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A US Beatles 78?

The labels shown below are the A-side and B-side of a rumoured US Beatles 78 rpm record. Although the disk sports two different labels and catalogue numbers, this is one record. This item was recently offered for (and then pulled from) sale of eBay.

My original commentary about this record will be found below this section in bold print. A recent email from Jim Hansen shed some light on the mystery:

Regarding the (supposed) US Capitol Records Beatles 78, Back in the mid-1980's I had the opportunity to see it, feel it, touch it, smell it etc etc. It was at an Anaheim, California rare record store (It was owned by the shop keeper) and he asked me if I wanted to show it at my tables at the Los Angeles Beatlefest and I was happy to as I felt it was a great conversation piece.

It is NOT a 78 but actually a 10" DOUBLE SIDED ACETATE of the two songs and its not even a Capitol acetate but an inexpensive indie acetate probably cut by Downey Records in Downey, California who did a roaring trade cutting acetates for juke box use in the 1960's. (I have a Downey 7" acetate of "Birthday/Bungalow Bill" from the White Album cut for a local juke box) The sound quality is only fair and sounds like it was made from a vinyl source or a tape taken from a vinyl source.

As for the labels, being out here on the west coast where most the majors press(ed), we see blank labels at the local record swaps for pennies on the dollar. As the Capitol information would have been pre-printed on the label, anyone with rudimentary printing skills could print whatever they want on some blanks and, suprise, suprise, Beatle 78 labels! The fact that the creator of this piece could only find one of each color/style label says a lot! Incidently, the labels are glued on like an acetate and not molded on like a 78.

The piece looks really hot when you dress it up in a 1950's style Capitol 78 sleeve but, unfortunately, "wanting it to be don't make it so"!

So cross off US Capitol Beatle 78's from your want list because, as far as anyone knows, they don't exist. (Unless John Tefteller drags something from a musty old basement that we are all unaware of!)

My original commentary:

Is it real? Could it have been pressed as a contemporary to the regular 45 rpm releases? I think one needs to look at some facts. By 1964, the market for even 78s for jukeboxes had to have dried up. The market was pretty well dead by 1960 with one of the final 78s beng Fannie Mae by Buster Brown on Fire 1008 in 1960. But -- if Capitol did do this to meet this market .. why the 2 different labels - one purple, one black.

And, as far as those labels, I also question the use of a black label, as Capitol's last 1950s 78 label was purple, as were the 45 labels of that era.

Was it a 'created' item such as some one off coloured vinyl 45s that pressing plant employees made. Possibly ... but I think that is also unlikely as the materials (stampers etc) to secretly produce a one off 78 would not have been as easy to come by as coloured vinyl. Grabbing a biscuit of coloured vinyl is far less involved than mastering a 78.

I leave the judgement on its authenticity up to you.

I Want to Hold Your Hand
I'll Cry Instead