Clunky

What 78 are you spinning right now ?

1,180 posts in this topic

Riverboat_shuffle.jpg

A couple of months ago I acquired my first red-label Okeh Bix Beiderbecke 78 - Riverboat Shuffle/Ostrich Walk by Frankie Trumbauer. It's a little worn, so there is some surface noise, but with the right stylus and EQ, the sound is really vibrant.

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13 hours ago, jeffcrom said:

Riverboat_shuffle.jpg

A couple of months ago I acquired my first red-label Okeh Bix Beiderbecke 78 - Riverboat Shuffle/Ostrich Walk by Frankie Trumbauer. It's a little worn, so there is some surface noise, but with the right stylus and EQ, the sound is really vibrant.

Forgive me for being a bit lazy in not looking through this (great!) thread to find out, but I'm wondering what turntable/cartridge/stylus you use to play your 78s. Some of these--like this one!--are so valuable, I'd almost be scared to play them at all!

 

 

gregmo

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3 hours ago, gmonahan said:

Forgive me for being a bit lazy in not looking through this (great!) thread to find out, but I'm wondering what turntable/cartridge/stylus you use to play your 78s. Some of these--like this one!--are so valuable, I'd almost be scared to play them at all!

 

 

gregmo

When I got into 78 madness a few years back I found a vintage Miracord turntable with 78 speed and set it up with a Grado 78 cartridge. I used that until a couple of years ago, when I got a very flexible Rek-O-Kut table (I hate the name, but it goes back for years) made by Esoteric Sound. I play LPs, 45s, and 78s of all types on it. I use an Ortofon Blue cartridge for LPs and 45s. When I'm ready to play 78s, I take off that headshell and put on the one with a Stanton cartridge (don't know the model). I have six styli of different sizes I can use with the Stanton - some 78s sound better with a larger stylus, some with a smaller one. It takes me about 45 seconds to change out the headshell and adjust the tracking weight, and just seconds to pop one stylus off and replace it with another.

The Esoteric Sounds table gives me the flexibility to play every record with the ideal setup. I have half a dozen 12" hi-fi 78s made in the 1950s by Ewing Nunn's Audiophile label. They sound amazing when played mono with a microgroove stylus, as intended. They always sounded lousy on my Miracord table, with the 78 cartridge and larger stylus. I also have a few modern 78s that need to be played in stereo with a microgroove needle. I have a few 33 RPM discs of radio airchecks from the 1940s that I can now play with the larger stylus they need.

So, yes, I'm either:

A) a serious 78 collector
B) insane
C) both of the above.

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21 hours ago, jeffcrom said:

When I got into 78 madness a few years back I found a vintage Miracord turntable with 78 speed and set it up with a Grado 78 cartridge. I used that until a couple of years ago, when I got a very flexible Rek-O-Kut table (I hate the name, but it goes back for years) made by Esoteric Sound. I play LPs, 45s, and 78s of all types on it. I use an Ortofon Blue cartridge for LPs and 45s. When I'm ready to play 78s, I take off that headshell and put on the one with a Stanton cartridge (don't know the model). I have six styli of different sizes I can use with the Stanton - some 78s sound better with a larger stylus, some with a smaller one. It takes me about 45 seconds to change out the headshell and adjust the tracking weight, and just seconds to pop one stylus off and replace it with another.

The Esoteric Sounds table gives me the flexibility to play every record with the ideal setup. I have half a dozen 12" hi-fi 78s made in the 1950s by Ewing Nunn's Audiophile label. They sound amazing when played mono with a microgroove stylus, as intended. They always sounded lousy on my Miracord table, with the 78 cartridge and larger stylus. I also have a few modern 78s that need to be played in stereo with a microgroove needle. I have a few 33 RPM discs of radio airchecks from the 1940s that I can now play with the larger stylus they need.

So, yes, I'm either:

A) a serious 78 collector
B) insane
C) both of the above.

I.e., you're a lot like the rest of us on this board (well, the "insane" part, anyway!). Thanks for the detailed reply!

 

 

gregmo

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My solution is fairly similar. The Ortofon cartridge I use allows stylii to be swapped onto the same cartridge body. I’ve three 78 stylii made by Expert Stylus. Ortofon’s own 78 stylus isn’t great but Expert refit conical or elliptical stylii of various sizes replacing the tip. My turntable is an old transcription TT made by  Lenco (GL75 ) 

these sold well back in the day and are widely available ( at least in eBay!) 

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On 12/5/2015 at 10:32 PM, jeffcrom said:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/94/10/41/94104199445fc9d57c60e59f60d27f67.jpg

Nick's Presents his Dixieland Jazz Band Featuring "Muggsy" Spanier (Manhattan). Nick Rongetti's joint was one of New York's pillars of Condon-school dixieland in the 1940s.  He put out three 3-pocket albums by his regulars, under the nominal leadership of Muggsy Spanier, Pee Wee Russell, and Miff Mole. Muggy's is pretty nice.

This again today - really nice. Pee Wee is in excellent, eccentric form. Ernie Caceres is featured on "Bugle Call Rag" and sounds so good that it makes me wonder why he isn't more widely known in the pantheon of baritone saxophonists.

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10 hours ago, jeffcrom said:

This again today - really nice. Pee Wee is in excellent, eccentric form. Ernie Caceres is featured on "Bugle Call Rag" and sounds so good that it makes me wonder why he isn't more widely known in the pantheon of baritone saxophonists.

Is this music available on cd or download? 

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3 hours ago, medjuck said:

Is this music available on cd or download? 

Looks like its here:

https://www.amazon.com/Quadromania-Muggsy-Spanier/dp/B0007UPSJQ/ref=sr_1_18?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1534166352&sr=1-18&keywords=muggsy+spanier

and here:

https://www.amazon.com/Chronological-Classics-Muggsy-Spanier-1944-1946/dp/B000024XCE/ref=sr_1_23?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1534166352&sr=1-23&keywords=muggsy+spanier

The titles are "Muskrat Ramble," "Tin Roof Blues," Feather Brain Blues," "Lucky to Me," "That's a Plenty," and "Bugle Call Rag."

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s-l1600.jpg

 

someone get this off ebay for 35 rt now- dawg it sounds just like manhattan transfer- i couldnt believe it

On 8/14/2018 at 7:26 PM, jeffcrom said:

Of possible interest to some folks here - an early recording of "High Society," the traditional jazz standard that began life as a march:

https://78rpmblog.blogspot.com/2018/08/an-early-high-society.html

 

bro i have one of those records, but the song title has faded and i have no idea by listening to it what it is.  

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R-9466918-1481071125-7586.jpeg.jpg  R-9123628-1475177918-8741.jpeg.jpg

Two complete sessions:

Sidney Bechet with Noble Sissle's Swingsters - When the Sun Sets Down South / Blackstick & Sweet Patootie / Viper Mad (Decca, 1938)

Don Byas - My Melancholy Baby / Once in a While & Avalon / Blue and Sentimental (Jamboree, 1945)

The Bechet session is particularly nice. The ensemble gets a lot of different textures and colors with just three horns. The tenor player, Gil White, doubles on clarinet, as of course does Bechet, so there are lots of combinations possible with the trumpet.

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Yes, I like Bechet's work with Noble Sissle from the mid-30s. I finally got it on cd by getting a 4-cd JSP set remastered by Ted Kendall. That Don Byas record looks particularly obscure! I don't think I'm familiar with "Jamboree" Records. Has that one been issued on cd?

 

 

gregmo

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8 minutes ago, gmonahan said:

 That Don Byas record looks particularly obscure! I don't think I'm familiar with "Jamboree" Records. Has that one been issued on cd?

 

 

gregmo

Byas recorded three sessions for Jamboree, resulting in 12 sides. I've got all six 78s. They are included in the Chronological Classics CD series. I've got a few other Jamboree records, including Dave Tough's only session as leader.

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Did the Byas sides land anywhere else before/besides Classics?

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25 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Did the Byas sides land anywhere else before/besides Classics?

I think I had them on this lp.

R-3484041-1466096006-8982.jpeg.jpg

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46 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Did the Byas sides land anywhere else before/besides Classics?

They're also on a French LP on the Black and Blue label: Don Byas 1945.

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151136692334.jpg

Ending the evening with some worn blues piano 78s. A couple are about 50% music and 50% surface noise. But I still love them, and am glad that the original owners loved them. Luckily, the best of them, the Hersal Thomas, is in the best condition -  a solid V on the 78 scale, and better-sounding than any CD reissue I've heard.

Cow Cow Davenport - Chimes Blues/Slow Drag (Broadway)

Walter Roland - School Boy Blues/Screw Worm (Perfect)

Memphis Mose (Georgia Tom Dorsey) - Pig Meat Mama/Hear Me Beefin' at You (Brunswick)

Snitcher Roberts (James "Stump" Johnson) - The Duck's Yas-Yas-Yas/Heart is Right Blues (mislabeled "Low Moanin' Blues) (Okeh)

Hersal Thomas - Suitcase Blues/Hersal Blues (Okeh)

 

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On 20/08/2018 at 1:06 AM, jeffcrom said:

Byas recorded three sessions for Jamboree, resulting in 12 sides. I've got all six 78s. They are included in the Chronological Classics CD series. I've got a few other Jamboree records, including Dave Tough's only session as leader.

I’ve a handful of these Byas discs ( 3 or 4) on Jamboree. Really excellent sessions and very nicely recorded considering it was a small label.

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1 hour ago, Clunky said:

I’ve a handful of these Byas discs ( 3 or 4) on Jamboree. Really excellent sessions and very nicely recorded considering it was a small label.

All of the Byas small group sides made stateside as leader in the 1944-1945 timeframe are available on a 4-CD set on Definitive.  It has material that he recorded as a leader for Savoy, Jamboree, Hub, Super Disc, American, National, Arista, International, and Gotham, as well as sideman sessions with Little Sam & Orchestra, Albinia Jones, Eddie Heywood, Emmett Berry, Hank D'Amico, Cyril Haynes, Nat Jaffe, and Johnny Guarnieri.  I don't routinely buy material on Definitive, but it filled some gaps.

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Posted (edited)

R-12144077-1529182854-6369.jpeg.jpg

The Original Memphis Five was a studio band that recorded for just about every label that existed between 1922 and 1926. They were a second-tier band, in that they weren't at the level of the best jazz bands of the time - King Oliver, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, etc. But they were solid, and solidly a jazz band, rather than a semi-hot pop band. I probably have more 78s by them than by any other band, because they're consistently good, and can be had for cheap, since the records are not as collectible as Oliver or Jelly Roll Morton discs.. Trumpeter Phil Napoleon was the leader, and he's good, but clarinetist Jimmy Lytell was an unsung hero of the 1920s - he had a fiery, searing style. At the risk of overkill, here's a complete listing of the stack I played tonight, prompted by the arrival of a "new" one in the mail (the last one listed).

Shake Your Feet / That Bran' New Gal O' Mine (Regal, 1923)
Blue Grass Blues / Sioux City Sue (Perfect, 1924)
Memphis Glide / Yes, We Have No Bananas (California Ramblers) (Perfect, 1923)
Aggravatin ' Papa / Four O' Clock Blues (Vocalion, 1923)
My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time / Hula Lu (High Society Seven - a small group from the Sam Lanin band) (Grey Gull, 1924). The flip isn't bad.
Oh, Baby / I Never Care About Tomorrow as Long as I'm Happy Today (Perfect, 1924)
Ji-Ji-Boo / You Can Have Him, I Don't Want Him, Didn't Love Him Anyhow Blues (Pathe Actuelle, 1922)
Red Hot Mama / Chula Blues (Metropolitan Dance Orchestra) (Radiex, 1924)
I'm Going Away to Wear You Off My Mind / Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (Majestic Dance Orchestra) (Broadway, 1922). I didn't bother to play the flip.
Back O' Town Blues / St. Louis Gal (Puritan, 1923)
Your Mama's Gonna Slow You Down / Steppin' Out (Bell, 1923). This was issued on Bell's blue-label "race" series, even though the OM5 was a white band.
Go, Joe, Go / That's No Bargain (The Red Heads) (Perfect, 1926). This is the only record with another band on the other side on which the flip side is better than the Memphis Five - The Red Heads was a Red Nichols group.
Runnin' Wild / Loose Feet (Banner, 1922)

The Perfect and Pathe (related labels) records from before 1926 sound really weird due to the company's recording process. They recorded onto a paper towel-sized wax cyliner that revolved at a fast rate. Then they dubbed (acoustically) the masters from that cylinder. So all Perfects and Pathes from that period are second-generation copies. Not only do they sound thin, they tend to have clunky mechanical noise from the dubbing process.

I bought quite a few these in New Orleans; they were from the collection of trumpeter and Southland label owner Joe Mares. He made notes on the sleeves of keys, presumably as he learned the tunes from the records.

Wow - long post. Sorry.

 

Edited by jeffcrom

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7 hours ago, jeffcrom said:

R-12144077-1529182854-6369.jpeg.jpg

The Original Memphis Five was a studio band that recorded for just about every label that existed between 1922 and 1926. They were a second-tier band, in that they weren't at the level of the best jazz bands of the time - King Oliver, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, etc. But they were solid, and solidly a jazz band, rather than a semi-hot pop band. I probably have more 78s by them than by any other band, because they're consistently good, and can be had for cheap, since the records are not as collectible as Oliver or Jelly Roll Morton discs.. Trumpeter Phil Napoleon was the leader, and he's good, but clarinetist Jimmy Lytell was an unsung hero of the 1920s - he had a fiery, searing style. At the risk of overkill, here's a complete listing of the stack I played tonight, prompted by the arrival of a "new" one in the mail (the last one listed).

Shake Your Feet / That Bran' New Gal O' Mine (Regal, 1923)
Blue Grass Blues / Sioux City Sue (Perfect, 1924)
Memphis Glide / Yes, We Have No Bananas (California Ramblers) (Perfect, 1923)
Aggravatin ' Papa / Four O' Clock Blues (Vocalion, 1923)
My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time / Hula Lu (High Society Seven - a small group from the Sam Lanin band) (Grey Gull, 1924). The flip isn't bad.
Oh, Baby / I Never Care About Tomorrow as Long as I'm Happy Today (Perfect, 1924)
Ji-Ji-Boo / You Can Have Him, I Don't Want Him, Didn't Love Him Anyhow Blues (Pathe Actuelle, 1922)
Red Hot Mama / Chula Blues (Metropolitan Dance Orchestra) (Radiex, 1924)
I'm Going Away to Wear You Off My Mind / Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (Majestic Dance Orchestra) (Broadway, 1922). I didn't bother to play the flip.
Back O' Town Blues / St. Louis Gal (Puritan, 1923)
Your Mama's Gonna Slow You Down / Steppin' Out (Bell, 1923). This was issued on Bell's blue-label "race" series, even though the OM5 was a white band.
Go, Joe, Go / That's No Bargain (The Red Heads) (Perfect, 1926). This is the only record with another band on the other side on which the flip side is better than the Memphis Five - The Red Heads was a Red Nichols group.
Runnin' Wild / Loose Feet (Banner, 1922)

The Perfect and Pathe (related labels) records from before 1926 sound really weird due to the company's recording process. They recorded onto a paper towel-sized wax cyliner that revolved at a fast rate. Then they dubbed (acoustically) the masters from that cylinder. So all Perfects and Pathes from that period are second-generation copies. Not only do they sound thin, they tend to have clunky mechanical noise from the dubbing process.

I bought quite a few these in New Orleans; they were from the collection of trumpeter and Southland label owner Joe Mares. He made notes on the sleeves of keys, presumably as he learned the tunes from the records.

Wow - long post. Sorry.

 

No need to apologize. It was interesting to read.

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22 minutes ago, paul secor said:

No need to apologize. It was interesting to read.

And a bit mouth-watering. ;)

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4 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

And a bit mouth-watering. ;)

True that!

 

 

gregmo

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Posted (edited)

R-7104291-1433818452-4986.jpeg.jpg 

I switched my turntable over to play Edison Diamond Discs for a couple of days - set the speed to 80 RPM, flipped the "vertical" switch, put on my largest stylus, and adjusted the equalizer from a more-or-less normal setting for 78s to the weird settings that make Edisons sound good for reasons I don't understand. Edisons are such strange beasts - at their best, they are amazing-sounding acoustic records. But they're really touchy - slight surface wear or damage makes them skip or sound awful, and they are really inconsistent, since Edison kept experimenting with different formulas for the core and surface. The labels are glued on, rather than pressed into the record, so they tend to get damaged or come completely off. Anyway, I started with old-time country and moved on to jazz and near-jazz:

Ernest Stoneman - Watermelon Hanging on the Vine / The Old Hickory Cane (1926)

John Baltzell - The Old Red Barn / Durang Hornpipe (1923) "Champion Old Time Fiddler" - born 1860

Jasper Bisbee - McDonald's Reel / Opera Reel with Calls (1923). Bisbee's recordings are really important as a glimpse into 19th-century American music. He was born in 1843, and was playing professionally by the 1860s. He recorded 18 sides at his first recording session - at age 80!

Chas. A Matson"s Creole Serenaders - I Want a Daddy (I Can Call My Own) / Broadway Dance Orchestra - Rose of Brazil  (1923). Matson's was one of the few black bands recorded by Edison. It's interesting near-jazz. The Broadway Dance Orchestra was the anonymous Edison studio band.

Ellen Coleman (pseudonym for Helen Baxter) - You Got Everything a Good Man Needs (But Me) / Cruel Back Bitin' Blues (1923). An African-American vaudeville blues singer accompanied by Lemuel Fowler's lively little jazz band.

Original Memphis Five - A Bunch of Blues / Jelly Roll Blues (1923). Excellent music, and the second side is really interesting as an early Jelly Roll Morton "cover."

Golden Gate Dance Orchestra (California Ramblers) - Sing a Little Song / Atlantic Dance Orchestra - Virginia's Calling Me (1924)

Golden Gate Orchestra (California Ramblers) - Manhattan / Oh Say! Can I See You Tonight (1925). For those who don't know, the California Ramblers were a pretty hip "big band" for their time.

The red star on the label of the Jasper Bisbee record (also present on the Original Memphis Five, Charles Matson, Ellen Coleman, and John Baltzell records) was something Edison did for about a year. Thomas Edison personally listened and approved every selection his label released. If he thought a record was not likely to sell well, he marked it with a red star, and sold it to dealers at their own risk - they were not allowed to return unsold copies. It soon became apparent that his judgement was not in line with popular taste - "Opera Reels" was something of a hit, as were other red-starred Edisons - so the practice was abandoned.

 

Edited by jeffcrom

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