[78-L] information request ROBESON 10inch lp MK D2723/2724

Michael Biel mbiel at mbiel.com
Tue Dec 23 07:51:29 PST 2008

Thomas Stern wrote:
>   Just acquired the PAUL ROBESON recital issued in USSR on the MK label.  7 of the 8 titles accompanied by piano, one by harmonica and guitar.  Some amusing song title translations (e.g. "There Are No More Gavels"instead of "No More Auction Block for Me").  Can someone provide a recording/release date?  Are these Soviet recordings,made for this lp or reissues of earlier recordings??  Thanks!
>   Best wishes, Thomas.
I had not  noticed at first that you had included the record number in 
the subject heading.   D2723/2724 was issued around 1955-6.  That record 
was already deleted by the time of the MK 1965-66 catalog, or might not 
have been available for export.  That might be an indication that these 
are American and/or British recordings.  The catalog lists instead two 
12-inch discs, including an interesting one titled "Paul Robeson In 
Moscow 1958"  D 04544-5.  The other is  self-titled  D 04479-80.  These 
do not seem to include the same contents as your 10-inch, but you did 
not list the entire contents.  

But does your record really have MK labels?  That label was only used 
for a short time in 1962-4 for export copies only, and by then any 
records with a number this low would have been recut with a master 
number prefix looking like HD, actually the cyrillic ND meaning "Novy 
Dolgoigrayushaya" or "new longplaying".  More likely it is an early 
pre-Melodiya LP label noting the pressing plant.  Aprelvka would either 
be CCCP or the AZ torch, Leningrad would be Akkord, Riga would be Ligo.  
Are these more accurate descriptions?   As I have just discussed on 
ARSCList, MK was not ever the Soviet record company, it was just the 
export agency, International Books, for records, books, and philatelic 
postage stamps.  Melodiya became the nationwide trademark in 1964.  
Prior to that the records had labels with trademarks for the individual 
pressing plants such as the several I just mentioned.  If it is too 
confusing to identify the earlier labels, it might be best to say 
"pre-Melodiya" unless it really does have that limited-use MK label.

Mike Biel  mbiel at mbiel.com 

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