I do realize that there are no actual 45's in this post. Despite the small size, these are all to be played at 78 or 33 rpm. Also, none of them have the larger hole in the middle. Still, in my mind they are the size of 45's, so I can call them 45's. Technicalities be damned.
So we left off the record haul with this mystery photo:
|Whatever might it be?????|
Whenever I look through a bunch of singles, I try to look for the brightest colored sleaves, cardboard sleeves or booklets. That will usually lead me to what I most want: vintage kids' stuff. In this case, it was an unexpected motherlode.
CHILDREN'S SUNDAY SCHOOL RECORDS!!!!!
It's not really a children's record set until you find some made on bright-colored, unbreakable plastic.
All of these are Southern Baptist recordings, dating from the 70's, or so I would guess from the cover art. Nothing is dated. Broadman Records is a branch of Broadman Publications, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Church when I was growing up. More on that part later.
Like many of you, I had music classes in elementary school where the teacher would drag out the record player and we would sing along to the songs. Well, they used to do that in Sunday School too. All of these records are for children five years old or younger. They were apparently quite popular. I have worked in a lot of different churches in a lot of different places teaching kids for Sunday School VBS and the like, and I have seen these things everywhere.
Heck, I even found a few of them kicking around in church resource closets as late as the 90's. They were sitting in dusty stacks, along with a record player, and sometimes, even an autoharp, which for some reason was a standard instrument for Southern Baptist children's departments back in the day.
Side note: I really want to find an autoharp at a yard sale some day.
What gets me most about these records is how trippy the covers are. Especially for kids' records. Extra-especially for kids' religious records. Seriously. Take a look.
And now, the trippiness begins. The girls on front look okay. The freaky grassy petally stuff could be explained away by perspective. But....
These dudes on the back are definitely on something!
AIEEEEE!!!! Flee the terrifying instrument people! Flee! FLEE!
If you check out these credits, you'll see that the same people are responsible for these records. In fact, the same crew did just about everyone I found. Southern Baptist Sunday School music was a steady gig back in the day, it seems.
Also, most of these recordings were made in New York. Nothing too odd about that, until you stop and think a minute. Broadman Publishing is based in Nashville, a city with a recording studio on every corner.
Please don't kiss me, scary North Wind dude. Please.
All the records I found had a code written on the front, like for a cataloging system. I thought it might have been a church library (Remember those?), until this fell out of one sleeve.
The Sunday School Board is in charge of, you guessed it, Sunday Schools for the Southern Baptist Churches. They produce the curriculum and materials that are used in classes. It makes sense that they would have a library with copies of these records, because the Sunday School lesson books used to call for a certain song to be used with a certain lesson. The lesson would also include the title of the record the song came from, as well as its ordering number, if the church didn't have them. Some of these songs were used over and over again for years.
The Sunday School Board is also based in Nashville. My comic shop is part of a very small chain, which includes a store in Nashville. For these special sales, sometimes the stores will trade off stock with each other, which is more than likely how these ended up here in my shop.
By the way, these agencies have reorganized and renamed themselves a few times over the years. I have used the original names here, because:
1. It's what's printed on the records.
2. Those were the names used when I was growing up.
3. I'm too lazy to look up all the changes.
4. It would take up too much room to explain it all.
5. It's largely irrelevant to this post.
6. It gives me an excuse to make a list. I like lists.
I have no clue whether anyone will want these. I definitely let a bit of nostalgia crowd my thoughts. Still at 25 cents a pop, I'm not out too much if this turns out to be a bad idea. I had fun going through them all, at any rate.
One final question;
Why is one of the men in black on the cover of a children's record?