MP3s of childrens 78 rpm records from 1948

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Here is a delightful digitized collection of Record Guild of America Childrens Picture Records, c. 1948.


  1. Ripe for remixing? I sure hope so.

    I’d love to know more about the illustrations. Most of those look like Gustaf Tenggren’s work.

        1. My first thought about Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross was, “Shouldn’t that be to Enumclaw? Ohhh. Cock horse, not…”

          1. There’s a whole different song playing outside the ticket booth for that ride. Like… Brazilian club music.

  2. Wow, “Carry Me Back To Old Virginny” is delightfully racist. And by “delightfully” I mean, “Holy crap, did he just use the word ‘massa’ in the song?!”

    Oh 1948, you so silly.

    1. Joe, that song was actually written by James A. Bland, who was African American. But yes, it is a controversial song for sure. Check out the Wikipedia entry for more.

  3. I would like to know what these sold for, and how that adjusts for inflation! I am sure that these were not cheap, but for a single song that was only 90 seconds long…

  4. My childhood record player didn’t have electronics – it was the type that the big fat needle was mechanically connected to the membrane of the speaker, which was on the arm that held the needle. If I remember right, it had a crank. The records were the size of 45s, but I don’t know if they were actually 45 or 78rpm.

    (My parents had several generations of real record players, but my younger siblings and I weren’t allowed to mess with those until we were old enough to handle them carefully – the kiddie one was about as kid-proof as such a thing could get, if you don’t mind the records getting increasingly scratchy, which we didn’t because that was how records always sounded.)

    And in spite of the whitebread suburban vanilla 50s early childhood I had, I still have to remember that most people’s moms probably did sing them “Twinkle twinkle little star” instead of the “Twinkle twinkle little bat” version from Alice in Wonderland that I grew up with.

  5. Thanks for that link, Kind Stranger!

    One of these days I hope to get around to searching for the album that plays in Barry’s room when the aliens come to visit in “Close Encounters.” I had the album when I was a kid; would love to find it again. I don’t suppose any Boingers of A Certain Age would know the one with “The Shape of a Square”?

    1. Ha! That’s a fine quest, Godfree. That “shape of a square” bit is burned into my mind, but it was CE3K where I first heard it.

  6. oh my. i had 2 of these records. my mom taped up most of the speaker holes on that old record player with masking tape.

  7. I wonder if anyone’s got a flexi-disk digitalisation project going for things like Aquaman and Spiderman premiums? Anyway, I’ve got my Tubby the Tuba 78s safe now!

  8. This is too weird. I just fished a handful of these out of the attic yesterday. Me and the SO played them after dinner tonight. I’ll post pics to the blog tomorrow, if anyone’s interested. There’s only one dupe (Ride a Cock Horse, natch). The other three are different. Sleeves included!

  9. I was at a garage sale two weeks ago with lots of 78s (many other collectables too). I remember seeing at least one childrens box set. In hind sight maybe I should have looked closer and snatched up some. On the other hand I still have some cash in my pocket.

  10. Does anyone know how to rig a computer up to record old records from a turn table? Yes, I am technologically stunted and often lazy, outside of work.

    1. If you’re lucky enough to have a turntable with an RCA output, then it just takes a RCA-to-miniplug cord. When I transfered my parents’ old Sesame Street LPs to MP3, I plugged my record player into my Mac and used Audacity to capture the raw audio. From there it was pretty straight forward to add tracks, clear up any clicks/pops, and export to MP3.

      There are record players out there that have USB ports and are designed for digital conversion, but they’re spendy.

  11. I love these! I just wonder how long the person who put them up (an eBay vendor) will bother maintaining it and providing access and when he’ll first get sued by the records’ creators (the performers, the publishers, etc.). –from an archivist who sometimes wonders about these things

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