Hi Mike:

That's a haul! Good for you two. Another LaserDisc diehard, eh?

Regarding the Fennell record, I find a number of those Mercury fd35 and fds "Command wannabe" 
records in mono format in dollars bins, plus more mono Command records than I would have thought 
would have been made. The record companies pressed mono versions to cover their bases, but in the 
case of "stereo spectacular" productions, it seems like a mindless following of "tradition" in 

The Fred Fennell Cole Porter record was made at Fine Recording Bayside (the former Everest studio). 
I can almost guarantee there wasn't a separate mono mix. Remember that those three Fennell albums 
(Victor Herbert, George Gershwin and Cole Porter) were among the few Mercury Living Presence albums 
made with a many-mic technique (Fennell did a couple more "pops" albums in the later 60's, and one 
or more of the later Romeros albums were recorded as "productions" with active mixing and separate 
mics on everyone).  They were essentially pop albums commissioned by Mercury HQ to augment the David 
Carroll and Xavier Cugat and other pop artists in the "Command Wannabe" series. So since they 
weren't standard 3-mic MLP productions, the mono would have been a fold-down of the three master 
channels. For regular MLP mono albums, up through 1964, the mono channel was the same single-mic 
pickup as always, which was the center mic for the stereo pickup. A separate pair of full-track tape 
decks were on the truck for the mono recording because there was too much crosstalk to use the 
center channel of the 3-track. So, in practice, the mono LPs come from separate edits of the session 
tapes but the edits were pretty much identical. I've never listened to all the mono vs. stereo but 
here and there I bet there are slight differences, just due to human imperfections or imperfect edit 
notes (in the 60's, in most cases, the mono tapes were edited by a different person from the stereo 
tapes, using the stereo tape edit notes).

The Fennell Gershwin and Porter albums were reissued on CD. The 35mm master for the Porter was lost 
(and never found), but there was a 3-track tape "B reel" set run at the sessions, which was used to 
master the CD. The Gershwin tape was a 2-track which was thought at the time to have been made when 
the LP was mastered, "live" from the 3-2 mix. But, my reading of the old Mercury tape logs indicates 
that session was recorded live to 2-track. At the time of the Gershwin session, that's how pop album 
were done at Fine Recording Manhattan, there weren't even three channels on the Studio A mixing 
console, so if they really were recording to 3-channel they'd have needed to patch into Studio B. 
Also comparing the original LP to the CD, I don't hear the telltale extra generation of tape hiss 
and "washout" of dynamics. That CD sold relatively well when it came out, but it's been out of print 
now for a long time. Fennell made a couple more "Pops" records during his time with Mercury, and one 
could consider the three Leroy Anderson records to be pop albums.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and - "ARSCers"

Leah and I got to Princeton Record Exchange near the end of the day and
was able to get the 10-inch-2- disc Janis Joplin Pearl outtakes and the
10-inch Pete Townsend Quadrophenia demos. She put back The  Wall 7-inch
box.  She got an Ozzy 12-inch and 7-inch pic disc, and another 7-inch
left over from last year.  (That's Osborne, not Nelson.) I got the Muddy
Waters 12-inch.  Then today we got to the Brooklyn Annex of Academy and
thanks to Steve Ramm's heads up about the Tompkins Square 78s I was able
to get TWO copies of the Luther Dickinson one that is going for more
money on ebay than the one by Ralph Stanley.  They said they sold out of
the Stanley yesterday.  I wonder how many copies they had??  They were
$18 each.  They had them on a rack on the wall behind the register, and
I spotted them since I had seen that they were just in plain yellow
sleeves.  I agree with Steve that this was not a well thought out
promotional effort.  Too few copies and no effort to have a printed

We also bought oodles of other stuff and I have no idea if I will have
money in my account when the credit card bill is due!!  At Princeton we
got a lot of laser discs.  I got Vol 1-3 of Twilight Zone for 3.99 a
box, and she got four box sets of Twin Peaks for same price.  At Academy
I got the Pearl reissue of Florodora cast recordings from 1900.  Two
volumes on JEMF of "Work's Many Voices".  Some interesting early Gene
Autry reissues, one on Anthology of Country Music "sounds like Jimmie
Rodgers" with thing from the early 30s with a lot of alternate takes,
and a 4-disc box by Columbia Special Products on Murray Hill (of all
labels!) of Autry from 1929 thru 1942 with no dupes on the ACM disc.  A
Clark Galehouse special on Golden Crest by Jon and Sondra Steele which I
never knew existed.  They are most important for a 1948 recording "They
All Recorded To Beat the Ban" about the musicians union strike.  And one
record that would be interesting for Tom Fine for the info on the
gatefold album -- a mono copy of Freddy Fennell conducts Cole Porter on
the f:35d series. If only it was stereo.  But if it were stereo not only
would it have been much more than $1.00, it would have been gone long

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

On Apr 22, 2012, at 7:17 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

> There were some retro items in the RSD selections, reissues of old Vanguard albums plus old 
> Stax/Atlantic singles, and a vinyl issue of Dr. John's new album, not to mention a red vinyl 
> limited edition RSD exclusive of Little Richard's first LP, newly reissued. For early-middle-aged 
> among us, Uncle Tupelo was likely on the radar in college times and now their first 3 albums are 
> back out in vinyl. For the younger among us, punk and speed-metal fans, Refused is back together 
> and touring, and their superb album, "The Shape of Punk To Come" (which had totally escaped my 
> worldview back in 1998) was an RSD exclusive as a 2LP red vinyl reissue. Remember, that was 14 
> years ago it was issued, so when it was current, the likely fan base from that time is now in 
> their late 20's to mid 30's. An old 40-something like me wasn't following Swedish speed metal in 
> the late 90's, although apparently I should have been! Funny thing, what caught my attention was 
> the
 retro-appreciating album cover and title (the title is an adaption of
an Ornette Coleman album and the graphics are lifted from the style of
old Columbia jazz albums including the "stereo 360" logo). Liking the
music was a bonus, making the $30 well spent.
> By the way, one could easily count the Metallica RSD vinyl album as "retro" since they were in 
> their heyday when I was in college back in the mid-80's. That's a generation ago now, hence retro 
> for sure.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Ramm" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 3:04 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store Day and - "ARSCers"
>> Cary wrote:"I have seen nothing in the way of new compilations of material
>> on vinyl or reissues of classic jazz,
>> Broadway, country, or even generic pop.  The Record Store Day releases,
>> aside from the occasional
>> "novelty" issue of  something on 78 (the Beach Boys' 78 of "Good
>> Vibrations" last year comes  to
>> mind), are still of little interest to ARSCers - at least from a West
>> Coast perspective."
>> While I'm sure I know where you are coming from in your comment Cary, I
>> think that if the term "ARSCers" will always be defined as those who collect
>> recordings (including CDs) pressed before 1980 or so (or even before 2000)
>> then  ARSC needs to broden its exposure to new collectors. We have folks like
>> Uncle  Dave Lewis who give a classical music AND a punk rock paper at an
>> ARSC  Conference (great jobs on both!) but not everyone is UDL. Are the folks
>> who  really flock RSD ARSC member (and hence ARSCLIst member) possibilities?
>> I  understand the 78-L listserve members (many who are here) but it seems
>> to me  that we should be as diverse as the MLA listsefe - and, actually, more
>> sore  since many of the MLA folks work with sound recordings as part of the
>> JOB and  not hobby (and probably could care less about RSD).
>> What I thought was the dumbest RSD move was for Tompkins Square records to
>> press 500 78s and send to the stores. They probably could have produced
>> 2,000 or  more and sold them. They'd make a nice profit and collectors would
>> thank them.  Instead those "resellers" who grabbed the 500 will put on eBay
>> and Tompkins  Square won't see a penny. We only had one (out of of 6
>> independent record  stores within blocks of my house) participate in RSD and they had
>> basically no  "special product).
>> Steve Ramm