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

    New York, NY, USA
    The tomato red label was indeed Bridgeport. As for the dark maroon 'four-eye' label, it was pressed by the Quality Records plant in Canada, which handled Canadian Columbia from the establishment of Columbia Records of Canada, Ltd. in 1954 until that company set up its own pressing plant on the grounds of their Don Mills, Ontario headquarters in 1971.

    Also odd, to my sense of symmetry, was the arrangement of the personnel. I mean, 8 violins, 2 violas, 1 cello and 2 basses? Two drummers? Three guitarists, for sure, were not unheard of. Not counting Mr. Eidus, I see this was, all in all, a 19-piece setup. Seems Mr. Vale's music was the type where no trumpets, trombones, French horns etc., needed apply (at least in this case).

    As for Mr. Osser, before coming to Columbia he worked at Mercury (where, on some of the records where he led the orchestra, his "other" first name was misspelled "Glen" on the label).
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  2. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    That Jerry Vale song has a backup chorus. It occurred to me that MAYBE these two sessions were booked today to take advantage of the Merrill Staton Choir being present the day before . Maybe they wanted to use the choir as backup for some reason?

    This is the only Merrill Staton song I could find playable on Youtube

    Almost all the others listed are unavailable. There's clearly women singers, at least on this song.

    Here's the Mitch Miller Ramblin' Wreck song, and you can sort of hear there are no women singers

    Mitch Miller Ramblin Wreck From Georgia Tech

    Who knows?
  3. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    I suspect that not all the musicians listed played on all the tracks.
  4. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    Maybe, but the reports are good for saying that someone worked more or less than the standard time, although the "less" part isn't relevant if that would put it below the 3 hour minimum.

    "Drums" could also mean percussion, for example, while having 2 or more bassists is frequent for classical.
    John DeAngelis likes this.
  5. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 1 (Sunday):

    There were no sessions in 30th St. today.
  6. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    For at least the first two weeks of March, I'm going to try an experiment.

    As previously reported, so far this thread has relied virtually completely on the AFM Reports for its information. Those do not encompass the full gamut of studio activity, whereas the Schedule Books do have everything that happened on every day in every place in NYC. Those books are what was used to avoid double-booking a room and have artist and producer information but not musicians or staff (engineers, tape ops, etc.).

    I am going to try integrating the two, at least for the first couple weeks, so you can see how much was going on. I counted 80 events in 30th St. in March, so that's a lot.

    It seems like I'm going to need to dial back the research, though, so if you want to take the song titles (only from AFM Reports) and find the album covers, you will be doing a service to the cause. If someone wanted to frequently do this, I could send you the song titles and artists the day before so you could post the covers on the same day, which I think is nice.

    We'll see how this goes.

    Tomorrow is a big day in the life of 30th St., although people didn't know it at the time.
    ad180, jtaylor and lukpac like this.
  7. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 2 (Monday) I:

    There were three sessions today.

    The first two, from 2:30-5:30pm and 7-11pm (these times in the Report, although the Schedule says the second one ended at 10, which will make more sense when we see the next session), were with Miles Davis and his five musicians (at a time).

    Songs recorded were

    3 Originals by Miles Davis - No titles yet

    which was typewritten in. However, before the Ditto copies were made, a female hand wrote in:

    Freddie Freeloader 10.02
    So What 9.33
    Blue In Green 5.41

    (It seems appropriate that each of those songs has its own Wikipedia page.)

    Together with knowing the names of the musicians

    Miles Davis
    William John Evans
    Wynton Kelly
    James William Cobb
    Paul L. Chambers
    John W. Coltrane
    Julius E. Adderly

    we know that these were the first sessions for the long-time all-time-biggest-selling-jazz-album Kind of Blue.

    The schedule only shows Irving Townsend as producer, but the Wikipedia link seems to say that Teo Macero was the primary producer, with some assistance from Irving Townsend.

    Edit: As noted in a line in the Wikipedia, Fred Plaut was the recording engineer, and Don Hunstein took the official pictures. Fred also took a few. I don't know who the tape operator was.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  8. cdnostalgia

    cdnostalgia Forum Resident

    Kind of Blue - Miles Davis


    Genre: Model Jazz
    Length: 45:44
    Released: 17 August 1959
    Label: Columbia
    Producers: Teo Macero, Irving Townsend


    Side One:

    1. So What (mentioned above)
    2. Freddie Freeloader (mentioned above)
    3. Blue in Green (mentioned above)

    Side Two:

    1. All blues
    2. Flamenco Sketches
    ex_mixer and DMortensen like this.
  9. jamo spingal

    jamo spingal Forum Resident

  10. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 2 (Monday) II:

    The third session today, which barely qualifies as starting "today", was Lee Castle and The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, running from 11:30pm-2:30am. There would be two more sessions recording this same repertoire, running on consecutive days.

    Songs recorded were:

    Long John Silver
    Maria Elena
    Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga
    I Hear A Rhapsody

    With "No Good" takes of those first four songs, and four remakes. Then

    Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)
    Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry
    I Understand
    Parade Of The Milk Bottle C
    (remainder cut off)
    The Breeze And I
    Green Eyes

    Musicians for these sessions, which is why I think it more likely that the earlier session ended at 10 rather than 11 to allow for setup, were:

    Alvin G. Cohn
    Edward Goldberg
    Nuncio F. Mondell0
    Sol Schlinger
    Gerald Sanfino
    William Slapin
    John H. Hafer
    Lee C. Castaldo (with a red arrow pointing to his name, for some reason)
    Carl H. Severinsen- only one session
    Joseph B. Wilder
    John Frosk
    Bernie Glow - 2 sessions
    Robert Alexander
    Chauncey Welsch - only 1 session
    William Elton - 2 sessions
    Charles Castaldo
    Frank J. Rehak - 2 sessions
    Milton J. Hinton
    Joseph B. Galbraith
    Morris L. Wechsler
    Donald Lamond - 2 sessions
    Sol Gubin - only 1 season

    "All men played on the three sessions unless otherwise noted."

    Ah, Lee Castle was the leader of the Jimmy Dorsey Band, per the bio by Ron Wynn on Allmusic.com:

    "Veteran player able to play in either sweet or aggressive big band style. Lee Castle began his professional career using name Lee Castaldo in '30s. He was featured soloist with Joe Haynes, Artie Shaw (three times), Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, Jack Teagarden, Will Bradley and Benny Goodmanfor various periods between 1936 and 1950. He became Lee Castle in 1942, and started heading his own groups in late '30s, though he was never as successful as when playing with bigger name leaders. Castle joined the Dorsey brothers in 1953, and was briefly its leader. After Jimmy Dorsey's death in 1957, the band split up into two memorial units, each taking the name of one brother. Castle took over at helm of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and continued leading it through the '80s."

    Was it the arrangements that made this "The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra" rather than the collection of studio players that it seems to be?

    These songs were all on the album "Jimmy Dorsey's Greatest Hits" that came out in 1959. There are blurry pictures of the front and back cover, with notes by Lee Castle that I can almost read. Do you have a better version to post?

    The Reports and Schedule were in alignment today, so that was not the big project that I thought it would be.
    ex_mixer likes this.
  11. cdnostalgia

    cdnostalgia Forum Resident

    It appears these were recorded for the Greatest Hits album, unless anyone can show otherwise:


    Genre: Jazz
    Label: Epic
    Release: 1959

    Tracklisting: (all mentioned above)

    Side One

    1. Long John Silver
    2. I Hear A Rhapsody
    3. Brazil
    4. Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)
    5. I Understand
    6. Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry

    Side Two
    1. The Breeze and I
    2. Maria Elena
    3. Parade of the Milk Bottle Caps
    4. Green Eyes
    5. Six Lessons from Madam Za Longa
    6. Tangerine
    DMortensen likes this.
  12. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
  13. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    Do you have a link to a clear shot of the back cover? The notes, or what I could read, looked interesting.
  14. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    Why, yes, I do, from Amazon:


    This version is Columbia Special Projects, and here are the labels:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I also forgot to mention that these sessions were produced by Joe Sherman.
  15. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    HISTORIC DAY at 30th Street for sure!!!
    chilinvilin and DMortensen like this.
  16. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    I don’t see a producer credit on the original LP; if memory serves, I think Teo may have first been credited on the late ‘80s CD. Regardless, my understanding is there’s no evidence of him on the tapes. It’s unlikely he was involved.
    DMortensen likes this.
  17. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Jim Foglesong moved to Nashville in 1970 to head Dot/ABC's Nashville operations. He became a major figure in the country music industry, heading MCA & Capitol's Nashville offices before retiring to teach music business courses. He was inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame in 2004 & died in 2013 at age 90.
    DMortensen likes this.
  18. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    I would swear they meant "big" in the sense of quantity of band members on the session that followed the first for Miles' big one.

    But usually, though not mutually exclusively, 5-sax lineups were usually comprised of 2 alto saxes, 2 tenor saxes, and 1 baritone sax. The "only 1 session" trumpeter, I see, is better known as "Doc," and for his long association with Johnny Carson.

    Jimmy Dorsey himself, meanwhile, had recorded in the early 1950's for Columbia, whilst his then-estranged brother Tommy left RCA Victor for Jimmy's old label Decca. So there was some connection in this project.

    If based on the liner notes Mr. Castle wrote, it would appear Joe Sherman produced this.
  19. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 3 (Tuesday) 1 of 3:

    The first session today was from 2:30-5:30pm. Artist was Ray Coniff, no producer (perhaps in those days they were simply A&R Men?) or other identifying information listed in the Schedule.

    A question for anyone in a position to know: There are Job Numbers listed in the Schedule, which allowed recording sessions booked to be coupled with specific recording projects. Is there a way to use those job numbers to find project information without physically being in the Archives?
  20. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 3 (Tuesday) 2 of 3:

    From 7-10pm, Kitty Kallen with Richard Maltby and His Orchestra recorded the following songs:

    I Don't Know Why
    I Can't Get You Off My Mind
    Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
    Somebody Else Is Taking My Place

    Musicians were:

    Richard Maltby
    Contractor and Saxophone:
    Joseph Lenza
    Jerry De Angelis (I think we've found your ancestor, John!)
    Dick Perry
    John Froak
    Al Muller
    Rusty Dedrick
    Phil Giacobbe
    Bill Elton
    Mervin Gold
    Bett Glamann
    Reinhardt Elster
    Irving Joseph
    Herbie Lovelle
    Arnold Fishkind
    Tony Gottuso
    Allan Hanlon

    Two saxes, three trombones, and four trumpets? What ratio is that? Ascending?

    Mitch Miller is listed as producer, although they didn't actually use that as a title and the Schedules (where that tidbit comes from in this case) were simply a book of blank pages where time, studio, artist/activity (often there were auditions or transfer or transcription (they used "trans" as the abbreviation), and staff contact person were listed. Whether that person's name was "Producer" or "Contact" or "A&R" or "Responsible Party" is TBD.

    Kitty Kallen, was a big band singer (coincidentally, with the Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey Bands separately over the years) who transitioned successfully to being a Pop singer. These were her pop years.

    A quick look at Discogs does not show any of these songs on an album or single, and looking for her with those songs does not yield any results.

    Anybody more successful?
    John DeAngelis likes this.
  21. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    March 3 (Tuesday) 3 of 3:

    Again from 11:30pm-2:30am, Lee Castle and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra continued recording their project, with Joe Sherman producing.

    Wonder if Kitty stayed and hung out?
  22. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seattle, WA USA
    Duh, I figured out the red arrow: Lee Castaldo was Lee Castle.

    And I just asked a bandleader friend/client about The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra being made up mostly of studio musicians, and he replied that there are "ghost" bands all over the place, like the Count Basie Band, which are still touring but the principals are all long dead and there's nobody in the band that was ever with the founder.

    The collected music of a band is called "The Book" and that is all the arrangements as played by the original band. Someone has acquired or been bequeathed The Book and maybe brings a few principal musicians to a performance or recording but relies on local musicians who sight-read to fill out the band and, other than solos, play the songs as played by the original players. "Count Basie" or "Jimmy Dorsey" are much more recognizable names than the current players/leaders, so the likelihood of an audience appearing or buying the records is greater than by using some other name.

    He pointed out that this is a funny business.
  23. GLouie

    GLouie Forum Resident

    True. One of our instructors also runs today's Harry James Orchestra. Fred has some comments on the way it works in his interviews.
    The Official Site of the Harry James Orchestra
    DMortensen likes this.
  24. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    My uncle Jerry DeAngelis was actually a professional musician, but he played accordion! (Also, he never did any recording sessions.) :)
  25. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    It would also have represented one of her first sessions, if not her absolute first, for Columbia, after having recorded for other labels both solo and as a big band singer (she also sang on Harry James' 1945 Columbia single "It's Been A Long, Long Time") in prior years. (She was also plunging big-time back into the business after losing her voice at a 1955 London Palladium engagement.)

Share This Page