Just got to this, David. Thanks so much.
"The Sortabiography" I have; the author, my father, Stanley Watkins, gave a (carbon!) copy to each of his children, and a lot of other folk too, including the Murray Hill archives. I may have to go back there as I did a lot of research in their archives some years ago, but didn't see the Museum. Sheldon Hochheiser was my contact; he wrote a small chapbook about the start of the talkies which features SSAW.
I will have to look up "America on Record." And I have been in contact with Ron Hutchison of the Vitaphone Project.
I think I will have to unsubscribe from the ARSCLIST as my inbox is flooded with conversations that are not relevant to me; will I still be able to get information about the Bell Labs, and Vitaphone, or ERPI, Western Electric? I don't really know how these things work.
Again, I do appreciate your help. Happy New Year.Barbara
> Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 13:32:11 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] BELL LABS/VITAPOHONE
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hello Barbara,
> For the Bell Labs experimental recordings which were made at 463 West
> Street, those may have been transferred to their current headquarters in
> Murray Hill, NJ. There is a museum there and perhaps their staff would be a
> good starting point. Some of your father's work may even be on display. In
> Andre Millard's book "America on Record" he references a box of your
> father's manuscripts sourced, presumably, from "AT&T". The full citation is
> Stanley Watkins, "The First Sixty: A Sortabiography", unpublished
> manuscript, box 84 10 03, p. 151, AT&T. If this is new information, you
> could try contacting the author or Bell Labs.
> You are probably aware of the Vitaphone project
> http://www.vitaphoneproject.com/ <http://www.vitaphoneproject.com/> Many
> of those first "talking pictures" have been released by Warner Bros. and
> can be seen on TCM from time to time. I am hopefully awaiting a future
> release of a particular Vitaphone made in 1937 of the Ciro Rimac Orchestra
> "A Musical Journey to South America" as Ciro was part of my in-law's family
> in Peru.
> David Robison
> On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 7:03 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Another datapoint. As of maybe 10 years ago, perhaps a couple years
> > further back, there were intact Vitaphone projectors and some disks in an
> > unused part of the projection booth at the Loews Jersey Theatre in Jersey
> > City NJ. I saw them with my own eyes. The funding and management situation
> > there were in flux, so no idea of all that stuff is still present.
> > Regarding non-Vitaphone work your father did, I think most of the
> > back-catalog of interest to you is owned by Sony.
> > -- Tom Fine
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Barbara Witemeyer" <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 11:39 PM
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] BELL LABS/VITAPOHONE
> > Wow! what a lot of irons in the fire to follow up on. I do appreciate all
> > this information, and will see whether I can glean anything from your
> > suggestions. Keep them coming.Thanks again, Barbara
> > Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 23:08:36 -0500
> >> From: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] BELL LABS/VITAPOHONE
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> If he goes back as far as the WE experimental recordings of the New York
> >> Philharmonic and other off the radio line sources in 1922-24, many of
> >> those
> >> discs are at the New York Philharmonic in their Archives and some were in
> >> the 10 CD set they issued. I was among those involved in finding and
> >> restoring them and still have a few non-Philharmonic items in the Western
> >> Electric experimental recording series that were pressed (in the Pathe
> >> factory in Brooklyn?) I was once told there was a hand-written notebook
> >> documenting this X- series. I had heard it was in the Sarnoff
> >> Library-Museum at one time but when I went there to look for it
> >> specifically
> >> in Princeton a few months before the Library closed, neither the librarian
> >> not I could find it. I believe much of the content of that library is at
> >> the Camden Historical Society. Incidemtally, Vitaphonr and other U.S.
> >> film
> >> synchro-discs were also pressed by RCA and, possibly, Brunswick.
> >> This is a "blind men describing an elephant by feeling it" story. Tim
> >> Brooks worked on the 4 volume matrix numerical covering the commercial
> >> records. Ross Laird did a similar study of Brunswick. The folks at Santa
> >> Barbara are publishing much Victor material on line from your period.
> >> Check
> >> DAHR. They include much fugitive stuff. Also check Mike Biel's thesis on
> >> transcription discs. He's also an ARSC member. And so much passes
> >> through
> >> dealer Kurt Nauk's hands including some of the Philharmonic "X" pressings
> >> that he may have a part of the story as well.
> >> You might plan on attending the ARSC conference in Bloomington this coming
> >> May.
> >> This is off the top of my head. Some corporate names may be approximate.
> >> Steve Smolian
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> >> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara Witemeyer
> >> Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 1:23 PM
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: [ARSCLIST] BELL LABS/VITAPOHONE
> >> Hello ARSCI'm writing a biography of my father, Stanley Watkins, who was
> >> instrumental in the development of the Vitaphone system at Bell Labs. With
> >> Sam Warner he produced the soundtracks for Don Juan and The Jazz Singer.
> >> (That's a very brief summary and leaves a lot out!)I would be grateful for
> >> any information your organization might have about the sound recordings
> >> during this period. During the experimental process he personally was
> >> recorded on many trial discs at the Labs and I would love to know if any
> >> remain.Also, Stan Watkins was in charge of recording at Columbia in the
> >> early '20s and recorded Bessie Smith and Eddie Cantor. I have been unable
> >> to
> >> find out where to look for Columbia archives of this period - I usually
> >> get
> >> sent way back to 1960!I'd be glad of anything you can suggest which might
> >> be
> >> of help in my research.Thank you in anticipation.Barbara (Watkins)
> >> WitemeyerAlbuquerque, NM505-268-7579 =