SH Spotlight RAY CHARLES DCC Gold CD's, questions answered about different mixes used on different Gold disks....

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    A Forum member was listening to the DCC Gold CD of RAY CHARLES "Greatest Country And Western Hits" and had a question about which songs were recorded where and what was remixed and what wasn't.

    That's easy enough to answer. The only two songs Ray Charles EVER remixed for use on any DCC/Dunhill/Sandstone/Rhino projects were: "IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT" and "I'M A FOOL TO CARE" because either he couldn't find the stereo mixes or they were never mixed in stereo to begin with. Every thing else used was an original mix from the era. BUT, there was more than one mix of certain songs. In some cases THREE different and unique stereo mixes of one song, all done right after recording. It gets confusing.

    The songs on MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC volumes one and two (1962) were only recorded at two places:

    The jazzy songs with brass were recorded at Capitol Studios in NYC and the string/choir songs (like "I CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU") were recorded at United Recorders in Hollywood.

    On the "string songs" the ones that were recorded by Bill Putnam in Feb. 1962 have the choir all the way over to the right and they sound like they are stuck behind a curtain for the most part. The string sound has echo that is rich and deep and Ray's vocal mic is slightly muted on the top end as to not to clash. This is typical of Bill Putnam's engineering style.

    Now, the string songs that have the choir split in stereo, some on the right and some on the left were recorded in the same room at United later on in the year but Al Schmitt was the engineer. So if you want to tell the difference between the two, that's the easy way to tell. Al's mixes are more hi-fi ("TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART", "YOUR CHEATING HEART") but less charming than Bill Putnam's ("YOU DON'T KNOW ME, "BORN TO LOSE"). Two different styles on the same material. Fun to compare styles of engineering (if you're a geek like me).

    Later country Ray Charles songs like "CRYING TIME" were recorded at Bell Sound in New York. Astute listeners will notice that there are two different stereo mixes of "CRYING TIME", the first version mixed at Bell Sound and the second mixed at RPM International, both vintage mixes.

    The BELL SOUND stereo mix is on the "Greatest Country And Western Hits" DCC Gold CD and the RPM mix is on the DCC/Sandstone "Ray Charles His Greatest Hits" two disk set (SAN 2 5002.) The RPM mix is also on the old ABC-Paramount LP ABC-544, "Crying TIme".

    The way to tell the difference between the two mixes? At the end, the "choir" singing on the left channel is "wet" on the Bell Sound mix (properly) and on the RPM mix a few months later they are dead dry on the same channel. Ray liked both mixes and used them equally when we worked together. He didn't remember why the song was remixed at his studio but then realized it was because he felt like it. Heh.

    Listeners have also noticed that the song "BUSTED" is different sounding on the two DCC disks that used the song.

    Why did they do two vintage mixes of that song? Well, ABC-Paramount used Bell Sound in New York to do all of their lacquer cutting, editing, etc. for all of their product no matter where it was recorded. Ray liked to record where Ray liked (not always Bell Sound) and it was an old Bell Sound billing trick to get extra bread (money) like this: Here is what they did. Sneaky. "Busted" was recorded at Capitol in 1963. As per agreement with ABC-Paramount, Capitol mixed the song to stereo. But, Bell Sound (not to be outdone, or perhaps in revenge for the fact that Ray didn't record it there) remixed it immediately and marked their version "master". The Bell Sound version ended up on the old ABC-Paramount stereo LP. Double billing.

    On the DCC Gold CD of RAY CHARLES "Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul", the original (and in my opinion better, but less wet Capitol original stereo mix version) was used and on the two disk Greatest Hits DCC/Sandstone set, the Bell Sound album remix was used. Why? Ray liked one version one week and the other version the next week when we were working on the stuff. Simple as that!

    Hope this helps!

    Don't ask me what versions of which songs we used on the Dunhill Ray Charles stuff before the ones mentioned above. I can't remember. You tell me which versions. Should be easy enough to tell now that you know what to listen for!
  2. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    Are the non LP singles period mixes in Stereo or newer mixes?. I'm A Fool To Care an example.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I apologize. I meant to type "I'M A FOOL TO CARE" but I typed "MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU" instead. So sorry, it's been a long time. I'll fix it in my above post.

    "I'M A FOOL TO CARE" existed only in mono so Ray mixed it to stereo for the first time in 1987 for the first Dunhill CD (before we met him, actually). As far as I know, that stereo mix has been used ever since. Why that song was left off of any album back then is a mystery. Should have (and could have) been on ABC-Paramount 520 or 544 easily.

    All other songs used an original period mix regardless of what it might have said on the cover..
  4. michael landes

    michael landes Forum Resident

    Not really relevant to the post so you can delete this if you like but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the work
    you did on Ray's behalf. Of all the work you've done, this may be the single thing you've done for which I personally am the most grateful.
    I'm hoping Ray was a pleasure to work with.
    Kkfan and PH416156 like this.
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    He was and you're welcome!
  6. Thanks for sharing Steve, Ray on DCC is a real treat. I love to play these disc late in the evening with a nice glass of red.
  7. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    And count me in as one of the fans of your work with Ray and his superb ABC Records output. Your work is a model of natural reproduction.
  8. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    The Uh Huh Compilation goes great with a Sunday Morning breakfast of waffles, fresh fruit, and coffee!
    Simon A likes this.
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Thanks, Guys. I played "Uh Huh" (Two Disk Set as mentioned in post #1) in the car today and my kids immediately latched on to two songs:

    "HIT THE ROAD, JACK". My 9 year old loved it at first listen and asked me to play it over and over. My 5 year old latched on to another song this morning (I didn't notice) and when I took him home from school he asked me to play that song about "Sticks and stones will break my bones". Ha, that was interesting. I had my doubts but when I started "STICKS AND STONES" he started moving his head (sort of like Ray used to do). Funny what kids like..
  10. oxenholme

    oxenholme Senile member

    My SH mastered Ray Charles is on a UK Sequel CD. Sounds superb...
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Those are exact clones of the Dunhill stuff made by yours truly and Kevin Gray for Pye, UK. Enjoy.
  12. Larry Mc

    Larry Mc Forum Dude

    Well I have the "Uh Huh" and "His Greatest Hits Vol 1 and Vol 2. One is Sandstone and the other is Dunhill. Both of these sound great too.

    I'd love to get the DCC Gold that Steve is talking about, I don't see it too much anymore.
  13. Spek

    Spek Well-Known Member

    DFW, TX
    I have "Uh huh" and love it too. I've always wondered why "Hit the Road Jack" sounds so much cleaner and hi-fidelity on that set compared to any other stereo version I've heard.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    That was the Bell Sound 1962 mix for the "Ray Charles Greatest Hits" LP that they hurriedly put out when "Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music" was climbing the charts.
    CaptainOzone and Spek like this.
  15. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    What about Genius + Soul? I picked up a copy a few days ago (back in Classifieds for you DCC completists) - anything noteworthy about that set?
  16. wcarroll

    wcarroll Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    I like to listen to Genius + Soul = Jazz on a steamy summer afternoon with an ice cold mint julep! :cool:
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The music.
    bstumpel, rxcory, stevemoss and 3 others like this.
  18. StephMess78

    StephMess78 Forum Resident

    Two week-ends ago we had a brunch at home and we listened to a stereo American and a mono Canadian "The Genius of Ray Charles" and a Sparton Canadian pressing of "Genius + Soul" and the experience was like day and night, two worlds!... We also had an hour worth of "What'd I say" from different sources or "how-to-listen-to-the-same-song-and-having-the-feeling-that-it's-a-different-take-each-time-but-it's-not"... You can have the best band/songs in the world, but anything can happen after/during the recording...scary!
  19. Dublintown

    Dublintown Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    I have that version too and it does sound great... also my SH mastered Ray Charles and Betty Carter is on Castle Classics (Made in France,) as is my SH Genius+Soul=Jazz (just says 'made in The EEC'). Would have bought both of them in London when I lived there in the late '80s.

    But back to the 'Crying Time' different mixes: the version on Greatest Country & Western Hits (Bell Sound?) also has about five seconds of studio chatter between Ray and an engineer ("rolling nine..." etc). I'm presuming it was included on this mastering only and not on any earlier released versions?
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    That's not an engineer, that voice is Ray's long-time manager and sometime producer (also a famous radio DJ) Joe Adams. Ray wanted Joe's voice on the disk so we put it on. When Joe found out about it he wanted extra royalties. Such a kidder.
  21. Dublintown

    Dublintown Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Ah right. Managers in studios calling the shots - those were the days! Anyway, I listened to the whole album again this afternoon (C&W Hits) and what a fabulous hours worth of great music with terrific sound. Paid special attention to some tracks I might have overlooked before. One song in particular, "Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)" blew me away. It truly swings.
  22. ascot

    ascot Senior Member

    It's threads like these that get printed out, folded up, and stuck inside CD cases. :) Thanks for the info Steve!
    rxcory and MilesSmiles like this.
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    "SOMEDAY (You'll Want Me To Want You)" from RAY CHARLES MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC VOLUME 2 is one of those 1962 Capitol New York studio songs that shows how great the tube recording gear of that era was when used correctly. Also when abused correctly. Ray's voice is shouting at the end, practically a square wave, yet not a hint of nastiness, just pure tube saturation overload. Couldn't get away with that 10 years later when solid state consoles and tape recorders replaced the valves, thing would have sounded like crap.
    rxcory likes this.
  24. neilpatto

    neilpatto Forum Resident

    Leeds, UK
    This thread inspired me to listen to my french 41 Greatest Hits collection, an ace way to start the weekend.

    Thanks for the insight Steve, fascinating as ever.

  25. Spek

    Spek Well-Known Member

    DFW, TX
    That's one of the things I love about 24-bit digital recording...more headroom than you can ever use without having to worry about tape noise.

Share This Page