Although best known as a classical label, Vox, founded in 1945 in America (and still going), also had some light music output in the early days. Pianist George Feyer, who had fled Europe to escape Communism in his native Hungary in 1951, began recording for the label in 1953 with the first of a series of what became a dozen “Echoes of” themed releases on 10″ and album (the latter are much harder to find, which probably reflects the slow rise of the album format in the mid-fifties). The tunes are done as a 14 minute medley on each side.
Echoes of Latin America came out on 10″ in 1954 in this great illustrated sleeve (and on LP in 1957), which I turned up in the ‘charity store formally known as Help The Aged’. The physical elements of the archetypal Latin woman dancer are reduced to a few swirling pastel crayon lines, with a maracas for a head, topped by a bowl of fruit, Carmen Miranda style. I can find no reference to the illustrator, one Nerschel Luit, anywhere. I like the way he has used the same pastel-style to handwrite Feyer’s surname and the word Latin in the title. The illustration is repeated (much reduced) in black on the back cover – shown at the top of this page – and still works well.
Several more of Feyer’s releases also feature drawn covers; Echoes of Budapest, Christmas and Paris were illustrated by the Stephen Haas Studio (this may be the same Stephen Haas who took photographs for a number of 50s jazz sleeves). I’m certainly going to keep my eye out for them, but anyone tempted to do the same should note that later pressings often used more modern (and pretty dreadful) cover designs so make sure you see before you buy.