From: Ann Tomoko Yamamoto <[log in to unmask]>
>Andrew, is it known for sure that metal-based lacquer discs were
used for the 11/36 session in San Antonio? Do you know the source
for this info? It is intriguing that there's so little certainty
about the Dallas session...
Yep, the San Antonio Light on Wednesday, November 11, 1936
published a photo and caption that states: "Ralph Perez, left,
head recorder, and Vincent Liebler, chief engineer for Brunswick
company, inspect the new thin type of master record being used for
recordings here for the first time in the United States."
A copy of this photograph fortunately has survived, and can be
This is doubly important, since it mentions the little-known Ralph
Perez as "head recorder" for Brunswick. Usually, Don Law is the
only A&R man associated with the ARC San Antonio sessions. Perez
was certainly present during the RJ sessions also.
As Mr. Smolian pointed out, this was not the "first time"
that "thin type" (metal based) discs were used for recording.
However, it might have been the first time that Brunswick used
them on a field session.
I will add that there is a RJ display at the Gunter Hotel lobby,
and among the artifacts is a supposed Vocalion Nov. 36 master that
appeared, to the best of my recollection, to be of the
older "beeswax" variety. It's been a couple of years since I saw
it. Perhaps they used both? For more information on this, you
could contact the San Antonio Blues Society. Their website is:
There exists much confusion and speculation over the ARC sessions
held in Dallas in June, 1937. The biggest question concerns the
unusually large amount of unissued and lost recordings (by other
bands, not RJ). A couple of the Texas Playboys supposedly told
someone that it was so hot, that some of the masters actually
melted, which is incredibly unlikely, especially if they were
using lacquer discs. I don't know if any actual masters from
June '37 still exist, but you could check the Art Satherley
collection, which I think is held by the University of North
Also, the recording site of 508 Park (the Brunswick Building) in
Dallas seems very probable, although definitive proof, to my
knowledge, does not exist.
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