So were they still using special-sauce vinyl late in the LP era? I have some RCA and Columbia
radio-only records, mainly rock and jazz titles, from the 70's and they don't seem any different
from regular records except for the demo-only marks on the sleeves and white or other colored
demo-only labels on the records. They seem to be the same paper-thin/semi-quiet vinyl of
regular-production records of that era. Also, what about the records NARAS members used to be able
to buy at a discount? Those were usually demonstration copies, too, but they always seemed like
regular records only with demo-only markings on the sleeve and sometimes inner label.
As for the 78 era, I have seen broadcast-only records from both Majestic and Mercury that were
pressed on vinyl. The Majestic red-vinyl records were also sold to the public but I am pretty sure
the Mercury vinyl 78's from the late 40's into the 50's were for broadcast only. The examples I have
play extremely quietly compared to any shellac records I've ever spun. It makes one think that 78
wide-groove could have been a much better singles and jukebox medium than 45 microgroove in the mono
era (up to the late 60's for many soul and rock singles) because of much better dynamics easily cut
and much less groove distortion after a few plays.
For a long time, I had dreams of a classic 45-singles jukebox, but then when I started shopping for
a well-restored one, it turned out they mostly sound like crap due to both mid-grade to low-grade
phono pickups and also the fact that most singles sound like crap from Play One. So net-net, I
decided that they're great for noisy bars and diners but not so much for focused listening at home.
I admit still being thrilled when I come upon one that still works in a bar or diner. The first
thing I do is feed it dollars so I can sample its contents. Nowadays, if you find it working, it's
usually on its last legs and the records are circa early 1990's or earlier. No interest in or use
for CD jukeboxes; I remember when those first came out, higher prices per play and less fun to use.
Plus much less frequent switch-ins of music, at least in the upstate NY market, so the whole purpose
of a jukebox was being defeated. It went from a music-discovery machine to an oldies and stale hits
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 2:57 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Living Presence promo copies
>I just came across the folder I was looking for before sending the previous posting. It concerns
>the dates of the first marked 78 rpm RCA DJ copies. There were special white labels marked "RCA
>Victor Advance Pressing of . . ." that was proposed or used on records 10-1313 (a Robert Merrill
>record) and 20-2354 (Beryl Davis) but the label format sheet is marked "Not approved by law
>department" 7/27/47 and the numbers of two alternative label formats are given -- and I don't have
>sample sheets for those. Then comes the label format they eventually approved, regular looking
>ring labels with large lettering at the top NOT FOR SALE and smaller lettering under the label name
>"SPECIAL PURPOSE SERIES" with a small "DJ6" above the catalog number 20-2583 in the sample. The
>form is titled "Disc Jockey Records, first notice Nov. 18, 1947", and a note that it was "started
>with release 47-48", which is probably week 48 of 1947. I do not know when this was replaced by
>the Advance Copy white label with the rectangle, or the "Record Preview coming attractions"
>label -- but the latter was NOT from 1935 as very incorrectly indicated on page 143 in Mike
>Sherman's Victor label book! (That was an early 50s reissue of a 1935 recording!)
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
> Michael Biel wrote:
>> Tom Fine wrote:
>>> Hi Roger:
>>> Come to think of it, I've seen mono albums with a PROMOTIONAL COPY sticker on the sleeve but not
>>> with a white or green label or any sort of different label. I think the whole concept of "for
>>> broadcast use only" records came along with stereo FM.
>> I can assure you that the concept of broadcast promo copies came along long before then, but how
>> they were marked differed with different companies. They may not have special labels, but the
>> distribution of radio promo copies was in place for the entire microgroove era. In the 78-L
>> there has been a lot of questions of when marked broadcast promo records began, and 1947 seems to
>> be a sure thing but some might have been done in 46. Debate on whether Capitol or RCA was first
>> is the main question, with Decca being not too far behind. There were special labels on these,
>> and Decca did a lot of them on vinyl starting around 49. Shortly after 1950 RCA started using
>> ultra thin sharp-edged vinyl pressings for their Special Preview discs, and Mercury promo copies
>> were also pressed on this material. In 1972 I went to a garage sale around Evanston where they
>> were selling about 500 of these thin Mercury promo 78s that a college newspaper record reviewer
>> had saved from his 3 or so years, and I bought about 50.
>> But I don't recall seeing promo label classical 78s, although I have a lot of classical albums
>> that had been from radio stations. I have white label Columbia LPs both pop and classical from
>> the early 50s but I don't recall seeing RCA pressings that early with promo labels on LP either
>> pop or classical although I have many that were from radio stations. There were some special RCA
>> promo LP series, but some of those records were for public distribution as well, such as the SP
>> series. I have some early Capitol LPs with white or yellow rubber stamping on the groove area
>> denoting the records as store demo copies, but I doubt there were radio copies like this! There
>> are some yellow label Capitol promo LPs starting around 54 or 55.
>>> The stations were really harsh on record companies that couldn't provide quiet vinyl. So, promo
>>> runs were done on the best biscuits in the plant. At least that was how it was explained to me.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>> This was done especially in the case of 45s, especially the ones pressed by Columbia which mainly
>> used styrene for store copies. Styrene is very quiet for the first couple of playings --
>> especially when compared with the crap vinyl usually used for 45s -- but develops cue-burn VERY
>> quickly. RCA Victor was using crap vinyl for a lot of their LPs in the 60s and since Mercury was
>> doing a lot of pressing at RCA, the use of higher quality vinyl for promo copies as well as
>> classical records in general was probably insisted on. Red Seal, Original Cast, and Vintage
>> Series pressings usually used good vinyl, but the regular black label Victors for a lot of the
>> 60s was on vinyl that inherently noisy. I can tell which is which by just looking at them. For
>> all its faults, Dynaflex was a blessedly quiet alternative.
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Roger Kulp" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 9:36 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Wilma Cozart Fine, RIP
>>> Here's a question.I have a bunch of Living Presence stereo promo copies,but I have never seen a
>>> promo label of a pre-stereo mono Living Presence.Did they press them ?