I hope someone decides to undertake the task of writing a book, building
a website or at least writing a comprehensive
article about the contribution that women have made to the history of
recording and independent record companies. Tom's mother is perhaps the
most obvious example of someone with an extraordinary career but other
like Helen Keane,
Mae Axton and Florence Greenberg played a pivotal role as well and I
think it is high time that what they, achieved against enormous odds, be
rightfully acknowledged and indeed celebrated.
On 1/22/12 1:19 PM, Bob Olhsson wrote:
> There really is quite an untold story here that I only know little bits and
> pieces of.
> The patents on lots of the technology had expired during the 1940s. Tom Dowd
> told me this was what had really paved the way for there being an
> independent record industry as we know it. Emory Cook came up with a cutting
> system that worked around the few remaining patents that would have required
> equipment leases only large companies could qualify for and royalties paid
> on each record. Tom told me about weekly conference calls between himself,
> Cook, Bill Putnam and a number of other well-known figures from the early
> '50s because the majors still controlled most of the technical information
> about record mastering and pressing. The only patents on magnetic recording
> were of somewhat questionable validity and Ampex never tried to patent their
> early technology.
> Armed Forces Radio had indeed trained a lot of personnel although this
> created an almost totally male-dominated world of broadcast production and
> engineering. I was fortunate to get my early audio production training in
> Jr. and Sr. high school from two women who had been producers at NBC during
> the '30s and '40s only to get canned and replaced by veterans after the war!
> Bob Olhsson
> 615.562.4346 http://www.bobolhsson.com http://audiomastery.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven Smolian
> Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 9:18 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] LP period record business
> I agree there is a need for works covering the LP to CD era.
> There have been various articles and books that address pieces of this era.
> A good bibliography is the logical starting place- what do we already know,
> what else do se need to research, etc.
> I've been looking at a subset of the early LP classical record companies as
> I've become aware of how many were connected through their owners being
> ex-patriot Hungarians. Period, Vox, Stradavari, etc. Some issued only a
> record or two and either failed pr morphed. Many of the performers were
> from the same part of the world and had the cultural and linguistic comfort
> that enabled them to go back to central Europe with scarce hard currency,
> negotiate the complexities of the post-war political maze, and built
> catalogs from Vienna, Stuttgart, Italy (Dario Soria), etc.
> Except for Soria, miost were Jewish. This must have created some strong
> personal conflicts when conducting business.
> Many of the labels of the earl 50s had personnel who arrived after WW II.
> That included the outfits that cut records as well, and those who imported
> the equipment used for high-quality recording. Steve Temmer of Gotham was
> These folks made up an important part of the industry that emerged as tape
> replaced the lacquer disc. This part of the story is still quite
> Another important thread is to trace the effect of the benefits of funding
> for education and new businesses through various GI benefits. Many
> servicemen were mustered out with significant nest egg accumulations, war
> loot, etc.
> In short, a book drawn from the sources we already have would be a stopgap
> awaiting further, well researched information. So much of what we now have
> is history by press release. Cherchez le buck.
> Steve Smolian