Since we're on the subject, I could use similar help with these two. They
arrived as someone used them as packing material for a Homer Rodeheaver
record that I ordered. From the sound and style of the 'music' I would
place them about 1958, but is there something here that can date them more
I had thought that the "1657 Broadway" address given for Nola Recording
Studios -- which moved out of the Steinway Bldg. just last year -- might be
but that is still Steinway Hall where it always was. With the other disc,
does the number "PL-7-0570" mean anything to anyone?
By the way, the designation "BAD" on the Nola disc certainly fits; it's a
sentimental 50s pop song, with a piano that does not obey the harmony
implied by the
melody line and amateurish sax breaks.
On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 11:30 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> That's great, Matthew. That looks like very useful info. Maybe there is
> some way Jesse could compare what he has (the sound file) to the
> Jackson/Lomax tapes, if they have ever been made available in some format,
> from which he could make a definite conclusion.
> Jesse, the paper labels were always glued on, in my experience, and they
> often do come off (bits of the one on your disc are still there). I don't
> know if the paper labels had glue already affixed that just needing
> wetting, but I have always assumed so. We find acetate discs with many
> kinds of paper labels on them, many bearing logos (just look up
> "transcription disc" on Ebay), which is what I was referring to. The
> Presto logo here is embossed into the blank disc that was used. If what
> Matthew is suggesting were correct, the disc copy could have been made at
> any point in time after the original recording was made, so dating the
> blank itself would not be very useful. If you knew that the disc itself
> was a live recording, that would be different, but as Matt suggests, it may
> be a copy of the original recording.
> That is a common disappointment with instantaneous records, when you think
> you have found something really important, only to discover that what you
> have is a copy of a recording that is already "out there" and sometimes
> even a commercial recording. You often can't tell that until you have
> dubbed the record and compared it. I recently went thru exactly that
> exercise myself, finding that the rare looking two-sided acetate was just a
> copy of readily available commercial records. But like I always say, if
> you don't look, you don't find.
> Even if your disc is a copy, that does not mean it is worthless. I have
> found an instance where the original source had deteriorated to the extent
> that an old copy of it made way back there was a good thing to have.
> Back to your label for a minute, the small clues that can be got from what
> is left there are two typed word fragments, the first being "dier" and the
> second being "ulation" or "olation." These match two of the song titles,
> "Christian Soldier" and "The Church's Desolation," but I am sure you have
> already figured that out, and this doesn't help.
> Good luck with this.
> John Haley
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 10:50 AM, Barton, Matthew <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Hello Jesse,
> > This disc may have been copied from the field recordings of Sacred Harp
> > Singers made by George Pullen Jackson and Alan Lomax in the summer of
> > in Birmingham, AL. By this time, the Library of Congress had the means to
> > make disc copies of original field recordings for artists and the public.
> > Given that this is an aluminum based-disc, the copy may have been made
> > after the war, or the Library's sound lab might still have had a supply
> > aluminum-based lacquers. I checked, and all four of the titles you
> > were recorded by Jackson and Lomax in Birmingham. One of them, Christian
> > Solider, was recorded twice with different leaders. As you probably know,
> > there was an album release of 18 songs from these sessions, but the
> > you provided are not on it.
> > As you point out, these were popular hymns and all might have been sung
> > any given Sacred Harp gathering, but I thought I'd put this theory
> > I hope this helps.
> > Matthew Barton
> > Library of Congress
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> > [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jesse P. Karlsberg
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 10:01 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dating a Presto Recording Corp. Transcription
> > Label
> > Dear Tom, Franz, John, Steve, and others,
> > Thanks to all for sharing insights and resources in response to my
> > question yesterday about dating a Presto transcription disc label. To
> add a
> > bit more information:
> > 1. From examining the disc my impression was that the paper label was
> > home-made and pasted over the Presto logo and has since largely been torn
> > off. The Presto logo underneath is blue-green and appears to be stamped
> > printed directly on the acetate.
> > Franz: is that what you're referring to when you mention a "green stamped
> > Presto," and what leads you to associate such a label with the late
> > John: what is a "logo label"? In this case it doesn't look like the label
> > was stuck onto the disc, but rather, that it was printed directly onto
> > acetate if that's possible.
> > 2. As John speculates, the disc is aluminum and is covered by acetate or
> > some similar substance. Although the disc is indeed delaminating we
> > fortunately were able to have it digitized by Michael Graves of Osiris
> > Studio before any serious damage was done to playability.
> > 3. The material on the recording itself doesn't help us date the item.
> > disc contains four songs sung by a medium-sized group of Sacred Harp
> > singers. The sound is more consistent with a live singing convention than
> > with a studio setting. For those interested, the songs are "Raymond" (p.
> > 441 in The Sacred Harp) and "Cowper" (p. 168) on side A and "The Church's
> > Desolation" (p. 89) and "Christian Soldier" (p. 57) on side B. All are
> > relatively common songs that have been in active use over the entire
> > when the disc could have been recorded. The person from whom the Sacred
> > Harp Museum purchased the disc believed that the recording had been made
> > some time in the 1940s in East Central Alabama but had no specific
> > information.
> > What I am hoping is that others may have encountered identically designed
> > stamped Presto labels. I recognize that the disc might have sat around
> > a while before it was used, but am hopeful that if any other such discs
> > have been dated it might at least help us approximate the earliest the
> > recording could have been made, and may offer other clues as well.
> > One last question: in the 1940 Presto catalog linked from the
> > Sound blog, the final page in the second file lists various discs for
> > (http://www.preservationsound.com/wp-
> > content/uploads/2011/09/Presto_1940_cat_2.pdf) All but one, the
> > disc, mention a colored seal, yet the monogram disc has a "composition
> > base." Is the stamped label on the disc in question a "monogram"? What
> is a
> > composition base?
> > Does anyone have access to earlier or later Presto Recording Corp.
> > catalogs with different listings of available Presto discs?
> > Thanks again for all your help. I appreciate it.
> > Best,
> > Jesse