I realized today that we are now 60 years after what many people consider the Golden Year for Columbia Records and their 30th Street Studio. There is another thread in these wonderful forums which talks much more generally about the time of the studio's life and what happened there, but I thought that it would be nice to have a separate thread that tries to show the breadth of people and projects there, and that doing a thread where I share some of my research into the life of the place that's organized by the progression of days would be a decent way to decide what to write about. So here it is. I also want to show that although there were immortal recording sessions that occurred that year in that place, there were also a HUGE number that were sometimes instantly forgettable and others that took a while to be forgotten. I think that's interesting, too. We are nearly halfway through January today, so this first post will be a recap of the days up till now. I need to point out that the information I have now is from one source, my visits to the Sony Archives which now encompass both Columbia/CBS and RCA, and there are multiple sources within that one source but for this thread I am only going to use one information source from the Archives, the American Federation of Musicians reports which were generated to be certain that their members were paid appropriately. There was not a report for every single session, I'm not sure why, so this thread will not necessarily be exhaustive nor complete (I'm mostly going to limit to one session per day because that will be more manageable) but will give an idea and hopefully will be interesting. Even though I find it fascinating to see who was in the building in the same day at different times, looking at one session per day will be enough work. I hope some of you may be interested enough to look into who these people were and report back. I don't have time, although I do have the inclination, to look up each person or group and see what they did during their careers. (When looking at session information I often find myself going down rabbit holes and getting completely sidetracked and not solving the initial problem or question, and I'm going to try to refrain from that for this thread if possible, so please feel free to flesh out anything you find interesting.) So, in January of 1959 the first session in the books at 30th St. was on the 5th, with Schola Cantorum and Igor Stravinsky and his orchestra recording his composition "Threni (Lament of Jeremiah)", from 10:30am to 1pm. There was a large orchestra for this, I count 43 players in total for this session and one the next day. Some players were only one day and some were both. Now I'm going to already break my one-session-per-day rule because there were other interesting sessions on that same day. From 3-7pm, Robert Craft, Stravinsky's right hand man in many ways of his life, conducted pretty much the same orchestra recording Schonberg's "Five Pieces for Orchestra,Op. 16" and Alban Berg's "Altenberg Lieder". There are mentions in some Stravinsky bios about how Craft and Stravinsky piggybacked Craft's sessions on Stravinsky's to get recording time and save money doing so. It's interesting to see that first hand. To give you further flavor of how busy the studio could be, from 7-10pm Kai Winding and Sextet recorded "Charleston", "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", "St. Louis Blues", and "Lower Boneville". And from midnight to 3:30am (not sure if it's actually the morning of the 5th or the 6th; the studio appointments would include the wee hours as being part of the night before so that crew would know they were staying up late that night rather than getting up early the next day), George DeWitt with Joe Sherman and his Orchestra recorded "That's Amore", "It's All In The Game", "Come Closer To Me", and "Non Dimenticar". I know nothing about George DeWitt but Joe Sherman was a staff producer at Columbia, and "...and his Orchestra" was a common way to describe either an actual orchestra or a group of session musicians working on that session, who would be a different group on the next "...and his Orchestra" session. That's all the 5th. On the 6th there was another Stravinsky session at the same time working on the same material with some subset of the 43 players. On the 7th David Oppenheim and the Budapest String Quartet recorded Brahms' "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B Minor Op. 115" and Mozart's "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major (K. 581)" over two 3-hour sessions. Also there was another George DeWitt session, this time with Ray Ellis and His Orchestra. The 8th had another session of David and the BSQ working on the same pieces. They were at it again on the 9th in the morning, as well as Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra in the evening recording "Leave the Door Wide Open", "Madonna In the Rain", and "Dah Dee". Pianist Charles Rosen was recording Ravel in the afternoon. The 10th had The Startime Kids with Sebastian Mure and His Orchestra recording "The Railroad Song" and some others. The Startime Kids seemed to be cast members of a local NYC TV show who were seeking stardom (Connie Francis and Andy Bey seemed to be members at different times), but as near as I've been able to find the show stopped in 1957 so I don't get what this 1959 session was about. Sebastian Mure was better known as Billy Mure, who was a guitarist and composer. There were pictures posted in the 30th St. thread showing a bunch of kids in the studio that we couldn't identify, and they may have been these people. There were no sessions on the 11th, that may have been a Sunday. On the 12th, 13th, and 14th, guitarist Rey de la Torrey recorded Rodrigo's "Zarabanda Lejana" and eight other songs. Also on the 13th, 14th, and 15th, Percy Faith and His Orchestra (of 42 pieces) recorded "Catfish Corner", "A Woman is a Sometime Thing", "Summertime", and a bunch of other songs from Porgy and Bess. Finally for this post, the 15th also had the Gerry Mulligan Quartet recording in the evening "Festive Minor", "What Is There To Say", "My Funny Valentine", and "News From Blueport". Hope this is interesting; I guarantee the next post on the 16th will be shorter.