Until I plucked it from an antique store in Moorhead, Minnesota last year, this copy of Gennett 5290 in its original sleeve had not traveled far from home. The stamp on the front shows that it was sold at West Piano Company on 4th Street in Moorhead, presumably 93 years or so before I bought it in the same town. That this sleeve and this record were originally paired is evidenced by the record's catalog number written on the two top corners of the front of the sleeve. They are written by two different hands - a store clerk and the original owner, perhaps? One of them also wrote the number on the back.
The record itself, by the studio dance band Gennett called Bailey's Lucky Seven, is not particularly interesting. But I love the sleeve, and love the fact that it has remained paired to "its" record for nearly a century. The most intriguing aspect is the listing of records on the back - not so much the selection "of special appeal" listed on the left: hymns, sermons, monologues, and light classics - but the "latest popular numbers" listed on the right. There is one pop/dance record listed, but the other four are hard-core jazz and blues. There's one of Jelly Roll Morton's seminal piano solos, as well as two records by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, from the first racially integrated jazz recording session. I have one of those NORK records, and have thought about putting it into this sleeve, but decided that Gennett 5290 should stay with its original sleeve as long as I have it.