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

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

  1. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Always a good approach, I think, as long as you can avoid going broke.
     
  2. mdr30

    mdr30 Member

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Galimir: historically interesting recording of the Ravel quartet, have both this and the later Vanguard version (stereo) in my shelves.

    Astonishing about the contemporary music releases on Columbia and other labels in the 1950s, passion and dedication. Had no idea Surinach made the first recording of the Blomdahl concerto, it was later recorded by Decca with LSO and Sixten Ehrling, principal Conductor of the Detroit Symphony for ten years.
     
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  3. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Re: Mixing boards @ 30th Street

    [​IMG]
    Any chance that's the same mixer pictured in this December, 1946 Sinatra photo, below, taken at Liederkranz, I think?
    1947feb-metronome-a copy3.jpg
     
  4. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Offhand I want to say no, but I think the Sinatra photo is too small to make any sort of definitive assessment.
     
  5. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    @Ridin'High may be able to provide a higher-resolution version. (I believe the photo came from him originally, from an old Metronome magazine. The same photo appears in a book about Sinatra, The Singer's Art, but the mixer is cropped from the photo.)
     
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  6. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
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  7. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Many more photos as part of that story. One is definitely from 30th Street, one has Fred Plaut (presumably 30th Street, but it's not clear), and a few more are CBS but may or may not be 30th Street.

    [​IMG]
    Eyes closed and their faces mask-like in deep reverie, Helen Traubel (left) and Herta Glaz (right) sit in recording booth with sound engineers listening to their duet from Tristan.

    [​IMG]
    Dorothy Kirsten, glamour girl of the Met, records Puccini arias after first removing all her rings and bracelets, which might jingle and spoil recording.
     
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  8. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
  9. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    The article claims 1951, albeit with no specifics:

    "When Smith photographed Frank Sinatra, Marian Anderson, Igor Stravinsky and Benny Goodman at the RCA and Columbia studios in 1951, he captured quiet moments of self-evaluation."
     
  10. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Stop the presses. That Sinatra photo is Liederkranz, not 30th Street. Same session?

    [​IMG]

    The Dorothy Kirsten photo is obviously 30th Street though.
     
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  11. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Whether it's the same mixer or not, here are some shots of the mixer in what I think is Liederkranz at various times:

    [​IMG]

    That's Isaac Stern, and from other pics in the series I'm pretty sure it's Liederkranz. One pic has Isaac and the cracked mirror in the arch.

    Here's Artur Rodzinski with that same mixer, which looks to be at least 3 separate pieces

    [​IMG]

    Back to the Isaac Stern session, and we see the other side of the control room

    [​IMG]

    with the VU meter just visible over Isaac's shoulder.

    But I thought that side of the control room had a two piece angled window?

    Here's another shot of Stern and his accompanist Alexander Zakin, part of the same series, next to a different window

    [​IMG]

    Were there two windows/viewing rooms in there for a while?

    This one is with Fred Plaut, but a different mixer. I left it with less contrast so you can see the mixer details as much as possible.

    [​IMG]

    The other pictures in the series with Fred are few and perhaps more ambiguous as to where they are, but there is a control room wall and window that looks very similar to that last one although different. I'll put that in the next post by itself.

    These pictures are from MSS 52, The Frederick and Rose Plaut Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University, gathered with the help of Richard Boursey and Emily Ferrigno, wonderful librarians.
     
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  12. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    This is Goddard with Oscar Levant

    [​IMG]

    and a shot of Oscar with the clock that I think is in lots of Liederkranz control room pictures

    [[​IMG]

    I'm happy to have an opportunity to finally post pictures of Oscar, who I somewhat idolized as a kid for some reason.

    He was very funny, for one, and a ridiculously good piano player as can be seen in several Hollywood movies. We watched "An American In Paris" just the other day and he has several extended concert scenes in it.

    His persona at the time is one of the interesting contrasts of then and now: he smoked a lot, made public jokes of his very real pharmaceutical abuse and heavy alcohol use as well as his tenuous hold on mental stability. Those were big, funny jokes in that day and age. His dour look and temperament were amusing, and he was quite happy to share stories of his ups and downs. His autobiography, "Memoirs of an Amnesiac" (didn't have to look that up) was one of my favorite books until I read it again in a more modern time with more modern eyes.

    Still, he was a remarkably talented person (had his own TV show for a time, which I'm sure is where I got to know him) and I'm happy to put him in this thread. He was recorded a number of times by Columbia.
     
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  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] 1947feb-metronome-a copy3.jpg
    "One of these things is not like the other," as the song goes.
     
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  14. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    My guess is at least some of our confusion over differences is because some shots are probably from 799 Seventh Ave. That said, I really don't know what differences can be attributed to that and what to changes at Liederkrantz.
     
  15. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Yes.

    Is this Liederkranz Hall?

    [​IMG]

    With the cracked mirror visible in the arch below the light at the very far left?
     
  16. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes.
     
  17. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Then those other pictures I posted are also taken at Liederkranz Hall.

    Edit: Although maybe not the Fred/Goddard/Oscar ones. That slanted window is definitely different.

    Maybe.
     
  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Too bad somebody at CBS apparently went to a closeout sale on those hanging light fixtures and bought enough for both buildings.
     
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  19. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Thankfully I don't think they were ever at 799 Seventh Ave.
     
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  20. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry I've not been posting. I started looking closer at the pictures to try to identify more helpful details as we try to determine what is Liederkranz and what is not, as well as what mixers were around at different times in all the studios. Starting at the beginning of the Plaut collection, I'm looking for pictures that fit into specific categories:

    Liederkranz control room window;
    Liederkranz mixers;
    30th St mixers;
    mixers used on remotes;
    and pictures of that guy in the E. Power Biggs series who looks like a salsa singer to me. I'm pretty sure he was actually a Masterworks guy.

    Additionally, I've found some other pictures of unknown (to me) studios and one of Howard Scott with hair.

    However, this week and the next couple are going to be pretty intense for me work-wise and I can't spend more time on this today.

    So, again, sorry.
     
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  21. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ok, going back through the thread a bit, it looks like the earlier control room at Liederkranz had a rectangular window, while the later control room (when diffusers were put on the walls, etc) had the window that spanned two walls, with the angled bit on one end. Some photos starting at this post:

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

    Presumably the photo with Frank on the phone is from before the remodel, although it would be nice to have other photos from that session to confirm.
     

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