Music On the Record


One of the phonograph's advertising images used to depict the relationship between artists and recorded sound was to have the artists performing on records as if the performance was literally taking place on the surface of a record.

This artistic representation was in the phonograph industry's advertising tradition of artists coming out of phonograph horns, performers coming out of the internal horns and doors of cabinet model machines or floating above the machine as the actual artist or spirit of music.

The following are a few examples of music and performers "On the Record."


The Reverie from Rip Van Winkle by Joseph Jefferson, McClure's Magazine, June 1899


Berliner 7" Gram-O-Phone Record No. 699 Recorded January 4, 1898 (Courtesy David Giovannoni Collection)


"Caruso and the Victor," McClure's Magazine, January 1908


Empire Phonograph ad, The Talking Machine World, September 1917

This ad features an artist coming out of a machine in the tradition of the artists coming out of the phonograph. The difference with this one, however, is that the artist is more closely connected with the recording than the machine; the lower part of the artist's body is literally records.


This next example again visualizes the relationship between the record and the musicians with performers emerging from the record rather than the phonograph itself.

Orchestra emerging from the Record, Paramount Records, The Talking Machine World, 1919


Performers standing, dancing, etc.on records, Emerson Records, The Talking Machine World, 1919


The Saturday Evening Post, March 13, 1920


The stage in this ad is a Victrola record with Galli-Curci standing on that record. To hear Amelita Galli-Curci on her Victrola record is to "actually experience the full glory" of grand opera. 1921



Scheherazade, RCA Victor Record Album M/DM 920, 1942 (5 record album 78 RPM)


The enchanted land of recorded music delivers to "your child new vistas of the imagination." General Electric, 1943




The schoolhouse in this Decca Records ad is made of record albums so that the children enter the albums to hear its music and stories. The source of the magic is again the record, not the machine.


"Look who's on the new RCA Victor Records!" Life, December 2, 1946


MGM Recordland magazine ad, 1947


"The Stars who make the Hits are on RCA Victor Records." 1947


Superman "The Flying Train," Musette Records, 2 Flexi-discs 78 RPM and comic book, 1947 (FP1523)


The magic of RCA Victor's "45" system brings "artists whose names are musical legend" back to life "for the modern listener." May 1951


"Hearing is Believing, RCA Victor "New Orthophonic" Recording, The Saturday Evening Post, October 9, 1954


California Magic Carpet postcard (front and back) advertising LP record by the UC Berkeley California Band and Glee Club, 1955.

' can always have a front-row seat for a complete program of California songs and yells..."


"Stereo Sound on Records," November 1958


The idea of a record floating in the air with perfomers or listeners riding on it is an advertising theme illustrating the magic of recorded sound in the tradition of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp and magic carpet rides of One Thousand and One Nights.


The Three Suns on a Magic Carpet, Victor LPM-2235, 1960

"'s your chance to fly now and be enchanted forever. You'll be travelling first class all the way, on a magic carpet borne aloft by the artistry of the inimitable Three Suns...On this trip time, space and music are fused to perfection."

"Climb aboard this album and you'll travel in spirit as well as in space -- no surprise when you remember you're on a MAGIC CARPET."

Also noted on the back cover: IMPORTANT NOTICE -- "MIRACLE SURFACE" This record contains the new revolutionary anti-static ingredient 317X...

(Text from back cover of The Three Suns LP album).


Panasonic portable - "You're Really With It!" Time, May 6, 1966


Columbia Record Club's Catalogue, 1966