I think there's almost no likelihood that the sides were originally cut direct
to 78. Most companies were cutting originals on 16" at 33, with the exception
of some tiny labels, or at least using 16-inchers for backup and as a potential
wow-free source for when the LP came along..which they all knew it would.
Tom Fine wrote:
> Hi Don:
> What you're holding there is pre-history! Is that studio and production
> information on the cover or did you find it somewhere? I don't recall my
> father ever mentioning he got "producer" credits on anything. It's also
> fascinating how Mitch Miller's hands turn up in so many late 40's and
> early 50's NYC recording projects, for so many different companies. A
> decade later, even when he was running Columbia's pop department, Mitch
> was a regular client at my father's studio making Little Golden Book
> records for kids. In fact, the first session in Fine Recording Ballroom
> Studio A, in August 1958, was Miller doing a Little Golden Books nursery
> rhymes record. Don't forget Miller was also pivital on the
> ground-breaking Charlie Parker "with strings" sessions, also recorded at
> Reeves. I think his fame and fortune came mostly from the "Sing Along
> ..." stuff, though.
> Anyway, back in 1947, Mercury was a new company and had only recently
> begun recording in NY and making "high-brow" orchestral records. They
> did a lot of work at Reeves and my father engineered almost all of it.
> In 1947, the recording definitely would have been made to grooved-disk.
> Ampex came out with the Model 200 in 1948 and I'm not sure that Reeves
> had tape facilities until 1949. Interesting to note -- Mercury session
> books indicate laquer disks were still being cut as "backup safeties" to
> tape as late as 1953! If I remember my history correctly, microgroove
> (LP) cutters didn't come along until 1949, so this would have been cut
> wide-groove for 78 RPM original release. Your LP was most likely a
> second release dubbed from metal parts of the 78 masters in the early
> days of LPs (1949-50 period probably). I'm curious -- how does it sound?
> I have a very few of those early, early LPs (so early they aren't made
> of vinyl) and they don't sound very good to my ears, more a pre-historic
> artifact than a pleasant listen. The single mic likely used in 1947
> would have been and RCA ribbon mic (probably a 44) or an Altec 639
> ribbon/dynamic combo.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 6:56 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Early Mercury LP
>> I've come upon an early Mercury LP, dark red cover with gold-embossed
>> lettering: MG10003, Mitchell Miller with the Saidenberg Little
>> Symphony, Daniel
>> Saidenberg conducting works by Cimarosa, Luis Milan and Vaughn
>> Williams. It
>> was produced by Robert Fine at the Reeves Beaux Arts Studios in NYC
>> in 1947.
>> Notes are by David Hall. The disc is in fine shape and the grooves are
>> pristne. Was this album, recorded in 1947, done to be dubbed onto
>> 78s? Or was
>> there movement toward releasing the first LPs before 1948? A note
>> says "A
>> single microphone was placed approximately 30 feet from the players."
>> Don Chichester
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