Country Bear Jamboree Recordings

The differences are with Henry's introductory voiceover:

"Howdy! Welcome to the one and only, original, Country Bear Jamboree -- presented by Pepsi-Cola and Frito Lay -- featuring a bit of Americana, our musical heritage of the past."

... and different voices for Zeke and a few of the others in the Five Bear Rugs songs (Pretty Little Devilish Mary, and If Ya Can't Bite, Don't Growl)
 
If you're gonna buy Disney vinyl on a regular basis, you NEED this book:

[img]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BPAGK9DYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg[/img]

:amazon: The Golden Age of Walt Disney Records 1933-1988

It's an index of every Disney recording ever released on vinyl, with catalog numbers, descriptions, and illustrations. It looks like I should have read more closely earlier, though: while "ST-" previously refered to stereo records, Disney later modified it to denote records released in its "Story Teller" series, and changed their stereo prefix to STER. It's a bit confusing for a collectors that way. This change occured in 1971. Which is to say, Disney vinyl prior to the 70s with "ST-Number" are stereo, but starting in the 70s, it was "STER-Number" instead.
Not sure where that book got it's information, but it's dead wrong. The STER- prefix has been used since the early 60s, and I own several original pressings from the 60s which use that prefix (both Disneyland and Buena Vista labels).

A brief history of the early days of Disneyland records written by kaijueguy:

A Child's Garden of Verses
and the birth of a record distribution company

"Prior to 1955 Disney recordings on vinyl were released through other record companies. They were often new versions of songs featured in Disney films with cover art designed by Disney Artists. Using actual dialogue or song elements from the films was not yet a common practice.The soundtracks for Saludos Amigos and Three Caballeros is a perfect example of new recordings made for the record releases at this time. There was also an extensive release of material targeted solely at children all licensed by Disney but not released on their own labels. Few realize that Disney already had a Music Publishing arm to their company to release sheet music for the music from their films. Along the way they also acquired the rights to other songs not featured in Disney Films and some of these songs brought in money to the studio like Mule train, recorded by Frankie Lane. Since Disney owned the song through the publishing company they received residuals when it was recorded by any artist.

By 1955 Walt Disney was moving the Disney Studio in a lot of new directions. There was Disneyland the Theme Park and Disneyland the TV show. There was also The Mickey Mouse Club. Walt wanted more control of the music being released with his name on the records, he also wanted to expand a music publishing firm established in the company. To do this he knew he was going to have do exactly what they did with the movies, once distributed through RKO. He was going to have to set up his own studio. His brother Roy, who was the financial partner of the business knew that more revenue would remain in the company with their own recording company and the wheels went into motion for the establishment of Disneyland Records. The startling popularity of the Ballad Of Davy Crockett seemed to have caught the studio off guard and the demand for a recorded version from radio stations and the public inspired them to seriously consider the possibilities of establishing the own Record Distribution branch.

Around this same time Walt had heard two women singing folk songs and wanted to record them. Francis Archer and Beverly Giles were the first to be recorded at the new Disney Recording Studio. Deals were not however finalized yet for the Disneyland Record Company to release records yet and so the record was distributed through Hansen Records using the masters made at Disney.

Archer and Giles had appeared on the Mickey Mouse Club and the album covered noted that the album was from Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club Television Show on ABC-TV. This LP is extremely rare and at present I do not have cover art for it but I do have an image of the label and as we will quickly see, before Disneyland Records would distribute their own records, confusion was already starting to step in.

This is the label for "A Child's Garden Of Verses", recorded at Disney Studios and distributed by Hansen Records in 1955.


At first glance this looks like a Disneyland Record. Even the numbering appears to be a Disneyland Record Recording. Charlie Hansen had a record distribution company based out of New York. Disney had been using him to release printed music owned and licensed through Disney. Now that the Studio was going to begin releasing records, Hansen was the obvious choice to distribute them. The recoding was made at Disney Studio and then the masters were sent to Hansen who was to release the album. Here the WDL stands for Walt Disney Label and the 1001 denotes the first in the series for Disney Recordings released through Hansen Records. There is still no official Disneyland Records, nor is this part of the WDL series at Disneyland Records. The numbering system belongs to Hansen Records and although Disney owned the rights to the master, they did not have distribution rights for the recordings. That belonged to Hansen.

In the Disney Audio Archives, this original master recording of A Child's Garden of Verses has no number because there was no numbering system developed yet. Jimmy Johnson had been running the print music division and Roy promoted him to head of the recording studio to be the go-between for Hansen and Disney. In that process, Roy Disney and Jimmy Johnson were introduced to Tutti Camarata by Hansen who felt that Camarata would be a great asset to the company's new recording studio. Camarata had extensive experience with the Record business and had helped co-found London Records. He was brought to the studio to help them create a motion picture soundtrack for Song Of The South which was up for a theatrical re-release. During these planning sessions for Song of the South the idea of becoming their own releasing agency for their records began to firmly develop. With Johnson's sales experience, Camarata's record business experience, Roy's bank experience and Walt's ability to make dreams come true, Song of the South became the first "Official" Disneyland Record released in 1956. They carried over the WDL as well as much of the design for the release through Hansen Distribution although they dropped the use of Tinkerbell. The also began their numbering system with WDL-4001. The WDL-1000 series would not go into production until 1957.

In short, A Child's Garden of Verses was the first record recorded at the studios. It was then distributed through Hansen records with the possibilities of starting a line of records distributed solely through Hansen. It is essentially the same as the Ronco Disney Collection or the Ovation Box Set. It's a Disney Themed Record of material recorded at the Disney Studio but not a "Disneyland Record" distributed by the Disney Company. The distribution of A Child's Garden of verses reverted to Disney and made its official debut on the actual Disneyland Label in 1956 as part of the WDL3000 series

While Song of the South was being developed as a record. Disney had also been recording for the Mickey Mouse Club and those early recordings had masters struck for them by Disney and then were distributed through another company, mostly through AMPAR. Most of these recording were released as singles because they were targeted to children. Disney had also struck a deal with RCA records who used a record releasing company in Canada called Spartan records for Canadian Distribution. This move was going to create some problems with Disneyland records and further confusion for collectors.

The early "Official" Disneyland Records turned up in Canada under the Spartan label. These recordings were not sourced from the original masters. They were struck from vinyl copies, often recreating the cover art and then attaching a Spartan Records name to the cover or label. Collectors should avoid anything with the name Spartan on it because you are essentially paying for a copy of an album struck from the record and it sort of the same thing happening with bootleggers who are now doing the same thing with CD-R's. With today's technology anybody can strike a high res copy of an album cover, get a printable CDR and make it look very official.

In retrospect, it sometimes comes as a shock to modern collectors who look back and observe the bulk of the output at Disney concerning the records. To consider that Disney would focus their early releases on more Adult natured music seems contradictory to how we perceive Disneyland records today. You must always keep this in mind. Disney did not make movies for Children. Up to this point in time, nothing that came out of the Disney Studio was directed solely for children. Walt Disney made family films, or as Walt was fond of saying he made films that the children didn't have to be embarrassed to take their parents to see.

With The Mickey Mouse Club, this was about to change but not entirely. While The Mickey Mouse Club was definitely focused on the younger children, it was made in such a way that the show never spoke down to the kids or treated them as though they were imbeciles. At this time in the Disney World, the idea of Mickey Mouse or Jiminy Cricket holding up a ball and spending the next two minutes making a big deal out of the fact that this was indeed a ball would have been unthinkable to anybody at Disney. Compare that to modern shows focused at kids. It's not much of a learning experience if they already know what they are being taught!

Frances Archer and Beverly Gile made their first Television appearance on The Mickey Mouse Club. The Firehouse Five Plus Two also appeared on the show. These were musicians who entertained adults and this was to be a pattern of the show, to establish and introduce kids to new music, culture and ideas in a way that was both entertaining and educational. Parents who joined in with their kids saw segments on how milk went from the farm to your refrigerator and the parent learned some things as well. They went to foreign lands with their kids and learned about other cultures and while today's shows can spend a whole episode teaching your child how to spell the word blue, back then Jiminy Cricket was teaching us how to spell Encyclopedia. Its safe to say that more youngsters could spell Encyclopedia from that song than could actually read a word in any volume of the same books.

The decision to move the record business in the direction of an Adult listening experience was a logical move because to Walt, it wasn't just about Adults or Children, it was about FAMILY. Music the family could listen to together. He made cartoons that the whole family could enjoy. Cartoons that didn't revert to adult gags or adult themes for their humor the way Warner Brothers and MGM had, nor cartoons that spoke down to children and had no appeal to adults in any manner. This isn't to disparage Warner Brothers or MGM. They had a different focus. Walt Disney made Feature Length films that entertained adults while never forgetting that there were children in the audience. Talking down to the kids lost an adult audience and making the material to "adult" kept many parents from taking their children to see those types of films. Walt also built a Theme Park for the whole family. Up until this time, park were places that parents would put in time with their kids. They would sit on the bench while their kids played and went on kiddie rides. Walt Disney changed all of that. Next time you attend one of the Disney Theme Parks look at the line for a ride like Peter Pan's Magic Flight and then count the number of adults in that line who do not have children with them. The name Disney was synonymous to Wholesome Family Entertainment. Why should we think that the Disney Studio's entrance in the world of making records should have been any different?

Take a look at this ad. While we might be familiar with it today as the cover of Mouse Tracks, this was originally a mailer that went out to families and if there is any doubt in your mind that Disneyland Records was about the WHOLE FAMILY when it began, maybe this will help change that.


It's all there. Mom, Dad, Teen, Tween and Youngster, all ready to listen to their Disney Record Library and, even more importantly, to listen to it together.

The "official" WDL was launched with beautiful high quality covers. Each of these albums originally sold for $4.98. The second release was a soundtrack for Pinocchio which also carried the yellow Disneyland label. For the third release, Disney turned to a film series known as People and Places to feature the music of Paul Smith for the films Switzerland and Samoa. An album of this type was certainly not just for the kids. It also marked a departure from the practice of other soundtrack releases at the time. This was score music, not a collection of songs from a movie and that was a rare move indeed. Something like The People and Places Series would be familiar with the kids because the series was edited into segments and shown as part of the Mickey Mouse Club. It had an appeal to adults because it was symphonic music in nature. This LP also introduced a new label for the record. The color was changed to a deep red and the word Disneyland was moved to the top of the LP and curved to compliment the round label.


As the record company was moving forward Roy Disney began to look to the future. If the record branch was going to be profitable they were going to have to do more than just depend on their film soundtracks. They were going to need talent and artist with names to help sell their records. With their extensive library of print music that they owned the rights to, Roy began looking into other artists who might be interested in recording for Disney. Disneyland Records was off to a good start and in a period of about six months had released 8 albums including a Disneyland concept album that featured the voice of Walt Disney and a musical score that captures the various lands at the Park. The last release also brought a new name to Disney; Stan Jones, who had written music used in the newest Disney film, Westward Ho, the Wagons!.

The WDL-4000 series in 1956

4001 - Song Of the South
4002 - Pinocchio
4003 - Switzerland/Samoa
4004 - Walt Disney Takes You To Disneyland
4005 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
4006 - Secrets Of Life
4007 - Cinderella
4008 - Westward Ho the Wagons



While the focus of the WDL-4000 series stayed in the realm of Soundtracks. The WDL-3000 series premiered in 1956 with a focus on the performer and not an actual Disney film. The first of these releases was Life of the Party to recreate to popularity of The Wonderland Player Piano in Disneyland. In all, 4 WDL-3000 albums would be released on the Official Disneyland Label making the total output for 1956 to be 12 albums.

The WDL-3000 series in 1956

3001 - Life Of The Party (The Wonderland Player Piano)
3002 - Disneyland Band Concert (Versey Walker & The Disneyland Band)
3003 - Ukelele Ike Sings Again (Cliff Edwards)
3004 - A Child's Garden of Verses (Francis Archer and Beverly Gile)


This numbering system would continue into 1957 using 4000 for film related releases and 3000 for personality focused recordings.

A 13th album was recorded at the studio that year. It was Los Tres Caballeros. It is the first official Disney storyteller recording but was released on the Disneylandia Label as a Spanish Speaking storyteller while the film was still enjoying a popular re-release in South American countries. The stock number for this recording is PA-ST-3000."

There you have it: the birth of the ST series in 1956 - before stereo.

Here is a breakdown of the various prefixes:

WDL1000 Series
While this list begins with the 1000 series for numerical sequence purposes, the 1000 series was released after the 3000 series chronologically. The 1000 series were often less expensive reprints of the 3000 series. The original selling price for the 1000 series was $1.98. There are some titles unique to this series and sometimes the cover art changed. Number that carry an M suffix denoted a Magic Wipe-Off LP that came with special wipe-off crayons. There is also a lot of confusion about this series as to what was released and when at least in The Golden Age of Walt Disney records. Over time I'm hoping we can clear some of this up.

WDL4101 SERIES
Consists of three individual Lps all from the Fantasia soundtrack. Initially issued in mono, with suffixes A, B, or C. Later issued in both stereo and mono, but no change in prefix. Only a paper sticker, or the cover indicated stereo. By 1963, they were finally separated by the WDL- and STER- prefixes. Eventually, the stereo editions were dropped, and the mono versions reissued under the DQ- line.

WDL3000 Series
Although these follow the 1000 series sequentially, they were actually released before the 1000 series. Many of these LP's were reprinted as WDL1000's so there will be duplicate audio here. Sometimes the jackets changed and sometimes even the titles changed as well. The title Changes were nothing new as you'll see in this series. Some of these album were released under one title then for a second pressing, the title and cover were changed. All of that adds to the confusion for Disney Collectors.

WDX-101
The most confusing release ever, it was used only for the Fantasia 3-Lp set with deluxe program booklet. The same catalog number was used under both the Disneyland and Buena Vista labels. Now for the confusing part: It was originally released in mono in 1957. However, when the stereo version was released circa 1961, it was issued with the same WDX-101 catalog number with a paper sticker to denote stereo, and STEREO on the gray and silver Disneyland record label itself. The original release had three separate record pockets (one right in the middle of the booklet), and later editions only had two pockets, with the front pocket divided for two Lps. Finally, by 1963, the stereo edition got the STER- prefix on the Disneyland label, according to one of their ads. However, when it was ported over to the Vista label, it still continued with the old WDX-101catalog number, with a sticker for the stereo edition. It may have already been moved to the Vista catalog, but still shown as a Disneyland Record in this 1963 catalog:[/left]


MM Series
The MM LP Label was the official Mickey Mouse Club label for the 33 1/3 releases. These were generally compilations derived from previous 78 and 45 rpm Mickey Mouse Club EPs and Disneyland "DBR" singles. These Lps are highly collectible, perhaps because they were favorites of Children who would wear them out. The Original Selling Price on These Lps was $1.98.

DQ Series
The DQ series was introduced by Disneyland Records to meet a need they recognized in the Children's records Industry. An affordable alternative to the WDL Series, these records carried a $1.98 price tag when first released, more easily fitting into parents budgets. In contrast to the ST series, which were mostly gatefold LP's which contained illustrated books, the DQ series were all single-cover LP's. Earlier releases of the DQ carried no label on the record spines to identify them.

All the original pressings of the records in both the DQ1200 and DQ1300 series were released with a solid yellow label. Reissues of the Lps carried yellow labels with a rainbow at the top of the label.


When first released some of the albums carried an M suffix to the catalog number, This usually referred to a "Magic Wipe-Off" series as part of the DQ releases. These albums came with a glossy back that contained pictures to color along with a set of wipe-off crayons.

Magic Wipe-Off Backs

To add confusion to collectors, the M suffix later indicated a Spanish language edition of the record.

Some of the records carried an "MO" suffix in an attempt to identify as a mono recording but it was used inconsistently and infrequently adding more confusion. Some stereo releases simply had a sticker attached to the cover next to the DQ number.

Many of the WDL and ST series made their way into the DQ series as seperate releases, sometimes under a different title with different cover art and sometimes with the same title. Likewise, many DQ titles were reissued later as ST series and given new cover art on a gatefold release with a booklet inside to read along with the album. As DQ titles were re-released they often got new cover art as well.

To a collector looking to complete a collection of Disneyland/Buena Vista records, this often times means having as many as 5 or 6 copies of the same recording spread out over the different covers or stock numbers.

ST Series
The Storyteller series, or any gatefold album with a bound-in booklet (usually 11 pages), and all in monaural.

STER-
There are STER designations on DQ, ST and BV series. The "STER" designates that it is a stereo release. M never designates that the Lp is a mono release. (It often designated a Spanish Language version and also designated the "Magic-Wipe Off" series.) Mono releases were all indicated by WDL, DQ, ST, and BV prefixes. Very early stereo releases would use the mono cover art (even though they still showed the WDL, DQ, ST, and BV prefixes) with a sticker added indicating stereo, and by 1963 the STER prefix was used for all stereo releases regardless of series until prefixes in general were discontinued.

By 1971, all dual format mono releases were discontinued, in favor of the stereo issue where available. By the end of the 1970s, all prefixes were dropped and only the catalog number was used. (Most STER issues retained the prefix and the word "Stereophonic" on the cover art even after they stopped using STER for their catalog, but the WDL, DQ, ST, and BV prefixes were eventually deleted from the cover art.)

So - for Disneyland Records, the ST- prefix never, ever indicated a stereo release.

When Randy remastered the album for Wonderland CD and iTunes, he went restored the original album master, so the CD and iTunes is *also* mono on both sides. I'm actually glad he did that: I'm all about preserving the past, and it'd be a shame if that mono mix disappeared forever. In 2005, for A Musical History of Disneyland, Randy went further back to the ride's original multi-track tapes and remixed the attraction into stereo. That set also includes a Mile Long Bar track (Bearless Love), but it's still in mono. Those tracks simply aren't available anywhere in stereo, and won't be, unless Randy (or someone else at WDR) does a new mix in the future, which probably isn't very likely.
If Randy had gone to the trouble to remix it to stereo, why is it still mono on the 2005 Musical History set? He's remixed other tracks into stereo that were previously only available in mono: Small World, Carousel of Progress, etc. So why remix it in stereo, but then only release just that one in mono if a stereo version now exists? It doesn't make any sense.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Maybe there isn't a multi track tape for CBJ? Things can get lost/go missing/destroyed and so on or even just deteriorate through time (we are talking some years now since it was first recorded).
Maybe Randy will read the thread and provide the answer.
It does seem an ideal traxck for making into stereo (bearing in mind the different locations of the bears) so one presumes there's a good reason why it wasn't done.
 
My best guess would be that he went back to the attraction masters, which probably have most of the music and vocals on separate tracks, but only mono. (Switched electronically during the show.) Probably didn't have the budget to do a full stereo rebuild from the recording session tracks, or - as you suggest - the recording sessions are still lost. That was the case for Carousel of Progress for about a decade. (However, when Randy remixed it, he got the various versions of the GBBT song in the wrong places, and omitted one version completely!)
 

The Trout

Member
Whoa, slow down there, cowboy. If you read the thread, you'd know that I already apologized for the 2005 Musical History mistake. I did misread the book a little though. You're right that ST- was never used for Stereo. The bit of the book I was reading was confusing in that regard, but it was clarified elsewhere.
 
Apologies, I missed that post.

All things considered, the whole Disneyland/Vista Records catalog has been a confusing mess since even before they actually started producing records. Much more so than any other record label.

Out of morbid curiosity, what does that book say regarding the Fantasia soundtrack albums? I have a couple of issues that most sources claim don't exist. I only learned of them because I purchased several copies going by the original catalog number WDX-101, and kept getting stereo copies when it was supposed to be the original mono.
 

The Trout

Member
The index lists "Fantasia" as being on no less than eleven different pages. Let's see what's there!


Disneyland WDX "100" LP Series
---
WDX-101: "Fantasia"; 3/1957; Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra; MST; Three LP Set; GF; Pastel Cover; Reprints Original Movie Program Booklet; Squared Off Spine and a Maroon/Red Label - MONO


Buena Vista "100" LP Series
--
WDX-101 / STER-101: "Fantasia"; Deluxed Edition - 1961 Reissue of Original 1957 WDX-101 (See Above); MST; Three LP Set; Pastels Cover with Reprint of Original 24-Page Movie Program; WDX Edition has a blue label and squared off spine; STER edition has a black and yellow, rainbow label and a more rounded spine. WDX is Mono, STER is Stereo.

Also released as simply "101"; 4/1982; Two LP Album; GF with no inner book, but with eight interior pictures from the film; STEREO

Pictured in the book is STER-101, which I actually scanned for this site: http://www.magicmusic.net/gallery/image/163-fantasia-ster-101/


Disneyland "WDL-1101" LP Series (Fantasia)
--
These 1961 listings were later issues of the "Fantasia" albums on LP, which had been pressed earlier on the Disneyland "WDL-4100" series (see below) and in the three LP "100" Series set (see above). All performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

There are Mono and Stereo versions of each of these, but they don't appear to have different catalog numbers for each version. In each instance, the stereo version is a little bit more rare and is priced higher.

WDL-1101A: "Rite of Spring" / "Tocatta in Fugue"

WDL-1101B: "The Nutcracker Suite" / "Dance of the Hours"; Later Issued as DQ-1243

WDL-1101C: "Night on Bald Mountain" / "Pastoral Symphony" / "Ave Maria"


Disneyland "4000" Stereo Issue
--
STER-X 4000: "Disneyland Stereophonic Highlights"; 1959; Side one consists of original film music from Fantasia.

I won't bother listing further details about that release since they're irrelevant.


Buena Vista "4000" LP Series
--
These albums continued the numerical sequence from Disneyland WDL "4000" Series. They were quality produced, top of the line issues with gatefold covers and booklets unless otherwise indicated.

STER-4031: "Selections from Fantasia"; 6/1970; MST; Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra; formerly STER-101


Disneyland "WDL-4100" Series (Fantasia)
--
Early mono issues had maroon labels, with the later monos and stereos switching to gray labels. The mono recordins were issues in 1958 - the stereo recordings in 1959.

WDL-4101A / STER-4101A: "Rite of Spring" / "Tocatta in Fugue"

WDL-4101B / STER-4101B: "The Nutcracker Suite" / "Dance of the Hours"; Later Issued as DQ-1243
Comes in two covers: one with back cover notes and Nutcracker cover (folded back cover flap); other with Nutcracker cover and Dance of the Hours cartoon on back
There's a picture of this one in the book.

WDL-4101C / STER-4101C: "Night on Bald Mountain" / "Pastoral Symphony" / "Ave Maria"
Mono: cover has "Pastoral" only, back cover folded flap
Stereo: "Night" front cover; "Pastoral" back cover


That's everything for the original Fantasia recordings published by Disney. There's some other entries (7" 45s, issues from other publishers, Kostal's recording) that I won't bother typing out.
 
Thanks for the info.

Just as I thought, they left out the SNAFU with the same catalog number being used for both Stereo and Mono editions. According to this book, and most other sources, these versions don't exist!

Stereo edition issued under Disneyland WDX-101:




Stereo edition issued as Buena Vista, but still as WDX-101:





And no mention of the original edition having three record pockets:



However, I am surprised to hear that the first edition had maroon labels. My copy - which is the only copy of the original mono I have ever seen anywhere - has the gray/silver labels.

Sorry about hijacking the thread, but this just shows you that the books don't know everything either! :D
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Books are rarely 100% correct. They rely totally on the results of research. If you haven't found it, it doesn't exist (until you find it, that is).
That is, of course, why you research a playlist as best you can and, on occasions, make a genuine mistake. Even the official Disney Playlists can be wrong and sometimes miss tracks off entirely! We've found a couple like that (live recordings are handy). There are also lists that do the opposite. They list tracks that don't play (found those too) and sometimes even send you a playlist that no longer plays and hasn't for a couple of years (yes, we've had one)!.
If they can get it wrong........................
 

The Trout

Member
Well, nothing is perfect! And it WAS printed in 1997, so that's just before the internet was a major boon to research. The book is still an incredible resource and quick index, though.

But man, they reissued Fantasia a ludicrous number of times. Yeesh.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
The thing is, a book is a good starting point. Then you need to check.I'm looking forward to it arriving in the next day or two.
Fantasia was Walt's baby but I think he made far too much of it myself.
"Keep churning them out boys, they'll sell eventually" :mellow:
 

The Trout

Member
What's crazy about the Fantasia soundtrack is that every edition ever has sounded like CRAP. And this was at the height of RCA Living Stereo, Mercury Living Presence, Grammophone, Everest, etc. In comparison, the Fantasia classical recordings sound like they were recorded with a kettle and some string.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
I agree. Even the best recordings (including digitized) don't sound that good. I reckon that was one thing Walt missed out on. They probably thought music had gone as far as it would ever go. I put it down to studio size myself and limited microphone response over a large area.
To be honest, I don't think it was that good in the cinema either.
I've noticed how people nowdays want good clear HQ sound. Those that grew up with wind-up players and dancette players don't notice so much as CDs are such an improvement on waht we were used to. (I really did grow up with a wind-up and 78's - for a few years anyway).
Difference between 50's LPs and CDs + massive.
Difference between MP3 128 and Flac, negligable.
Maybe all that vinyl and rubbish players gave us a tin ear.
Of course, it may be that they just wouldn't pay out for the equipment at that time. Not the far-seeing Walt we expect.
They were, after all, still issuing CBJ in mono in the early 70's :rolleyes:
 

The Trout

Member
It's the rubbish players that hurt vinyl's reputation in the past. It can actually sound amazing and often BETTER than CDs given a clear record and good equipment.

As far as Fantasia's sound, I've got a feeling it was just recorded poorly. I mean, stereo sound in the 40s hardly even existed. And if I recall correctly, the master tapes were lost, so all the soundtrack releases were actually cut from the 35mm movie itself, and film is NOT a good medium for high fidelity audio.
 
You're right, partially. The story - as I understand it - is that back in the mid-1950s, the deteriorating 6 channel optical film soundtrack (which was a separate film from the picture) was run through the only machine left that could actually play it. Problem was, the machine was in one building, and the magnetic tape recorders in a studio in another building - on different coasts! So, they rigged it up to a long-distance phone line, recording each of the tracks separately onto magnetic tape. Then they were remixed into a more conventional three-channel stereo approximation of the original Fantasound mix. They did the best they could with the audio quality in the 1950s. Unfortunately, that's the only version in existence. They didn't think to save the original tape transfers, only the 3-channel remix. To make matters worse, they cut the track with Deems Taylor's original roadshow version of his narration down to the later, general release version. By not saving those first generation tape transfers, they lost the original version. That's why the current releases have Corey Burton dubbing Taylor's original narration. Overall, the audio on today's version is much improved from the 1950s version or the soundtrack Lps. They can only do so much with what they had left to work with. It's said that the original 1940 roadshow Fantasound release had amazing fidelity (as compared to ordinary films of the era).

Honestly, I feel the monaural version used in the general release prints of the 40s and early 50s actually sound better than the stereo version of today.
 

The Trout

Member
It was rerecorded over the PHONE? So my "kettle and some string" theory wasn't that far off.

I wonder if the mono vinyl was sourced from that lo-fi transfer of the original elements, or if it was pulled from a different tape.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
More details about this here:
http://frank.mtsu.edu/~smpte/forties.html
 
After listening to the mono WDX-101 edition, it sounds like just a mix down of the three-channel stereo remix. However, the single Lps version (WDL-4101A,B,C) seemed to be sourced from a mono film print. They have extra effects not heard in the stereo mixes. (Been a while since I compared them, so I might be mistaken.)
 
It would seem that way. In any case, it does show that they used the STER- prefix since the beginning of their stereo releases with the exception of Fantasia, as noted previously. Even though they show it in catalogs as STER-101, it never actually got that prefix on the albums themselves until about 1964 on the Vista label.
 
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