This is Brian Drutman's notes from the first legitimate re-release of
The 1943 cast album of "A Connecticut Yankee" was copied by Decca on
lacquered glass discs. While certainly a fragile and tenuous way to
preserve recordings, this was nevertheless a common practice during the
Second World War, due to the unavailability of aluminum. Sometime in the
1960s, Decca wisely transferred the recording onto a 1/4 inch magnetic
tape, but in the process regrettably destroyed the original glass
records. With no demand fort its use, the tape sat on a warehouse shelf
gathering dust. When the Decca Record Company dissolved in 1973
(purchased by MCA Communications Group), many archived recordings were
transferred to storage facilities across the country. It was at that
time that the only known existing tape of "A Connecticut Yankee" was
lost. . . .
But as fate would have it, the lost tape happily turned up. . .It had
been languishing in a basement of a residence on Long Island for the
past 27 years. . .
Note the word "copied" at the beginning. Does that mean that Decca
probably also made slow-speed acetate safeties, then copied those to
lacquered coated glass? Was aluminum ever used, then destroyed and
reused? The album sessions were on 12/22/1943 and 01/23/1944.
On 1/23/11 2:10 AM, Ted Kendall wrote:
> My experience indicates that Decca used the lull caused by the AFM ban
> to tidy up their technical practices and gear up for greater leverage of
> the original recording. They followed Columbia into slow-speed acetate
> session recording. The first stuff I recall from this source is about
> mid-1943. Capitol did this from day one, I believe, in parallel with
> direct 78 cutting initially. Interestingly, Victor lurched the other
> way, making initial recording on 78 and dubbing from there for
> production parts, hence the "variable" quality of some Victors of the
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Stewart Gooderman"
> <[log in to unmask]>To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 11:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] How many 78s to the Matrix
>> Yes, I'm sorry for the confusion. This is what I meant.
>> However, glass was/is very fragile, and often broke, which aluminum
>> does not. And in the case of "A Conneticut Yankee" that is exactly
>> what happened, and up until a recent time when a transferred magnetic
>> tape was discovered, the only source for the recording were less than
>> stellar disks pressed in the 1940s.
>> On 1/22/11 3:08 PM, George Brock-Nannestad wrote:
>>> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>>> Stewart Goodeman wrote [quote]:
>>> I know in 1943, when they recorded the Rodgers and Hart
>>>> revival of "A Connecticut Yankee" they actually used glass.
>>> ----- just to avert any confusion: glass means that the disc that
>>> the layer that the cut was made in was made of glass. The layer could
>>> been lacquer, or it could have been wax, both were used. It has been
>>> that glass was a cheap substitute for aluminum that was the most used
>>> material for lacquer mastering discs, due to other uses for aluminum
>>> the war. But in fact, the quality of the cut in glass-based discs was
>>> than for aluminum, because the surface of glass was much smoother.
>>> This is very different from the use of glass in the manufacture of
>>> CDs; here
>>> the pits are really represented in the glass as a stage of manufacture.
>>> Kind regards,