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Dick & Mimi's LPs - a guide
Celebrations For a Grey Day
VRS-9174 / VSD-79174 - Issued April, 1965. Tape masters: XSV-98951 /52.
Original label: Silver mono / Orange stereo
Earliest pressing noted : 2A - It may have been that the first stampers (1A) were defective or had other problems and were never used. A logical conclusion could be that a fairly large pressing was made using 2A, although sales may have been slow and it took three years for another pressing to be done. An alternative logic could be made for the possibility that pressing 1A was appallingly tiny, and orders received for the album so fast and furious that a second stamper was made (2A) and a huge reprinting done - this may be surmised because this second vinyl pressing lasted well into 1968, when the second label was used on the remaining copies.
Produced by Vanguard co-president and house-producer, Maynard Solomon, Celebrations was recorded in two days at Olmstead Studios in Manhattan. They recorded almost 16 songs for the album, rejecting only "Almond Joy", "Joy 'Round My Brain" and "Downtown", all of which would later be released on the posthumous Memories (1968). "Almond Joy", would also be issued as a B side to "Pack Up Your Sorrows", albeit a minute shorter, and a different mono mix than that on Memories. The front and back cover photos are by Kenneth van Sickle and were taken in Central Park, NYC, probably in early fall of '64, at the time the album was recorded. The cover was designed by Jules Halfant, illustrator, painter, former WPA artist, and also Vanguard's in-house graphics designer.
Musicians used were Dick (dulcimer), Mimi (acoustic guitar and autoharp), Bruce Langhorne (electric guitar), Russ Savakus (bass), and Charles Small (piano).
According to the back of their next album, this one was " Chosen as one of the ten best folk records of the year by Robert Shelton in The New York Times, Nov. 28, 1965."
The silver mono label is pressing 2A, as is the stereo orange. Both would have been the first label used on the original pressings. Labels used for this LP from April, '65 until Spring of 1968, for the first pressings (assuming there was a 1A pressing) and possibly second (if 2A is a true second and not just a replacement for defective stampers 1A).
The cover to firsts should have a black band across the top for stereo, with Mimi & Richard's names in a light brownish gold. Mono's have the black band across the bottom, with a slightly lighter color to the lettering. There is a wide variety of greys in the photo. 1st printings may have been laminated (Vanguard did cover laminations without much consistency at the time, although almost all Baez albums of the time were laminated).
K Singles released from VRS-9174
Vanguard released two singles from the LP between December, '65 and February '66.
VRS-35030 - Reno Nevada / One Way Ticket - A mono alternate of both songs was mastered from session tapes (Reno= S4KM-6035 / One Way = S4KM-6036), with Reno being 22 seconds longer and One Way being 32 seconds shorter. The copy shown here is a promo copy.
VRS-35032 - Pack Up Your Sorrows / Joy 'Round My Brain - Another mono remix / re-edit ( from masters SK4M-1620 and SK4M-1621, respectively) , with both versions being different from the LP versions (different vocals over instrumental backings edited from different takes). Sorrows is 17 seconds shorter than the album version, while Joy clocks in at 2:56 on the 45 and 3:45 when finally released on the 1968 Memories LP, making a minute and eleven second difference between the two. The copy shown here is a stock copy in the only design Vanguard ever did for their 45s, one that lasted over 20 years.
Mono and stereo reissues, both of which are pressing 2A (although the stereo's B side is a 2C).
It should be noted here that the label should be gold. However, Vanguard had a whimsical sense of the color spectrum, enabling them to guiltlessly mutate the color from gold to a light off-brown and all points between.
Labels used from Spring of '68 until the late '70s.
Gold labels may be found for pressings noted as 2A (an overlap from the orange & silver labels) and 2C. I've never seen a 2B. Nor a musk ox, but that doesn't say they don't exist.
This is a Record Club of America version of their first LP, noted as being pressing 1FA, the only pressing I've ever seen for this version. The label design is the gold label, although Vanguard may have farmed out the printing, as this is not their usual typeface, and the paper used for the label is flat rather than the normal glossy stock used by Vanguard for their own copies.
The third and final label for this album, a two-toned marbled effect; the lancer has now moved to center and both sides and Vanguard stands alone at the top, with "Recordings For the Connoisseur" moved to the bottom.
This label was used from the late 70s through the discontinuation of vinyl by Vanguard in the early 90s.
Stampers 2B (used for side A) and 2E (used for side B) are the only two I've seen used for this label.
By this time, the cover had lost definition and almost all suggestion of a grey day, printings tending towards dark black, with most shadings gone from the Fariñas.