2003   SEPTEMBER 22   #265

Baldwin Fanfare Deluxe Flexi-Disc Record

When I was a young-un, we didn't have no "keyboard samplers" or "eee-lectronic synthesizers" to play with. If you wanted to sit down and emulate an entire musical ensemble, then the ticket for you was the spinnet organ, surely the most versatile instrument of the late 20th century. For many it brings back memories of adolescence, when whatever mall you walked into you could count on the constant accompaniment of some poor slob demonstrating the latest spinnet organ at "Organ Exchange". For others, it is the over-arching soundtrack to afternoons spent at the roller rink.

This track is taken off of a flexi-disc pulled from the pages of "Keyboard" magazine circa 1978, and pitches the virtues of the new Baldwin Fanfare Deluxe organ with Phantom Fingers II. While there's little on the web to learn about the Fanfare Deluxe, further research about the record itself leads us to the great American success story that is Eva-Tone Records, virtually the sole manufacturer of flexi-discs during the latter half of the last century.

It all started with the American Eva-Type Corporation, founded in 1925 as a provider of state of the art rubber stamps. The company was suitably successful when in 1958 employee Dick Evans began experiments with the Eva-Type molding technology, which led to the flexible record known as the "Eva-Tone soundsheet". By 1965, these soundsheets were appearing in magazines from National Geographic to Time and Life (and Keyboard). Today, Mr. Evans is CEO of Eva-Tone and the company provides an array of services relating to the field of audio media. It is unclear what percent of the company's current business is still tied to the soundsheet.

To find out more, visit: http://www.eva-tone.com/default.asp

- Andre Dupuy

TT-8:43 / 8MB / 128kbps 44.1khz

(Image courtesy of Andre Dupuy)