“Happy Birthday from Mavis and Alan…”
A greetings card with a gaudy 7″ flexi disc inside, what’s not to like? I’ve seen this series of combi card/records dated to 1959, which would seem about right, though they were probably produced for a while. They were manufactured for Valentines Greetings Cards by our old friends at Lyntone, the first firm in the UK to license the rights to the flexi disc system. These ones consisted of a clear plastic film onto which the grooves were stamped, and this was laminated to the printed card ‘disc’. The technique allowed the firm to change the design on the cards but keep the same record (the pink and blue examples in the photo here both have ‘Getting To Know You’ on). The discs were then diecut into a 7″ circle and slipped inside a fold over greetings card, with a hole to see the ‘label’ through. They have catalogue numbers printed near the disc edge and I’ve also seen Christmas cards done along similar lines.
One of the discs is credited to performers on ITV’s Small Time, an early children’s show which ran from 1955 to 1966, Jackie and Gillian Moran. The pair were on air in 1957 / 8, so this helps date the discs. Researching the records, I discovered that the Morans are still involved in teaching music and was able to contact Jackie.
“It was produced when Gillian and I were doing our children’s TV programme for Associated Rediffusion which ran for something over 2 years from late 1957 to 1959/early 1960. My memory would indicate that it was probably made fairly early on in the series – at a guess in early 1958. We were singing and playing four songs a week (we were very self-contained and accompanied ourselves) and ran out of material very soon, so Gillian, a very talented person, started writing four new songs a week and I was able to write these down.”
Jackie adds that the music notes they made back in the fifties turned up a few years ago and the pair have since then produced some new recordings as part of some music education packs. You can check out what they’re up to on their website.