I wonder what percentage of the lacquer masters got saved.Wasn't it standard policy later on to transfer them to tape?
> Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 10:24:53 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] metal parts- was Barr
> To: [log in to unmask]
> As a friend of AFR Lawrence at the time he was advising Columbia on the
> metal parts issue, here's what I recall.
> Larry was asked by Goddard Lieberson to analyze the various matrix series in
> their Bridgeport vaults. He compiled a list of prefixes and determined
> whach were owned by Columbia and which by others for whom Columbia hade made
> custom pressings. This later group included various 16" metal parts.
> Planning was underway for the Pittman, NJ plant to which the masters were to
> be moved. Lieberson felt there was no point in building a storage space
> large enough for all the metal parts if a significant number of them were
> not Columbia's property to be considered for commercial exploitation by
> them. Space to hold only company-owned materials was to be included in the
> new building. (This sounds like good management to me.) The new facility
> was opened in 1961. At that time, there were very few sound archives in the
> U.S. I believe NYPL didn't want them- Phil Miller was a friend of Larry's
> and mine and knew about this research. Phil was in continual touch with
> Harold Spivacke, head of the Music Division at the Library of Congress
> (there was no separate sound section as yet.) Yale's "Historical Sound
> Recordings Collection" had no space and a tightly defined colleting misson
> that put a large, non-classical metal parts accumulation out of bounds.
> Neither Syracuse nor Stanford had operating sound archives at the time. I
> don't know if the Vitaphone-type masters were offered back to the film
> companies who owned them but I recall mention that most owners of the
> non-Columbia stuff could not be traced.
> Decisions about the fate of then-surviving Columbia-owned masters were made
> within the company. Larry's job was as "indentifier-in-chief."
> Remember that there was a constant combing for various reusable metals
> during both world wars in all countries, survival of the country being a
> fairly important consideration. In my opinion, it is far preferable to be
> able to bitch freely about this loss than to be buying superb copies with
> Nazi currency.
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gray, Mike
> Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:45 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] steven barr - metal parts
> Without stepping on this thread, here is what I understand to be the status
> of metal parts in company hands:
> Sony Music - Holds Victor parts + some HMV; disposal of Columbia, et al.
> metal may be related to the closure of the Bridgeport plant (cf. AFR
> Lawrence papers at LC)
> Former EMI - Holds primarily classical parts - most pop metal and most of
> Columbia was destroyed during World War II. Also had virgin pressings of pop
> material. Vault inventory exists. Note: for metal trasnferred for the Great
> Recordings reissues of the 1950s, metals were destroyed;
> Former EMI-France - Holds selected metal parts, primarily 12 inch classical.
> An inventory was made in 2005;
> Universal Music France - Donated metal parts to the Bibliotheque nationale -
> most consist of 45/LP metal, though the donation did include on previously
> unknown Edith Piaf side;
> Former Electrola - All metal destroyed during World War II - company
> solicited metals from affiliates to restore catalog after 1945;
> Deutsche Grammophon - Holds ca. 5K parts pre-1914 from the 'Gramophone'
> catalog - many DG/Grammophon electrical metals survived in the pressing
> plant but were destroyed thereafter;
> Warner-Teldec - 78 Telefunken metals currently survive - other metals
> survive in Japan;
> Nippon Columbia - Some metals survive.
> A further note: Because Columbia 78 metal work after ca. 1939, and at
> Capitol and Decca, were recorded from lacquer session masters, the lacquers
> represent the original recordings and (hopefully!!) are still being
> P.S. I don't believe the Universal deal with LC set a precedent for future
> donations ...