[78-L] recording sessions on lacquers began . . . ?

David Lennick dlennick at sympatico.ca
Sat Apr 21 19:51:43 PDT 2012

I think the note writer on  the Holiday set misinterpreted the circumstances. 
Certainly there were two master discs cut (at a minimum), one of them for the 
commercial pressing, but that was undoubtedly dubbed from one of the two 33rpm 
lacquers which were being cut simultaneously (which explains the A and AA take 
designations you sometimes find). Decca was also recording for World Program 
Service, or vice versa, and the same recordings often appeared on World and 
Decca..sometimes World had extra material that never made it to Decca, like one 
Larry Adler track (As Time Goes By), and in one odd instance, Decca had a side 
by pianist Rudolf Ganz that appeared only on 78 while all the other recordings 
he made were on Decca and World. (And there are instances where the World 
recording is NOT the same as the one on Decca.)

Speaking of World and Decca and Victor in the same context, ever listened to 
the World Transcriptions of the same pieces Duke Ellington was recording for 
Victor? Unbelievable differences in sound, with World the definite winner.


On 4/21/2012 10:36 PM, djwein wrote:
> The notes on the Broadway Decca CD reissue of the 1943 cast album of A
> CONNECTICUT YANKEE mention how the album was mastered from the original
> glass session lacquers (actually, a studio tape of the lacquers which had
> been broken some years earlier).
> Dave Weiner
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
> [mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of David Lennick
> Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2012 10:21 PM
> To: 78-L Mail List
> Subject: Re: [78-L] recording sessions on lacquers began . . . ?
> Victor used the Republic studios for a lot of classical recordings in
> Hollywood. As for the Decca processes described in the Billie Holiday notes,
> I'm looking at the booklet..it implies that they were cutting simultaneous
> 78RPM masters and 33RPM safeties, but I don't know if that's actually true.
> The
> sound on most post-ban Deccas for the first year or so is very dull, whereas
> Decca made nice full loud original recordings prior to August 1942, and
> later
> issues of many of these same recordings (such as Oklahoma!) are superior
> transfers and can be identified as such by numbers and letters after the
> matrix
> and take numbers.
> dl
> On 4/21/2012 9:01 PM, Jeff Sultanof wrote:
>> The information about Decca's recording methods comes (I believe) from a
>> Billie Holiday 2 CD set where some of this was explained (I no longer have
>> the set, so I don't remember exactly).
>> It is also my opinion based on what I've heard that the Hollywood Victor
>> studios was far superior to the New York Victor studios during the 1944-49
>> period. Compare Tommy Dorsey records vs. the Hollywood Artie Shaws. A
> major
>> difference. That New York studio was incredibly dry compared to the
>> beautiful ambiance of the Shaw recordings.
>> Jeff Sultanof
>> On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM, David
> Lennick<dlennick at sympatico.ca>wrote:
>>> My theory for years was that Victor and Columbia equalized their records
>>> in the
>>> mid 40s so that each one would sound terrible on the competitor's player.
>>> There
>>> certainly is a unique sound to those things. Oddly enough, I heard Freddy
>>> Martin's "Managua, Nicaragua" played on 1946 Victor machine and it
> actually
>>> sounded like music. Studios make a difference as well..listen to anything
>>> recorded at the Lotos Club.
>>> dl

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