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Indeed, Steve brings up a question that is quite relevant. Among OTR
vendors there is a tendency to downplay music programming, religious
programming
and sports-only types of broadcast. The emphasis is on dramatic shows and
comedy, mainly.

David N. Lewis
Lebanon, OH


On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Sound quality varies greatly among iterations.  Records derived from a
> common source are issued in great and in terrible sound receive equal
> billing and potential buyers hare left unwarned about the latter, I feel
> this ellement must be taken into account.
>
> Does old time radio also include opera broadcasts?
>
> Steve Smolian
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Randy A. Riddle
> Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:05 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice on otr discography
>
> I agree this would be a useful project, but it's a different animal than
> the
> lp discography I'm working on.
>
> Really, this would be a survey of archival holdings of original and dub
> transcription discs and tapes, as well as tapes from collectors that have
> found their way into archives and libraries.
>
> Back during the hey-dey of OTR nostalgia, there were thousands of tapes
> that
> were shared among collectors and many that were commercially released by
> big
> outfits like Goldin's Radio Yesteryear or Radio Reruns and collectors that
> would dupe and sell a limited number of copies and sell them through mail
> order or other venues.
>
> The lp discography would be useful for libraries, collectors and
> researchers
> since the lps were more widely distributed in many copies - most aren't
> uncommon.
>
> I put some thought into a larger database of OTR.  The basic idea I came up
> with was a database based on individual programs that would list a full
> description, keywords, casts and where the shows are held or are available
> online and some notes about the specific holdings on the original discs or
> tapes and the sound quality if known.
>
> I really think this would be a good candidate for an inter-institutional
> effort done with some type of seed money from a grant or big money
> donation.
> I did some "back of the envelope" calculations and figured you could
> catalogue all of the OTR shows circulating among collectors in a couple of
> years with about $1 million to cover the costs of full-time cataloguers
> that
> would listen to the programs and enter the information.
>  There are many more programs that are on discs in archives that have never
> been transferred to tape or digital.
>
> Randy
>
>
>
> On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM, Tom Fine
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
> > Hi David:
> >
> > I agree with your point, that there is other captured (recorded)
> > material that was never commercially reissued. It would also be good
> > to document just what are the sources for the commercial reissues (for
> > instance, some of the transcriptions sold by David Goldin and later by
> > the company to which he sold some or all of his material) seem to be
> > copy transcriptions (ie disk-to-disk dubs).
> >
> > To my thinking, a practical way to document this would be, instead of
> > traditional discography, do it as program listings followed by
> > known-extant recordings, known-once-extant recordings and commercial
> > reissues including their sources. I don't know if this data can ever
> > be collected this long after the fact, but it would show a "family
> > tree" for each distinct broadcast.
> >
> > If someone ever works on this, you should contact Art Shifrin and
> > spend as long as it takes to pick his brain. Art knows a lot about how
> > radio programs were transcribed and has some first-generation
> > documentation of practices at some networks and with some shows. It's
> > also worth looking into Columbia University's archives because I think
> > Erik Barnouw left his papers to Columbia. My point is, there has been
> > some research and documentation done, so no need to completely
> > reinvent the wheel. There also is a large collection of recordings if
> > not documentation in Tennessee that I have mentioned before. It is
> > probably worthwhile finding out more about the donor and seeing if he
> > left papers along with the hundreds of reel tapes.
> >
> > If one were to get into this, expect to step in with both boots,
> > expect to take years, and don't expect to make a fortune from your
> > work. I expect you'll end up with a Rupli-sized series of books, if
> > printed books are even appropriate for this (it might be better to
> > just put it all in an online database at this stage of technology).
> > There were thousands of hours of broadcasts preserved (recorded), many
> > episodic shows and also many local broadcasts and one-time events. So
> much
> material to document and trace!
> >
> > -- Tom Fine
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 7:44 AM
> >
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice on otr discography
> >
> >
> >  I appreciate that in many cases LP reissues would be the only
> > accessible
> >> source for some broadcast material. But I also know that what was
> >> issued on LPs/tapes represents only a fraction of radio recordings in
> >> the first generation space. Naturally, first generation sources are
> >> quite inconsistent in the way that they are numbered; instantaneous
> >> cut sources are often not numbered in any way, and one source for a
> >> program might take an entirely different form from another of the
> >> same program.
> >>
> >> Nevertheless, I wonder why our forebears found it satisfactory to
> >> document only the reissue versions of radio programs. I realize an
> >> entirely different kind of project is being suggested here, one that
> >> has value and that I applaud. But in the Hal Kemp discography I wrote
> >> in preparation for my recent ARSC talk, I was frustrated by the lack
> >> of solid data available on first generation sources for radio
> >> programs. It naturally leads to inconsistency of entry.
> >>
> >> best,
> >>
> >> David N. Lewis
> >> Lebanon, OH
> >>
> >>
> >> On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM, bARC <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>  Everyone
> >>>
> >>> For OTR you can now search our online catalog @
> >>> http://arcmusic.org/catalogs/recordings/
> >>>
> >>> Using radio you get about 1400 hits, so by label best, like Radiola
> >>> (112 LPs).  We also have a Herman Chittison collection on CD donated
> >>> by his biographer (80 discs)  We would focus on cataloging all the
> >>> many others commercial radio discs in our collection as needed, per
> request.
> >>>
> >>> B. George
> >>> Director
> >>> ARChive of Contemporary Music
> >>> NYC
> >>> info@arcmusic
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On May 21, 2014, at 6:23 PM, Chuck Howell wrote:
> >>>
> >>> > We have a number of these discs here in our holdings at UMD, and
> >>> > would
> >>> be happy to participate in such a discography project.  I doubt we
> >>> have anything that the contributors to this thread aren't already
> >>> aware of, but I would like to put in a word for including
> >>> commercially released 78's in the project as well.  We have some of
> >>> these as well, which, since they were released contemporaneously
> >>> with the program, weren't really considered OTR at the time.  They
> >>> are still of interest though.
> >>> >
> >>> > Chuck
> >>> >
> >>> > Chuck Howell, CA
> >>> > Collection Leader
> >>> > Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture Hornbake Library
> >>> > North, RM 3210 University of Maryland College Park, MD  20742
> >>> >
> >>> > phone - 301-314-0401
> >>> > fax - 301-314-2634
> >>> > [log in to unmask]
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> > ________________________________________
> >>> > From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [
> >>> [log in to unmask]] on behalf of Randy A. Riddle [
> >>> [log in to unmask]]
> >>> > Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:03 AM
> >>> > To: [log in to unmask]
> >>> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice on otr discography
> >>> >
> >>> > Thom -- Thanks for your encouragement on the project.  I've
> >>> > amassed a collection of old time radio lps for many years keeping
> >>> > data about them
> >>> for
> >>> > my own reference (in the 70s on 3x5 index cards).  I've been
> >>> > thinking
> >>> it's
> >>> > time to do something more public with it if there's interest.
> >>> >
> >>> > I'd limit my work to commercially released lps - there are so many
> >>> > cassette, reel to reel and even 8-track issues out there, it would
> >>> > be difficult to track them down.  I would say that many would need
> >>> extensive
> >>> > work even to get them to play now - the lps are more permanent and
> >>> > more commonly found by collectors and libraries.  There's some
> >>> > overlap with collectors interested in music works by specific
> >>> > artists (like Bing
> >>> Crosby)
> >>> > or individuals that collect personality or memorabilia related to
> >>> > personalities (such as Bela Lugosi or Marilyn Monroe).
> >>> >
> >>> > Work does need to be done on what kind of transcriptions are held
> >>> > in institutions and by non-profit organizations or commercial
> entities.
> >>>  I've
> >>> > heard the American Legion has an extensive run of original
> >>> transcriptions
> >>> > for some series they released to stations in the early 50s about
> >>> > the
> >>> Cold
> >>> > War, for example.  Getting a handle on institutional holdings
> >>> > would be
> >>> a
> >>> > big project all by itself.
> >>> >
> >>> > Tom Fine - Duke University didn't get any original transcriptions
> >>> > in
> >>> their
> >>> > advertising collections - they have microfilm of original scripts.
> >>>  Over
> >>> > the past few years, I've donated several transcriptions from my
> >>> > own collection that fit with their different collecting areas,
> >>> > like women's history or African-American culture, so they have
> >>> > some to compliment
> >>> their
> >>> > archives.
> >>> >
> >>> > I've used Goldin's site to double-check dates or other information
> >>> > on specific shows or to see if something is in circulation among
> >>> collectors.
> >>> > I'm going to contact him by mail soon with some questions about
> >>> > Radiola and some of the quirks of the records he issued and points
> >>> > on the
> >>> history
> >>> > of the company.
> >>> >
> >>> > I'd like to find some people associated with or who have
> >>> > first-hand knowledge of the other "biggies" in the old time radio
> >>> > reissuing area
> >>> in
> >>> > the 70s and 80s like Mark 56, Nostalgia Lane, Golden Age, etc.
> >>> > Part of
> >>> the
> >>> > aim of the discography, for me at least, is a look at how
> >>> > nostalgia was "sold" to the public through these releases.
> >>> >
> >>> > rand
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> >
> >>> > On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Tom Fine <
> >>> [log in to unmask]
> >>> >wrote:
> >>> >
> >>> >> If you guys are going to do this, you should get going while
> >>> >> there are still some first-persons alive and some key
> >>> >> second-persons like David Goldin. Also, whomever runs this should
> >>> >> make sure to talk with Art
> >>> Shifrin,
> >>> >> who has quite a lot of knowledge on this topic. Also Mr. Ellis
> >>> >> down in
> >>> the
> >>> >> DC area, who has a huge collection of high-quality OTR already
> >>> digitized.
> >>> >> It's also very much worth re-reading the Erik Barnouw trilogy of
> >>> >> books because of the numerous and accurate references and other
> >>> documentation
> >>> >> throughout.
> >>> >>
> >>> >> There is also a huge collection of low-quality but sometimes very
> >>> >> interesting OTR tapes -- yep they are the dreaded 4-tracks on
> >>> >> 1/4" at 3.75IPS type -- at a university in Memphis, it may be
> >>> >> University of
> >>> Memphis
> >>> >> or Memphis State University. The librarian there is very nice and
> >>> helpful
> >>> >> about making CD dubs, but she is not an OTR person.
> >>> >>
> >>> >> My own interest in OTR is mostly focused on "news and actuarial,"
> >>> >> ie
> >>> very
> >>> >> little interest in "nostalgia" drama or comedy especially the
> >>> well-worn
> >>> >> mainstream stuff. I also have some interest in music recordings,
> >>> >> but
> >>> only
> >>> >> those of good fidelity. David Goldin used to have some very
> >>> interesting
> >>> >> news broadcasts available from his custom tape service, but I
> >>> >> never
> >>> had
> >>> >> enough money to buy all of them. I should add, one exception to
> >>> >> my
> >>> general
> >>> >> disinterest in the drama stuff is "Mercury Theatre On THe Air"
> >>> >> and "Campbell's Radio Theatre" with Orson Wells (sp?). I'm still
> >>> >> on a
> >>> quest
> >>> to
> >>> >> get all the Mercury Theatre shows in really good fidelity. I know
> >>> >> some
> >>> just
> >>> >> don't exist in good fidelity anymore.
> >>> >>
> >>> >> Another possible source of radio-transcription audio that I bet
> >>> >> hasn't been tapped is the archives of long-standing corporations
> >>> >> and
> >>> advertising
> >>> >> agencies. This would be especially true for the drama/comedy
> >>> >> stuff,
> >>> which
> >>> >> was sometimes produced by ad agencies specifically for corporate
> >>> sponsors.
> >>> >> For instance Duke University has been given tremendous amounts of
> >>> vintage
> >>> >> video advertising material. Is there any audio material in the
> >>> >> lot? If
> >>> so,
> >>> >> is it documented? What about GM's corporate archives? Coke? Pepsi?
> >>> >>
> >>> >> -- Tom Fine
> >>> >>
> >>> >>
> >>> >>
> >>> >> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Thom" <[log in to unmask]>
> >>> >> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> >>> >>
> >>> >> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:48 AM
> >>> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice on otr discography
> >>> >>
> >>> >>
> >>> >> In the paper I gave at ARSC, I included a call for a Radio
> >>> >> Research
> >>> >>> Interest Group for ARSC, one of whose aims would be to give
> >>> >>> input
> >>> into
> >>> >>> standards related to metadata of broadcasting works and their
> >>> exemplars
> >>> >>> (based in part of principles of the National Recording
> >>> >>> Preservation
> >>> Plan's
> >>> >>> goals of better cataloging practices for sound recordings and
> >>> >>> the recommendation under 4.3 "A Coordinated National Collections
> Policy"
> >>> for
> >>> >>> "a
> >>> >>> subcommittee to develop strategies and tools to collect and
> >>> >>> preserve
> >>> radio
> >>> >>> broadcast content").
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>> Your proposed discography would be very useful as it would list
> >>> commercial
> >>> >>> publications of radio programs on disc, and would link them to
> >>> >>> their original works and series. I hope you will consider
> >>> >>> publishing it to
> >>> the
> >>> >>> web as well as in book form (Scarecrow Press does this), and
> >>> >>> that you would allow other parties to license your data for
> >>> >>> re-use in broader
> >>> databases
> >>> >>> (such as national discographies [NRPP Recommendation 3.1]).
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>> Best,
> >>> >>> Thom Pease
> >>> >>> Library of Congress
> >>> >>> (not speaking  for them).
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>> On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 8:00 AM, Randy A. Riddle <
> >>> [log in to unmask]
> >>> >>>> wrote:
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>> I'm considering putting together a discography of old time radio
> >>> >>>> broadcasts
> >>> >>>> released on lp.  I'd like some advice from folks in ARSC,
> >>> particularly if
> >>> >>>> you're in a library, archives or if you're a researcher on
> >>> >>>> whether
> >>> this
> >>> >>>> would be a useful endeavor.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> Some background ..
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> In the 70s and 80s, as part of the "nostalgia boom", several
> >>> >>>> small
> >>> labels
> >>> >>>> popped up releasing old time radio broadcasts on lps.  Some
> >>> >>>> were
> >>> widely
> >>> >>>> distributed through mail order and retail outlets, such as
> >>> >>>> releases
> >>> from
> >>> >>>> Goldin's Radiola, Mark 56, Nostalgia Lane and Murray Hill.
> >>> >>>> Many
> >>> others
> >>> >>>> were put out by otr enthusiasts in limited runs.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> Although many otr broadcasts are floating around at archive.org
> >>> >>>> and other sites, these lps do contain better quality or more
> >>> >>>> complete versions
> >>> of
> >>> >>>> broadcasts and some that have never made it to digital.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> The lps often have no information on the disc or cover about
> >>> >>>> the particular episode of a program.  If the particular
> >>> >>>> broadcast can be
> >>> identified,
> >>> it
> >>> >>>> might have been done from a tape dub floating around or
> >>> >>>> original transcriptions and might be altered or incomplete.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> The discography would describe in detail the contents of each
> >>> >>>> lp,
> >>> noting
> >>> >>>> the sound quality or any problems with the material.  In
> >>> >>>> addition,
> >>> it
> >>> >>>> would
> >>> >>>> cross-reference different releases of the same broadcasts.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> I've managed to gather a fairly large collection of these lps,
> >>> >>>> but
> >>> would
> >>> >>>> probably need to fill out some gaps in my collection, so this
> >>> >>>> would
> >>> take
> >>> >>>> some time to pull together.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> I'm at a point where I've been informally putting together
> >>> >>>> notes on
> >>> these
> >>> >>>> discs for my own research, wondering if a discography like this
> >>> would
> >>> be
> >>> >>>> more broadly useful and the kind of interest there might be in it.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> I've considered three different outlets for the discography.  I
> >>> could
> >>> put
> >>> >>>> it together as a website, an ebook I might sell through Amazon,
> >>> >>>> or
> >>> try to
> >>> >>>> submit it to a publisher like Macfarland.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> I don't want to reformat all the information at a later time -
> >>> >>>> a
> >>> blog,
> >>> >>>> ebook or publisher manuscript - would be assembled differently.
> >>> >>>> My question, if you think this would be useful, would be what
> >>> >>>> you think
> >>> the
> >>> >>>> best outlet might be so I can figure out the best format to put
> >>> together
> >>> >>>> the information.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> The scope of the discography would be complete broadcasts or
> >>> significant
> >>> >>>> broadcast excerpts on lp discs and wouldn't include the many
> >>> compilations
> >>> >>>> of songs drawn from different broadcasts that are probably
> >>> highlighted in
> >>> >>>> artist or genre discographies.  However, it would include discs
> >>> >>>> that might contain a complete broadcast or band remote, for
> >>> >>>> example.  It would
> >>> also
> >>> >>>> include some lps issued before the 70s, such as lp releases of
> >>> >>>> the
> >>> CBC
> >>> >>>> McCarthy-era drama "The Investigator" or Columbia issues of
> >>> >>>> episodes
> >>> of
> >>> >>>> "You Are There".
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> Thanks.
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> rand
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>> __________________
> >>> >>>> Randy A. Riddle
> >>> >>>> [log in to unmask]
> >>> >>>> www.coolcatdaddy.com
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>>
> >>> >>>
> >>> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
>