History of CBS Records 30th Street Studio NYC (many pictures)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DMortensen, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

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    Milwaukee, WI
  2. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    :shrug:
     
  3. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    More on the control room move:

    Show Boat was recorded on December 14th, 17th and 18th, 1961. This appears to be the old control room:

    [​IMG]
    William Warfield
    Photo Credit: Don Hunstein

    I Can Get It For You Wholesale was recorded on April 1, 1962. Here's Barbara Streisand in what definitely appears to be the old control room, with Fred Plaut looking on:

    [​IMG]

    Anything Goes opened May 15, 1962, and the LP was released August 13, 1962. I can't find a recording date, but it had to have been in that time period. It appears as if it was recorded at Studio A, possibly suggesting 30th St was unavailable at the time:

    [​IMG]
    Eileen Rodgers, Hal Linden and Mickey Deems (Photo: Don Hunstein)

    Mr. President was recorded on October 28, 1962. As previously noted, new control room:

    [​IMG]
    Listening to a playback, l. to r.: Irving Berlin, Nanette Fabray, Anita Gillette, Robert Ryan and producer Goddard Lieberson.
    Photo Credit: Don Hunstein

    So, it looks like we can narrow down the renovations to sometime between April and October, 1962. If we can compile a list of albums recorded around that time it might help in finding photos and narrowing down the timeframe further.
     
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  4. W.B.

    W.B. Forum Resident

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    The follow-up to Vaughn Meader's wildly successful The First Family album (...Volume Two, which made the Top 10 but not nearly as much a smash as its predecessor - and this was before JFK's assassination), issued on Cadence, was recorded apparently at 30th Street on March 18, 1963; if one saw the back cover, the lights overhead (plus the mention of Frank Laico as recording engineer) appear to be a giveaway as to which Columbia studio in New York it was recorded in. . . .
    http://www.45worlds.com/vinyl/album/clp3065
     
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  5. Rosemary Clooney.
     
  6. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Looks like a KLH Model Six being used as a monitor.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Was KLH around in 1961? I would think it would have been Acoustic Research (AR).

    It's a good catch to notice that speaker up there above the door, though; here is another pic from the Plaut collection of a much earlier version of the control room showing what I've been told are Ampex speakers.

    [​IMG]

    More detail by Ampex experts would be welcome.

    Why would there be speakers above the door on the wall to the extreme right of the Control Man? I *think* there are also speakers around the window out to the studio, so why did they need extra speakers on the side?

    And the earlier quoted picture of William Warfield with the speakers is at least 5 or 6 years later than the one above, so those speakers must have performed a function that they liked and wanted to maintain.
     
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  8. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That particular picture may look like RC, but the bulk of the other pictures definitely don't look like RC to me, although I never met her and wasn't there at the session....

    Chervokas' link to The Pajama Game pics seem to pretty definitely indicate that it's Janis Paige.

    Are there any pics of Rosemary Clooney in the 30th St Studio?
     
  9. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Regarding the lower half of that picture grouping: we definitely are living in a different age now. There are a number of pictures from that era of old guys with young female singers on their laps, and it's kind of jarring to see with today's eyes how casual it was.
     
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  10. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    The KLH Six was introduced in 1958.

    There's a photo inside the gatefold of "Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall" (Columbia, 1962) showing the engineers backstage with their mobile recording rig, and they are also using a pair of Sixes for monitors.
     
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  11. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    No.
     
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  12. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    [​IMG]
    Those look like Ampex 620 powered speakers to me.
    ampex620-lsmall.jpg

    The wiring in the b&w photo ^^^^^^^^ looks pretty cobbled together, so who knows? If that photo is from "much earlier" than 1961 (does that mean, say, 1957/1958?????), I would not discount the idea of monitoring still being done in mono, but additional speakers being in place so if they wanted/needed to get playback/monitoring of something in stereo/3-track, even though the situation was not ideal, they could. I would never discount this statement from Bill Putnam, which, from what I've seen/heard/read, was true at pretty much any recording institution at the dawn of stereo during the pre-stereo-LP days. An old post of mine:
    Here is Putnam's actual quote from an AES publication:
    [​IMG]
    Capitol went through a similar gestation period. For about 18 months (starting in December, 1956), stereo recording was overseen in a separate room (makeshift booth), IF AT ALL (some sessions in 1958 were still done "mono only"), using (largely) different miking for mono (more involved procedures) vs. stereo (often 3 mics). In the fall of '58, they temporarily shoehorned some of those same (as the 1961 CBS photo a few posts back) Advent or KLH speakers into the small-ish mono control room as a stopgap measure, then in 1959, the mono booth got enlarged to accommodate full-on 3-track monitoring.

    The 30th Street photo showing the Ampex amplified speakers may have been from Columbia's own "stopgap" period.
    ??????
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  13. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Do you have that pic? The only Google Image is a very poorly cropped pic of the whole album, and the photo in question is very small and blurry. It looks like Frank Laico's back and head, but it would be fun to see it bigger.

    I believe you about the KLH's. Was it an exceptionally accurate and good quality for its size at that time?
     
  14. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I only say "much earlier" because almost all the pics in the Plaut collection seem to be before 1959, but they have not yet been dated so it could be a case of what I want to believe vs. what actually is. The sequence that the photo showing the Ampex speakers is definitely not dated yet.

    Your quote from Putnam and other stereo info makes a good time to post this blog article by reissue producer Didier Deutsch from that marvelous Masterworks website

    http://www.masterworksbroadway.com/...e-producer-from-kiss-me-kate-to-a-chorus-line

    in which he pretty specifically dates the transitions from disc to tape and mono to stereo and stereo to 5.1 and back.

    He says Kiss Me Kate was recorded to disc in January 1949, and South Pacific later that year was recorded both to disc and tape, and they never went back to disc after that.

    Two-track tape was introduced in 1956, but after two years they went to three-track and the edict from above was that all releases would be in mono. Stereo was an underground phenomenon that sounds like the very early years of Christianity.

    The dating in his article gets a little more vague after that, but it's an interesting read in our context.

    That Masterworks Broadway site is really great; I found something else that is puzzling that I'll post later. It takes a while to upload pics on my very slow Internet (VSI) connection.

    And looking up Advent, AR, and KLH speakers shows the earliest Advents are from 1969, while KLH was founded in '57 and AR in '54.

    That Henry Kloss was quite a guy!
     
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  15. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    I'll scan it this evening and post it here!

    Yes. The Six was famously described by Henry Kloss as "the one where everything came out right" or something along those lines.
     
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  16. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    This is the photo taken backstage at Carnegie Hall in June '62 that I was referring to.

    Note that the KLH Sixes are upside down! (Perhaps this was to get the tweeters at ear level for the seated engineers?)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Nope, it goes back a few more years, at least to 1951 or '52, although that was probably a custom-modified machine made by Emory Cook.
    http://www.soundfountain.com/cook/cook-livingston-binaural.html

    Atlantic Records also issued a few binaural LPs in 1953, requiring the Cook double-tonearm system for playback.

    But Columbia, Mercury, Contemporary and a few other labels did start recording in stereo in 1956.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Well, sure, but Dan's paraphrase of Didier Deutsch was clearly a reference to the Columbia catalog specifically, not to all of tape-recorded history.
     
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  19. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think he just meant Columbia started using 2 track in 1956, not that 2 track was first introduced then. Heck, the Germans were recording in stereo in the early '40s.
     
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  20. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Ah, I see... Sorry!
     
  21. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's a great pic, thanks!

    I'd bet any money that that's Frank Laico at the controls; who are the other guys?
     
  22. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

  23. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Found that photo album in the Masterworks Gentlemen Prefer Blondes website. The upper one looked like Anita Loos, and it is!

    And you didn't mention that those two dapper gentlemen are Honi Coles and Cholly Atkins!!!

    That makes a cool picture into an extraordinary one!!!!!!!! Especially seeing the bottom of his shoe and knowing what it can do (both are iconic hoofers).

    This is another pic from that session, which was in December of 1949

    [​IMG]

    Carol Channing played the Lorelei Lee role, which must have been hilarious.

    Look at the lights in the background in that picture; they look almost exactly like the lights in the known pics of 30th St., except the bulb looks like there's a glass diffuser or something. Also, all the pictures are very dark, like the people who are of interest are lit by spotlights or something and the overhead lights are way dimmed down.

    Now here's a couple of pictures from the Original Broadway cast of Finian's Rainbow, again from the Masterworks site:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The upper one looks like it has exactly the same ceiling lights, but I sure don't recognize the glass window, or the arch in the lower pic.

    Those pictures are from 1947, and I found a date of April 3, 1947 in a review of the album on Amazon!!?!!!

    Could CBS have been in 207 from the start with WLIB, whose official move-in date was February? That was what Mimi Trepel said in that article you posted.

    And reading it again, she started in January 1947 as Head of Music Programming, so wouldn't she know?
     
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  24. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Finian's Rainbow was recorded at Liederkranz Hall.
     
  25. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's good; what about the lights in the two pictures looking the same? The arch sure doesn't look like 30th St.

    Does that mean Kiss Me Kate was in Liederkranz, too?

    Or do the pictures not look the same to you?
     

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