Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Original Final Houdini Seance record

The mighty Arthur Moses shares with us today his recent acquisition of what appears to be the original release of the "World Wide Final Houdini Seance" on record. Until now, I was only aware of the 1959 Hudson Records release and 1975 release by Mark56 (both can be seen here).

This is a 3 album set of 78rpm. Arthur isn't sure what year it was produced, but he knows it was sold through Thayer's in Los Angeles, and by the postage on the original shipping box he's determined that it was sold during or after 1938. Aside from that, this set is a bit of a mystery.

Does anyone out there have any addition information they can share about this release?

Thanks to Arthur for sharing this terrific find.

UPDATE: Joseph Pecore has discovered the original ad for this record in the December 1939 issue of Genii. Thank you, Joe!

Click to enlarge


  1. WOW!
    Those are so great. We knew Thayer sold them, but do not remember seeing them.

    We have all the others, including some on cassettes which are probably knock offs.

    Love the "Jean Harlow" picture of Bess.

    Shows she was trying to branch out with a new image or personality.

    Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz
    Houdini Museum
    Scranton, PA

  2. Maybe it's the angle this photo was taken at, but these look bigger than 78's. If they are 16 inches in diameter, they are most likely radio transcription discs, which were recorded during broadcasts mainly to send to base stations during the war, to boost the morale of the troops, & were SUPPOSED to be distroyed after use. Luckily a good chunk were not, & that's why we can listen to old radio shows on cd etc. If they are transcriptions, they neede a player that has room for a 16 inch disc to fit on the platter. I made one years ago by taking the tone arm and other things off a standard record player, & altering it to work & recorded several discs with it. A vast majority of transcriptions played at 33 & 1/3 & not 78. At least the WWII ones like i had. If they are 78's, Thayer themselves may have had them pressed by a plant, just like singers can have cd's made & labeled. Just a bit of info just in case it's helpful. Great find! Bill Smith

  3. And by the way, Transcriptions were also done on smaller discs than 16 inhes sometimes. If it were me, i'd really want to know, as a transcription is MUCH rarer than a commercially produced record usually. The non descript labeling with no seller or studio info etc makes me think it may be a transcription, or maybe a special item the family or someone had pressed to give as gifts, etc. Bill Smith

  4. Very interesting, Bill. Thank you for your input on these. I'll make sure Arthur sees your comments.

  5. Here is a copy of the Ad for the records in the December 1939 Genii magazine:

  6. Here is a copy of the Ad for the records in the December 1939 Genii magazine:

  7. Oh, sensational! Thank you, Joseph. I've updated the article with your link.

  8. NEAT! Well, i was pretty close in thinking them issued by the family &/or thayer anyway. LOL! :) Bill Smith

  9. Glad to help. Love your blog! - Joe Pecore

  10. Joe, hope you don't mind that added the image to the post instead of just linking to it. I went and grabbed it myself from Ask Alexander. I just want people to easily see it. It's a great ad! Thanks again.

  11. I would love to see these .. Actueallt hear what is on them!