Filed Under: "Columbia Records"

Spot illustrations for Columbia Records new release monthly, Coda.

Continue Reading... Coda spot illos, ca. 1944

Crosby Classics

March 2, 2016

We’re grateful to Jeffrey Ferguson, who alerted us to this previously overlooked early Flora cover. Based on the catalog number (M-555) and some internet research, this cover dates from 1944, which would make it the earliest known illustrated Jim Flora cover. Though unsigned, the tiger-striped typography and horseback rider point to Flora as the artistic culprit. In 1944 he was art director of Columbia, which was issuing back catalog in 78 folio format owing to…

Continue Reading... Crosby Classics

Illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer Hit of the Week, August 1942, promoting clarinet-tooting bandleader Benny Goodman’s new single, “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” At the time, Flora was working in the Columbia art department under then-Art Director Alex Steinweiss. Another illustration from this series of ads can be viewed here.

Continue Reading... I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo

Reader/art lover Tiago writes: “I am a huge fan of Jim Flora’s work. (I have already bought books and prints.) I would like to share this image of my latest tattoo, from a Flora work. Hope you guys like it! It is a sincere homage to one of my favorite artists!” The original illustration is from 1942: This isn’t the first time Flora has inspired skin art: Bix, birthday boyFresh ink and Flora tattoo #2Demonstrated…

Continue Reading... Fresh Ink and Flora tattoo #4

You can buy our fourth anthology The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora and browse the man’s legendary album illustrations between book covers. Or you can attend Jalopy’s similarly named exhibit and be surrounded by four walls of Flora. Those walls will be adorned with vintage LP and 78 covers, proof sheets, and oversized reproductions from our fine art print catalog. The Brooklyn-based club’s exhibit opens Friday June 13 from 6 – 8pm, during which yours…

Continue Reading... The High Fidelity Exhibition

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, November 7, 1942, promoting bandleader Horace Heidt’s new single, “Pennsylvania Polka.” Despite the caption,  there appear to be no casualties on the dance floor.

Continue Reading... murder in the Keystone State

WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

September 20, 2013

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, October 31, 1942, promoting Kay Kyser and His Orchestra’s single “Can’t Get Out of This Mood” (Columbia 36657)

Continue Reading... WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

Our fourth Jim Flora anthology is officially available today. Our first book, The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora (2004), featured Flora’s known album covers. Since that book’s publication, more vintage covers have been found, as well as the artist’s rough drafts and rejected illustrations. The Mischievous Art went through two editions, but is now out of print, highly sought and available only at high prices through rare-book sellers. So we decided to compile a complete collection of Flora record…

Continue Reading... The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora

Get in line …

April 27, 2013

… a Cugat conga line, to pre-order the new Flora anthology, The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. It features all of Flora’s known album and EP covers (including back cover illustrations) from 1947 to 1961 for Columbia, RCA Victor, and their affiliated labels, along with music-themed fine art works, illustrations, and sketches. The book was completed last week and will head shortly to the printer. (Despite what it says at Amazon, the publication date…

Continue Reading... Get in line …

Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke (1903-1931) Today is the 109th birthday of Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, an American “hot jazz” legend who’s been dead for 81 of those years. Bix was an alcoholic who never took a legal drink in his life. He was underage when Prohibition commenced in 1919, and died before it was repealed in 1933. Jim Flora, who loved jazz, rendered a caricature of this revered cornetist on a 1947 Columbia Records 4-disc set. Last…

Continue Reading... Bix, birthday boy (and Flora tattoo #3)

Today we launch a new limited edition fine art print of a classic mid-century Flora album cover. Bix and Tram was one of the artist’s earliest record sleeve illustrations, issued by Columbia in 1947 on a 78 rpm 4-disc set. The cover features outlandish caricatures of two legendary bandmates from the 1920s “hot jazz” scene: cornetist Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke and saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer. Despite what appear to be mutant facial and cranial features, in fact…

Continue Reading... Bix & Tram print released

Charlie’s Egg

April 16, 2011

Tempera on heavy stock (actually, painted on the reverse of an oversized 1943 Columbia Records convention program; clean paper was rationed and scarce during World War II). The previously uncirculated and largely unseen work was first published in our third anthology, The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora. We issued a limited edition fine art print of the work in 2009. The identity of Charlie remains unknown.

Continue Reading... Charlie’s Egg
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