Majestic had Louis Prima, Eddy Howard, Rose Murphy, Ray McKinley's Orchestra,
Alfred Newman (presume his recordings were all made in Hollywood..incidentally,
I recently acquired the "Captain from Castile" set on Majestic DJ vinyls and I
can finally hear why this was considered usable for demonstrating sound
systems). Most Majestic 78s sound horrible until the final period, although the
33RPM lacquers must have been good because reissues managed to bring out the
real sound, even on those masters that went to Eli Oberstein and reappeared on
One of the first examples of what we came to know as "Living Presence" has to
be Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks Concerto on Keynote/Mercury..there's even a
description of the mike setup in the 78 album, bearing a remarkable similarity
to that used on Mercury LPs a couple of years later. Incidentally, Mitch Miller
told me in an interview that when Mercury acquired the rights to David
Oistrakh's recording of the Khachaturian Violin Concerto, they had gold metals
to work from, and "the engineers" added reverb by running a speaker and mike
into the washroom. Bob Fine involved in that one?
Tom Fine wrote:
> Thanks David.
> Hammond's book is mostly true. My father left Reeves' employ as chief
> engineer in 1951 to start Fine Sound but continued to do some sessions at
> Reeves because Fine Sound was first located in an out-building on his
> property in Stony Point NY and was basically a mastering and
> remote-recording facility. He would do sessions in NYC (at Reeves, Fulton
> and others) and then edit tapes and master discs at Stony Point for both 78
> and LP (33.3 and 45RPM versions).
> By the way, speaking of Majestic, who were their main artists? I know very
> little about them.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "david diehl" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 11:54 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] History help needed
> > >>> [log in to unmask] 10/26/2005 7:11:45 AM >>>
> > Hi All:
> > I'm hoping there are some experts here on ye olde days of radio. I'm
> > trying
> > 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
> > there
> > is conflicting info (surprise). Perhaps someone has an authoratative
> > history
> > 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
> > space.
> > Hello Tom,
> > See: NBC studios move into new quarters. Newsweek 2:32 Nov. 18, 1933.
> > World was certainly recording by the end of November- but where?
> > John Hammond on Record (pbk. p. 281):
> > "By this time Majestic was in receivership, but its new studios on
> > East 40th St., under the supervision of an excellent new engineer, Bob
> > Fine, were available to outsiders. Mercury became Majestic's principal
> > customer, bringing about a vast improvement in the quality of its
> > records. In 1948 Majestic finally went out of business, and Bob Fine
> > moved to the Reeves Sound Studios, on East 44th Street, the most modern
> > ones in the city. Mercury continued with him at Reeves until 1952..."
> > Hope this helps
> > David J. Diehl
> > Library Director
> > Texas State Technical College