Yesterday I went to Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio to research the
concert premiere of Henry Cowell's "Symphony No. 8" which was given in
Wilmington as part of their annual folk festival under Thor Johnson on
March 1, 1953. Wilmington College issued this performance on a 10" vinyl LP
which to anyone's knowledge was the only commercial record issued by them.
One of the campus papers I read stated that they planned to issued TWO
records, but apparently only the Cowell symphony went forward.
However, the recording activities out of Wilmington were far more extensive
than I gathered at first. This is from "Quaker Quips," one of Wilmington's
campus publications, December 6, 1952:
Folk Festival Recordings may be
ordered from the Music Department for
very reasonable rates for those selections
which you may prefer. Available on 78,
45 or 33 1/3.
Another, more detailed ad mentions that these records will be "cut" for
you, leading me to believe that Wilmington was using a disc cutter to
duplicate their Folk Festival recordings, which were likely from tape,
but perhaps from other discs. The label on the Cowell LP is silver on
black, with an appearance similar to that of Folkways, but I suspect the
cut-to-order Wilmington discs used a typewritten label, if it hasn't
fallen off any copies that may have survived.
There are no tapes on site which predate the early 1960s, nor are there
discs. Wilmington would be very keen to find a recording of the Friday Folk
Festival concert that preceded the Cowell symphony, a performance by Anne
Grimes, who was a prominent, Ohio-based folk singer of that day. Her
concert was given February 27, 1953. The date of the ad above suggests that
Wilmington recorded some of its earlier Folk Festival concerts as well.
My question is: has anyone seen any of these instantaneous cut discs? As
they were made one at a time, they can't be great in number. But perhaps
some of the universities in the immediate area ordered them, or came into
possession of some of the copies.
Uncle Dave Lewis