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

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

  1. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Thanks for that.

    It was actually Oppenheim, John McClure/Schuyler Chapin (co-directors), John McClure, then who after that?

    Thanks for that explanation. I was hoping to find something not-CBS specific that would be interesting to share with people at the AES convention for a half hour or hour at least.

    Does your answer change knowing that? Have you found anything relating to creativity that is potentially presentable in some fashion? And can be verified rather than simply opinion? Although I guess opinion which is backed by evidence is good, too.
     
  2. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    I have searched for an answer about McClure. I think he may have been Director up to the 1980 spinoff of Columbia Masterworks from the Columbia label and hemceforth called CBS Masterworks. At that point I think the impending takeover of US CBS records by Sony overwhelmed the organization.
     
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  3. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    At least two weeks ago I promised to post some pictures with unknown people in them in hopes we could ID them, but I'm going to start with a picture I had previously posted because I think I've ID'd the subject:

    [​IMG]

    While looking up some Teo Macero info I found that he had produced a girl group in the 60's called the "What Four". There was a semi-documentary posted on Youtube that had some terrible video footage of their appearance on some goofy Dick Clark-style show, and one shot of the rhythm guitarist reminded me of that picture above. Looking around for a while found this picture

    [​IMG]

    Not a definitive picture, but the hair and eyes and look in the eyes look the same to me. So I think that's China Girard, Ford model and blue blood and rhythm guitarist for the What Four. There was only one other picture of her from 1950 that was very low res to say the least, and the look in the eyes looked the same to me.

    Not earth-shattering, but hey, that's one down (most likely).

    Here's a few more that I don't have an opinion about:

    [​IMG]

    This one was in the same group as the Buddy Greco pictures that you've ID'd here, and appears to be of the same vintage and style as that one. Any chance she's related to Buddy and he's the producer? Or something? I can't unsee Ricky Gervais with him, but am quite sure that's not who it is.

    Two more to end this post:

    [​IMG]

    On the left, I'm pretty sure that's Jim Foglesong, and they are in an editing room. The next picture will show that better.

    Dang, while getting ready to post that picture I had a flash that the guy on the right was Lou Jannone, an engineer at Columbia from 1958 to 1984, and looking more at a reference picture of him, I really think it is. Do we have an idea when Jim Foglesong was there? The other pictures I've posted of him were with Hugh Downs and Roy Hamilton, which I think were in the late '50's/early '60's, so Lou and Jim's times would overlap.

    Lou Jannone's son wrote me an email early last year and I sent him some info but he never replied. If you're reading now, send me a note and I'll share these with you. (He said his family had almost no pics of his dad at work.)

    Here's that last one of the editing room:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  4. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Shoot, while looking for something else I see that the photo of the people who might have been with Buddy Greco was already posted in the thread, and IIRC nobody knew who they were; sorry for that duplication, unless somebody recognizes them as a result of being posted on this page.

    Here's a few more for the day, as apology:

    [​IMG]

    That's Goddard on the left and Bibi Osterwald on the right, and I just confirmed that she's dressed the same as she was while recording "The Boys From Syracuse" with Portia Nelson, Jack Cassidy, and others in 1953.

    The mystery fellow is in the middle. Was he a songwriter or arranger?

    Oh, wow, I just realized that this picture was filed WAY out of order in the Plaut Collection, which is where these and the last post's pictures come from. I'd suspected that the last box in the collection is a catch-all for pictures the archivists couldn't identify and group with the others from the same time, and this picture confirms that suspicion. It was like 9000 pictures away.

    Here's another one in that category (miscellaneous misplaced pictures)

    [​IMG]

    This kindly and self-assured fellow looks like a show producer; any ideas?

    Finally, here's one with lots of unknown people and another shot of the Ampexes in the traveling cases:

    [​IMG]

    Again, it was in the lost picture box so I have no context for it.

    Thanks for reading this.
     
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  5. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Here's a few more, with some possibly wrong suggestions:

    [​IMG]

    Could this be Robert Alda? The forehead looks like pics I can find of him, but the nose seems different. If not, any ideas? That question will go for all of these and I won't repeat it.

    He was in a group of pictures with these next two fellows:

    [​IMG]

    The folder was in one of the boxes that seem to be catchalls, so there's no guarantee the two pics are related. But it's someplace to start.

    These two

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    made me think of Rae Robertson and Ethel Bartlett, and he maybe sort of looks like Rae but she doesn't look like any pics I can find of Ethel.

    This last fellow for today

    [​IMG]

    reminded me that I'd heard that Fred hung out in some fashion with Arnold Toynbee, and it would have been great if this were a picture of him, but I don't think it is. And I have no idea where I heard that.

    Anyway, this fellow is holding sheet music (more visible in other pictures), so perhaps he's a composer? It looks like we are in his study, having a relaxed chat.

    As has almost always been true in this thread, these pictures are all from MSS 52, The Frederick and Rose Plaut Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University, gathered with the help of wonderful librarians Richard Boursey and Emily Ferrigno.
     
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  6. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I've been trying to comprehend how the gifted producer and more for Miles Davis and many others, Teo Macero, could have been the producer and arranger for the What Four, whose songs do not sound remarkable to me at all.

    Their big song, "I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy":



    There's a bunch of shots of them in that video with various Columbia folk; I think I recognize Teo, maybe (1:04 and later), and also maybe Dr. George Butler (1:24), but not the guys at 0:29, 0:44, or 1:35.

    Also several shots that could be in 30th St but are too close to really tell. We know from Fred's pictures that at least China was in 30th at some point.

    It turns out that the makers of that video, which is part 1 but Youtube doesn't have part 2, are Diane Hartford and Elizabeth Burke, who were members of the group.

    Spending some time on Google eventually found a fuller explanation at

    NSFW link to an Eastern European website NSFW

    NSFW means Not Safe For (viewing at) Work. This is a thread about cars with ladies wearing various amounts of clothing.

    Somehow there is a long post about this song and group by Tutta from Germany, and it's about 3/4 of the way down page 4.

    Here is the text so you don't have to look at that vile website:

    ===============================

    Sometime in the mid-60s, Ford model China Girard was feeling bored. Bored in the sixties was an elongated oxymoron, and had to go.

    “We’re sitting around here doing nothing. Why don’t we start a rock band?” she asked her brunette model counterpart, Diane Hartford.

    Diane’s ex was Huntington Hartford, “Hunt” to “People Like Us.” Huntington Hartford was the heir to the A&P Grocery fortune, and was everywhere on the New York party scene.

    Diane didn’t miss a New York beat before she breathed in a very polished, soft-spoken but decisive voice, “OK.”

    How experienced were these girls?

    Diane had played the piano a little bit and I had no musical experience,” said China. Diane‘s acting career was comprised of “three sentences on screen,” by her own admission.

    The ladies took lessons, studied other musicians — including Dave Brubeck — and added two members to the group: Cathy Cochran, a Foxcroft grad and devoted horse woman, who had learned to play the guitar when dismounted and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Burke, who worked in the financial world (“she was the only one of us who had to work,” China added.) and learned how to use drum sticks in a hurry to complete the group.

    It took six months of a whirlwind courtship that flirted with wishful thinking to land a contract for the newly named “The What Four” with Columbia Records.

    “The name has a double meaning,” China told a television host, who took more than a drum roll to “get it.” She explained it to him.

    “What Four, what for?” She gave him the 411.

    That was not the only explanation in demand.

    “I want to know how you got Paley to sign in on this? Which one of you did what to whom?” Columbia Records president, Goddard Lieberson asked China.

    Lieberson’s background included producing studio cast recordings of Pal Joey and The Boys from Syracuse on Broadway, as well as raising funding for My Fair Lady.

    Signing a contract with “The What Four,” with Paley’s decree, was a new twist.

    Columbia Records had merged into the newly formed CBS/Columbia.

    Bill Paley, the C.E.O. of CBS, had taken a small radio station into one of the most powerful TV/radio networks in America. A phone call from him was not to be ignored.

    Bartle Bull, a lawyer and Harvard Law School grad, was negotiating the contract for the “The What Four.” He happened to be socializing with William Paley and family in the country, a sweet coincidence if ever there was one.

    Bill Paley asked what Bartle was doing in the law firm. Bartle replied that he was working on the Columbia contract for a group he was representing called “The What Four.” He told Paley that they were very good.

    Soon after, Paley called Goodard and told him to sign the group.

    “Are you trying to take over Columbia?” a soon to be a major force in Columbia Records asked China.

    He wasn’t kidding.

    “Why the hell would I want to do that?” China brushed it off.

    “It gives me great pleasure to bug people,” she added later.

    The ladies had made their entrée into the music world with the wherewithal of New York Blue Blood confidence, youth and savoir faire.

    “The What Four” toured, they recorded, and they appeared on TV.

    “The only thing we didn’t like about touring was the men in suits from Columbia Records, who went along with us,” said China. Not your usual chaperones.

    Known as “the first all girl rock band from the sixties, their Cinderella-minus-the-rags-rock-story played it forward onto Variety’s “Top Single of the Week” and Billboard-Spotlights HOT 100. 2005 Rhino Ent., a division of Warner Music presented the first-ever box set to celebrate girl groups of the 1960s. “The What Four” were included in VARIOUS ARTISTSOne Kiss Leads to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found which boasted two Grammy Award nominations.

    While “The What Four” is no more, we thank the once-upon-bored ladies, who decided to be anything but boring.

    In true sixties fashion, they paved the way for other ladies and the less lady-like to ease and rock on down the yellow brick road. Rock on, ladies, rock on.

    ======================================

    There are more publicity shots of them and links to a couple more of their videos, including Part 2 of the one above, and it's on Youtube!

    The What Four Part Two

    Part 2 has the credits, and it seems clear that the uploader, Sonisung, is Diane Hartford, which is cool. Both parts have an ongoing phone conversation that, at least in part 2, is between China and maybe Diane or Elizabeth, talking about their experiences in the group and how overwhelming they were at the time.

    But wait, there's more!
     
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  7. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    So if Teo produced and arranged the song, who wrote it?

    Here's a link to a website called "Destroy That Boogaloo" which is totally SFW and you can read yourself the history of the song "I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy", which was redone by an unknown artist as an acetate but played on Mr. Fine Wine's apparently well known radio show on WFMU, which is "...a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station broadcasting at 91.1 Mhz FM in Jersey City, NJ, right across the Hudson from lower Manhattan. It is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States." It is still active.

    In case you don't want to click a link, here's the story from the Boogaloo Bag, with lots of links and a few typos:

    ======================

    The song is a great one, about a young woman’s desire to conquer her man with love. The rendition of “Destroy That Boy” on Mr. Fine Wine’s acetate is raw with sparse instrumentation—guitar, bass, drums and organ, with back-up singers and a tambourine—it is most likely a music publisher’s demonstration recording and, as often happens with a demo recording, it is arguably better than the versions of it that were actually released—two of which are known to the writers of the Boogaloo Bag: The Happy Cats and The What Four.

    According to Fine Wine’s notes, the song came to his uncle, Morris Last, via the Detroit producer and songwriter Ollie McLaughlin (who was responsible for many great non-Motown Detroit soul records, including those by The Capitols, Deon Jackson and Barbara Lewis). The version by The Happy Cats bears this out, sort of. Not released when it was recorded—probably 1966 or so—but licensed by Ollie McLauglin to keen British Northern Soul reissue label called Grapevine and issued in 1978. The label notes McLauglin as being the copyright holder and the writer is listed as “Hampton”—most likely Riley Hampton, a talented and prolific arranger that Mclaughlin employed often.

    However, the one version of “Destroy That Boy” that was actually issued during its time is the one by The What Four. It was issued on Columbia Records and produced by the respected Teo Macero (he produced just about all of Miles Davis’ recordings on Columbia). Also, it notes the writers as being A. Resnick, C. Resnick and R. Dante. For those who need a score card, that’s Artie Resnick (“Under the Boardwalk,” “Good Lovin’”), Kris Resnick (“Chewey Chewey”) and Ron Dante (voice of The Archies) who worked out of New York City.

    So this is rather confusing.

    However, The Boogaloo Bag is going to go out on a limb and present a theory as to how the recording came to be:

    The likelihood is low that Columbia Records got the credits wrong. The song was written by the Resnicks and Ron Dante. Artie Resnick and his wife Kris were two thirds of a recording group called The Third Rail around this time, or soon after (third member was songwriter Joey Levine). The group’s “Run Run Run” is on the legendary Nuggetscompilation. “Destroy” may have been written for The Third Rail to sing originally, but apparently was rejected. The group was signed to Epic Reords—a subsidiary of Columbia. It is not unheard of for a song to go from one floor of an office building to another. Or perhaps Macero asked the Resnicks to write a song for The What Four for their second single. At any rate, the song was written, a demo was recorded and a copy of it somehow found its way onto the producer’s desk.

    ============================

    There's more at the "Destroy That Boogaloo" link in the second paragraph above.

    Hey, following the link to Artie Resnick, I think that he's in the video with the What Four! Maybe, at 0:29 on the left? Maybe.

    None of this sheds any light on 30th St, but I thought it was interesting the interactions that Goddard had with them. He's talked about in the What Four documentary videos, too, although it's sad that the maker made the cuts so quickly so it's difficult to read the documents.
     
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  8. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    [​IMG]
    Jacob Lateiner at far left?
    lateinerA721-300x300.jpg
     
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  9. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Or Leon Fleisher?
    s-l1600-425.jpg
     
  10. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I'm leaning toward the latter. Lateiner only made one recording for CBS, 1950. Fleisher did many, of course.
     
  11. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Except he looks more like Lateiner than Fleisher to me. I think Lateiner's a good guess/deduction.

    The guy seated nearest us but looking away has Saul Goodman's hair, glasses, and nose. Could they have worked together on a project? I think I only have 1 Saul Goodman project in my files, although he could have been a sideman on something else.

    Does that tape recorder combo fit for it being 1950?
     
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  12. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    In other news, while finding that fascinating What Four info, I found this about producer Jim Foglesong:

    Began career in New York, working as a studio singer for Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Guy Mitchell, Timi Yuro, Rosemary Clooney and others; performing as a backup vocalist on the Ed Sullivan Show; touring as a member of Fred Waring’s Festival of Song and becoming an executive at Columbia, Epic and RCA Records. One of the first out-of-town producers to bring pop acts to Nashville to record. Moved to Music City in 1970 to become head of Dot Records, then ABC/Dot Records.

    That was in a Nashville "Deaths in 2013" compendium Nashville-related Music Obituaries: 2013

    Haven't seen any of that before, other than the executive parts.
     
  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I think those are Ampex 350s, which would put 1950 out of the picture. (Paging @lukpac.)
     
  14. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, those are Ampex 350s in portable cases, which places the photo at 1953 or later.

    Looking at the photos some more, and considering where he is standing, my feeling is it is neither Lateiner nor Fleisher. And considering how male-dominated the industry was at the time, the presence of a woman in the control room suggests to me that she was one of the artists at the session in question. Which also seems to point away from Lateiner and Fleisher, no? Weren't they recording solo piano?
     
  15. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's why I wondered if there was some project that Lateiner and Saul Goodman could have been part of together. The features and look are more similar to Lateiner than Fleisher, but I agree it's not certain who any of them in the picture were.

    And there were lots of women in the control room at different times. Some were artists of various kinds including conductor, some were assistants, some were wives/friends/relatives, some were record company people, some were song writers, some were photographers. It's true that none were engineers, and very few (but there were some) were producers up to some time after 30th St. was demolished.
     
  16. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    While looking through the pictures with unknown people in the Plaut Collection, I realized that the two pictures in the quoted post are actually not in a catch-all folder, they are in with a bunch of pictures from the same couple or few sessions that seemed to be all part of one project. Fred took something like 30 pictures of that project in the studio, and except for one person that I think I know, the rest are all mysteries. So I'm going to post 10 more from the sessions in case anyone here can identify the people, and maybe having them with the two quoted pics will be helpful.

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure that the fellow in the plaid jacket is guitarist Tony Mottola, guitarist. There are LOTS of sessions in the AFM reports that have him as the leader of the groups at sessions, and many/most of them are kids' music. The guy on the right is the man also on the right in the second quoted picture.

    Here is a sweet shot of Tony (?) and his guitar with an Ampeg amp from the day, along with the old control room window and the wall treatment that lets us know it's pre-Feb. 1956:

    [​IMG]

    There's a trio of female singers behind the amp, and some kind of brass section in the foreground. Here's a view of the brass

    [​IMG]

    Tony has a different coat on, so it's likely a different day and maybe even a different project.

    But here's a view of the room

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, he's back in the plaid coat, and now it's a string section.

    The singers are near a table in the lower left foreground, so they are the same and make me think it's the same project. And there's also a kids' chorus on some kind of risers, wrapped in baffles.

    Here is a look at the chorus, along with its conductor:

    [​IMG]

    All boys, and the guy in the sport coat with sweater and tie is hidden behind the conductor's arm; maybe he's the composer/arranger?

    More pics in the next post.
     
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  17. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Here's another shot of the chorus, and now there's a girl in it:

    [​IMG]

    So we're definitely seeing more than one song underway, but same project, probably.

    Recognize anyone? Sadly, I don't.

    But check out the guy on the left in the sport coat and tie, who is dressed up much more than any of his cohorts. Now look at this pic

    [​IMG]

    where he's on the right. He and the percussionist on the far left are dressed pretty much exactly alike and even have similar glasses. Father and son?

    And now we have a winds and string section going. So lots of parts in this project.

    Finally, just for fun, here's one of the chorus showing a string player his gizmo to clip the ends from ragged cigars:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, kids grew up quick in those days.

    Or maybe he's showing something else.

    These are from the Plaut Collection, too. It would be nice if you recognize anyone, I'm at a loss.

    And do you agree that's Tony Mottola? Here is a link to the closest picture I've found to these that looks similar:

    http://www.vintageguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/PREWAR_GIBSON_02_3_8TML-5P.jpg
     
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  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Thinking out loud.....

    Johnny Desmond did some sessions for M-G-M records, who sometimes used 30th Street. Johnny Desmond looks kinda like Robert Alda. Sometimes Johnny Desmond's wife and two daughters performed with him on records. Tony Mottola led some Johnny Desmond sessions.
     
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  19. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I recently discovered WFMU because reissue specialist/Sundazed Records head Bob Irwin has a Monday night vinyl-only show on that station. He's a big collector & may well have a copy of the What Four 45.
     
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  20. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Here's a link to Masterworks' Say Darling OCR 1958 site, with some pictures of Desmond singing. Do they look like the guy above?

    Face, not so much to me, but hair does. The unknown project would be a few years before 1958 but not more than 5 or 6.

    Not ruling him out, but need more data. He is a good possibility, in the absence of any others.
     
  21. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Just found this:

    [​IMG]

    Not the same project, since it's only Mottola and Bob Haggert accompanying, but an interesting bit of data.
     
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  22. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    The zaftig blond in #2029 seems the same as in #2030. Is she sitting in the same room but with different guys in each picture?

    Also is she one of the singers in the back in #2041?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  23. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    At least we know Desmond, for a short while anyway, was on Columbia . . . and the Bridgeport label fonts are another plus.
     
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  24. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I'm not convinced the two are the same. My wife thinks "maybe", but unless the pictures were taken years apart I think the hair and build are different between the two. Thinner by a bit both hair and build and somewhat younger for the lady in the closeup shots. I could be wrong.

    Yes, both pictures are taken in the old control room with different people. She'd be the only one in common, if it's the same woman.

    No, she isn't one of the singers in that session. Sorry, meant to post this picture, too, but forgot. I couldn't figure out which one I was leaving out, and it was this one

    [​IMG]

    I don't know who these ladies are, either. Same guy as in other pictures...

    That was a good try, though. Please, more guesses, as without a starting place I don't know where to go.
     
  25. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    It seemed that she was wearing that odd medallion around her neck in both pictures.
     

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