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History of CBS Records 30th Street Studio NYC (many pictures)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DMortensen, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    As mentioned upthread a little, I am Co-Chair of the Historical Track* at the upcoming virtual AES Convention in October, and was sent a link to this video today.

    It is an overview of the process behind the recently remastered collection of the Complete Columbia Recordings of Bruno Walter, made by the engineers behind it, Andreas Meyer and Jennifer Nulsen. There is a lot of history in it and a fair amount of technical detail, both musical and restoration. I think that if you are reading here you will enjoy seeing it and will get something out of its half-hour that is out of proportion to the time spent watching.

    One question for those here: Hulsen says a couple of times that 30th St. had a sound more akin to a scoring stage than a performance space. Can anyone describe the differences for someone not acquainted with those terms except in the most general sense? TIA.

    *A position I occupy as a very direct result of this thread and the activities around it, for which I am most grateful. It's been real interesting, to say the least.
     
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  2. GLouie

    GLouie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I watched the video. There were several places where they referred to the NAB curve for cutting and playback of the disc, and I think they meant the RIAA curve (or even its predecessors). NAB would be for tape EQ.

    My interpretation of the scoring stage comments is that 30th street was similar in size and sound to a scoring stage. A performance hall is much larger and different reverb/room sound.
     
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  3. GLouie

    GLouie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
  4. GLouie

    GLouie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I'm listening to a few of the audio engineers oral history interviews by Susan Schmidt Horning as previously mentioned in this thread. I happened upon one of William Savory, who talks about the early days of 30th street, and acoustic treatments for maybe 10 minutes. Susan mentions Fred Plaut's photo book, then wonders aloud what happened to the rest of his photos...:laugh:

    Interview with Bill Savory, October 2, 1999
     
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  5. ~dave~~wave~

    ~dave~~wave~ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    I'm late to this long thread, not sure how to jump in, so I'll reply to this post and let you folks put it in context.

    The Pennebaker film is streaming on the Criterion Channel.
    Watching it now, holy smokes, what a piece of history.
    Dean Jones: "Sing? I can't spit this time of the morning!"

    New subscribers should be able to get a 14-day free trial.
    Original Cast Album: “Company” - The Criterion Channel

    Original Cast Album: “Company”
    Directed by D. A. Pennebaker • 1970 • United States
    Starring Stephen Sondheim, Elaine Stritch, Donna McKechnie

    This legendary, long-unavailable documentary from Direct Cinema pioneer D. A. Pennebaker captures the behind-the-scenes drama that went into the making of a classic Broadway recording.
    When Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking concept musical “Company” opened on Broadway in 1970, it was an immediate triumph.

    Shortly thereafter, the actors, musicians, and Sondheim assembled to record the original cast album in a grueling, nearly nineteen-hour session that tested the talents of all involved—including Elaine Stritch, who pushed herself to the limit to record what would become her iconic version of “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

    With raw immediacy, Pennebaker and his crew document the explosive energy and creative intensity that go into capturing the lightning-in-a-bottle magic of live performance
    .

    There's also a commentary version:

    This commentary, recorded in 2001, features director D. A. Pennebaker; Harold Prince, producer of the original Broadway production; and actor Elaine Stritch.

    A review in the New Yorker:
    The Unstrung Power of Elaine Stritch in “Original Cast Album: Company”

    The Unstrung Power of Elaine Stritch in “Original Cast Album: Company”
    Richard Brody
    July 10, 2020

    D. A. Pennebaker’s documentary “Original Cast Album: Company,” which is now streaming on the Criterion Channel, has long been as widely revered as it was hard to find. As proof of its fame, the 1970 film was parodied in the 2019 season of “Documentary Now!,” although it wasn’t available to stream at the time; used DVDs of it were selling for nearly a hundred dollars. “Company,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth, has of course retained its centrality to modern musical theatre. (For example, Adam Driver’s performance of the climactic number, “Being Alive,” is one of the emotional tentpoles of Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”) But the cinematic transformation of “Company”—or, rather, of its songs—in Pennebaker’s documentary is an exhilaration. Staking out the jammed-up intersection of theatre, audio recording, and cinema, “Original Cast Album: Company” illuminates all three art forms simultaneously and thrillingly—and at the center of the movie and its thematic network is the singular artistry of Elaine Stritch.

    Stritch played a supporting role in the Broadway show, yet she dominates the documentary of the cast album’s recording nearly from start to finish. Pennebaker and the crew made nearly the entire film in the confines of a recording studio; Columbia (now Sony) was recording the album under the aegis of the record producer Thomas Z. Shepard, joined by Sondheim himself. (There are only a pair of documentary sequences filmed elsewhere—one a lunch break midway through, the other showing the sunrise that the filmmakers found waiting for them after the recording session, which ran eighteen-plus hours and ended at 5:30 A.M.) The weighty technical apparatus and the administrative infrastructure that goes into recording the album are sketched lightly in the course of the action, giving rise to a brief prelude in which studio cables are plugged in, control-booth decisions are quickly made, members of the orchestra tune up, and the singers rehearse some passages. This elaborate context establishes, from the start, the special criteria that distinguish the singers’ artistry, as shown in the film, from an onstage performance of the songs.

    Then Pennebaker leaps straight into the musical action. He films the ensemble title tune, “Company,” in a succession of extreme closeups of singers in front of dangling microphones—and the first shot is of Stritch. She launches into the song with ferocious energy and focussed intention, seen in her sharp nods of the head and possessed gazes, and her performance cuts through the crowd of singers like a spotlight. Her voice is no more prominent than any other singer’s, but, with her fierce concentration and starkly etched determination, she grabs and holds the camera’s eye.

    That’s no knock on the other singers. In the next scene, a recording of “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” featuring a trio (Susan Browning, Pamela Myers, and Donna McKechnie), all three actresses—also seen mostly in closeups, which the filmmakers choreograph deftly in pan shots, zooms, and shifts in focus—blend passion and precision. Here, as throughout the film, the documentary shifts perspectives, from the performers at their microphones to the glassed-in and soundproofed control booth, where Shepard and Sondheim evaluate the performances (in unstinting terms that the actors don’t hear) and make decisions. This trio sequence gives rise to a comedic moment in which Myers, singing the phrase “Bobby bubi,” has trouble with the Yiddish word; Sondheim comes into the studio and works with her to pronounce the “u” as in “goody.” It also leads to a brief interview (several are lightly scattered through the film) with Browning, who drolly sets out the underlying stress of the occasion, saying that singing is easier onstage, because she’s dancing at the same time, so “everything goes together” and “the moment passes by,” whereas “this is the definitive, it’s the end-all and the be-all of this song, and, God, that could drive a person crazy.”

    During a lunch break over mugs of beer, Shepard comes by and tells Sondheim, Stritch, and the director, Harold Prince, “I think we’ll finish roughly at four in the morning.” He proved optimistic. One of the songs recorded after the break, a rendition of “The Little Things You Do Together,” in which Stritch has the lead role among a host of others, again features her decisive, angular, precise gestures, which dominate the ensemble and possess the camera. The cinematography throughout is both agile and probing: the cameras keep physical distance from the performers, zooming in for closeups of a skin-tight proximity. (In Dean Jones’s performance of “Being Alive,” each time he launches into the latter word, the extreme closeups show off the details of his dental work.) The camera also pans deftly, refocussing on the fly without embarrassment. (The technical difficulty is built into the texture and the substance of the documentary.) The cinematographers even offer some smoothly roving shots that prowl around the singers with a feline grace. “Original Cast Album: Company” is a symphony of faces, a grand harmony of dramatic expressions and creative energy. When the image zooms out to reveal Stritch’s place among her fellow-singers, it’s clear that she’s the dramatic center even of numbers in which she doesn’t solo. The dominance of her gestures has both an expressive and a practical aspect—from within the chorus, she’s conducting.

    Stritch’s solo number, “The Ladies Who Lunch,” is saved for last. All the other singers are done for the night—and, some time after three in the morning, they head out, leaving Stritch and the orchestra behind, along with Shepard, Sondheim, and the technicians. Sondheim is concerned: Stritch’s voice, he knows, is tired, and he wants to transpose the song down a half tone. Stritch is reluctant: she dismisses her fatigue and, though willing to try a take his way, asks to be allowed two additional takes in the original key. She keeps her radiantly acerbic good humor, joking with Hastings as well as with Sondheim, who casually raises the tension, warning her that “this is the permanent recording, therefore it’s important.” Stritch’s first rendition is filmed in a single, uninterrupted four-and-a-half-minute take, and its intensity is almost unbearably great. Her fatigue is palpable, yet she blasts through it with a reckless power that fuses with her interpretation of the song. She’s hardly singing—rather, she’s declaiming the lyrics in a sort of sprechstimme. Her precise gestures grow unstrung, wild, possessed, and her voice turns raucous and furious, breaking with an astounding sob-like laugh on the word “surviving.” The camera work, so carefully attuned to her interpretive energies, is harrowingly intense: when the frame expands for her flailing outbursts, the image at times loses its own composure, lurching and shuddering along with them.

    Bewilderingly, after this take, Shepard tells her, through the control-booth mike, that the performance lacks “tension” and is “flaccid.” Though Stritch and Sondheim agreed that they’d do two more, the count goes up to eight, leaving Sondheim shaking his head in dismay and burying it in his arms in despair. They listen to a playback with Stritch, and she reacts to herself with self-scourging fury, hearing her overtaxed voice and her now slapdash overemphasis, and roaring at herself, “Wrong!” and “Oh, shut up!” After yet another take, Sondheim suggests to Shepard that they call it a night—that they send Stritch home, record the orchestra backing (the cost of bringing the musicians in for another day would have been prohibitive), and bring Stritch back another day to record the song when her voice is fresh. Shepard conveys the request to her, and she agrees.
     
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  6. GLouie

    GLouie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for posting that, ~Dave~~wave~. I see there's a few more paragraphs to finish the review if you go to the New Yorker site. Such a dramatic review! Of course, he is incorrect about it all taking place in the same studio, since we know from this thread that the final take is at Columbia's Studio E at 49 East 52nd St.

    Be sure to see the director's commentary version, IIRC Elaine Stritch says she did have a few drinks during the session, which was also noted by Tom Z. Shepard in his commentary track heard only at the AES 2018 convention in NY.
     
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  7. ~dave~~wave~

    ~dave~~wave~ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Thanks for the heads up, pilot error on the missing paragraphs.
    Here's the rest of the story:

    That retake, which Pennebaker also films, finds her in suave voice, hitting the notes of the song with a light precision and raising her voice to a raucous shred at the dramatic climaxes. It’s the performance that was released on the album, and it provides something drastically different from the first take: a faithful sonic image of the song as composed by Sondheim, perhaps even a performance that closely resembles the ones that she gave nightly onstage. What it lacks is the terrifying power, the abandon, of the first studio effort; the precision and the finesse came at a high price.

    Pennebaker himself must have wondered. In the movie’s opening text crawl, which serves as his preface, he writes, “When it was all over, at five thirty in the morning, I was amazed that what I had watched through my camera and what the recording engineers heard through their microphones could be so different. A performance that seemed dramatic and wonderful on film was often for them simply a bad take.” I was reminded, upon seeing the documentary, of an incident involving the great classical pianist Artur Schnabel, whose technique was occasionally fallible but never spoiled his audacious and insightful interpretations. As the magazine Gramophone recounts, while recording Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, in 1938, Schnabel was “confronted by his producer’s plea for greater precision in the first movement’s massive octave outburst.” He responded, “I could play it more accurately‚ but I couldn’t play it better.” So it is with Stritch’s performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch”: the released version is more accurate but not better. (I’ve performed an experiment, rewatching Stritch’s first take with my eyes closed, as if listening to it on a record, and its raggedness is a little more conspicuous, but its shocks and thrills are just as strong.)

    The essence of theatre is the fear factor—an anxious astonishment at being in the very same place as a performance so extreme that one dreads it spilling offstage, even as, in its emotional power, it’s already doing so. That’s the feeling that movies have trouble capturing—the essence of the cinema isn’t what’s given by the performer but what the camera takes of the actor’s very being. Often, a performance of great intensity, when filmed, seems merely to be recorded, neutralizing both its cinematic essence and its theatrical one. Only rarely does the opposite happen—that a performance of hypnotic cinematic allure also seems as if it’s bursting through the screen. That’s what some of the greatest actors do: it’s the height of expression achieved by such performers as Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands, and John Cassavetes, in duets with their most inspired directors. And it’s what Stritch, in connection with Pennebaker, achieves here, in one of the greatest of all outtakes.
     
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  8. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Almost. What we're seeing in the film seems to be a single take, but the audio for both the film and the soundtrack is comprised of at least 2 different takes edited together, and the two edit at slightly different places:

    Film:
    The dinosaurs surviving the crunch
    Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch
    [edit]
    Everybody rise!

    Soundtrack:
    The dinosaurs surviving the crunch
    [edit]
    Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch
    Everybody rise!

    That is, the line "Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch" differs in the film and soundtrack.
     
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  9. ~dave~~wave~

    ~dave~~wave~ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Dutton-Vocalion have just released a hybrid SACD with the Columbia Masterworks quad mix that was released on SQ vinyl and 8-track tape in 1972.
    Includes hi-res stereo and redbook CD layers.
    I've not heard it, but early reports are that the quad is especially good.
    These Dutton re-issues are impeccably mastered and quite affordable.

    https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDLK4638



    [​IMG]
     
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  10. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Just want to thank those on this thread (e.g., DMortensen, lukpac), who knew more about my Great Uncle Vincent Liebler and his role as Director of Technical Operations at Columbia Records than my own family did when I started my research and writing on him last year. Some of the details might be shallow-end material for those here with such deep technical knowledge of Columbia Records and their studios, but I also wrote it for a general audience who might be interested in learning more about sound engineers, the development of the LP and recording Robert Johnson.

    Vincent Liebler: Shaping the 360 Sound
    Turning the Tide: Vincent Liebler: Shaping the 360 Sound

    Sincerely,
    Ted Liebler
     
  11. Chris C

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

    Location:
    Ohio
    Thank you Ted for sharing what looks at a quick glance to be a beautiful essay on your Great Uncle! When I have the quality time, I will dive in and appreciate your hard work. Vincent would be so proud of you for taking the time to put into words, his life in his world at Columbia. I already agree that if he engineered even one Robert Johnson record, that alone should be enough for him to be duly noted in the history books, but clearly he did so much more!
     
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  12. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    That’s a wonderful piece, Ted. I will have to go over it again later, but there’s a lot of great information I hadn’t been aware of.

    A few minor notes:

    - Contrary to many published reports, the ceiling at 30th Street was (if memory serves - @DMortensen?) 47 feet, not 100 feet.

    - The first session there was actually held in December 1948.

    - I haven’t looked it up, but did you mean Bruce Botnick (and not Bruce Bosnick)?
     
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  13. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Thank you lukpac for your astute attention to detail. I went ahead and lowered the roof at 30th Street to 47' and Bosnick became Bruce Botnick (audio engineer for Love, Doors, et al.).
     
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  14. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Wow, Ted, that's a pretty incredible work that you've given us! Thanks for posting here, and for crediting the thread. That's really neat.

    You really made a far-ranging ranging work that must be so to capture your Great Uncle. There's a lot of detail in it and as such there have to be a few errors, but there aren't that many. Regarding the 100' ceiling, I have to think that came from Frank Laico as he was the only authoritative source available for a long time, and it may as well have been 100' since you weren't going to be able to get close to touching it. As the height of the roof was something like 52', with the interior ceiling actually at 47' (my memory, too), it could never actually be 100'. Good that you corrected that.

    Speaking of Frank Laico, the first mention of him calls him "Bob". Also, was Roy Friedman's first name really Leroy? I haven't seen that afaik.

    The AES is actually the Audio Engineering Society. I don't know that it's been that since day 1, but it's definitely been that for a long time.

    The provenance of the 30th St. Studio building:

    -it was built as a Presbyterian Church;
    -the Presbyterians and the Armenian Orthodox Church occupied the same building but different spaces within it for a time;
    -I've seen it alleged that there was some kind of German congregation in it, but have found no evidence;
    -I've not found anything indicating that it was ever a Greek Orthodox Church other than a Wikipedia allegation;
    -I think the first recordings in it that were released were in November or December of 1948, although I'm going by memory. It was when the Petrillo Ban ended. There were earlier experimental recordings, but I've not found anything saying what they were or who was recorded.

    There's some nomenclature issues with the recording engineer and producer roles over time; originally the engineers seem to have been called "Control Men" and the producers were called something else, recording directors or something like that. Sorry I can't be more accurate now.

    Later the engineer jobs were subdivided into the tracking engineers (capturing the sound from the air and putting it on tape), editors (taking the tapes after multi-track was a thing and mixing them to stereo), the mastering engineers (cutting engineers or cutters?) who transfered the tapes to disc for pressing). Columbia was like a factory with rigidly proscribed roles, and in vanishingly few cases did one person do more than one role.

    All this changed over time, though, so what was true early on was not true later. At one point in your article you say something about Frank Laico and others "producing" music, which was not true in terms of what I wrote above about that word, although their work did produce a result.

    Please accept these quibbles as the flattery that they are, in that you really did a great job on this and it was fascinating reading. I'll read it again and see if there's anything else I can identify, but I doubt there's much.

    Have you seen the Eric Clapton videos where he visits the site(s) of the Robert Johnson recordings? Or the Jack White revisitation of the recordings and using a new technique to drag out something much closer to what we'd consider the real sound of them? Both really great, and highlight Vin's work.

    Thanks!
     
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  15. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Thank you DMortensen for your careful reading. I appreciate the "peer review" from this well informed forum. I went ahead and fixed the glaring first name error on Laico and added the "ing" suffix to my blind spot regarding the action-oriented AES. I reverted Friedman to Roy for consistency sake. I believe this 7-22-57 Billboard squib influenced my initial rendering:

    [​IMG]

    I will go back later to review the nomenclature issues and see if I can strengthen the signal. The project has been a great learning experience for me regarding the technical side of music. I will check out those explorations by Clapton & White and hope to make it to San Antonio with family someday. Vincent's involvement in Nashville could spur future research & writing. That's a Columbia studio that does not have a lot of documentation (that I know of) besides what I found in Billboard and Cash Box. I can imagine there might be something buried on the shelves in the archives at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and/or at Sony in New York.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  16. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    In other news, I finished reading the book Gotham through 1898, by Burrows and Wallace, which is a mammoth 1236 pages plus another 150 or so of indexes and bibliography. I see a hardback copy can be had for as little as US$5.62 plus shipping, which I think would be a bargain if you are into knowing why NYC is the way it is and why it got that way.

    One of the things I was looking for while reading it was why the Madison Square Presbyterian Church decided it needed an outpost not that far (15 blocks?) from its main sanctuary, and why I've seen the area (around where the studio eventually was) called the "Gas House District". I was also hoping to determine if the reference to a specifically German congregation being in the 30th St. building was because it was a German area at one time or another.

    Of course, there was not the clear-cut answer I was hoping for, but there were some tantalizing hints, and I'm looking forward to reading the successor book, Greater Gotham, by Wallace alone, which covers 1898 to 1919 but is as large or larger than the first one. They must cover what I want to know in that large a book for that short a time, right?

    Anyway, what I did find:

    -- the desirability of the area around 30th St. :

    Civilization on Manhattan began at the lower end, what's now around Wall Street and the World Trade Center, and moved uptown over time. A little outside of that area was an area that had cattle stockyards, over on the East Side south that was called Bowery Village starting in the 1700's and remaining for a while, like 1820's. From the book, p. 475, talking about some years before the '20's (exact years are a little vague throughout, although there are touchstones periodically):

    "Bowery Village remained notorious for the stomach-turning stench of its slaugher houses and tanyards. As late as 1825, upstate drovers like Daniel Drew were herding an estimated two hundred thousand head of cattle across King's Bridge (ed.: up in Harlem or beyond, where the East River was not wide) each year and making their way, accompanied by hordes of pigs, horses, and bleating spring lambs, down Manhattan to Henry Astor's Bull's Head Tavern and their adjacent abattoirs."

    "... (G)entry families..." (in the neighborhood of that nastiness) "...wanted to tranform the Bowery into a more genteel neighborhood. Taking aim at the stink, the endless whinnying, lowing, and grunting, and the occasional steer running amok and goring passersby, they set about driving the Bull's Head from the area. In the 1820's, an association of socially prominent businessmen bought out Henry Astor and dismantled the enterprise. (A new Bull's Head opened in semirural surroundings at Third Avenue and 24th Street and soon attracted cattle yards, slaughter houses, pig and sheep pens, and a weekly market; the area became known as Bull's Head Village, the city's northern frontier.)" (emphasis added)

    So, before there were city blocks and streets, the area six blocks directly South and about 50 years before the church building was built was a very low-rent district and at the edge of the actual city. So that was an interesting tidbit.

    -- Presbyterians vs. other religions:

    There was a section about the rise of Methodism and Baptists, in which they took a swipe at the Presbyterians (p. 482):

    "...in the mid-1820's, a group including Sarah Stanford, Baptist and daughter of almshouse chaplain John Standford, began denouncing elite Presbyterians for their luxurious diets, clothing, and home furnishings."

    Pretty slim, but it gives an idea of the times just before the studio building was first built.

    --Germans near 30th St.?:

    The book (and other books I've read) makes clear that new immigrants to America largely settled in areas where there were already people from their homelands, which made them fit in better and the national customs would already be established and they wouldn't feel so strange in this new land. The earliest Kleindeutchland (Little Germany) was on the Lower East Side, between Canal and Rivington Streets. From the book (p. 745):

    "From this initial base camp, (German) immigrants pushed north above Houston toward 14th St. in the 1840's and 1850's and east from Third Avenue, through the alphabet avenues, down toward the East River shore, which grew dense with breweries, coalyards, factories, shipyards, and slaughterhouses."

    The other main German enclave was in Yorktown, between 76th and 100th Streets, so it seems superficially unlikely that there would be a enough Germans for a congregation around 30th St. But who knows?

    I do know that there was a famous German restaurant on 14th St, at Irving Place, Luchow's, into the late last century, but that would still have been pretty far from 30th St.

    As we've seen earlier in this thread, the area just South of 30th St. was Little Armenia, over near the Sheik Restaurant that Glenn Gould, Howard Scott, and Don Hunstein visited on a break in the 1959 CBC movie, and the Armenian Orthodox Church that was in the studio building until the 1920's is still on E. 34th just West of Third, so that is all consistent. Again, nothing about Greeks in the building.

    Certainly a sidetrack from the subject of this thread, but it's an indicator why I'm posting so little here. I don't know what else to say about the studio times.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Ted for that great article about Vin. BTW, the videos I mentioned:

    Eric Clapton: In Search of Robert Johnson
    Jack White: American Epic, disc 1.

    There's also a John Hammond Jr.-narrated search for Robert Johnson information, and it's interesting, too, but the Clapton one actually goes into the building where one of the RJ/Liebler sessions was recorded, and Eric does the same thing in there although he uses modern gear.

    Jack White uses a recorder from the times in an unrelated studio, as well as plays a processed RJ recording where you can hear much more depth to the voice and guitar, including hearing reflections off the walls. It's really incredible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  17. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    The above Billboard 7-22-57 clipping with LeRoy Friedman disappeared (via Google photo) after a day, so I did the imgur approach:

    [​IMG]

    I also didn't find a lot on the Columbia Recording Studio in Chicago and Vincent beyond this mention in Cash Box 11-7-1956

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, I found mention of a Columbia office located in Detroit in a 1966 issue of Billboard.
    I could find no further corroborating evidence regarding Columbia in Detroit, but I didn't go too far
    as my focus was Columbia in New York, Nashville and Hollywood.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    In my piece on Vincent, I removed the Greek Orthodox Church affiliation with the 30th street studio. I took "The Label" by Gary Marmortein to be a somewhat credible source at the time of writing that section. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of American Epic. I watched that series during its first-run, but will see and hear the Robert Johnson sections with a heightened awareness and appreciation. By the way, Pete Ramsey, director Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, is reportedly working on a new live-action Robert Johnson biopic.
     
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  19. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    This was as the Chicago studio was transitioning from the said Wrigley Building to 630 North McClurg Court which was the said "new CBS TV & Radio Center" in question.

    Anorak's website relating to soul records noted that the Detroit office was located out of the Fisher Building.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  20. heretoday65

    heretoday65 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    This 11-18-67 Billboard article turned up in my research on Vincent Liebler. It's one of my favorites as it chronicles the shift into a new phase (the 8-track era) for studios
    and mentions A&M in L.A., John Fry's Ardent in Memphis and a host of others.


    Record Companies Bust Out in Coastwide Studio Spree by Claude Hall

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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