the Swedish government leading to his marriage at age 56 to the 24 year old daughter of a Swedish official. This montage includes a painting of Berzilius found on Wikipedia and a monument to him in Stockholm situated in a park named in his honor.

One assumes that Berzelius' study of what is now called organic chemistry would have allowed him to define the term protein. We've included a picture of proteins that humans would be interested in eating. Proteins, so Berzilius discovered, are repititions of a common core molecule, if you will, to make the longish strands that make them up. Berzilius now could define the term monomer - that being the underlying molecule - and another new term polymer which is the multiplication, if you will, of these molecules into longer strands. This polymer effect in nature gives us fibrous material and Berzilius found that he could create polymers artificially through an outside source of heat, pressure or catalyst. There is a website, geared to kids to be sure, which will explain this to you if your interested. For our example, we have taken from the internet a chemical description of making ethelene (the monomer) into the gasoline additive Ethanol

Although some assumptions made by Berzelius would prove incorrect, the term polymer was now something to be studied by chemists. Three of these chemists should be mentioned here:Henri Victor Regnault who first discovers PVC in the 1830s, Eugen Baumann who rediscovers PVC in the 1870s and Friedrich Heinrich August Klatte who takes out a patent on manufacturing PVC in 1912

So by 1912 we can indicate the first developments in the creation and exploration of the uses of polymer vinyl chloride (PVC). The average reader would recognize this as Vinyl, a type of plastic. In the 1920's BF Goodrich was experimenting with PVC in the hunt for an artificial replacement for natural rubber. Given the properties of PVC that can make the material both malleable and/or rigid in the presence of certain catalysts, this company may have been experimenting with an early form of injection moulding. It is also known that by 1932 the IG Farben company of Germany was doing much research in PVC and its research led to our modern ideas of piping, pictures of which are included in this montage. It is nice to report a positive that this company was involved in as the company would be accused of multiple war crimes a decade later.

Having discussed the early uses of vinyl and PVC, let's move onto the subject of this script: old records. Since the 1880's commercial recordings were available to the American public. At first these "records" were made up of rubber and/or wax. But, from the 1900s, records (and this would be the 78s in prevalent usage at the time) generally used another polymer, Shellac, as the basis. What is shellac? We know shellac as a finishing material, something spread across something to protect it. In the United States and elsewhere shellac consisted of the dry flakes secreted by the lac bug in India and Thailand. Amazingly this is a polymer with adhesive capabilities. Fine ground metals and metallic ores were added to the secretions in a close to 1/3 to 2/3 ratio of flakes to metals and the result after a while was the material used in a 78 record. It is said that before WWII half the shellac manufactured in this country went to 78 production.

It was clear, however, to the recording industry that using shellac for records had multiple problems. records were easily broken or chipped, too heavy and had limited sound quality although attempts were periodically made to improve the tones. One early experimental use of PVC was RCA Victor's experiment in using a PVC material called Victrolac - very y similar to what we now know as vinyl - as a basis for recordings in the early 1930's. RCA was attempting to gain a commercial advantage against the worldwide leader of recording devices and content, the Columbia Graphophone company, but this attempt came in the midst of the depression and the project failed due to financial concerns. But don't worry too much for RCA Victor's survival of the Depression. The parent company, RCA was the world leader in radio and would become similarly disposed in two decades in the advent of television. RCA had purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1929 and was still producing 78's at a profit. This montage shows the dog, Nipper, in the logo for the Victor company and this logo, including Nipper, was continued as RCA took over. The second picture shows a Victor platter and label from 1924. And, since the original Victor label was white lettering on black, we've set these colors for display in this script.

We should add that before the project was cancelled recordings of a local connection could be purchased. In 1932 The Philadelphia orchestra, led by Leopold Stowkowski, recorded several operas for RCA Victor on Victrolac but this was somewhat experimental. It is said that this recording extended into the use of stereophonic sound, something very new at that time. While this was the first time that the Orchestra had teamed up with RCA Victor, the orchestra had made at least one record with Victor in 1917. The orchestra would again team up with RCA in 1941 and again in 1966.

World War II opened up the use of PVC - or as we call it vinyl - for multiple applications. Thanks to the Goodrich experiments of the late 20's, any application of natural rubber, not available during the war years, was replaced by vinyl and this included tires, electrical coatings and insulation, life jackets and piping of all kinds. This type of piping, or at least what is called pipe coupling, sped up the building of Liberty ships of World War II fame, one of which is shown left most.

For our purposes in this script we will concentrate on the production of v disks, the military supply of entertainment on vinyl records, during the war. These records ran as 78 RPM and were enlarged to 12 inch diameter to allow more music on each side - up to 6 and a half minutes. As many entertainers were already a part of the military during the war, and even civilian artists were expected to add to the war effort, these v-disks gave the entertainment industry its first exposure to vinyl recordings.

As this country returns to peace and civilian pursuits post war several developments will radically change the recording industry. The first change is through the leader, the Columbia Record company. This is the Columbia Graphophone company given a name change as the Columbia Broadcasting Company - owner and operator of the CBS radio network - becomes the new owner. At the Columbia labs, a naturalized US citizen, Peter Carl Goldmark, leads a group that plans to use vinyl plastic to change how the country listens to records. Among the problems this group is going to resolve is length of music per side. The 78's allowed for at most 3 minutes of play. Goldmark is aiming for 22 minutes. Changing motors, stylus, groove size, etc, he produces both a turntable and record revolving at 33 and a third rpm with each side theoretically supporting over 20 minutes of music (although in practice most 33s had 15 to 18 minutes of music per side).

On June 21st, 1948, Columbia comes out with the aforementioned LP or long playing record that runs at 33 and a third RPM (instead of 78), is 12 inches in diameter (a longer diameter) using microgroove technology allowing a greater density to be written to the platter. Now 15 minutes or more of music could be provided per side of a platter, probably providing for 6 tracks. The consumer did have to buy new equipment as the existing 78 players couldn't be made compatible with this new technology. Since 78s were still being sold (not to mention already on hand), it would not be unusual for homes to have one of each type players. This montage shows several 33s highlighted in another script on this web site.

So the 33 record introduction also had a corresponding 33 record player introduction. Given that the record platters themselves were lighter - plastic was lighter and more durable than shellac - you start to see instruments that allow the user to stack records to be played sequentially as the records could take a bigger impact on their way downward to be played on the record player. The better sound of these plastic records negated the need for the big horn so prevident in the 78 players. One begins to see players that become a part of the furniture given their flat, more modern, lines. No doubt the sale of these players also contributed to Columbia's bottom line in profits.

While we are dealing with all things Columbia, we should discuss the driving force behind CBS. William Paley was the son of a successful father whose family owned business manufactured cigars. The father had immigrated to this country from the Ukraine and brought his cigar manufacturing skills with him. In the 1920's the family moved to the Philadelphia area and William received an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Paley expected to succeed his father into the family cigar business but in 1927 he saw an opportunity to enhance advertisements for cigars by buying a somewhat unsuccessful network of radio stations. He quickly understood that it was the advertisers who made stations profitable, not the listeners and this refocus of attention allowed his little network of stations to grow in profitability (not to mention double cigar sales it is claimed) and within ten years to increase the number of stations in his network to 10 times the size. This increasingly profitable network was not lost on the high society of the time as Paley married the former wife of the Newspaper magnate, Randolph Hearst, in 1932.

Anyway, we assume that Paley's company was very happy to share this new technology with other record producers. The more 33's produced, the more this would cement Columbia's investment in this new format. Keep in mind that 78's were also still being produced by Columbia and other producers. This montage shows 33s and 78s produced in the 1948-1950 period by record producers not associated with Columbia records. We assume that the 78s produced during this time were still using shellac to provide the playing surface of the platters although the industry was well aware that the shellac surface took a toll on both the records and the player stylus wearing them out at an increased rate necessitating purchases of replacement records and players.

But another company, one mentioned above, was also about to introduce its own format that would also revolutionize the record industry worldwide using the polymer PVC - known as vinyl - mentioned above. In 1949, RCA Victor introduces the 45RPM format represented by the pictures in this montage. Notice that the platter diameter at 7 inch is smaller but the inner hole much bigger. Notice also the colors! The technology itself brought about several incompatible components - speed and hole size - from the other formats we have been discussing which created problems at first until the industry, not to mention the consumers, adapted.

Similar to Columbia's rollout the year before, the 45 rollout came with its own players, some of which are indicated in this montage. Notice that some of these also are made of plastic - vinyl - cutting down the weight. For those readers (and dancers) of the babyboom generation, the pictures of 33rpm players above and the 45rpm players here are somewhat nostalgic. These were part of the entertainment the boomers grew up with. In many homes these players were placed in the center of living rooms, perhaps downstairs in dens and basements, with piles of records stacked around them. What this equipment could relate, if it could talk, as to first kisses, close dances and the like that the boomers participated in when they were teenagers.

This allows us to discuss RCA as a company and the one and only David Sarnoff. As to RCA, it's creation is an attempt to create a monopoly of radio technology and radio transmission waves within the US after World War I circa 1919. During World War I, the US federal government confiscated the patents and operations of several companies that dealt with the new science of radio. This confiscation lasted through the end of that war and it is said that officials of the US Army and US Navy pressed the General Electric company to accept patents of the confiscated companies, including the American Marconi company, to create one supplier to the military of radio transmission and reception equipment. In 1919, a consortium of companies, led by GE, created the RCA company. The first chairman of RCA was Owen Young (pictured rightmost) who would also for a time simultaneously serve as chairman of GE. So you can see that RCA is created through the efforts of GE and 65 years later or so, in 1985, it is sold back to GE.

When RCA comes to fruition, one of the managers is the aforementioned David Sarnoff. Sarnoff had immigrated into this country from Tzarist Russia and had been hired into management at the American Marconi company, the one time subsidiary of the British Marconi company until appropriated by the US government during WWI. His position stays the same as Marconi is reorganized as RCA. Sarnoff shows a great aptitude in understanding what will attract listeners to this new media of radio. Very different in that respect from our discussion of William Paley above whose interest centered on advertisers. Sarnoff also would be successful in the creation of radio networks as he concentrated on listeners. Signing up the top talent, Sarnoff paved the way for establishing the entertainment aspect of the media. He also was interested in tangential media and technology which led him to have RCA buy the Victor Talking Machine company in 1929. Victor, starting in 1901, was one of the competitors of Columbia in the 78 format. Sarnoff's competition with Paley would be at its fiercest as he competed successfully against Paley and Goldmark, the engineer, pre WWII in establishing what would become American TV standards and format using technology stolen from Philo Farnesworth (pictured top rightmost). You can see a discussion about Sarnoff and Farnesworth already on this website by clicking here and moving about a third of the way down. The second row of pictures in this montage remembers WNBT New York - today WNBC TV - and it's equipment and operation.

The period of 1948 through 1949 is interesting for those studying the history of media in this country. if you read discussions on the internet those two years are described as the "War Of The Speeds" but in reality were just a continuation of the continuing skirmishes between Sarnoff/RCA vs Paley/CBS that would dominate radio, televison standards and record platter formats. What it did do is spell the end of the 78 format which was eclipsed by either of these new technologies in record creation and record playing. This montage shows the three formats moving at higher speed left to right: a 33, 45 at top and a 78

How and where were these platters with this new format made? As to how: The term pressed is used for making these types of platters. At that time a master is made that has the reverse grooving (the grooves come out from the platter) and musical encoding. When we first wrote this we felt that plastic blanks were loaded into a pressing machine and the master was pressed against the blank creating the inner grooving on the not now blank. With further discussions, the creation of the records may also have been an early application of injection moulding which is a very different process. In any case the production was probably easier than using the shellac material of the 78 generation. Today 45s are still being produced in one way or the other. We still assume a master must be created that reverses the grooves that will ultimately appear appropriately on the blank platters. Presently the prices for these pressing machines can go as high as $11,000 but there are several, no doubt slower, machines that are less than a $1,000 just in case you are interested in entering this business. We scoured the internet to find these pictures of various pressers creating 45 records.

While we assume that RCA Victor had pressing plants all around the country, the Victor division had its headquarters in Camden NJ. In the early years of the last century the Victor company pressed records (the shellac 78s)within what is today the Victor building (Circle in rightmost picture) close by the Delaware river and with railroad access. So one assumes that the original 45's research and initial production was done in Camden at this facility. Today the building hosts several commercial businesses on the bottom floor including a brew pub while the rest of the building is residential and goes by the name the Victor lofts. If you are going to the Camden aquarium using the New Jersey Transit's River line, you pass this building.

At this period there really was no compatability available to the consumer. However this would change somewhat quickly especially as regarding the 33s and 78s. Turntables quickly came out with switches allowing operation at the two different speeds. Given that the stylus for the 33 was much smaller in width across the groove than the 78, these new players had a stylus arm allowing rotation to make the correct stylus needle appear as needed. After a while players appeared that played all three formats using a spindle adapter to run 45's (this can be seen in use in the rightmost picture in this montage). In fact, in the early 50's you could buy a 4 speed turntable which included a 16 rpm speed which had been used for children's records.

We are always reminded that in the end this is a dance web site. It concentrates on Israeli dance in the Philadelphia area but all genres of dance are of interest (as are many other things). So, as to dance sessions, what did this new technology mean as far as weekly dance sessions were concerned. One assumes that dance sessions have been going on for a long time, much longer than the history discussed in the previous montages. One assumes that prior to the advent of the 78 record, the sessions would use live bands to supply the music. Obviously this could be expensive depending on the orchestra and number of musicians used. No doubt to save costs dancers at a session might take turns working the various instruments through a dance session. There would also be a question of what instruments to bring assuming there was no storage capability. We doubt whether pianos, tubas or large bass instruments would be dragged to a village's folk dance session. Probably small, more compact devices like flutes, harmonicas, violins, trumpets, guitars, small drums like bongos, etc - instruments similar and of the size indicated at the top of this montage - would do. The bottom photos show instruments that you would probably never see at any folk dance session. Who'd want to carry it there? But what about the need for a piano?

Around 1820 an instrument that might act as a mobile piano was invented in Germany, the accordian. Within 20 years it had swept through Europe. The player of the accordian, the accordianist, played the instrument similar to the scottish bag pipes. Air was moved into and out of the bellows. Buttons or a type of piano keyboard controlled the tones that were emitted. Very quickly accordianists became integral parts of folk dance (and other dance and music) events. Ultimately it was found that one accordianist could provide the music - although it would be thin and bare - for a folk dance session.

If you're going to have one accordianist, he (or she) better be good. You'd want the best to provide the music for your event, be it a religious, social or dance (or a combination of these). That brings up the question: Who was the greatest accordianist? Technology would come into play here as we assume the evolution of the instrument would be a factor. You can determine this yourself at museums dedicated to displaying the evolution of this instrument. We know of one such museum if you'd want to visit: The New England Accordian museum in Canaan, Connecticut whose pictures are displayed in this montage. You can preview your visit by clicking here to see Paul Ramunni, curator of the museum, relate a story from World War II as to how one accordian made it to the museum.

As to who might be the best accordianist in terms of play and style, you could do worse if you were to pick Boris Karlov. Karlov's father was an orchestra conductor and so Karlov grew up surrounded by music and musical instruments. He opted to become a master of the accordian and joined his father's orchestra at the age of 12. Karlov was born in 1924 and perhaps his age saved him from callup in World War II because he was able to concentrate on his music and not on war. As such, he developed a style called Rondo which mimiced a variety of Bulgarian instruments making him a musician in great demand throughout the Balkans. He kept a fast pace as far as appearances were concerned and this probably contributed to his death in 1964 while on tour from a kidney infection.

Anyway, as the twentieth century approaches, the recording technology reported on above is still not at a point that allows recorded music to substitute for live music. However, a new look is being used for Jewish oriented events. Klezmer music and Klezmer bands provide the live entertainment for social functions although to be fair, similar types of bands were a part of all the ethnic groups in Eastern Europe. Common instruments played by the band include violin, cymbols, clarinet, accordion, trombone and trumpet. If a piano is available, one of the band musicians would use it. It would be a while before the live band, as displayed in these images, would be replaced by recorded technology. As mentioned above, the shellac based 78 records were very sensitive and could break easily especially when being transported. The 78 players, with the large horn, were especially not easily transported and probably were expensive for their time.

But with the advent of the 45 and especially the 45 player, the era of recorded music at dance events of all kinds now opened up. The 45s were much more durable and not as easily broken. The player was relatively light to be readily movable. Even better, both the platters and the players were designed to be smaller, and in this case, smallness was a asset. During the 50's most International dance events (including the early Israeli dance sessions) began to use this technology. This web site knows this to be true not from experience - no one at this site danced in the 1950's - but by the gift of 45 records, seen here in this montage, documented in one of our scripts which you can access by clicking here.

Before we return back to Israeli and International dance, we would be remiss if we didn't discuss the 45's effect on the Baby Boomer generation. Sock hops became all the rage as the music was supplied by 45 records played on a 45 player. While there were still official school dances like proms, sock hops were informal affairs as far as the school administration was concerned. Obviously the female teen agers at the time were interested in these events, but what's interesting is that the male teen agers also enjoyed these processes. We'll let the social scientists give their definitions of what was going on at the time but this web site believes that the 50's and the late 70's disco era are the only two times post war that the entire populace was interested in specific forms of dance.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention another use of vinyl in postwar Amwerica - the use of vinyl tops in American sports cars such as the Ford Thunderbird and the Chevy Corvette. Here, injection molding of vinyl would be used to produce this stylish, light weight but durable car top. With these tops and various things like flooring, slip covers and the like, it was the age of vinyl in the US.

The Korean War, notwithstanding, if you are reading this and are of the age where the 1950's are rememberable and you still don't remember these types of dance events, probably you were not in the United States at that time. You can probably thank World War II for the lack of vinyl in your life at that point. Multiple societies were destroyed and the populace had more important things to consider, like survival, than to concentrate on the new 45 technology and run sock hops. Eventually this would change but the late 1940's, early 50's was probably too early in the process of rebuilding. So, given this time period, the "vinyl" way of life was an American phoenomena.

By 1951 the war of the speeds is over as everyone - including RCA and Columbia - now produces 33's, 45's and the occasional 78. Three speed players to handle all the formats are also on the market making it easier for consumers to purchase and play a widely diverse set of music. As will be mentioned, other manufacturers of platters and players join the fray. Now, the question moves from format to talent. Most companies race to sign up singers and entertainers - in many cases buying out contracts of other producers - to produce the media that the public wants. A case in point is RCA's experience with Elvis Presley. Presley grows up poor in Tupelo Mississippi. He was exposed and became familiar with country music, Church spirituals and rhythm and blues genres which he combined in his presentations. Add in a pair of gyrating hips and sex appeal and you have the king of the coming Rock and Roll generation of music.

Presley's first recording contract is with Sun Records in 1954. Sun is a smaller producer and distributer of 45 records (and 78s) and we don't know if they were a presser of the records bearing their label or whether they used a third party to produce the platters. But this we do know! However small a producer, they certainly could evaluate talent and moved material - songs - between their singers (in the trade this is called covering). The music you have been listening to, Blue Suede Shoes, is not sung by Elvis Presley, but by Carl Perkins, the composer of the music and lyrics, who preceded Presley in releasing his version of the song while contracted to Sun. This web site is especially fond of "Blue Suede Shoes" by any of the singers who originated or covered it and we thought this would be a good addition to listen to while reading this script.

Within a year, 1955, RCA buys out Sun's agreement with Presley paving the way for RCA to record and release multiple hits of Presley's through the years. RCA orders NBC to feature Presley on many of its entertainment programs (although, to be fair, Presley would be a frequent guest on many programs outside of the NBC arena). Consider further the brand appeal. Almost every teenaged girl in the country has these records and each record has a prominent RCA Victor logo stamped on it. In 5 to 10 years, when these girls are women and perhaps mothers, one assumes that the RCA label on a color TV will be an asset in selling them TV sets. You may remember our discussion of David Sarnoff and his consumer driven approach to media. Here it is! Although in certain circles this might be called at worst monopolistic or at best a part of an Oligopoly.

Anyway, from the beginning of "recordings", independent labels, like Sun, were being produced and many highly effectively. Not all these labels had the manufacturing equipment (pressers and the like) in house and one assumes that most used third party manufacturers. Even today, where the world is at least three generations above these recordings - tape (cassette), CD/DVD and digital - there are still 16 active record production facilities in the US alone if our query of google is correct. Let's take one example at random: {xopo/palamino|Palamino Pressing in Shepherdsville, KY|Rainbo Records in Canoga Park, Ca}. We reproduce their price list here in this montage. Assume you want to make 45 records for your dance session. Figure out the number of records to distribute, supply the music on mp3 or some similar format, come up with a name for your label and {xopo/palamino|Palamino Pressing|Rainbo Records} will make you your records. We mention this because most of the rest of this script looks at the record labels of the donated records mentioned above that were gifted to us. The record labels could denote a pressing shop like {xopo/palamino|Palamino|Rainbo} or a commercial relationship with a pressing shop similar to {xopo/palamino|Palamino|Rainbo}'s.

Before we look at specific labels, let's discuss one other thing about vinyl - this time negative. The world's oceans because of currents and jet streams contain circles of circulation called gyres. Any debris caught in this just circulates continually until theoretically it decomposes. However, vinyl (and plastic) is almost inert so it decomposes very slowly, possibly needing hundreds of years. Any plastic dumped into the sea, including the 33 and 45 platters mentioned above, will just circulate without breakdown if caught in a gyre. This has led to patches of ocean that are trapped with debris, especially plastic. The result can be a catastrophe for fish and other wildlife and has even been a factor in the search for MH370, the plane that disappeared several years ago.

Lands and islands that border these "collection"" areas have also been affected. An example would be the big Island of Hawaii of the Hawaiian islands whose Kamilo beach (on the Southeast part of the island and pictured in this montage) is now wall to wall plastic as opposed to white sand. Keeping this is mind that the "vinyl" revolution is/was not without its downside, let's look at some of the labels of the donated records.

One of these record labels is Worldtone. Besides Israeli music, Worldtone was involved in distributing, perhaps popularizing, Balkan music. Worldtone's music division was based in Flushing NY and the label had been created by Kenneth Spears and his wife Nomi. Besides the music, Spears distributed notes indicating the steps of the dances recorded on both sides of the record but we wouldn't know whether this was a freebie with the record or at an added charge. Spear found that once people started to folkdance, they'd inquire about shoes to do this dancing with and Spear created another division, Worldtone Shoes, which continues today. Worldtone is the shoe shop of record for Broadway plays in NY and in 2004, Spear's daughter, Lani (pictured here) expanded to Los Angeles. The expansion at that time was fortuitous as "Dancing With The Stars", in its first season, came calling to Worldtone in the need of ballroom shoes. It wasn't long before Worldtone became the show's shoe shop of record.

Our second label is for Mediterranian Records. John (Ivan) Filcich was born in an area that moved between Italian and Croatian control between the two wars (wwI and wwII). He and his parents emigrated to this country and sometime in the mid 1930's he was given a set of folk dance music records from his area of birth. This developed a life long interest in folk music and Filcich, who became an accomplished instructor of International dance, would go on to create a set of labels featuring folk music from the different areas of the Balkans. Mediterranian was one of these labels but we will be encountering another label further down this script

The Folkraft label brings a description of a very unique individual, Frank Kaltman. Kaltman was involved in many professional activities of a technical nature in the 20's & 30's, so folk dancing was a hobby when he would have the time. In the 40's war department work led him to use his off hours to go even further into the music of folk dancing and with the war ending Kaltman used his expertise to create this label. You can see more documentation on him by going to the Phantomranch web site which is probably the most detailed folk dancing web site in this country. Specifically to access information on Kaltman - we've included the only picture of him that we can find - click here. The rightmost picture shows the Folkraft label on some 45s.

We've mentioned the phantomranch web site above, accessible at This is a must see for any serious folk dancer of any of the genres as one section has loads of folk dancing information. Of course it also includes information on amateur radio, ghost towns, archery, etc which has given us on this web site some ideas. The force behind this web site is Dick Oakes who has been a folk dancer and teacher since the 1950's. There is a biography of Oakes on the site and we have taken several of the photos to include in this montage.

This web site can confirm that Oakes even has more information than what is already on his site. We had put in an inquiry to him about one of the record labels we were researching. (you can see all the records on our record, klezmer and 78 project scripts). He sent us the lists you see on this montage. Click any of the pictures to see this information in detail. These are the label names for many different genres of folk dancing that the abovementioned John Filcich produced records for. Using the 4th photo you can see the entire discography of the XOPO label. This will be the last label we will discuss.

So, XOPO is a label featuring Bulgarian/Greek music. The donation that started this research yielded only one XOPO platter and this montage shows both sides of the record. With the information indicated above through the Phantomranch web site we feel confident that the records were pressed somewhere in the United States. The labels indicate the music was recorded in Bulgaria and the music was by Boris Karlov and his accordian who we profiled above. Bavno oro is of Macedonian origin and you can see a demonstration of this dance by the Dunav folk dancers by clicking here and, if you are interested, you can follow the steps using the picture rightmost in this montage which documents the steps of the dance. Daichovo Horo is Bulgarian and you can watch this being performed by the Bulgarian Folk Dancers of Toronto by clicking here

If you look at either of the dances you will see that these are circle dances that move along the circle with moments where the participants move into the center and out from the center together. This may give you a hint as to what the horo of Daichovo Horo and the oro of Bavno Oro mean. This is a style of dance of Balkan devivation that we would call Hora. The Israeli/Yiddish dance Hora was an attempt to duplicate the Horas of the Balkan nationalities. If such, why not create a label called Hora or Horo or even Oro. Well, XOPO is exactly that. It has nothing to do with a variation of hugs and kisses as we first naively thought. But to understand this one needs to know a bit about the Bulgarian alphabet. This montage provides the Bulgarian letters - notice the cyrilic aspect of the language - with their English equivalent. X is pronounced as an H and P is pronounced as a R. You are looking at the Bulgarian version of Horo or the Hora that we are familiar with. And, so, having resolved the mystery of this label, we will end this script hoping that you have learned a little bit about vinyl, the history of records and record formats in the US, the Phantomranch web site, Carl Perkins, some Bulgarian and a bit of history of some of the record labels used years ago in International dance (possibly Israeli dance) classes.

Note:No one on this web site considers that this script is 100% complete or accurate. If you have information that you feel should or could be added to this script contact the diskcoordinator at with your information and we will add your info, attributable to you, in this script.