SH Spotlight Old 78 RPM records: FATS WALLER/BUNNY BERIGAN, etc. sound so amazing 75 years on...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. The wax master cooling too quickly during cutting. Supposedly only found on Victor discs. Another poster asked this question recently in another thread. But I was playing a Romeo disc not too long ago and heard the same ringing.
    Is there any connection between Romeo and Victor? Like masters being licensed/swapped?
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    You've learned well, Grasshopper. Note that their original playback system at Victor was so Lo-Fi that they couldn't even detect this during QC and judging by the QC system in place in COMMAND PERFORMANCE in 1942 it was still pretty bad; that "Blue Danube" is pretty awful sounding.
     
  3. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Steve, was there a point where they could tell that it was too cool while working? Just getting too hard to cut, or maybe the way the wax came off from the groove being cut?
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Martin,

    I have no idea; the technical documentation from that era is literally non-existent. Everything I know came from Canned Heat guy Richard Hite who sought out the last surviving engineers of the era and talked to them.

    I can't believe this thread has had so much response. I figured two or three posts and it would sink away.

    Neat!
     
  5. LaserKen

    LaserKen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Avon, Indiana


    Great film. Thanks for sharing, Steve!
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    You're welcome. I love the voice of the narrator, Milton Cross. When he states that he was "surprised to learn" something about how they made records you can believe it; he was a real expert on the music but the actual process was a surprise to him (as it is to most people). Records for the most part are still made exactly the same way today! Just like they have been since 1902.
     
  7. rmos

    rmos Forum Resident


    Well, the second guy looks like Vaughn Monroe ....
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes, but no one knows who that is here. I'm trying to keep it simple so as not to scare new people away with too much info. :laugh: Love his deep voice though; he made some great records and was active well into the LIVING STEREO era.. His voice was made for the RCA ribbon microphone.

    By the way, that photo was obviously staged. No recording artist would have even been invited into the holiest of holies, the recording room. Trust me, this would have been the first and last time he got to see the studio from the reverse side.
     

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  9. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I love Vaughn Monroe's music, Steve.
     
  10. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    In my opinion, Kansas City never gets its full due for all the jazz innovations that the city helped spawn.
    Not only did the Moten band become the Basie band, but the Missourians (comprised largely of excellent youngsters from the music program at KC's Lincoln High School) became the first Cotton Club Orchestra and morphed into Cab Calloway's band. Also, Jesse Stone started with George E. Lee, but found fame as arranger for Atlantic Records and composed (as "Charles Calhoun") "Shake Rattle and Roll" and other hits.
    Another great lost jazz-age KC band was Coon-Sanders Nighthawks, who not only had a long recording career, but were also known for their coast-to-coast radio broadcasts.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. rmos

    rmos Forum Resident


    Me, too.

    The bulk of my music collection is made of up of artists from this era (what is now known as "classic pop" or "American Songbook").
     
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I didn't know that about the Missourians. Richard Hite described them as one of the best "Territory Bands" and I agreed.

    Did Carlton Coon die of the same "operation gone wrong" thing that Moten died from, and guitar player Eddie Lang?
     
  13. electronic Victor low end response

    Concerning Fats' Victor organ solo of " Sugar" and the cited 28 Hz: at what level does it occur on what playback curve?

    Also, do any of you know when Victor ceased mastering on wax & started using lacquers?

    The 12" "I Can't Get Started" was, according to Brian Rust's Jazz Discography
    issued from take 1 of master 011675, cut in NYC on August 7, 1937. It was issued on #36208. It doesn't have to be acquired in the swing set. It could be acquired individually. The catalog #s of the 10" truncated dub were issued on 25728, 20-4094 & 20-1500.

    Best,
    Shiffy
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Art, the bass note is loud on RIAA and also off. Works on many curves..

    Victor stopped cutting on wax (I was told) in 1952. They couldn't get a constant high quality acetate material until then or so I was told. Who knows?

    Good luck finding the single 12" scroll Victor release of Bunny Berigan's "I CAN'T GET STARTED". In 32 years of collecting 78's I have never laid eyes on one. I have on the other hand seen countless mint sets of the Victor "Symposium For Swing" 12" set for no money in Salvation Army stores, etc. as well as countless trashed versions of the 10" dub which are useless..
     
  15. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    I asked the members of the 78online.com 78-L E-mailing list not long ago if there was a scroll label issue of 36208. They told me there wasn't one, and that the first pressing is with the circular label.
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Can you ask them if they have ever seen one without the "album number" on it as well? In other words, the single release?

    Thanks!
     
  17. scotto

    scotto Forum Resident

    From what I've read it was related to blood poisoning from an abscess rather than a botched operation. Here's a good write up from Club Kaycee: http://www.umkc.edu/orgs/kcjazz/jazztext/sanders.htm

    There's also some good Coon-Sanders material at Paris of the Plains: http://www.umkc.edu/lib/spec-col/parisoftheplains/webexhibit/page6.htm

    This is a band that was absolutely huge in their day, but largely forgotten (except among 78 collectors and old radio enthusiasts) today.
     
  18. il pleut

    il pleut New Member


    i often wonder if there was a single release of some of these. like you said, you only see the labels with the album number. it's possible that they only pressed one set of labels and used them for both. i believe it was possible in many cases to order individual records from albums as replacements or just as singles.

    it seems odd, given the economic circumstances of the time that the albums would be so common and the singles so rare.
     
  19. il pleut

    il pleut New Member


    the scroll label was gone by late 1937 i think. definitely by 1938.
     
  20. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Burlington VT USA
    This thread fascinates me, and the arcane knowledge some of you possess blows me away.

    I have long been fascinated by recordings from the 20s and 30s that sound much better than perhaps they had a right to sound, given the crude technology that existed. It makes it even more frustrating to know that reissues to vinyl and CD more often than not badly compromise the sound quality because some misguided soul thought we couldn't bear to hear surface noise or what have you.

    At the same time, I've always found it frustrating to listen to certain old blues and old-time country recordings that were poorly recorded, or whose metal masters are long-gone, and the songs are sourced from beat up old 78s.

    The most famous example is Paramount Records in Grafton WI, which recorded nearly every great blues artist of the 1920s, and then issued the recordings on the cheapest possible shellac you could imagine, guaranteed to be ground to dust after a few playings. I've been known to have daydreams about finding Charley Patton metal masters, and what that would mean to actually hear Charley playing that slide guitar loud and clear on "Spoonful Blues" or "Banty Rooster Blues". Alas, it's only a daydream that will never come true, the metal parts are lost forever, sacrificed for the WW2 effort.

    Some stories about Paramount and its studios can be found at http://www.paramountshome.org/index.php?modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&topictoview=0

    Cheers, and thanks for starting this fascinating thread!
     
  21. I think Paramount actually used sand as filler in their 78's. Really unfortunate.
     
  22. rojoknox

    rojoknox New Member

    Greetings from FixitLand!

    "South" was indeed dubbed for the reissue Victor 24893-A (released circa March-April 1935 -- NOT 1934), and only early copies bear master pressings (I am fortunate to have a master-pressed copy). A master-pressed "South" has a large, heavy-double-groove eccentric close to the last music grooves, with no out-spiral. A first-dub "South" has take "1R" and an out-spiral to a heavy-double-groove eccentric that runs close to the label, as noted by another poster. A later, postwar dubbing (probably of -1R) has a single-groove eccentric and no "VE" symbol in the wax. But "She's No Trouble" exists in master-pressed form on that number clear up into (at least) the late 1940s.

    Sorry if this has become a "dead issue"...

    Take care,
    --
    J. E. Knox "The Victor Freak"
     
  23. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    Hi and welcome, J E! Do you know if the first pressings of Victor 36208 (Berigan's 'I can't get started') that were sold separately from the SYMPOSIUM OF SWING album set included the album and side(s) numbers on the labels? I posted this question yesterday on 78-L but no-one's responded....
     
  24. Perisphere

    Perisphere Forum Resident

    According to Brian Rust's THE AMERICAN RECORD LABEL BOOK, the scroll label was used until October 1937.
     
  25. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Forum Resident

    Location:
    Durham, NC, USA
    Right, and if the side was cut in August, then it's quite likely that it was never issued as a scroll.

    You folks all have Tyrone Settlemier's Online Discographical Project bookmarked, right? Great resource. As is Red Hot Jazz.

    I had a copy of the Berigan 12" once, but it broke on the way back from the store where I had purchased it.:cry: (it was probably already cracked -- 12" 78s are much more prone to cracks than 10" ones). I'll have to keep hunting for it.

    Indeed. I first noticed this listening to Ellington's "Ring Dem Bells," which I have on both a scroll and the Duke Ellington Panorama album set. Different solos, different endings.

    Great thread. I love old 78s, both the originals and the album sets. I found this one at a thrift over the weekend. :edthumbs:
     

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