[Dixielandjazz] Turk Murphy discography

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Sat Oct 30 20:54:26 PDT 2004

DJML and others--
     The following dullness deals with discographies, so go ahead and 
hit that delete key now if you aren't interested.
     A couple of weeks ago i received a package from Walt Johansson 
containing (among other things) two floppy-disks with datasets of his 
recordings, all in a special ".C8T" format of DOS-program written by 
Steve Abrams.  As he said in the accompanying letter, "the C8T files 
are a home grown data base format that a friend of mine wrote in DOS 
Basic some twenty or more years ago, for use in setting up a data for 
recorded sound labels, and currently we have about a half million 
sides of records in this format."  (This largesse was initiated by 
the wonderful Dottie Lawless, who originally sent me a copy of the 
printout of this discography.)

     He also generously sent three CDs on his own private Alpha Music 
of Hawaii label: "Lu Watters -- Acetates -- Vol # 1" and "Lu Watters 
-- Acetates -- Vol # 2" ("Acetates from Bill Dart's Home Recorder") 
and "AMH -- 122, 78s from Walt's Vault" ("Various Artists" like 
Charles Dornberger Orchestra playing "Wonder If She's Lonely Too" and 
the Manhattan Merrymakers playing "I Never Had a Mammy")--wonderful 
stuff.  He deserves a knighthood at least for all the work he did 
entering this information, and a sainthood for sending all of this to 

     The datasets he sent are these (in the C8T-format): TUR-TBLE, 
record in these datasets was as follows:
         Artist: 30 bytes (or 30 characters in non-computer speak)
         Tune:   50   "
         Matrix: 10   "
         Label:  10   "
         Misc:   10   "  (source-code for sorting, like 00-A14)
         Vocal:  10   "
         Date:   10   "  (performance date for printing in mm/dd/yy format)
         Comp:   30   "  (performance date for sorting  in yymmddnn format,
                          where nn is the tune-number on the recording)

Through the ingenious offices of this mailing-list, others (David 
Littlefield ('Sheik') and Craig Johnson) offered to help me read and 
translate this format.  Sheik also forwarded some information from 
the 78-list (the '78-L List' at http://www.78online.com/ ):

     "The "C8T" file format is in what is technically called a
      "Random-access" text file format. It is structured as follows:
          ARTIST (30 bytes)
          TITLE (50 bytes)
          5 fields with varying uses (10 bytes each)
          COMMENTS (30 bytes)
      so each data record is 160 bytes long, containing 8 fields as
      listed above. This format was developed by Steve Abrams, who has
      a web site as well as an e-mail address shown there.
          The only program that I know of that can do a direct
      conversion (into a dBASE format, or ".dbf" which it uses, is
      Lotus Approach. It is possible with a bit of effort to paste the
      files into Excel, using the field list above to establish the
      cells and rows. This will not happen automatically, since the
      files use no defined separators between data fields or data
      records, so Excel doesn't recognize them as separate cell
      contents (see Excel Help re "importing data.""

I snuffled about on the web like a hog rooting for truffles to find 
out where i could get Lotus Approach, and i found a company called 
TekDeal at http://www.tekdeal.com/get_list_35.htm who were willing to 
sell me not only Lotus Approach but the whole Lotus SmartSuite for 
$14.95 (including Lotus products 1-2-3, Word Pro, Freelance Graphics, 
Approach, Organizer, FastSite, and SmartCenter).  It now costs 
$26.99, but is still a good deal, but you have to know that this is 
just an 'OEM CD' with those applications on it, without any manuals, 
and this is only for Windows computers, not Mac, but i have both 

     I installed the Lotus SmartSuite including Approach and was 
indeed able to read Walt's datasets by a) creating a copy of them as 
text-files, and b) importing them as fixed-length records of 160 
bytes each.  Then i saved them as regular .dbf files, which i 
converted to Excel files.

     Here are the datasets and examples of their formats and contents. 
Since i can't show you the full 160-column record, i'll try to give 
you an idea of it.  These displays look best in a fixed-width font 
like Courier 12.

TUR-TBLE: Turk Murphy Recording List by Artist (3,498 records, from 
258 recordings; 524K in Excel)

Artist                         Title
------------------------------ ------------------------------------
                                SAN FRANCISCO JAZZ  Vol 1 (GTJ)
Turk Murphy     ldr-tbn-vcl    New Orleans Stomp (Armstrong-Hardin)
Bob Scobey              tpt    Chimes Blues (Joe Oliver)
Bob Helm      clt-sopsx-vcl    When My Sugar Walks Down The Street
Burt Bales              pno    Of All The Wrongs You've Done To Me
Harry Mordecai          bjo    Grandpa's Spells (Morton)
Dick Lammi          sbs-tba    Trouble In Mind (Richard M. Jones)
    "                           Turk's Blues - aka  Social Polecat
    "                           Papa Dip (Lil Hardin Armstrong)

In the preceding records, the contents of
     FIELD1   (Matrix)    = L 12026
     FIELD2   (Label)     = GTJ Lp
     FIELD3   (Misc)      = 2026-A00 through 2026-A08
     FIELD4   (Vocal)     = Good Time
     FIELD5   (Date)      = 5/31/49
     COMMENTS (Comp Date) = 49053100 through 49053108

TURK-A-Z: 3,281 records (492K in Excel)

In the records below, the TITLE (between ARTIST and FORMAT) is always 
Alexander's Ragtime Band (Berlin):

--------------- ------    -------    -------  --------   --------  -------
                 F  112    Fair Lp    112-B03  Fairmont   06/  /50  50060010
Turk Murphy vcl Priv Tape NIC        0602-A01 *          06/02/50  50060201
                 LPM 2501  Vic Lp     0501-A05 Victor RCA 05/01/61  61050105
Pat Yankee  vcl Tape 341  Burkholder 341-B01             05/01/61  61050122
                 Priv Tape NIC        0568-A20 *          05/28/68  68052820
Pat Yankee  vcl Priv Tape NIC        1169-B10 *          11/25/69  69112519
Stanislaus  vcl Priv Tape NIC        0414-A17 *          04/14/73  73041417
                 Priv Tape NIC        0316-B19 *          03/16/74  74031622
                 Tape  24  Neal       24-A09              09/30/77  77090309
Stanislaus  vcl Priv Tape NIC        0805-A06 *          08/05/79  79080506
Stanislaus  vcl Priv Tape NIC        0809-A05 *          08/09/79  79080905
Stanislaus  vcl Priv Tape NIC        0103-A08 *          01/03/80  80010308
Pat Yankee  vcl Tape 341  Burkholder 341-B01  Burkholder 05/06/90  90050612

Downhome 78s   dataset:  16 records (12K in Excel)
Good Time Jazz dataset: 801 records (both 78s and LPs; 124K in Excel)
Jazzman 78s    dataset:  72 records (24K in Excel)
West Coat 78s  dataset:  41 records (16K in Excel)

     I'll be glad to send you any or all of these datasets.  It would 
be easier to attach them to email-messages, but they might take a 
fair amount of time to read in if you don't have a fast (cable or 
such) connection. I can also copy them to a CD and snail-mail it to 
you if you want, but that'll take appreciably longer of course.  No 
charge for either method, all part of the service others have done 
for me and i'm passing on.

     By the way, speaking of discographies and their ilk, there are 
some very nice bibliographies and discographies for Turk Murphy and 
McGoon's in the new _Meet Me at McGoon's_ book that Carol Clute has 
available.  There is a bibliography for booklets (one page) and for 
books (seven pages), and there is a discography of five pages of 
recordings, plus a partial list of 14 record dealers for jazz 
recordings (of which i was aware of only 7).

     Thanks, Walt!

**  Dan Augustine    Austin, Texas   ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu     **
**   "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."  **
**                                      -- Kingsley Amis              **

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list