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j_loopOffline
Post subject: Armstrong Mac The Knife Test Pressing?  PostPosted: Feb 02, 2013 - 01:42 PM
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I just picked this up since it looked pretty unique and in decent shape. Does this seem like a test pressing? Would it be like an acetate that doesn't stand up to repeated listenings? (It does have that colder/metal feel to it that leads me to think acetate- if I'm remembering my terminology correctly) I should also say that it's 10" and 1 sided. Would it be 78 or 33.333rpm? Nothing in the deadwax. It may not be original, but it was in a Presto Recording Company sleeve. Any help appreciated!



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Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 02, 2013 - 04:32 PM
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AAAaaahhh...A Jazz question. Wonderful, JLoop. I sincerely thank you.


Now then...to begin with the Nola Recording Studios (as the label states) was on Manhattan in New York City. It's located atop the Steinway Building on West 54th Street about half a block from Broadway and just below the southern end of Central Park. It's still there, in fact, and still a recording studio, though updated for the digital world, of course. Loads of the great Jazz and Pop artists from the golden age recorded there. Names like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Lena Horne, Judy Garland and many others graced the place not to mention in the more modern era, artists like James Brown and others.

on to the sleeve and record. I don't know the connection between Presto Recording co. and Nola Studios, but i would guess that presto used Nola for recording purposes on occasion. In any case, the most interesting part of your question (for me at any rate) is about the specific recording. Velma Middleton was Armstrong's regular vocalist from 1947 through 1960 and actually she had appeared with him on record since 1942. Of all of the Louis Armstrong/Velma Middleton recordings, i don't think their studio version of "Mack The Knife" has ever been released. there are however private recordings (READ: BOOTLEGS). you may have something special here (at least to Jazzophiles). The record is certainly some sort of test pressing or acetate. i would lean to test pressing (although, i have no real basis for that estimation).

A word about Velma Middleton: She was much maligned by reviewers at the time. she was a 250Lb woman who, to be honest, wasn't the greatest singer in the world. what she was however, was pure showmanship. She sang, she danced and at the end of her performance she, all 250Lbs of her, did a full on split. I believe it was probably was the high level of theatrics that put off the critics. Armstrong apparently had a deep fondness for her...and that's good enough for me. He tried for many years to further her career. Mostly unsuccessfully.

rooster

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 02, 2013 - 11:28 PM
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rooster wrote:
... The record is certainly some sort of test pressing or acetate. i would lean to test pressing (although, i have no real basis for that estimation)....
Unless Nola Recording Studios had plating and pressing facilities (available), I would lean toward a lacquer ("acetate"). If there are guide holes present beneath the label (or visible on the flipside), that would, off course, be diagnostic for a lacquer. The recording itself might be an aircheck, but this is just a thought prompted by the "Broadcaster" printed on the label. Great background info. (as usual) just the same.
 
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j_loopOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 - 09:39 AM
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First, thank you both very, very much.
I did do a quick search for Middleton, but didn't dig deep enough to hear about the theatrics or the fact that they never released a studio version of this tune, very intriguing.
And as for the record, yes it does have more holes. The spindle hole plus 3 more, so it looks like lacquer/acetate.

So my big question now is 33 or 78? I would think 33, right? I know there are a lot 10" records at 33, but in my limited experience with them I always associate 10" with 78.

Cheers!
 
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rooster
Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 - 06:23 PM
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j_loop wrote:
First, thank you both very, very much.
I did do a quick search for Middleton, but didn't dig deep enough to hear about the theatrics or the fact that they never released a studio version of this tune, very intriguing.
And as for the record, yes it does have more holes. The spindle hole plus 3 more, so it looks like lacquer/acetate.

So my big question now is 33 or 78? I would think 33, right? I know there are a lot 10" records at 33, but in my limited experience with them I always associate 10" with 78.

Cheers!



About no studio version of "Mack The Knife": Allow me to be more clear. Of all the Armstrong/Middleton records that I have seen/know about/seen in lists, i have never seen or heard mention of a studio issue. As I wrote earlier, there are bootlegs and official recordings (of live performances, chiefly by Louis Armstrong And His All-Stars) that include the song in question. Some of the songs That Armstrong And Middleton recorded were later re-done by Armstrong with other female vocalists. The best known of which were the Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong Duets.


The record (an acetate...LOL...never rely on my guesses...Laughing) is a 1963 or earlier recording or at the very least the label predates 1963. I've seen examples of Nola labels from the mid 1950's that are of a different design. I would think that the recording is somewhere between 1956 (when Armstrong released his first version, a top 20 hit) and 1960 (when Velma Middleton and Louis Armstrong parted company) .


I vote for 33 1/3 rpm (rooster's guesses.... Wink )


rooster

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 04, 2013 - 11:45 AM
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Thanks some more Rooster!
I have the record cleaned up now, but I still need to swap in my lighter-tracking cart before I can play it (hopefully in the next day or so). I'll be sure to post the results.
Cheers!
MK
 
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17 Post subject: Berthold Brecht's "Mack the Knife"  PostPosted: Feb 04, 2013 - 12:59 PM
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rooster wrote:
. . . i don't think their studio version of "Mack The Knife" has ever been released . . .

( ( ( ( ( (((((((
    I have a 7-inch single on German Philips - Catalogue no 321 776 BF, issued 1956. I have to investigate if this is the studio version of that song.

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rooster
Post subject: RE: Berthold Brecht  PostPosted: Feb 04, 2013 - 02:31 PM
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Falk,

Do you have "Mack The Knife" by Armstrong And Middleton? That would be fantastic. It is, of course, possible that the Armstrong/Middleton cut was only released in Europe. My thought is that it's the 1956 Hit version by Louis Armstrong And The All-Stars. It would be a studio version, I think, but not the same one as JLoop's Acetate.



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j_loopOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Feb 05, 2013 - 10:20 AM
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Well...it's a 78. Sounds studio to me.

DivShare File - Mac The Knife.aiff

Let me know if the embed didn't work.
Cheers- Matthew
 
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20 Post subject: . . . and the shark has teeth dear . . .  PostPosted: Feb 05, 2013 - 12:36 PM
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rooster wrote:
Falk,

Do you have "Mack The Knife" by Armstrong And Middleton? That would be fantastic. It is, of course, possible that the Armstrong/Middleton cut was only released in Europe. My thought is that it's the 1956 Hit version by Louis Armstrong And The All-Stars. It would be a studio version, I think, but not the same one as JLoop's Acetate.

rooster

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    Curt,
    your guess was right, the version(s) I have are with the All Stars. Two different musical versions (studio/live) and three different issues.

    I failed in stating the year of that issue I mentioned in my previous posting, it's from '59, here are the copies I have:

      'Take It, Satch!' - (DE Philips - 429 127 BE, 1958) "VG"/"VG"
      'Mack the Knife' / 'Back o' Town Blues' - (DE Philips - 321 776 BF, 1959) strong "VG+"
      'Mack the Knife' - (Dutch EP - CBS - EP 5.515, 1952) "VG"/"G+" live recorded

    @j_loop: thanks for your efforts, the link worked fine. Congrats to your unique version of this song, I was truly delighted to listen to this version.



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