On 02/06/2014 08:05 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
> Based on articles and record-company literature and catalogs of the
> time, RCA and Mercury were the first bigger companies to really embrace
> stereo. Columbia was very conservative with their evolution, and Capitol
> was ready to get into stereo but got in after RCA and Mercury stepped
> with both feet. Smaller companies were also in early and fast, but their
> catalog offerings were often forgettable. RCA and Mercury (and later
> Columbia) could move right in with long-established artists and
> reputations for good-sounding mono.
In the book "Sessions with Sinatra", one of Capitol's engineers of the
pre-Tower period (I'm wanting to say John Palladino but I'm at work and
the book is at home) mentions that they were always experimenting with
new things at Capitol back in the Melrose Avenue days, and the engineers
would find themselves withstanding blistering lectures from higher-ups
about the futility and waste of stereo while secretly experimenting with
stereo mic'ing and taping as early as 1955 or 1956.
Capitol's problem was, of course, market push. RCA had a singular
advantage over everyone else because they not only made records, they
made instruments on which to play them. Everyone and their brother
eventually could put out stereo records, but RCA could push the market
with stereo phonographs (and stereo reel-to-reel tape decks, for that
matter), and advertise the heck out of them - an importance that is easy
to overlook today, where such integration really doesn't exist anymore.