"Merry Oldsmobile" News!

by Brad Kay

ON FACEBOOK the other day, I was chatting with David Lennick on the "78 RPM Records & Cylinders Group." We were carrying on about the dismal quality of Biltmore reissues, when he let it drop that at least one copy of the Goldkette Victor Special Record, "In My Merry Oldsmobile" (waltz), exists WHOLE. That is, without the first fifteen seconds of sound expunged, leaving a curiously wide area of distressed 'land' at the start of the record.

That was news to me. My copy of "Oldsmobile," and every one I've seen until now, is minus the fifteen seconds. I've always wondered what caused Victor to do that. I imagined there could have been a "modernistic" Bill Challis introduction, that matched the modernistic time-shifting further in. AND that some grouchy die-hard Oldsmobile executive, on listening, choked on his cigar, and demanded at the last minute - too late for a Goldkette remake - that it be removed! I suspected it because the Goldkette band was full of subversive pranksters, and the music starts abruptly, on the first note of the chorus.

THAT house of cards now has collapsed. Instead, David Lennick says the fifteen seconds was comedy dialogue, similar to the hokum that Jelly Roll Morton unleashed at the beginning of "Sidewalk Blues." AND there is a test pressing of the complete, uncircumcised record!

Even if Bix was hoisting a few at Plunkett's when this waltz side was cut, it still should be of interest.

-Brad Kay

Posted on Jun 28, 2017, 3:55 PM

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