Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Mercury Records Featuring Roberta Quinlan and Richard Hayes

Mercury Records originally issued records from Alice in Wonderland in 1951 at the time of or slightly before the release of the film, and again in 1954 or 1955 as a part of their Childcraft line.  Songs and narration were performed by Richard Hayes and Roberta Quinlan.

The Story of “Alice in Wonderland”
Issued in 1951 as a standard 78 RPM album (A89) with three 10” discs, and as a single 33⅓ RPM (MG-25096) disc.  The cover of the album has exceptionally unusual art, especially for the time, and looks like it could be from a decade later.  This set is what is referred to as the “complete score” in the campaign book, but it is essentially a storyteller.


Childcraft Songs from “Alice in Wonderland” CM-37
Issued in 1955, this 78 RPM record consists of 4 songs from Alice with accompanying narration, basically an abridged version of the album above.  

An Australian release as a 78 RPM exists using the same sleeve just on a different weight of paper, however the labels on that version are quite different from the American version. 

This 45 RPM version of the Childcraft Alice CM-37 is actually the B side of the Childcraft Pinocchio (non-Disney).  But at least they used the Alice sleeve art on the back of the cardboard cover.

There is an additional Mercury record by Quinlan-Hayes that has narration and songs but is not part of any of the albums above.  Mercury 5639 is a 78 RPM record with three of the eight songs contained on the full album, so not quite a storyteller but not just a single either.  It is also available as a 45 RPM record.

There is also what appears to be a single of the title song “Alice in Wonderland” by Roberta Quinlan on the Mercury label, but to date I’ve only found it as a sample record, the kind usually sent to radio stations to be played on-air.