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ARSCLIST  January 2012

ARSCLIST January 2012

Subject:

Re: LP period record business

From:

Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 22 Jan 2012 13:43:07 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

What really launched the independent record industry was magnetic
tape. The prewar American indies (e.g. Musicraft, Royale, Gamut,
Timely, Technichord) produced product of variable audio quality at
best, whereas tape masters could be sent to either RCA or Columbia
custom for disc mastering that equalled the quality of the major
labels. I have a photo of a Columbia workman at Bridgeport, extracting
a stamper from a press (I think the tool of choice was a menacing
looking pair of pliers). Surrounding him are dozens of labels stacked
on dowels for various custom clients. The adoption rate for Lps
happened so quickly (2-3 yrs) that a previously nonexistent market was
created almost overnight. For classical repertoire, content was
supplied largely by European recording activity (as earlier mentioned
in this chain of postings) produced by artists who, in those grim
postwar years, would often work for chocolate and cigarettes.

Re the distaff side of the profession: When I recorded the St. Paul
Chamber Orchestra, I knew the principal cellist, Peter Howard, whose
mother, Mary, had her own studio in New York and whose clients
included Arturo Toscanini.

DDR

On 1/22/12, Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> 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
> one.
>
> 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
> incomplete.
>
> 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
>


-- 
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023
212.874.9626

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