Nat King Cole experts, tell me about "Every Time I Feel The Spirit" LP, 1959, amazing stereo sound!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    nat two.jpg I don't know much about this album, I have a copy on vinyl from 1959 and it sounds like crap, stereo but totally out of phase, weird and loopy sounding. Never heard the 1965 reissue LP.

    So, tonight I was cleaning out a bunch of CD-Rs that I've had lying around in a box and I came across on something I had totally forgotten, I mastered this entire album in 2008!

    Why? Well, we used one song on the "Nat King Cole Story" box ("O, Mary, Don't You Weep")and since there was no three-track, I had the album master and just in case they wanted more songs from it, I took the time and trouble to master it to CD-R as a quick ref since the actual LP sounded so terrible.

    The First Church Of Deliverance Choir really rock. Very dynamic, very tuneful group.

    The original tape was two-channel, recorded in Chicago at a church and at Universal Recorders, the album had songs from each location. The phase problems I fixed by flipping various segments in and out of phase. The balance problem I solved by simply putting Nat's voice in the center where it belonged. I did it, and then I promptly forgot about it until tonight.

    When I played it, the sound was amazing. A real audiophile "YOU ARE THERE" experience. I was totally blown away by it. Kevin Gray and I used the actual session stereo tape to do the NAT STORY song from, unplayed since 1959. The "cutting master" dub is usually used to make copies because it has some (key word "some") of the phase problems fixed. We bypassed that tape because it was second generation. The original tape is amazing once worked on. Truly awesome sound.

    Gordon Jenkins did the arrangements and conducted the choir and band.

    The album was a bomb when it was originally issued, correct? Nat was too cool and collected for this type of Gospel but listening to it tonight I felt he really was giving it his all, Nat Style. His voice contrasting with the choir was just right. Any more and he would have sounded like a preacher.

    So, who has heard these songs? Since no one has mentioned this album here as far as I can tell, it's obviously not a contender for any kind of audiophile reissue but it has to be one of the best recorded Nat King Cole albums of the era. Truly lifelike sound (when mastered correctly, that is). I can't even find ONE EXAMPLE on YouTube to play for you. No songs from this album have even been uploaded!

    A question. Since Nat's voice is out of phase on the album, is the MONO version from a separate edited tape or just a fold down of the stereo? If it's from the stereo, I don't see how they did it because if you fold it out of phase, Nat's voice VANISHES completely. If you flip the phase, the choir vanishes completely. So, how did they do it? Did they have a separate dedicated mono machine going as well? It would surprise me because I remember the stereo tape had a zillion edits in it. They would have had to duplicate that with the mono tape as well.

    So, any information you have on this album can you post here? I have a feeling this will be a very short thread!

    The recording engineer on this album has been lost but I remember someone telling me he was a protégé of Bill Putnam. If so, I would have fired him for the out of phase blunder. It's a child's mistake..
     
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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Reissue LP cover looked like this:

    nat one.jpg
     
  3. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    It didn't make any chart noise, but Nat did devote the entire second half of his 1959 Hollywood Bowl concert to singing spirituals from this album, backed by 100! voices. That would've been something to hear, especially in that setting.

    Bruce Swedien?
     
  4. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I've only got the stereo CD. Sounds pretty lame-o, so I'm guessing I've played it once; maybe twice? I didn't think that Universal was in on this one, but I'll certainly bow to info that says to the contrary!

    Let me root around and see if I've got any other info floating around, and in the meanwhile, maybe one of the usual Cole guys will jump in, too.

    Matt
     
  5. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I sure wish I could have seen that. Yikes!
     
  7. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    I have the reissue.I don't remember how I felt about the sound,but I enjoyed the album-I remember being surprised that I liked it as much as I did.Have to look for my copy.
     
  8. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Dick LaPalm, one of Nat's good buddies, claims to have been in attendance at the Universal session. He also disputed the notion that any part of this album was done in a church, so do what you will with his recollection.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    That sounds truly dreadful. Horrible. I wish you could hear the real deal. It's truly "you are there!"
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Jordan, If you listen to the tape on cans, you can clearly hear a natural church echo on a few of the songs, impossible to reproduce with an echo chamber. Just on a few of the songs though. So, there ya go... Also, it sounds like one or two were done with choir only and Nat was bounced to another tape with an overdub. You think that's possible?
     
  11. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Which ones? I haven't played this in a long time.

    I remember discussing this with you a few years ago. Seems like some of the tunes that are obviously church and others that are obviously Universal were recorded on the same day, at least according to the matrix numbers and Capitol's records.
     
  12. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Listening now, and based on the 1991 CD issue only:

    1. Every Time I Feel the Spirit -- oh, my. Phase-o-rama. You weren't kidding! (This may be an overdubbed vocal??? I can hear some definite knob-twiddling going on.) When Nat stops singing, the background collapses to near-mono.

    2. I Wanna Be Ready -- Sounds more "normal stereo-y." Again, lots of knob-twiddling, with the choir position moving around, etc. Icky.

    3. Sweet Hour of Prayer -- hum in the right channel, maybe from the tacet-ing organ?; choir in stereo initially, but then when Nat comes in, they move to the left side of things. (Really odd.) At the end, the choir once again moves to full-spread stereo.

    More to follow
     
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  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    4. Down by the Riverside: Pretty good, hi-fi, open stereo on this one, with organ/drums at left, choir in stereo

    So...the stuff at Universal was done to two-track, also? Why? They had 3-track there, as did Capitol (duh) back in LA.
     
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  14. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Never understood why they used Gordon Jenkins on this?
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    He was a choir expert. His arrangement style, totally. I guess they wanted some complex choir stuff..
     
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  16. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Since they went to Chicago to get an authentic choir, just seems they could have found themselves a choir expert there as well. No need to bring Gordo all the way out from LA.

    And crafty songwriter that he was, Jenkins made sure he got co-composer credit for all of the PD material.
     
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Sure, this was an album for white people, not black people.
     
  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    (Keep in mind the 1991 disc is a Norberged CD, so....take any comments with a grain of salt.)

    6. Standing in the need of Prayer. There's some off positional stuff shifting in the choir recording at the end.

    7. Oh, Mary Don't you Weep -- I don't know what Norberg did in terms of processing, but his version is really drum/bass heavy compared to Steve's version on the Nat King Cole Story SACD set. Spread-wise, it's pretty similar.

    8. Go Down Moses: Choir all on the right during the opening, then spread out, but still pretty mono-y sounding. Weird stuff going on again. I suspect this is an actual at-the-church recording, and not a very good one. By the end, the choir is over on the right.

    9. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen -- Choir in a box. Really cruddy choir sound. (At the church???)
     
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  19. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Of course, no argument there. But then why the black choir?
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Black Gospel albums (especially Mahalia Jackson) were all the rage at that time.
     
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  21. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    10. In the Sweet By and By -- return of the right-channel hum, but just in the first few bars. (Tape splice to different recording?) Lots of chamber 'verb on the choir in spots.

    11. I couldn't Hear Nobody Pray -- again, knob-twiddling like crazy. Choir changes perspective/spread mulitple times over a 2-minute song.

    12. Steal Away - Choir starts hard right. Nat is so far forward here, I'd bet this is an overdubbed vocal. Doesn't sound natural. In the middle, choir moves to "stereo spread," then goes back to hard right again.

    I'll try to track down a mono or stereo LP manana.
    (Edit: It's hard to tell jack squat from this Norberg CD as far as what's actually on the tapes....)

    Matt
     
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  22. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Steve: Was the church where this was recorded the First Church of Deliverance, same as the choir? I've heard conflicting things on that. Did the tape box indicate anything?
     
  23. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Thanks for all that, Matt!
     
  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    In '59, when Capitol recorded Kenton, etc., at Purdue, they sent a mixer out from Capitol NYC to work with Lee Gillette and John Palladino, instead of relying on (relatively) nearby Universal. I wonder if this album experience had any impact on that decision?
     
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  25. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    That Purdue recording also ran 3-track and mono LIVE. (I've got a pic.) Ampex 601 mono and 351 3-track, IIRC, and the mono and stereo LPs are totally different mixes/edits.

    Matt
     
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