Exceptional record of Soviet-era ‘bone records’ shared in Carmel shows

A very well-related vendor in the Cold War Soviet Union could get an enterprising songs admirer some of the good stuff — American jazz, pop and early rock ‘n’ roll — for the ideal selling price.

At a time when well-liked Western music was strictly outlawed, “bone records” — bootlegged recordings of illegal music scratched into X-ray movie — could be folded and stuffed into jackets, purchased and marketed on the streets like any other contraband. The recordings may possibly not sound excellent or past very very long, but they supplied Soviet youth a taste of forbidden audio fruit.

In 2013, the Carmel-dependent Great American Songbook Basis acquired a rare assortment of these Soviet-era bone documents. Now, some of those recordings are staying exhibited for the first time as portion of two new exhibits.