In time for Chistmas, at least insofar as Christmas can be aligned with Jukebox Heart, is another installment of Juicebox Heart. Here, Jukebox Heart celebrates the most innovative, strangest, wackiest and sometimes scariest of the children’s records we have come across in our travels.
The records featured here are just a few of the magnificent works of the audio – visual design team Jim Copp and Ed Brown. The audio segment featured here is an excerpt of the trials of a fictitious family, The Glups as they travel their way across the lower 48 in an attempt to collect an inheritance. Photos of the albums reveal the ingenious visual design as the record sleeves unfold to form classrooms, magical theaters and, in the case of The Glups, trans-continental and trans-oceanic board games, complete with cutout characters and magic window inserts.
Sometime in the 80s as I was traveling through San Francisco, I had the privilege of meeting Jim Copp while hanging out in the Subterranean Records store, then on Valencia in the Mission. He was bringing a bunch of these beautiful unplayed records, hoping to sell them as remainders. I managed to get copies of the last four records in the series. These records are legendary in their execution and design as well as their ability to stimulate the imagination.
Copp and Brown recorded and released nine albums of stories and songs for children between 1958 and 1971. Jim Copp (1913–1999) wrote all of the stories and songs, and played and recorded all of the music. Ed Brown (died 1978) designed and illustrated all of the duo’s album covers. Both men performed the various characters’ voices, often with the help of tape manipulation and were among the first to devise and use multi-track recording for children’s records. Copp and Brown’s work has been compared to that of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Dr. Seuss, and Pee Wee Herman.
Photos and audio tracks are below. And of course, Record Geek history is below the cut.
“A Journey to San Francisco with The Glups”
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As promised, Geek history below the cut!