SH Spotlight RAY CHARLES ABC-Paramount "Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music" cutting history, 1962 to 1968

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Nerd thread, forgot about this but loving it!
  2. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    I wish for a good mono remaster of the Modern Sounds albums. I have three copies of each on vinyl (I like these albums) but none play great all the way through a side. I need to mix and match
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The mono mixes are fine but the stereo versions are better sonically and more dynamic. The instrument/vocal balances are almost the same.
  4. Jasonbraswell

    Jasonbraswell Vinylphile

    Great time to bump this Mr. Hoffman.
    I just happened to grab a $5 copy on discogs Sunday night.
    Ironically, I was reading your notes from the first post of this thread on the discogs master page before deciding to buy.
    Very helpful information. Thanks!

    Ray Charles - Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music

    Hoping and glad to know I avoided this infamous echoey shizz...
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    To their credit, Bell Sound always recut MODERN SOUNDS and MODERN SOUNDS TWO from the actual masters, not copies. So, any cutting would sound good.
    McLover, WMTC, Lownotes and 1 other person like this.
  6. Evan

    Evan Senior Member

    Petal, MS
    Funny, that doesn't really sound like mastering. It does sound a lot like taking credit for someone else's work. And we know that never happens in the entertainment industry :whistle:
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Not in that case. Bill was just using what I gave him, fixing levels a bit. We had an agreement, his credit, not mine. On the other Rhino RAY I worked on, I got the credit. We each got one, planned in advance. I was fine with that..
  8. Evan

    Evan Senior Member

    Petal, MS
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  9. Hatchet Jack

    Hatchet Jack Forum Resident

    I don't purchase vinyl anymore, so do you guys know where can i get the following Ray Charles' albums?

    Crying Time (1966)
    Ray Charles - Crying Time

    A Portrait of Ray (1968)
    Ray Charles - A Portrait Of Ray

    Love Country Style (1970)
    Ray Charles - Love Country Style

    Volcanic Action of My Soul (1971)
    Ray Charles - Volcanic Action Of My Soul

    True to Life (1977)
    Ray Charles - True To Life

    Ain't It So (1979)
    Ray Charles - Ain't It So

    Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (1984)
    Ray Charles - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

    Are they available in some box set, or even digitally as downloads or streaming? Cause it's not possible that as of 2023 so many of his recordings are still only available on vinyl, is it?
  10. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Unfortunately, yes it is possible.

    The Complete Country & Western Recordings 1959-1986 contains all of Love Country Style except for the closing track Show Me the Sunshine (which I guess was deemed "not country" and omitted). Beyond that, you're out of luck for the others in the digital realm.
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  11. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Yes, a horrible Dog Turk of a complication sonically speaking. Horrid fidelity.
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    There were stereo 45 cuttings, I believe. Juke Box 45's and/or Juke Box stereo EP's, 7"..
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I was asked, and again, happy to answer:

    If you have an ABC-Paramount or ABC LP of "Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music" it was cut from the absolute first generation mono and stereo masters. From 1962 all the way up until 1973 or so, when ABC lost the rights..

    Different cuttings but always using the actual first generation stereo and mono mixes.

    This was not the case with every Ray Charles LP release, there were exceptions but for the most part, the same for almost all of them.

    Over & out!
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Shocking how ****ty they made that comp. It would take a lot of bad hard work to make good sounding mixes sound that God awful bad. Melt that compilation LP set down for hairspray.
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  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    By the way... IIRC, Steve said that DCC wanted to release Crying Time on CD but Ray would not allow it, apparently because he had bad memories around it (associating it with his arrest and subsequent detox). And then a few years later the Rhino reissue series died out right before they reached this album. Alas.
    Hatchet Jack likes this.
  16. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    A SRC manufactured pressing of this, in quiet, flat, and centered, NM condition is what my idea of heaven on this LP is. ABCS-410 if you please, (especially superb on the string tonality).
  17. ChristopherFletcher

    ChristopherFletcher Well-Known Member

    I happened to be listening to both Volume 1 and 2 of Modern Sounds last night and saw this thread pop up this morning. My versions are from Concord Records, CRE 00899. Any idea if these were cut from the original masters?
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Concord versions? Haven’t heard them, sorry.
  19. ddarch

    ddarch Forum Resident

    I've been trying to determine my best overall pressing the past couple of weeks. I have six in mono and three in stereo. (I really love this album) Interestingly, compared to Steve's opinion of the stereo pressing, on my system, the mono versions sound markedly better. I have been thinking to myself as I have been narrowing down the monos, how darn good they sound. The fact that the masters were used for each pressing, is definitely evident. A couple of the monos are a little beat up, but the four good ones are remarkably similar in quality, and it's going to come down to which ones have the fewest ticks and pops on my favorite tracks.

  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Sorry, I missed this earlier.

    It's possible that the monos got that special Bell Sound midrange bumpy EQ during mastering (+5 at 5k for everything) and the later stereos were cut neutral. Also, the compression levels might have changed with each recutting. Those original notes were not kept with the music but in a file cabinet at Bell Sound which was later dumped in the East River.
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  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    So I was just asked via PM why the Capitol New York jazzy stuff on "Modern Sounds" sounds so good and how was it recorded?

    I happened to have conversations with the album producer and arranger, the late Sid Feller back in 1988-92 at Ray's studio and this is the scoop:

    The album was planned in advance. No one at the label wanted Ray to do this. Sid wasn't sure but Ray was so they went ahead, picked the songs, got it all ready.

    The "jazz songs" that were recorded at Capitol in New York were all (of course) live in the studio and Sid remembers it as a very happy time, with a lot of joking around (Sid on the talkback microphone calling Ray "Tex" and all that).

    The Capitol engineering team was very amped up for this, didn't want anything to go wrong so there were six tape machines going at once for each song. Two monos, two three-tracks and two direct stereo machines. All German microphones, positioned perfectly, very little compression and limiting used.

    What was eventually cut onto the master reels in stereo were the edited "B" machine 1/4" versions while the "A" machine stuff was kept as first generation backup.

    In this case (and also for the follow up album) Bell Sound didn't pull any funny business and try and redub or remix anything, like they did for the earlier albums and some of the later ones. They simply used the Capitol tapes (and of course the later United/Western "String Song" tapes as well.

    So although Bell Sound was cutting the lacquers, not one minute of the album was recorded or mixed actually at Bell.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA

    This was done around the time of my birth (6/16/62). Coincidentally, the #1 song when I was born was "I Can't Stop Loving You"
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  23. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    This record has a special meaning for me as my mother (who rarely ever bought records) purchased this album back in 1962. She played it all the time to which was my real introduction to Hank Williams music. "Born to Lose" was a real standout. We most likely had the mono cut because our family hi-fi was nothing that great. The music still sounded good though. I am glad you posted this.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I remember hearing I Can’t Stop Loving You on the radio when I was a kid but really never heard anything else from the album until college.
    Sax-son likes this.
  25. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    On the flip side, why does some of the United material sound so bad? Really squashed and unnatural.

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