When I think about 78 RPM records, I generally think about what kind of music is on them. It's usually big band stuff that 90 year old women listen to. I'm generally not fond of things like "Harry Palms and his Orchestra play The Sweaty Balls Waltz." When I browse thrift stores, I usually ignore the 78s as a general rule since there's usually nothing of interest.
I had a whole box of these things given to me. Most of the records suck, but the most interesting items in the box were paper bags that people used to carry home their brand new records. Check them out:
Winnipeg Piano Company - Paper Bag circa 1950
National Radex (419 Portage Ave, Winnipeg) Paper Bag circa 1950
Last summer I finally found a nifty little record player to play my 78s. The stylus was destroyed, but believe it or not, I had a spare in my collection of junk which has been sitting around for about 15 years in case I ever needed it.
I quickly got bored listening to the box of 78s, and started skipping anything that had any of the following in the title: "...and his Orchestra", "Bing Crosby", and "Ella Fitzgerald". Oh yeah, and any comedy records. While they may have been funny in 1950, they're quite bland by today's standards.
Yesterday, I actually took a browse through the pile of 78s in the thrift store. They were all put into home made record folders. At first I was finding the same old shit. But I came across a couple of records that were finally worthy of putting on my record player. Here's one of them, oddly classified under the genre "Fox Trot":
If you want to hear the A-side (yes, you read that right), someone else already put it up on Youtube. The other record I found was The Platters' "Twilight Time", with a rockin' B-side called "Out Of My Mind".
Record companies generally quit manufacturing 78 RPM records around 1958 which explains why it's tough to find good music on them. A few countries manufactured them until the mid-1960s, but prepare to pay a small fortune for them on ebay.
I can guarantee you that I'll be picking up more 50's Rock n Roll 78s and ditching all the boring Big Band Numbers and Waltzes from my collection ....and the 5 copies of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".