I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Roger Kinkle’s Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz 1900–1950. The original four volumes are usually easy to find, and then there is the update of Volumes 2 and 3. Whenever anybody asks what to use instead of the discredited Whitburn Pop Memories,I tell them Kinkle,and Variety Musical Cavalcade (multiple editions).
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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Francesco Martinelli <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2021 3:56:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Books about the acoustic era
I believe this very useful volume has not been mentioned yet
Cook, Nicholas et al. The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music. Cambridge;
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Il giorno ven 9 apr 2021 alle ore 20:07 Ron Roscoe <[log in to unmask]>
> Great list, thanks to all.
> I have a copy of Morton, David. Sound recording: the life story of a
> technology. Johns
> Hopkins Paperbacks. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
> I could never finish it due to the errors: here is my review of that book
> that can be found on Amazon:
> "I have never finished reading this book! Every time I try to read it, I
> come across another gross error of fact! Here are some examples:
> page 26: Author states that "violins recorded [acoustically] fairly well".
> About as far from the truth as you can get. Stringed instruments recorded
> very poorly, because there was no focus to the sound as with brass
> instruments. That's why the Stroh violin was invented. It had a diaphragm
> under the bridge and that drove two horns, a small one pointed at the
> player's ear so he could hear what he was playing, and another larger horn
> pointed at the recording horn.
> pages 36-37: the proper material for 78 rpm records was shellac, not
> "lacquer". And the pumice added to the shellac did not "make up the bulk of
> the record". 10-inch lateral 78's did not hold 3-4.5 minutes of sound; 3
> minutes is about right. 12 inch 78's held about 4.5 minutes of music.
> page 40: The diameter of the standard Edison 2 minute cylinders was
> 2.1-2.2 inches, not 3 3/4 inches. The speed of the standard shellac lateral
> disc was nominally 78.26 rpm, not 80 rpm, which was the speed of the 1912
> Edison Diamond Disc. [However, it is true that many early 78 rpm acoustical
> discs were recorded at speeds below 78 rpm.]
> page 60: Author states that "at the end of the [wax recording] session it
> was the recordists' responsibility to listen to the recording and decide if
> it was good enough." Well, listening to a freshly cut wax master would have
> destroyed it, using the crude [heavy!] playback apparatus in use during the
> acoustical or early electrical processes.
> page 64: Author states that by 1921 "High-quality music was now available
> in most areas via radio for free." Well, it certainly was free, but high
> quality? Not in 1921. Radio sound was distinctly inferior to phonograph
> sound until about 1928 when the Rice-Kellogg modern dynamic speaker was
> introduced. Radios were battery powered until ~1928, and they had low-power
> audio tubes driving efficient magnetic speakers that were not suspended at
> the edges and which could produce very little bass, compared to an
> acoustical disc or especially an Orthophonic disc record, introduced in
> page 74: "The new sound technology [electrical or Orthophonic recording]
> of the late 1920's...." was actually in the hands of the public in 1924-25!
> Also, the 33 1/3 rpm speed did not have to wait until the late 1940's; RCA
> Victor introduced 33 1/3 rpm records [program transcriptions] in 1931. They
> played for about 10 minutes per 10" side but the 1930's economic depression
> did them in.
> page 93: "Columbia also introduced a low-noise record using a central
> paper core laminated on each side with a mixture of plastic and very fine
> powdered stone." These records were shellac, not plastic, and had the same
> noise as other shellac 78's that were impregnated with pumice. The
> cardboard core may have strengthened the disc and reduced the amount of
> shellac used in each record, but these records were just as noisy as the
> non-laminated ones.
> page 98: "Allied was the predecessor of the current Radio Shack." Not
> true. Tandy in 1970 owned Radio Shack and then acquired Allied in 1970, not
> in 1937. Gross error.
> page 100: The original Wurlitzer Simplex jukebox could not play 24
> standard 10" 78 rpm discs in 1934. The 24 disc mechanism came out in 1937,
> original Simplex model only held 12 discs.
> Well, that's about as far as I got in this book. If there are so many
> errors that I do know about, I keep wondering about what else is wrong that
> I'm reading that I don't know about!!"
> Ron Roscoe
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sam Brylawski
> Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2021 1:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Books about the acoustic era
> Thanks to all the contributors for this enormously useful, and growing,
> bibliography. To it, I suggest contemporary and collector-oriented serials
> that are now accessible to all in the Internet Archive. The Media History
> Project is a useful front-end, but its content is comparatively paltry.
> Still, here you'll find complete runs of Talking Machine World and
> Phonogram (1890s).
> Through the Internet Archive directly (archive.org), one can access and
> download such serials as 78 Quarterly, JEMF Quarterly, The Talking Machine
> Review, Victrola and 78 Journal, and The New Amberola Graphic.
> In addition to serials, valuable resources include CD notes that accompany
> releases such as those from the Archeophone Records catalog.
> Sam Brylawski
> On Apr 7, 2021, at 12:20 PM, Sophie Maisonneuve <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Here are a few late additions to the publications already mentioned, some
> by members of this list. This bibliography, mainly focused on cultural and
> social history, was compiled in the early 2000’s; thus, recent and other
> subject-oriented references might be missing:
> Guiness Book, 1984.
> Edge, Ruth and Leonard Petts. The collector's guide to "His Master's Voice"
> Nipper souvenirs. E.M.I. Groupe Archive Trust, 1997.
> Frith, Simon. « The Making of the British record industry, 1920-1964 » In
> Impacts and influences, ed. James Curran, 278-290. London:Methuen, 1987.
> Gronow, Pekka and Ilpo Saunio. An International History of the Recording
> Industry. London: Cassell, 1998.
> Harvith, John and Susan E. Harvith, ed. Edison, musicians, and the
> phonograph. A century in retrospect. New York/Westport, CT/London:
> Greenwood Press, 1987.
> Katz, Mark. « Making America more musical through the phonograph, 1900-1930
> » American Music 16, n° 4 (1998): 448-475.
> Kenney, William Howland Recorded Music in American Life. The Phonograph and
> Popular Memory, 1890-1945. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
> Le Mahieu, D. L. « The Gramophone : recorded music and the cultivated mind
> in Britain between the wars » Technology and culture 23, n° 3, juillet
> Mackenzie, Compton. My record of music. London: Hutchinson, 1955.
> Martland, Peter. Since records began : E.M.I., the first 100 years. London:
> B.T. Batsford, 1997.
> Miller, Russel and Roger Boar. The incredible music machine. London:
> Quartet, 1982.
> Milner, Greg. Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music.London:
> Granta, 2009.
> Moore, Jerrold Northrop. A voice in time : The gramophone of Fred Gaisberg,
> 1873-1951. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1976.
> Morton, David. Sound recording: the life story of a technology. Johns
> Hopkins Paperbacks. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
> Philip, Robert Early recordings and musical style : changing tastes in
> instrumental performances : 1900-1950. Cambridge: Cambridge University
> Press, 1992.
> Sterne, Jonathan. The Audible Past. Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction.
> Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2003.
> Taylor, Timothy D., Mark Katz, and Tony Grajeda, ed. Music, Sound, and
> Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema,
> and Radio. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.
> Thompson, Emily. « Machines, music, and the quest for fidelity:Marketing
> the Edison phonograph in America, 1877-1925 » Musical Quarterly 79, n° 1
> (1995): 131-171.
> Sophie MAISONNEUVE
> PhD. History & Civilizations
> Associate professor in sociology
> Université de Paris - Cerlis
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