Classical and orchestral music have not gotten a lot of “airtime” on keithhirsch.com, and that’s unfortunate.  It’s not that I am averse to these genres.  I am not.  In fact, I have a fair number of early classical and orchestral CDs and enjoy listening to them.  So it’s high time that I give an excellent orchestral CD its due.  This one is a bit unique.

Featured here is Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa, performed by The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of legendary conductor Erich Kunzel.  The specific pressing of interest was released in 1984 on the Moss Music Group (MMG) label under catalog number MCD 10005.  The disc was pressed in Japan.  (Yes, given that it is a Sousa CD, I should have posted this for July 4th.  Unfortunately, I didn’t obtain it until July 8th!) 

As a CD released in 1984, there is evidence of it being an early pressing.  It was pressed by Matsushita.  As is only seen on the earliest such pressings, the disc has the text “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics electronics brand logo stamped on the plastic ring (Technics was owned by Matushita).  The matrix code is simply “MCD-10005 3”.

When I spotted the spine label for this CD in a bin at a used CD shop, I immediately identified it as an early issue.  So I opened the jewel case and was pleased to see the early Matsushita pressing (these pressings aren’t so easy to find).  However, something struck me as being odd when I looked at the booklet cover.  There were impressions as though someone had written inside the booklet.  I have found used CDs over the years with handwritten blurbs, track times, or markings to highlight preferred songs.  This was different.  I could see that the writing was in the form of large, sweeping cursive.  So I thought to myself, could the booklet be autographed?

Next I opened the booklet, and lo and behold, it was signed “To Tim Best Wishes Erich Kunzel” in black ink.  That’s not something I see every day.  What a bonus!  The collector might ask whether the signature increases the value of this disc.  Probably not.  Maybe a little.  That doesn’t really concern me.  I just like the fact that it is autographed by one of the great conductors of the 20th and early 21st centuries, making this a unique and likely one-of-a-kind copy of this early Sousa CD.

Shown below are the Sousa inserts and CD, as well as the autographed page.  This just goes to show that you never know what you will find in the bins.

 

The cover for the early Japanese pressing of Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa (MMG, catalog number MCD 10005).

 

The back insert for the early Japanese pressing of Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa (MMG, catalog number MCD 10005).  As noted along the bottom, it is dated 1984 and was printed in Japan.

 

A spine label for the early Japanese pressing of Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa (MMG, catalog number MCD 10005).

 

The early Japanese pressing of Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa (MMG, catalog number MCD 10005).  The disc was pressed by Matsushita.  It has “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “MCD-10005 3”.  Note that the disc states “Made in Japan” below the CD format logo at 3 o’clock.  It is dated 1984 along the perimeter.

 

The inside front cover of the booklet for Peaches and Cream: Dances and Marches by John Philip Sousa (MMG, catalog number MCD 10005) autographed by conductor Erich Kunzel.  It is signed “To Tim Best Wishes Erich Kunzel”.  Shown also is the next page of the booklet.

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