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ARSCLIST  August 2008

ARSCLIST August 2008

Subject:

Re: lp, cassette, 8-track cut-outs?

From:

"Schooley, John" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:38:18 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (132 lines)

Mike, thanks for that very interesting email.  It makes me wonder, in
light of my earlier email regarding oral history digitization - has
anyone made an effort to make oral history recordings, or similar
documentation, from those involved in the record business?  Of course,
the stories of your major players, your Chess brothers and Ahmet
Erteguns are well-documented, but what of the guy who worked at the
pressing plant, distributer, record store, etc.?  As these things are
rapidly disappearing, it seems like they would make worthy candidates
for some slice-of-life documentation.  Like tragedy turning to comedy,
the mundane frequently becomes more fascinating with the passage of
time.  I'm sure somewhere there is a researcher who would love to have
the reminisces of milkmen, buggy whip manufacturers, and the like.  The
process of the reproduction and sale of physcial sound recordings may
hold a certain fascination for some in the future, simply because "they
don't do it like that anymore."

-Schooley  


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Biel
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 3:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] lp, cassette, 8-track cut-outs?

Rod Smear wrote:
 > > > Can anyone explain why certain LP's used to have a "cut-out  > >
> hole" in them, usually in the upper right or left portions of the
album  > > > cover? Did this also apply to 8-track tape cartridges as
well?

From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
 > > It indicated a cutout - a title dropped from the catalogue and sold
at a  > > reduced price. Unlike paperback and comic books, where the
cover was cut  > > off by the dealer and returned for credit, I believe
this was only done  > > to keep the cutout from being returned as a
full-price purchase.

In most cases the albums were cut in bulk, not individually, so the
holes, slots, cut corners, etc. could show up on any edge or corner of
the cover.  Often the cuts were made while the records were still in the
factory shipping boxes of 25, 30, or 50!!  I worked for a huge record
distributor in 66 and 67, and often we would get the cut-outs with the
slots or holes cut clean thru the cardboard boxes.  If the records had
been warehoused out of their boxes, they would still stack up a pile of
them and cut the slots or corners with a band saw, and drill the holes
in a pile of records with a drill press. They could do this at the
corners or near the center in the label area.  Yes, they also did use a
band saw on 8-tracks, but could only just touch the edge slightly with
the band saw to slightly cut a slot in the sleeve.  For holes they
usually drilled them individually on the edge with the label.  They also
drill and saw CDs in jewel cases, but they try to keep to the hinged
edge.  When the paper tray liners are punched, usually through the bar
code, this is usually a sign it is a promo copy since this would be more
easily done before the tray liner is placed inside the case. 

Some companies rubber stamped the LP back covers, but this would be if
they warehoused them unwrapped.  The Cameo-Parkway group rubberstamped
NR on theirs, and the Mercury group sometimes had a circular rubber
stamp with some "code numbers" inside.  We once got a delivery of a full
tractor trailer of Mercury group cut-outs -- hundreds of copies each of
a thousand different records.  Practically the entire Fontana catalog,
oodles of Mercury classical and pop, Smash, Philips, etc.  Gatefold
covers like the Second City series were hot stamped in red in the upper
right corner of the back  INSP-251 and they might also have done that on
the classicals that had slick color rear sides.  The Warners-Reprise
group inserted a small brass grommet in the upper left corner of the
albums.  These individually marked records raised the labor costs a bit,
so most companies rather do it in bulk.

One of the most novel programs of marking covers was done by RCA Victor
in the late 60s but these were NOT cut-outs, although they pretended to
be.  There were a lot of albums that were slow sellers but were still
selling just a bit. Plus they still had a large stocks of printed but
unglued front cover slicks for these albums.  They figured they would
never be able to use these up trying to sell them at full price, so they
"deleted" several hundred of these albums, glued the slicks to the
cardboard but cut a little triangular notch in just the paper of the
rear cover which allowed the cardboard to show thru there on the left
edge on the rear.  Then they pressed up the records on Dynaflex and
inserted the records into the jackets without innersleeves.  This made a
package that was relatively lightweight to ship, which reduced costs.  
Then they sold the newly manufactured records to distributors and
dealers at cut-out prices -- and here is the important part of the story
-- without paying royalties because these, supposedly, were cut-outs.  
But because all of these were on the newly introduced Dynaflex material
they couldn't fool anybody.  It was obvious they were newly
manufactured.  They ended up having to pay millions of dollars in fines
and restitutions to the performers and music copyrights owners who sued
them. 

From:  Roger and Allison Kulp <[log in to unmask]>  > As hard as it
is to believe it has been nearly twenty years since there were any  >
cutout record bins in the United States. A whole generation has grown 
up since.   Roger

My daughter Leah is 24, and she remembers cut-out bins well, although
some of it might be from all of my stories and tales of cut-out bin
finds. But she saw the bins of cut-out LPs when she was 5 and 6 around
1990 when the CD was wiping out vinyl.  We made regular trips to the
Camelot store in Lexington and rarely got inside the store because we
bought our "limit" in the cut-out bins at the entrance.  This continued
when those bins turned into CD cut-out bins.  One of their affiliated
sister stores at the other end of the mall sold LaserDiscs, and had
FANTASTIC cut-out bins of LaserDiscs.  And we would go thru the stuff in
the cabinets underneath the bins.  We had great times going thru cut-out
bins in Germany, France, Austria, and Hungary in 1998.  And we went to
the Tower Annex in lower Manhattan numerous times where they had cut-out
CDs and one time had the cut-out Living Stereo LP re-pressings.  And I
would tell her stories of the Sam Goody Annex across the street from the
main store on West 49th Street in the 1960s. 

And while we still can find places that have CD cut-outs, Roger is
right.  What we see now are really more bins of  used and promo CDs and
DVDs, not cut-outs.  She makes regular trips to Academy in NYC and I go
there with her when I'm in the city, but what is there is mainly used
and traded in promos, not cut-outs.  And once in a while we get to the 
Princeton Record Exchange.   Ditto.  And I am buying on-line from 
Berkshire, and while it is a genuine cut-out outlet, it is not the same
on-line as in-person. 

Although we two buy hundreds of records, it is VERY rare that we buy a
new full-price CD.  When we do it is almost always from an independent
label, mainly reissue labels.  We have been known to buy new DVDs but
almost always at discount.  We know that we are not really supporting
the record industry with our buys, but I have always been more eager to
support the local retailers than the labels.  I've been buying cut-outs
since the late 1950s.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

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