I don't understand something about the obit and the story of the LP dawn that it told.
Jack Mullin was out west in 1947 holding demonstrations and using his Magnetophones with the Bing
Crosby radio program. The concept of magnetic tape was well known in the broadcast world. In fact,
the Edward R. Murrow album "I Can Hear It Now" was produced using tape editing and the 78RPM album
includes a lengthy production note describing this newfangled (at CBS News) editing technique.
So none of this trickled over to Bridgeport CT? They really were doing disk-to-disk dubs in 1948?
Why??? The Ampex 200 came out that year, the 200A soon afterward. Surely Bill Paley's empire could
afford a few tape machines. Closer to Bridgeport, Fairchild was making tape machines by 1948 and
perhaps earlier (I don't have a clear timeframe as to when Fairchild first produced magnetic
recorders, but a 1948 article about Reeves Studios in NYC shows Fairchild's "new" tape machines in
service and one is pictured on the magazine cover).
So again, why the complex machinations of disk-to-disk dubbing? BTW, RIP Howard Scott and he did
indeed come up with an ingenius if hardest way possible to solve the problem of matching up the
Ironically, the man who INVENTED the magnetic tape splicing block, at least the US iteration of the
concept, was CBS News producer/editor Joel Tall (EdiTall).
-- Tom Fine
PS -- Mullin wasn't the only guy to bring a working Magnetophone home. The BBC captured some of them
and did detailed dissections, and Col. Ranger brought home at least one. My bet is Fairchild's
engineers got their hands on one very soon after the war or else how could their development keep a
similar pace to Mullin/Ampex? There were at least dozens of Magetophones made during WWII, if not
hundreds, perhaps more. The whole story of disk-dubbing for the new LP medium would make more sense
if Columbia had been a little company not connected to a broadcast network and not located in what
was then the East Coast industrial corridor. I'm not doubting the disk-dubbing happened, I just have
trouble believing no one at Columbia knew about tape or had access to tape machines before the dawn
of the LP. And if they knew and had access, why would they do a complex disk-to-disk dubbing method?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Rooney" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 11:43 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Howard Scott Dies
> Howard's death is no surprise. He was failing for some time. Nevertheless,
> his contribution to the birth of the Lp makes him one of the important
> players in the success of Columbia Masterworks and worthy of remembrance.
> He liked to tell the story of moving a cot into a studio where he could nap
> in between supervising dub editing lacquer cuts into Lp masters, and it was
> all true, including having to re-make a majority of what had been produced
> after technical problems in manufacturing caused them all to be scrapped.
> Despite that setback, he and his engineering team began again and met their
> deadline in time for the spring 1948 launch of the new format.
> In the decade before 1961 he supervised many of the Masterworks recordings
> that allowed Columbia to lead the U.S. market. I have a photo of Howard
> auditioning a test pressing sometime in the early fifties. He is young,
> balding and clean shaven, attired in a dress shirt and tie. Like his
> mentor, Goddard Lieberson, he set great store by dressing well. I worked on
> many recordings that he supervised when they were reissued on CD, and
> admired his preparation and disciplined approach.
> What isn't mentioned in that NY TIMES obit is that he was born Shapiro but,
> according to the assimilationist impulse of his day, changed it to Scott in
> the late forties. It was a privilege to have known him. *Requiescat in pace*
> On Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Funny, he was mentioned here not long ago.
>> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Dennis D. Rooney
> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
> New York, NY 10023