[Dixielandjazz] Recording Low Tones - NPR series

Bill Biffle bbiffle at swcp.com
Sat Mar 1 05:42:05 PST 2003

As an aside to this, barbershop quartets started out recording with the
"leather lung" approach - due to the limitations for recording equipment -
and some say that our love affair with the resonance and ring that comes
from this full-voiced approach today stems from this.  It's interesting that
quartet recordings from the 40s are of light, sweet, non-resonant singing
(relatively).  Sometime in the 50s, guys began to "belt it" again.

Bill Biffle
Barbershopper and DLJ trumpet player

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Giffin" <nancyink at ulink.net>
To: <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>; "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List"
<dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Recording Low Tones - NPR series

> >     From: Stephen Barbone <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
> >     Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Recording Low Tones
> >     "... I was in a discussion with a recording maven the other day
> >     and he said that had Bing Crosby been born a generation earlier,
> >     never would have been able to record him properly and perhaps he
> >     never have been "relatively" famous...
> Hi, Steve and list mates,
> Last fall, I recommended an NPR series by Rick Karr entitled "TechnoPop:
> Secret History of Technology and Pop Music."
> Part 2 of the series covers this topic for anyone interested:
> >    Part Two: Going Electric (excerpt)
> By the mid 1920s, the technology of making records hadn't changed much
> Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. In order to literally "cut
> wax" in those studios, singers needed leather lungs and a lot of stamina,
> and musicians had to play really loud. When electricity came to the studio
> in 1926, it ushered in a new era of "hi-fi." Al Jolson and other belters
> with megaphones were out, Bing Crosby and other crooners with microphones
> were in -- and listeners were blown away by the new sounds...
> >    Listen to Rick Karr's report on Morning Edition, Sept. 20, 2002.
> es
> >  If you click  on "Listen to Rick Karr's..." then you are linked to the
> archived, 9-minute NPR broadcast of Part Two.
> >  If you click on the title, "Part Two: Going Electric," you are linked
> photos and sound clips elaborating on them.
> At this link, photo 6 of 7 has an interview clip with Gary Giddins, author
> of Bing's bio ("A Pocketful of Dreams..."); he mentions that Bing grew up
> listening to his father's music on one of the original Edison phonographs.
> Bing loved jazz (esp. Armstrong and Jolson), but also loved Irish tenors,
> dance bands, country music, Hawaiian music, and more. Giddins also claims
> that, back then, everyone listened to everything they could get their
> on. There was no musical prejudice as it exists today, where people are
> quick to judge good vs. bad, and have an attitude...
> The site has a lot of interesting info and photographs.
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