Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shellac attack!! 78s ripped with my new 78 stylus

Today, I turned 59 plus six days, yet I don't feel a day over 59 plus five days.

Today, 78s ripped with my new, 3.5. mil stylus--Note that I said "ripped with," not "by."  I'm sure this splendid new stylus is doing no damage to my shellacs.  And I've always wanted to type "my shellacs."

So, you get eleven chances to hear the great work my Rek-o-Cut 3.5 mil elliptical 78 stylus is doing--eleven 78s: three electrics and eight acoustic(al)s.  The problem children in this playlist include the Original Dixieland Jass Band's 1917 Indiana, Earl Fuller's Cold Turkey, and the Associated Glee Clubs of America's The Bells of St. Mary's.  Each presents its own restoration challenge--Bells of St. Mary's because, without treatment, the (1,000-plus!) voices sound remote and tinny; with the new stylus, I achieved a full sound I didn't think was possible.  (Dig the up and down volume on this--someone was adjusting the input throughout.)  Cold Turkey, because I'm used to hearing it as a blob of faraway sound blanketed in hiss--the 3.5 mil needle gives it a clarity that I love.  (And I just know you'll love it, too.)  And with Indiana, getting the instruments to sing separately, and the lower frequencies to sound out in a clear fashion, is not easy.  I've gotten some nice results with this side using my conventional (2.7 mil) needle, but the whole-groove tracking of my new needle removes any and all sonic mud.

Whole-groove tracking.  I wonder if that gives a Google match?  (Type, type)  Nope.

The ODJB is magnificent, as ever, and the marching band sides (Columbia Band, Conway's) feature very deft handling of ragtime rhythms--these performances don't sound stilted and stodgy, as record-collecting lore would have it.  Precisely-counted figures are just what ragtime needs, anyway.  No one asked me, but that's my take.  And (W.C.) Handy's Orchestra is fabulous on a Maple Leaf Rag rip-off called Fuzzy Wuzzy Rag, and this is by far the cleanest sound I've gotten from this 1917 disc.

We close in style with two fine 1927 polka records.

To the 78s: The Skyscraper 


The Bells of St. Mary's--Associated Glee Clubs of America, 1925.
The Skyscraper--One-Step--Conway's Band, 1916.
Cold Turkey--One-Step (Donaldson)--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1917.
Introduce Me (Mel B. Kaufman)--Conway's Band, 1916.
Indiana--Original Dixieland Jass Band, 1917.
Darktown Strutters' Ball--Original Dixieland Jass Band, 1917.
Fuzzy Wuzzy Rag--Handy's Orchestra, 1917.
Arabian Nights--Intermezzo--Columbia Band, Dir. Charles A. Prince, 1918.
Peter Gink--One-Step--Columbia Band, Dir. Charles A. Prince, 1918
Dawaj Buzi (Give Me a Kiss)--Polka--Kapalka i Jego Orch., 1927.
Podlotek--Polka--Kapalka i Jego Orch., 1927.


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