Press Review - Das Bilderlexikon der deutschen Schellack-Schallplatten - CLPGS
DAS BILDERLEXIKON DER DEUTSCHEN SCHELLACK-SCHALLPLATTEN
Dr. Rainer Lotz first published his seminal work Grammophon-platten au der Ragtime Ara in 1979, since when he has produced a large body of work culminating in the magisterial, 44 CD, 2 volume Black Europe in 2013. It seemed impossible for him to produce anything that was even more impressive — but he has. This stupendous work is in 5 volumes with over 2200 pages, more than 10,000 colour pictures of record labels and countless black & white repro-ductions of trade-mark regis-trations and more. This book is not a discography; it has no catalogue reconstructions but it is, as described in the title, a picture encyclopaedia of German record labels. This does not mean that it con-tains information about record labels only sold in Germany; it embraces all records pressed in Germany ir-respective of the country of origin of the master.
Press Review - Das Bilderlexikon der deutschen Schellack-Schallplatten - names & numbers
This massive picture book of German shel-lac records is hardly susceptible to a conven-tional review. Quite apart from the impossibil-ity of reading every page on a reasonable time scale, who other than the authors themselves is qualified to judge the contents? Band 1 starts with a brief history of the German record in-dustry up to the mid-fifties, followed by a tech-nical section defining terms and including an il-lustrated section on `Lisenzmarken' (copyright stamps). This section also includes some pic-tures of `Sprechpuppe' (talking dolls). The text proper begins on page 31 with 59 pages de-voted to anonymous discs, fifteen of which are indeed devoted to discs for Sprechpuppen. The format of the main text is label photo-graphs accompanied by a tabulation of Series-Owner-Manufacturer-Distribution-Repertoire-Dates of Issue, and a description of the label. Longer notes are also provided for many labels to elucidate histories too complicated for tab-ulation. Coverage extends to phantom labels (advertised or trade-marks registered but no issues made; there are a lot of the latter) and I have noted a few labels known only from liter-ature and therefore not illustrated.
Press Review - Das Bilderlexikon der deutschen Schellack-Schallplatten - Fontes Artis Musicae
Anyone who is interested in German shellac records—whether as a collector, a research- er or a discophile—will have heard of Rainer Lotz. Lotz, who was born in Hamburg, says that he started collecting records in 1955 and is still doing so today. However, his talents include networking as well as collecting. Togeth- er these form the foundation on which his life’s work is based: Das Bilderlexikon der deutschen Schellack-Schallplatten (The German Record Label Book). This encyclopaedia is the work of the century—so much can be said even now.
Although the five-volume encyclopaedia clearly bears Lotz’s signature, his long-time col- laborators, Michael Gunrem and Stephan Puille, are also named as authors. Both of them are col- lectors with an outstanding knowledge of their subject, and their rare images, valuable notes, and important background information con- tribute significantly to the success of the work. However, they are not the only ones: around 300 other names are listed in the acknowledgements, including collectors, archivists, researchers, and institutions from all over the world whose knowl- edge has flowed into this lexicon, the creation of which spanned several decades. Rainer Lotz un- derstands his pictorial encyclopaedia as a colla- tion of information from a global community, and sees himself not as a guru, but rather as a kind of guiding spirit. This is no doubt another reason for the scope and quality of the work.