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BELTONA

Made in England.
Released by Murdoch Trading Company, London, from 1922. Pressings were made by the Vocalion Gramophone Company, Hayes, Middlesex, England.  Label lasted till the 1950s. 

Masters: American recordings came from Vocalion, occasionally from Gennett. British masters came from Aco. From 1927 Edison Bell took over production, and master's were sourced from Banner. 

Label varieties: Rust [R] states that the girl with the "curiously euphonic" face, which put to shame my wonderful wife's hair when I first met her, remained with the label throughout several label designs, however this does not appear to be so; Field [F] illustrates ten examples of the Beltona label with only one of ‘the girl'. The top label here is one that neither Rust nor Field lists. Field indicates that the first Beltona label was blue; Rust indicates that the first hundred issues or so were printed in red and black.  

Staunton describes the girl image as follows: The image of the drowning girl's face, with her hair flooding out around her, is a theme that occupied much of ‘Decadent' fine art from the early 1900s to the late 1920s. An obsession with innocence, physical beauty, sexual eroticism and occult spirituality led artists of the movement to represent their pale heroines in various stages of depression and fgrief in neglected and dying gardens, or drifting slowly and elegantly downstream among swans and lillies. It was, in fcat, a morbid celebration of the cult of death. Loosened hair symbolized a return to primitive abandon; colour were muted, misty and mystical. [S]
Staunton continues: The name ‘Beltona', probably meabning ‘good tone', is rather close to ‘Beltane', the first day of Mayin the old Scottish (Celtic) calendar, which has many connections to paganism.  

Artists: All the dance records were issued under pseudononyms and so were most of the vocal items. Many Scottish artists and tunes were released when Edison Bell took over. To look out for: Several Fletcher Henderson titles, one by the ‘Mount City Blue Blowers' , the ‘Califonian Ramblers'. Some bands were simply described as ‘American Dance Orchestra'. 

Records in collection:

L050 sc3 BELTONA  Made in England
701 (C6860).  NIGHTINGALE WALTZ  (Brockman).  Played by The Palm Beach Players
701 (C6860).  PETER PAN  Ibid.

L125 c5 BELTONA  Made in England
821 (C7079).  SLUMBER SONG (Schumann).  Bell solo played by Dick Morton.
821 (C7077).  SERENADE (Schubert)  Ibid.