V-Discs 1940s Cassette Compilation

V-Disc : An American military record label during WWII

Martha Tilton, one of the many artists featured on V-Discs in the 1940s
Photo: last.fm

V-Disc (“V” for Victory) was a morale-boosting initiative involving the production of several series of recordings during the World War II era by special arrangement between the United States government and various private U.S. record companies. The records were produced for the use of United States military personnel overseas. Many popular singers, big bands and orchestras of the era recorded special V-Disc records.

These 12-inch, vinyl 78 rpm gramophone recordings were created for the Army between October 1943 and May 1949. Navy discs were released between July 1944 and September 1945. Twelve-inch discs were used because, when 136 grooves per inch were cut, they could hold up to six and a half minutes of music. Not all releases were pressed of vinyl, many were of the much less durable shellac compound used for standard 78 RPM records of the day.

The V-Disc project actually began in June 1941, six months before the United States’ involvement in World War II, when Captain Howard Bronson was assigned to the Army’s Recreation and Welfare Section as a musical advisor. Bronson suggested the troops might appreciate a series of records featuring military band music, inspirational records that could motivate soldiers and improve morale. By 1942, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) sent 16-inch, 33 rpm vinyl transcription discs to the troops from eight sources: special recording sessions, concerts, recitals, radio broadcasts, film sound tracks and commercial records.

From the Save The Vinyl website

This cassette tape was donated to the Radio Heritage Foundation and contains a selection of tracks from V-Discs. Judging from the audio quality of the recordings it was compiled from modern restorations rather than original discs, but we have no other information regarding this tape. The first track includes a brief welcome message from Martha Tilton.

Track Listing:

Martha TiltonBeyond The Blue Horizon
Glenn MillerStormy Weather
Nat King ColeCandy
Gene Krupa OrchestraOoh, Hot Dawg
The Mills BrothersTill Then
Louis PrimaJust A Gigolo
Peggy LeeI Get The Blues When It Rains
André KostelanetzI Love You
Jack TeagardenIf I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
Sam DonahueDinah
Herb JeffriesBody And Soul
Don Cornell & Laura LeslieCuddle Up A Little Closer

Track Listing:

Hal McIntyreSingin’ In The Rain
Lt. Bob Crosby & His V-Disc Bob CatsWhen I Grow Too Old To Dream
The Dorsey Brothers OrchestraBrotherly Jump
Oran “Hot Lips” Page & The V-Disc All StarsThe Sheik Of Araby
Red Norvo & His OrchestraFlying Home
Jack LeonardSleepy Time Gal
Bea Wain & Vaughn Monroe’s OrchestraMy Reverie
Bob EberlyI Understand
Duke Ellington & His OrchestraIt Don’t Mean A Thing
Jimmie LuncefordFor Dancers Only
Ella FitzgeraldI’ll Always Be In Love With You

Read more about V-Discs in this article on the “Save The Vinyl” website:

https://www.savethevinyl.org/v-disc-the-story-of-the-american-military-record-label-during-wwii.html

Martha Tilton
Photo: last.fm
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