Sorry I'm a bit late in replying to your messages, but there are two nice
entries on Fred and William Gaisberg, in the second edition of ENCYCLOPEDIA
OF RECORDED SOUND, edited by Frank Hoffmann.
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 1:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Does anybody know when the various recording
companies realized that they needed an Artist and Repertoire administrator?
Someone must have already treated the subject so there will be more
information soon to appear.
Alas, DDR, not all such treatment is created equally. Ergo:
A musically talented youngster, [Gaisberg] encountered the fledgling
recording technology in the early 1890s and got a job working for the
Graphophone <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphophone> company in America.
Poor sound quality and short playing time, however, meant that recordings
were more of an amusing novelty than a serious means of reproducing music.
In this decade the first of the recording industry's format wars was taking
place, with the original cylinder
being ousted by the superior and more convenient Berliner flat disc.
Gaisberg played an important role in this war, helping to establish
78 revolutions per minute as the standard playing speed and shellac as the
standard material for making discs. [From the Wikipedia article on Fred
If a Berliner is superior to a cylinder to its day than that is news to me,
and certainly the ousting of the cylinder took much longer than this
implies. I thought that 78 rpm wasn't established until about 1930, and with
some companies, never. I don't know about Gaisberg's role in establishing
shellac as the main medium for manufacturing records, though I thought that
too was somewhat evolutionary, though earlier. Companies that manufactured
poker chips also pressed early records because they similar kinds of
products from a manufacturing point of view.
What I'm getting at is that there is an awful lot of confusion and malarky
concerning such matters still. While someone can be an A&R man and a
producer they are not quite the same hat to wear, but these terms are used
interchangeably to mean one or the other. A lot of factors determine the job
description of such a person; whether a person is working for a large
company, or running a small one, is coming from an engineering aspect or
handlng talent. Meaning Tommy Rockwell and Nesuhi Ertegun and Mo Ostin all
did not do quite the same job, even though all can qualify as either "A&R"
or "producer" or both.
I remember dipping into the "Encyclopedia of Record Producers" at AMG and
being disappointed that I couldn't seem to find the really old guys like
Gaisberg; just rock people. But it was a short look, and I just ordered one
for a quarter, so I will try again.
On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 1:28 AM, Dan Nelson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Rosario Bourdon in addition to being an "operative" for Victor
> conducted salon orchestras for transcription companies. Here is one
> of those multi talented men in the music business.
> d nelson ward
> Beautiful Music you will never forget, at;
> From: Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 8:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Does anybody know when the various recording
> companies realized that they needed an Artist and Repertoire
> A&R wasn't always called such, but the job was around since the dawn
> of the commercial phonograph industry. Usually, someone with musical
> training was spotted and developed. Fred Gaisberg began as a teenager
> in Washington, D.C. before he moved to London. Columbia had Charles
> Adams Prince when Walter B. Rogers performed the same function at
> Victor. "Recording Directors", they were called. They often had
> relationships with orchestras and bands, which made them useful for
> engaging personnel. Later Victor operatives included Calvin Child,
> Joseph Pasternack, Rosario Bourdon and Charles O'Connell. Someone must
> have already treated the subject so there will be more information soon to
> On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM, Eric <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Does anybody know when the various recording companies realized that
> > they needed an Artist and Repertoire administrator? Is it possible
> > to obtain from some archives the requirements for the position? Any
> > help would be greatly appreciated.
> Dennis D. Rooney
> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
> New York, NY 10023