Hi, Karl and Tom,
It is also my understanding that Gonzaga has a fairly complete
collection of Crosby ETs. Jack Mullin's family has some and since I am
no longer in touch with Jack's family, I don't know the current status
of that. When the family loaned the remaining Magnetophon to the San
Francisco Airport exhibit in conjunction, I think, with an AES show,
that was my last contact with the family.
At least a decade ago, I do not think that Gonzaga had digitized the
ETs. I digitized all the tapes in the Mullin Family Collection and those
files are at Stanford, the tapes were returned to the family.
The tapes from the Palmer Collection (via Jim Wheeler) are physically
stored at Stanford.
The Stanford catalog listing is here:
The online finding aid is here:
At the top right is a link to a PDF file of the complete finding aid, or
it can be navigated using the table of contents in the right window.
The collection that I worked with pre-dated the mainstream use of tape
for Philco Radio Time with Bing Crosby. I do not know where any of those
tapes are or if they still exist.
I also do not know when the use of ETs was terminated, airing live from
The 1947 work (starting with the show that aired October First) was done
on Mullin's two tape machines which were the Magnetophon transports that
he salvaged from Germany with his home-built electronics chasses that
were loosely based on the German design, although it is my understanding
that Jack's electronics ahad one additional tube (valve) as compared to
the German design.
The tape-recovery story goes that Jack would sit up late at night,
half-asleep, listening to tones recorded on tapes and hearing a step in
sensitivity would move the tape of different sensitivity to another reel.
While very interesting material, the Magnetophonband Typ L was crude for
audio by later standards. Since it was homogeneous, the depth and
density of the magnetic particles were not well controlled and one can
hear level variations in the reproduction that can be ascribed, most
likely, to physical variations in the tape structure.
Overall, using the full width of the tape (6.5 mm vs. today's 6.35 mm),
and running at 30 in/s with AC bias, the recording quality is quite
good, although ETs were also quite good in 1947.
I doubt that the off-air recordings at UTA offer much insight into the
available quality that the Gonzaga/Family collection of ETs offer,
however, they may fill in a hole or two in that combined collection,
though the Gonzaga collection, as I understand it, is rather complete
since it was donated by the Crosby family (I don't know the detailed
history). My hazy recollection is that between the family collection and
the Gonzaga collection, there are only a few missing shows.
I do not see a detailed listing of the holdings at Gonzaga, but did find
---or a shortened version---
It is interesting to note from the above link, that they hold the following:
> Gonzaga University has a large collection of Bing Crosby radio discs including:
> The Bing Crosby Show : 1949 - 1954
> Kraft Music Hall: 1943 - 1946
> Minute Maid Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: 1949 - 1950
> Philco Radio Time: 1946 - 1949
> Miscellaneous: 1936 - 1960
My understanding is that the discs are generally two discs per half-hour
show, with the first disc recorded outside in and the second disc
recorded inside out. In that way, the EQ did not jump at the transition
between the two discs.
I think this is about all I know on this subject (or can find).
I am in no way putting down UTA. In fact, I am considering UTA as the
repository for my St. Thomas Church (New York City) and other Church
Music recordings as UTA has a school of Sacred Music which Dr. Gerre
Hancock who was organist and master of choristers at St. Thomas for many
years "retired" to. His wife, Judith, is still there.
On 2015-09-22 21:37, Karl Miller wrote:
> When I was recordings curator at the University of Texas at Austin I connected with a man who had a relative...a sister? who was a huge fan of Bing Crosby. She had recorded many of his broadcasts on discs. Most of the discs were of rather poor quality but, when I left the collection, they were still in good shape. She did not record the entire programs, but only the portions when Crosby was on the air. I got him to donate the collection. My "superiors" at the University saw no reason to fund their transfer. I remember my successor being asked about the discs to which he supposedly responded..."the collection was not worth bothering about."
> She had also collected, as far as I know, all of the commercial Crosby discs known at that time. The library administration decided to catalog the commercial recordings.
> Perhaps some Crosby collection was acquired by them subsequent to my departure, yet I am unaware of it. I believe Crosby's personal collection went to Gonzaga University. As far as I know, my successor at UT knew nothing about the Gonzaga donation, yet, that was at least ten years ago. Hence, as far as he might have known, these were some of the sole surviving copies of some of these broadcasts.
> On Tuesday, September 22, 2015 8:17 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Weren't most of the Bing Crosby broadcasts at the University of Texas originally recorded to tape? I
> remember reading that Jack Mullin would reuse bits of tape he edited out, but were whole shows
> erased and reused? If not, why aren't the tapes the master medium and why are the transcription
> disks necessary for archival purposes? Aren't they inherently inferior since they are at best
> second-generation dubs and more likely are second-generation dubs made down a phone line?
> -- Tom Fine
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.