I will check one of my Detroit bcasts from way back there.  It probably
says where it is coming from.  It wouldn't be from a place built in the

I just checked one of them, and the announcer says it is coming from the
Masonic Temple in Detroit, before an audience of 5000 people (that's a very
big space, especially for a concert hall).

Re Cass Auditorium, was it really the gymnasium shown in the pic in that
link?  I would think that a real gym like this would be way too reverberant
for good recording.

Best, John

On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi John:
> Edsel Ford Auditorium was brand spanking new in the mid-50's, early in the
> Mercury contract with Detroit. The Ford family was more than generous to
> the orchestra, so politics dictated that recordings be made in the Ford
> Auditorium. It took several years to convince the orchestra board to allow
> recordings in old orchestra hall (the Paradise Theatre). Cass was well
> known by Detroit recording folks, but it wasn't even on Mercury's radar
> until the Paradise Theatre got too dangerous and delapidated to use for
> recording.
> Aside from being a great acoustic space, Cass Auditorium was a chamber
> within a building, so it was very quiet to traffic, airplanes, train
> rumble, etc. This is one of the coolest photo spreads I've seen about Cass:
> Cass was also a great institution in its day, an idea about
> vocational-education that is sorely needed today. Cass kids came out of
> high school with job skills and practical training, as well as book
> learning. This concept is pretty much alien to public education today.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 4:25 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old Mercury recording venue gets a rebuild
>  Starting in 1934 and continuing for a number of years thereafter, the
>> Detroit Symphony appeared on a radio program, the Ford Symphony Hour.
>>  Some
>> of the most distinguished conductors of that time regularly guested on
>> this
>> show, which also featured big name soloists.  Preserved broadcasts show
>> that the orchestra was an excellent one during this period, and the
>> acoustics audible on these recordings sound OK, with a touch of nice hall
>> ambiance.  A number of these broadcasts are sought after by collectors.  I
>> don't know where these shows were recorded, but I assume they predate the
>> Ford Auditorium referred to previously.
>> Best,
>> John Haley
>> On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 3:57 PM, Leo Gillis <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>  Hi Tom,
>>> I must second that statement.
>>> The Ford Auditorium had one of the worst acoustics
>>> it has ever been my (dis)pleasure to experience.
>>> No real music lover was saddened at the news of its demolition a couple
>>> years ago.
>>> I used to joke that the best sounding concert I ever attended there was
>>> Marcel Marceau :-)
>>> Meanwhile, a couple miles away on Woodward is the magnificent Orchestra
>>> Hall,
>>> which has one of the best acoustics of any hall anywhere,
>>> and it was built in a matter of 5 months - probably not to any
>>> 'scientific' principles!
>>> In between these two extremes, the excellent auditorium (and entire
>>> building)
>>> of Cass Technical High School is now demolished.
>>> Perhaps you have some info on the recording session for Berlioz'
>>> Symphonie Fantastique that Paul Paray and the DSO did there for Mercury?
>>> Despite my hometown bias, this is still one of my favorite versions of
>>> that work.
>>> -- Leo Gillis
>>> --------------------------------------------
>>> On Tue, 3/18/14, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>  Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Old Mercury recording venue gets a rebuild
>>>  To: [log in to unmask]
>>>  Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7:11 PM
>>> ...
>>>  As bad as Northrop was as a recording venue, the absolute
>>>  worst was the Edsel Ford Auditorium in Detroit. This was
>>>  another "modern" venue designed by "science." It was almost
>>>  unusable for stereo recording and barely usable for mono
>>>  recording. Mercury ended up using the old orchestra hall,
>>>  then called the Paradise Theatre and used at other times by
>>>  a local evangelical church. Then Cass Technical High
>>>  School's wonderful auditorium was "discovered," just in time
>>>  for 35mm recording and improved stereo cutting.
>>>  -- Tom Fine