Dimestore 1920s, Vol. 2
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More interesting musical artifacts from Van Up Records
Dime Store records were produced and sold as "cheap" alternatives to the major labels of the day who owned the music stores. Back in the 1920's you typically purchased your records where you bought your machine to play them on. For example, you bought Victor records at the Victor music store where you bought your Victrola, etc. Around 1921 the Regal Record Company, realizing the major labels owned the business with their franchises, found an outlet for their records through "five & dime" stores and mail order houses. These dime store records are generally of poorer quality and were inexpensive selling at three for a dollar or less (at a time when the majors were 75c apiece and higher). Because of this, distribution was limited and often these discs were shipped to rural areas via mail order where they were quickly "loved to death" and worn out. Young people, low-income purchasers and impulse buyers were frequently their target audience and the life span of the records was short because they were cheaply made. On the other hand, many great artists moonlighted on these labels, often under pseudonyms to get around their contracts with the majors. Dime store records are in demand with collectors because of the above reasons. Many of the titles have never been traced and complete collections of a label's output are virtually unknown. One known collector has a wall of "Perfect" label recordings but many are in poor condition and some are unplayable. The Van Up collections of Dimestore records have been digitally restored using state of the art equipment. Much of the surface noise has been eliminated without sacrificing the essential audio quality of the performance.