1959: Today at the 30th Street Studio

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DMortensen, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    For a band of the type led by Mr. Kaye, no doubt the quantity differs from that of an orchestral recording with a pop singer, or the typical Percy Faith record. Here there are three trumpets but only two trombones. That's odd.
     
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  2. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Dachshund Dog Dad

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Dan, this is an incredible thread! I mentioned in the main thread that I work next door to the building that housed the 30th St. studio. It's all boring apartments now, but thanks to your thread I walk by most days thinking of all the amazing musicians who hung out on the same sidewalk that we mindlessly pass by every day.
     
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  3. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    February 17 (Tuesday) III:

    The only session listed for today that does not conflict with another session went from 7-10pm and was with Luther Henderson and His Orchestra.

    What a fascinating story he had! And a successful life, including having successful wife and children. Read that link.

    Songs recorded today were:

    Stay As Sweet As You Are
    Out Of Nowhere
    Clap Hands Here Comes Charley
    I'll See You Again

    Musicians were:

    Leader, Piano:
    Luther Henderson
    Contractor, Violin:
    Felix Giglio
    Violin:
    Leo Kruczek
    Paul Gershman
    Barry Urbont
    Sam Rand
    Barry Melnikoff
    Peter Dimetriados
    Alex Cores
    Sax:
    Nuncio Mondello (is this Toots?)
    Walter Levinsky
    Herman Shertzer
    Jerome Richardson
    Trombone:
    Frank Saracco
    Robert Byrne
    James Cleveland
    Richard Hixon
    Guitar:
    Barry Galbraith
    Alexander Caiola
    Bass Viol:
    Milton Hinton
    Drum:
    Ted Sommer

    We've seen a lot of them before; also love how it's the Bass Viol, not just Bass.

    Here are small versions of the front cover and label of side 2:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And so we finally leave February 17 and move on, ready for a new day.
     
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  4. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    This was from the Terre Haute, IN plant, and may have been typeset by Modern Album in that city. As a rule I generally avoid such pressings, instead seeking out Bridgeports (if that era) or Pitmans (if post-1964). However, since it's here, I hereby bring up the fonts.

    Trade Gothic Bold Extra Condensed (a.k.a. Gothic No. 19) is, shall we say, over-represented here. 6 point for the track selections, 8 point for the 'NONBREAKABLE' and matrix numbers, 10 point for the artist name, and 12 point for the cat. # and 'Side'. The '2' may be 18 point Gothic No. 19 or Gothic Condensed No. 2. (Terre Haute and Hollywood seemed determined to mimic the layout of the left and right sides' Bridgeport mono layout for stereo albums, something Bridgeport itself never did.) The title is set in 12 point Gothic No. 16 as by itself on here - there are different shapes for the capital letters 'G' and 'J' vs. what Bridgeport and the Bert-Co print shop used.
     
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  5. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo!

    Location:
    Brooklyn

    Danny, I literally spit out my iced tea when I read your post about "When You Get To Be Older".......I mean, I'm already older!! LOL!
     
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  6. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I remember that well, and am glad that you think the same things I think when I get to walk there every year or so, but you get to do it every day!

    I'm still bummed out, though, that we couldn't put something together to be able to meet there as a small group. It would be really fun to get afficianados (that doesn't seem to be the right spelling) together within a stone's throw of the studio location and talk about it and see pictures and recordings. I' m having to settle for the Javits....

    Back to the linearity of this thread compared to the other one:

    I'm really liking having a set topic for the day and not having to think of what to write about RIGHT NOW. In life, I have a difficult time choosing from a thousand possibilities and a much easier time choosing from one or two or four.

    In the other thread there are a thousand or more equally interesting things available to me and no compelling reason to talk about one over another at any given moment.

    This one has a limited number of choices for this particular day (in most cases) and any of them have lots of interesting aspects. Plus we are adding to the list of recordings done in 30th St.

    So I'm enjoying this when I can devote the time. Each day it's been a couple hours...

    I'm also really enjoying that having the band leader name and song names makes it pretty easy to find the record title regardless of album or 45.

    And W.B.'s generous contributions give a glimpse into a part of the record production necessities that SOMEONE spends some time on and decides to choose one thing over another to achieve some result, but that most of us don't even think about but just enjoy or ignore the result. That's interesting, too.
     
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  7. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Another thing (speaking of record production) . . . from the time the 'six-eye' label was introduced in 1955 to late 1965, LP record labels were largely printed on 70 lb. (?) Kromekote C1S (coated 1 side) cast-coated paper stock. The almost vellumish back sides of the paper explain the "bumpiness" of the super-shiny surface when pressed onto the record (I have estimated, based on such variables as the contours of the pressing ring or deep groove, heat pressure, etc., that center labels lose about 0.5% to 0.7% of their original size after being pressed onto the record - such labels are called "Compression" as I saw on label sheet proofs at the Sony Music archives way back when). Some companies, later on, printed on the uncoated side of such Kromekote stock (more infamously, by the late 1960's, LP labels for The Beatles' Apple label). Though the tint of the red on the pop labels varied, they would appear to have been Handschy inks, as Pantone didn't come onto the scene with their color selector formulae until 1963.

    Many LP label sheets emanating from Columbia were '6 up', usually laid out in portrait mode (3 Side 1 labels on left, 3 Side 2 labels on right), a 4.25" bleed laid out on 4.25" centers for a 4" trim label. No doubt the layout of a total sheet - and the paper size on which they were printed - changed markedly over the years. As 45 labels, mostly styrene (designated 'Heat Seal' and either 60 or 70 lb. Coated 1 Side in the period documented on this thread), were 3.5" trim, the layout for those was usually 3.75" bleeds stepped at 3.75" center-to-center. (Not until 1966 at the Santa Maria, CA plant would Columbia have 45 labels - on vinyl, natch', thus "Compression" labels - with a 3.625" trim; such labels prescribed a 3.875" bleed and were laid out on 4.25" centers.) Die-cut center holes were usually 0.281" for labels for vinyl albums, and 0.344" for styrene 45 labels.
     
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  8. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    February 18 (Wednesday):

    In addition to the later afternoon (2:30-5:30) session with Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra, there was a 10am-1pm session with Joe Glover and His Orchestra, which was actually "Joe Glover and His Cotton Pickers".

    Songs recorded were

    Maple Leaf Rag
    Temptation Rag
    Hurricane Rag
    Carolina Shout

    See a theme there? Me, too. It is indeed a ragtime band.

    Musicians were:

    Leader:
    Joe Glover
    Drums:
    Chauncey Morehouse
    Trombone:
    Thomas Rao
    Bass:
    Sidney Block
    Clarinet:
    James Lytell
    Trumpet:
    Charles Shavers
    Piano:
    Irving Brodsky
    Sax:
    Wolffe Taninbaum (Two links: 1 2 )

    This is really a veteran band, at least those I could find links for, and Joe Glover seemed to have a career as well, although I couldn't really find much more than:

    "Orchestrator, band leader and composer. Glover worked in Hollywood film departments for seven years and also orchestrated Broadway musicals."

    The album with these songs and players seemed to come out in two versions:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I assume that this is Regular Mono and The Miracle of Stereo?
     
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  9. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, mono vs stereo. And note that it's the same cover slick for both, just repositioned depending on the format, with the stereo text at the top and mono text at the bottom.
     
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  10. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    February 19 (Thursday) I:

    Giants walked in 30th Street today.

    From 3-6pm, and again from 7:30-10:30pm, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra recorded what turned out to be a live album in front of a bunch of their friends. I presume that the earlier time was rehearsal and the later time was the party.

    Songs recorded were:

    Red Garter
    Red Carpet
    Ready, Go!
    UMMG
    All Of Me
    Red Shoes
    Satin Doll
    Fillie Trillie
    Hello Little Girl

    Giants included:

    Leader and Piano:
    Duke Ellington
    Trumpet:
    William "Cat" Anderson*
    Willis Raymond Nance
    Clark Terry
    Harold Jones Baker
    Andres Merenguito Forda*
    Trombone:
    Britt Bingham Woodman
    John Conrad Sanders
    Quentin Leonard Jackson
    Sax:
    Johnny C. Hodges
    Harry Howell Carney
    Russell Procope
    Paul Gonsalves
    James Hamilton
    Drums:
    Sam Woodyard
    Bass:
    James Bryant Woode

    *played only on the evening session

    This was the first of two sessions that resulted in the album "Ellington Jazz Party". A low-res but adequate picture of the album front cover is on the linked Wikipedia page.

    Here is the best version I could find of the back cover, which has liner notes by producer Irving Townsend in which, in the words of a reviewer, he does his best to confuse the reader from really knowing what the recording circumstances of the album were.

    [​IMG]

    I can almost read that, but here is a blowup of the first paragraph of the original notes that was used on the back of the CD:

    [​IMG]

    Since there were two sessions, it's hard to comprehend how fans and guest performers including Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Rushing, and Jimmy Jones just kind of happened to show up and perform. Not to mention the nine percussionists (including Chauncey Morehouse from the Joe Glover session above) who weren't here at all today but were only at the second session 6 days later.

    There is something odd about the picture on the back cover in the second column. While the other pictures could plausibly be in 3oth St., this picture has something hinky going on with the ceiling.

    Here is a blowup which is more impressionist than picture, but I hope you see what I mean:

    [​IMG]

    The upper right ceiling looks more like 799 to me, but I don't see any percussionists, either, so who knows? It does look like Ellington directing on the left, though. Both dates are universally credited to 30th St.

    Here is a Youtube video that someone made of the song Hello Little Girl including found photos likely from the afternoon rehearsal, since no one but band people are visible:



    Edit: One of the reviewers on Amazon says that this was the last Ellington album before Columbia unceremoniously dumped him and he moved over to Reprise, to be somewhat ignored there.

    There was one more session today as well.
     
  11. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Much higher quality scan of the rear cover:

    [​IMG]

    I can only assume that photo was taken in 799 Seventh Ave, but it doesn't look familiar to me. Considering studio A wasn't rebuilt for another few years, it's possible this is what one of the studios looked like before that. Note the polycylindrical diffusers on the walls.
     
  12. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's really great, Luke, thanks for finding such a clear picture. Your skills are unmatched!

    It's fun to read all this, particularly the parts where "We decided to stay all night" and "we'd been there for eight hours".

    As you'll see in my next post, they definitely weren't there all night, at least the first day, and they spent a lot more than 8 hours on this project in total.

    The Amazon reviewer ("Samuel") who mentioned the part about Columbia dropping Ellington went on to write:

    "After reading about the "manufactured" crowd noise, applause, etc. of the original "Duke at Newport '56" LP, it's hard not to question whether the applause on this album was all inserted after the fact and whether what promised to be a casual "jam session" wasn't a carefully planned musical canvas by Duke--from the opening fusillade of tympani and various percussion instruments to the closing statement by Mr. 5 by 5 on "Hello, Little Girl," whose 1930s-rooted choruses don't seem out of character with either Ellington's arrangement or the inspired, inflammatory soloing of Dizzy.

    "This is a date that deserves the careful kind of researching and remastering that went into the "Ellington at Newport" reissue, though an investment of comparable time, energies and expense is unlikely to take place any time soon."

    Do all readers know what he means about the "manufactured crowd noise" on the Ellington Live at Newport album? Quickly, they did a live recording at the festival where Paul Gonsalves blew everyone away with a frenzied solo (among other highlights), but came back to 30th St. to "recreate" at least parts of the festival performance and dubbed in the crowd to make it sound like it was all live, which created a scandal when discovered.

    I don't know if this recording measures up to that one in terms of level of scandal, but we see already that the truth was at least stretched for some reason in the telling of how it came about.

    I guess we're starting to look closely at this recording now, but I want to post that second session before we get into it too far.

    For now, I want to finish today.
     
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  13. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Alas, no particular skills there, I just got lucky. Possibly worth noting that’s from the 2016 Analog Productions reissue.

    The liner notes do seem somewhat contrived. My uneducated guess is there are grains of truth that were highly embellished.

    Here’s the opening track. No evidence of an audience:



    It looks like YouTube has the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces CD, which was remixed. See next post.
     
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  14. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Here’s the same song from mono vinyl:



    Very obviously overdubbed audience, which seems to be from a large concert hall.
     
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  15. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    February 19 (Thursday) II:

    The second session today went from 11:30pm-3:30am. It featured Roy Hamilton with Joe Sherman and His Orchestra.

    Songs recorded were:

    I Need Your Lovin'
    How Do You Speak To An Angel?
    Blue Prelude
    Abide With Me

    Musicians were:

    Leader:
    Joe Sherman
    Contractor:
    Edward Goldberg
    Violin:
    Arnold Eidus
    Leo Kruczek
    George Ockner
    Harry Katzman
    Julius Brand
    Eugene Orloff
    Alvin Rudnitsky
    Julius M. Held
    Guitar:
    Alexander Caiola
    Danny Perri
    John Pizzarelli
    Bass:
    Milton J. Hinton
    Drums:
    David A. Francis
    Piano:
    Morris L. Wechsler
    Trumpet:
    James Nottingham *played only 3 1/2 hours (Ed.: damn if they were going to pay him for 4)

    No Roy Hamilton album that came out in 1959 had these songs on it. The closest I can quickly find was an album that came out in 1961

    Roy Hamilton (5) - You Can Have Her

    which has two of them, I Need Your Lovin', and Abide With Me.

    Here is How Do You Speak To An Angel? on Youtube:

     
  16. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's pretty hilarious, from the perspective of "How did they figure they could get away with this and why would they try?"

    To be fair, I remember listening to WTRU pop radio in Muskegon Michigan when I was young and ignorant (the latter a condition that has persisted, alas) and the DJ's would often say that they were bringing in the next group to sing this song for us, and I figured there were a whole bunch of people hanging out in the hallway of the radio station, ready to come in and sing their song for us. Maybe that ruse was widespread in those days?

    I still believe in Santa Claus, BTW. To some extent.
     
  17. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    So looking at those two sessions today:

    One with a very large orchestra and guests and audience ends at 10:30pm, the other with a large orchestra begins at 11:30. Something doesn't make sense.

    We haven't yet seen, but this Ellington session and the later percussion session do not have any songs in common, so IF there was a random studio audience of friends and musicians it would have been tonight and not the second night. We've heard that they unabashedly dubbed in a live audience for the percussion session, so why wouldn't they have done it on the big band session? That would make a quick turnover quicker.
     
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  18. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I would presume that the drummer listed as David A. Francis would be one and the same as Panama Francis, famed New York session drummer of the era?
     
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  19. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I believe you are right; I linked to Panama in the Jan. 26 session as a possibility for David Francis, and the "A." middle initial here nails it IMHO.

    I didn't notice till you pointed it out, thanks!
     
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  20. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I was probably in school that day since I was only six in February of 1959. :)
     
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  21. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    February 20 (Friday):

    Only two sessions in the reports today, both of which were the same thing: "Traditional Folk Songs As Played by William Simon and Bobby Donaldson", from 10am-1pm and 1:30-4:30pm.

    Songs recorded were:

    Tall Boy Blues
    Gonna Rise, Rise Rise Again
    Borrowed Land
    Sunday Morning Band
    Valiant Soldier
    Here Is One
    Sally Ann, Ah Is Your Man
    Love Oh Love
    He's A Mighty Good Leader
    Chariot's Comin'
    Green Fields, Rocks and Love
    Where Is My Tobey?
    Bommaneedle

    Musicians were:

    Leader and piano:
    William N. Simon
    Drums:
    Bobby Donaldson

    I spent an awfully long time trying to find anything about either William Simon or Bobby Donaldson until things finally came a little bit together, based entirely on Simon's middle initial "N".

    Still, the only bio info I could find about Simon was a blurb in his high school's district web site.

    He worked for a sheet music publisher as choral arranger, editor, and consultant. Why did he need to make these recordings? I have no idea.

    There is a brief bio of Bobby Donaldson on Wikipedia. He seems to have been a fairly active session musician.

    Partway through the search I realized that these sessions weren't even at 30th St., they were at 799 7th Ave., but that raised the question if I'd mislocated any others.

    As it turns out, the only ones in other locations not already mentioned was the first one of the year, on January 2nd, with Dick Hyman, pianist, in Studio A at 799, which isn't in the first post.

    So what does it mean that there were 66 sessions at 30th St., and 2 each at the Hotel St. George and 799 7th Ave in the reports during this time?

    Either they weren't using the other places (certainly not the Hotel, since they'd have to bring all the gear each time) very much, or the sessions in 799 didn't need AFM reports, or those reports are widely lost or misplaced, or some combination of these.
     
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  22. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    There were no sessions in the reports on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the 21st-23rd.
     
  23. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Shouldn’t that be Bucky Pizzarelli?
     
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  24. Walter H

    Walter H Santa's Helper

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Wikipedia says John is Bucky Pizzarelli's first name. I guess that makes his son John Jr.
     
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  25. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    I wasn't aware that Sherman was on staff at Columbia; during this time, he was head of A &R at Epic. He's probably best known, however, for writing several songs for Nat Cole, including "Ramblin' Rose", "That Sunday, That Summer", and "Mr. Cole Won't Rock & Roll."
     
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