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From: "Place, Jeff" <[log in to unmask]>

Jeff -- First of all, don't just hit reply and send the list the entire
digest.  Pick an appropriate subject line, like I picked "Producer
Credit", and delete everything else on that line and in the digest that
isn't appropriate.  (and Rich and Brenda -- please don't repeat the
"crime" of resending the digest, especially for a one line reply!!)

> Hi ARSC folk: My colleague Richard James Burgess is the author of the book,
> The Art of Record Production. He is updating his book and he had a few
> questions which I thought I would share from the group. Do any of you
> know the answer or know of a good source (s) to look them up in. Here goes:

> Thanks for offering to ask these questions:
> 1. What was the earliest use of the term producer (as in record producer or music producer)

You might want to contact Niel Shel, Nathanial Shilkret's grandson.  I
don't have his book at hand but I think he might be able to give you an
answer.  Nat was first in charge of the foreign language section of
Victor and worked as a producer and conductor before he became a noted
leader.  He also was involved in making broadcast syndication discs in
1931 and this might have led to the migration of the word producer to
the record business. 

> 2. When was it used on a label or cover
> 3. Who was the first to use it

In December 1939 was the first of several albums featuring Lee Wiley
devoted to a single composer.  They were produced by Ernie Anderson who
also wrote the liner notes.  The first album "Eight Show Tunes From
Scores by George Gershwin" was recorded Nov 23 & 25 1939 and released on
the Liberty Music Shop label in December 1939. They state on the labels
"Recording Supervised by Ernie Anderson". In Jan or Feb 1940 came The
Rodgers and Hart Album issued by Rabsons Music Shop on the Music Box
label, and the labels state "Recorded By Ernie Anderson 1940".  Writer
Stanley Green stated that the idea for the Gershwin album came from an
advertising artist John DeVries and that Ernie Anderson was the manager
of the musicians used on the albums.  John DeVries signed the artwork on
the cover of the Gershwin album (which predates the first album
illustrated by Steinweiss by at least three months, so do not fall for
the Steinweiss myth because he actually was a follower of more than a
hundred albums issued on a dozen other labels.) The cover of the Rodgers
and Hart Album shows the artist credit of DeVries-Peterson.

Since 1938 Milt Gabler was the producer of jazz records on his Commodore
Music Shop label, but I am not sure if his name was on the label.  The
story of how he was producing the records was widely known in the
collector circle and mentioned in the jazz press.  George Avakian got
the idea for a series of jazz albums at about that time, but they were
not produced on Decca until 1940.  Avakian and John Hammond were the
jazz producers for Columbia jazz reissue albums after that.  Their names
appear as writers of the liner notes or booklets.  

> 4. Most of the early producers such as Fred Gaisberg seem to have
> termed themselves “Recorders” is this the most commonly used term
> and if so when was it used until

Actually I think they used the term "Experts" in Europe from the very
beginning.

> 5. Were there other terms used for what we know call the role of producer

Supervisor, Recording Supervisor.

> 6. Apart from Frances Densmore were there any other early women recorders or producers

She was really a Field Recorder on her own, not producing for a company.
 Two albums of field recordings by Laura C. Boulton "African Music:
Rhythem in the Jungle, Vol 1 and 2" were issued on RCA Victor in 1940. 
The cover and labels state "Recorded by Laura C. Boulton on the Straus
West African Expedition of Field Museum of Natural History". One of the
pictures on the covers shows Laura at her equipment surrounded by
African natives.  

I hope this helps.  I have photographs of the labels and album covers.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]