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ARSCLIST  July 2019

ARSCLIST July 2019

Subject:

Re: Female producers?

From:

Charles Amirkhanian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Jul 2019 17:41:35 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (240 lines)

No. Mary Howe was a composer. But I think Mary Howe produced one of her early LPs.

> On Jul 1, 2019, at 5:06 PM, Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Was Mary Howard the same person as Mary Howe?
> 
> Peace,
> 
> Paul
> 
> 
> On 7/1/2019 6:38 PM, Thomas Stern wrote:
>> AUDIO RECORD  February, 1948
>> VOL. 4, NO. 2
>> Published monthly by Audio Devices, Inc.,
>> 444 Madison Avenue, New York City, in the
>> interests of better sound recording.
>> 
>> Don Plunkett, Chief Engineer of Mary Howard Recordings, adjusts one of the mikes in the
>> spacious New York studio while an artist sits at the piano waiting patiently for Mary Howard's
>> cue to begin. Inset: Recording's own, Mary Howard. Photos by Murniy Laden and Kdward O'zera
>> 
>> The War Gave Mary Howard Her Big Chance to
>> Make Good in Recording; She Did ??? And How!
>> 
>> Before the War, many jobs in American industry were con-
>> sidered "man-sized" positions and therefore . . . for men only. But
>> the War and its tremendous drain on manpower soon gave the female
>> 
>> a chance to "strut her scuff." And one such
>> lady, who took full advantage of this op-
>> portunity to prove that it wasn't strictly a
>> man's world after all, was Miss Mary
>> Howard, daughter of a well-to-do New
>> England family.
>> 
>> Mary Howard had a flair for good music
>> and records particularly intrigued her. To
>> satisfy her curiosity, she bought a record-
>> ing machine and started on her own trial-
>> and-error course in record cutting. Miss
>> Howard's interest in recording steadily
>> grew ??? and so did her recording equip-
>> ment. And then . . .
>> 
>> Mary Howard came to New York in
>> 1940 and immediately applied for an engi-
>> neer's job at NBC. As girls weren't being
>> hired for that sort of an assignment, Mary
>> Howard had to be content with a secre-
>> tary's position in the engineering depart-
>> ment. Then, her big break came. NBC, los-
>> ing man after man to the armed forces,
>> (Continued on Page 4)
>> War Gave Mary Howard Chance to
>> Make Good in Recording; She Did
>> 
>> (Continued from Page 1 )
>> 
>> decided the comely secretary deserved a
>> chance to cut a disc and be paid for doing
>> it. Mary was a big leaguer from thi" start
>> and in no time at all, the trade looi J on
>> her as a master recording engineer.
>> 
>> Her work at NBC gave Mary Hc-vard
>> ideas ??? big ideas of opening her jwn
>> recording studio. And just to prove shc
>> wasn't day dreaming, Mary Hov^ard in-
>> vites you to visit her studio (Mary Howard
>> Recordings) at 37 East 49th Street in New
>> York any day you wish.
>> 
>> Since Miss Howard set up her own
>> "shop", a little over two years ago, many
>> of the biggest names in radio have used her
>> facilities. Such outstanding personalities as
>> Alex Templeton, Eddie Duchin, Ethel
>> Waters, Fred 'waring, and many others,
>> have come to Mary Howard Recordings be-
>> cause they knew that this Howard woman,
>> when it came to making recordings, was
>> "perfection on parade."
>> 
>> Mary Howard Recordings functions
>> primarily as a recording service and its
>> operations, besides cutting instantaneous
>> masters, includes line and air checks of all
>> descriptions, studio recording and slidefilm
>> work. In the last year Mary Howard
>> Recordings released their own commercial
>> records. The Herman Chittison Trio, Ethel
>> Waters, Lucille Turner and Dale Belmont
>> are a few of the artists who made recordings
>> under the MHR label. And, like the thou-
>> sands of other recording companies, Mary
>> Howard Recordings is waiting patiently
>> for the Petrillo ban to be lifted so they can
>> 'get going' again.
>> 
>> Cutting equipment in Mary Howard
>> Recordings, according to Chief Engineer
>> Don Plunkett, Mary Howard's able assis-
>> tant, consists of: 'Van Eps and Allied Cut-
>> ting Lathes, Presto 1-D Heads driven by
>> Langevin 101 -A Amplifiers. "Our mixing
>> equipm.ent," Mr. Plunkett explained, "is
>> interchangeable by means of patching. Our
>> Preamps and Our Program Amps arc
>> Langevin. Re-recording equipment at
>> MHR," Mr. Plunkett said, "consists of
>> Allied Transcription Tables and Picker-
>> ing Reproducing Equipment, which have
>> served us most efficiently of all pickups we
>> have tried. This combination ??? Allied TT's
>> and Pickering Pickups ??? we find the most
>> flexible for composite recording."
>> 
>> Audio Record asked both Miss Howard
>> and Mr. Plunkett what their particular
>> techniques were ??? what they did to insure
>> good recordings. To this query. Miss
>> Howard replied: "We are of the opinion
>> that a compact, consolidated recording and
>> control room, combined adjacent to and
>> visible to the studio is the best method of
>> recording. With this setup a recording tech-
>> nician can actually 'ride gain' but what
>> is more important can see what actual level
>> is imposed on the disc. We feel," Miss
>> 
>> Howard continued, "that the term 'riding
>> gain' is a poor description of the operation
>> involved. The more dynamics achieved in
>> a fidelity recording, even if the frequency
>> response is limited, the more the sound
>> originating in the studio will be approxi-
>> mated. We feel that too much emphasis
>> can be put on the word 'fidelity' and that
>> some of the pre-emphasized and over em-
>> phasized high frequencies often result in a
>> sound unpleasant to the ear, which after
>> all is the final judge."
>> 
>> "Dynamic fidelity of course," Mr. Plun-
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> kett h sti^ned to add, "is closely allied with
>> surface noise and care must be taken with
>> selection of styli and discs so that low level
>> prssag ????? v.'ill not 'ce marred by surface
>> noise.
>> 
>> "And then too," the chief engineer went
>> on, "recording quality must be checked
>> constantly and the best check is immediate
>> playback. This is, unfortunately, quite
>> often ignored by many studios, or discour-
>> aged by companies as a waste of time."
>> 
>> "Yes, and," Miss Howard, eager to get
>> back into the discussion added, "recording
>> information about cutting characteristics,
>> recording head designs, styli and quality of
>> response equipment is easily obtained.
>> These all enter into the final results. Un-
>> fortunately, the interest and ingenuity of
>> the recordist has often been overlooked.
>> Recording," she continued, "is not a dull
>> craft at all if engaged in all its technical
>> phases. There seems to be a prevalence in
>> large organizations for specialization ???
>> cutting technicians, studio technicians,
>> maintenance, etc. ??? which often results in
>> poor recording because of lack of interest
>> or information in all phases of the record-
>> ing operation. If interest and enthusiasm
>> were carried all the way through the re-
>> cording organization, and management,
>> perhaps time might be found to raise the
>> general recording standards in America.
>> 
>> "We have tried," she concluded, "to
>> incorporate these methods (?) in our opera-
>> tion and have had success ... or some such
>> thing."
>> 
>> >From what Audio Record has been able to learn, that 'some such thing,' Miss
>> Howard refers to, spells success all right
>>  . . and with a capital 'S'.
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven Smolian
>> Sent: Monday, July 1, 2019 6:47 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Female producers?
>> 
>> Probably the first was Mary Howe who also had her own record company and was a composer as well.  Her "Stars" was recorded on 78, Kindler, I believe.
>> 
>> Steve Smolian
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marie O'Connell
>> Sent: Monday, July 01, 2019 6:32 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Female producers?
>> 
>> Tom Fine's mother - Wilma Cozart Fine might be in the list - http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/wilma-cozart-fine-the-muse-of-mercury/
>> Marie
>> 
>> On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 10:09 AM Donald Tait < [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>>    Perhaps Jane Friedman (or Friedmann) at Columbia/Epic? She helped
>>> me at Columbia's New York headquarters in 1976 when I was doing some
>>> research about Bruno Walter's Columbia records. But I could be wrong about it.
>>>   Don Tait
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: ARSCLIST <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Mon, Jul 1, 2019 4:34 pm
>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Female producers?
>>> 
>>> Hi folks:
>>> 
>>> Anyone know who the first female record producers were? I'm not aware
>>> of anyone before classical producer Teresa Sterne at Nonesuch in the
>>> 1960s, but if there was someone else (either in classical or
>>> vernacular), I'd like to know about her.
>>> 
>>> Peace,
>>> Paul
>>> 
>>> ---
>>> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
>>> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
>>> 

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