This guy posts on the board all the time. He's Bob Fine's son! Can you
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 7:11 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] History help needed
> Hi All:
> I'm hoping there are some experts here on ye olde days of radio. I'm
> to definitively gather the history of the studio spaces at 711 5th Avenue,
> NY, which were eventually home to my father's first studio, Fine Sound.
> Here's what I know, but as you'll see, there are blanks in the timeline.
> 1. the studios were probably (likely) constructed by National Broadcasting
> Co. as their first network studios, circa late 20's. I'm not sure exactly
> when they opened for business, but it appears NBC was launched in 1926.
> 2. NBC occupied the studios until 30 Rockefeller Center opened -- in 1934?
> Not sure of exact date NBC radio studios moved to Rock Center because
> is conflicting info (surprise). Perhaps someone has an authoratative
> of NBC?
> 3. World Broadcasting Co. occupied the studios before, during and after
> WWII. I'm not sure if they were directly after NBC or if there was an
> interim occupant. Retired Columbia engineer Frank Laico told me he worked
> for World Broadcasting both before and after his WWII service, in that
> 4. In 1948, WMGM moved into the entire space, according to histories of
> WHN/WMGM I've been able to locate. There's an interesting aside to this,
> I'll get to it later.
> 5. When Loews/MGM bought an interest in Fine Sound in 1952 (they licensed
> father's PerspectaSound 3-channel optical soundtrack system), they
> apparently moved WMGM to smaller quarters in the space and took over the
> studios (A, B, and C) for Fine Sound. By that time WMGM was moving more to
> music-playing and small-format talk radio, so they did not need the big
> studios anyway. MGM may have taken over one or more of the big studios
> previously to do movie-sound mixing before licensing PerspectaSound. I'm
> clear on MGM's timeline except that WMGM was definitely in the space that
> became Fine Sound Studio C later on as of 1949.
> So the parts of the timeline I'm fuzzy on are between NBC and WMGM and
> MGM movie studio was doing in the space (if anything) before 1952.
> Now here's an interesting aside. I was listening to that recent reissue of
> Miles Davis "Birth of the Cool" and flipping through the booklet. The
> centerfold photo is of one the 1949 sessions for that album. I looked at
> numerous online discographies and none listed a location except "NYC." A
> careful look at the photo reveals the WMGM logo on the RCA 44 mic in the
> middle of the circle of musicians. I also noted the distinctive music
> and ashtray in the photo -- they looked familiar. I contacted the former
> chief engineer at my father's studios, Bob Eberenz, and asked him if he
> could place the photo. He said for sure that it was indeed WMGM's
> studio, which became Fine Sound Studio C (converted for film-mixing) later
> on. The distinctive folding gobo's were used in the studios for many a
> session. And the art-deco music stands and ashtrays -- which may date from
> NBC radio or World Broadcasting -- were used in both Fine Sound and later
> Fine Recording's Ballroom studio. That those 1949 sessions would have
> place at WMGM makes sense because Capitol had no NYC studio at that time
> (indeed they didn't have a California studio either in 1949). And WMGM had
> history of renting their recording room(s) for music sessions, both at
> old location and at 711 5th Ave. As jazz fans and historians know, WOR
> rented their recording room for many a session, particularly early Blue
> -- Tom Fine