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Old 06-11-2019, 07:27 AM
TeleBluesMan TeleBluesMan is offline
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Default The day the music burned

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/m...gtype=Homepage
Among the incinerated Decca masters were recordings by titanic figures in American music: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland. The tape masters for Billie Holiday’s Decca catalog were most likely lost in total. The Decca masters also included recordings by such greats as Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five and Patsy Cline.

The fire most likely claimed most of Chuck Berry’s Chess masters and multitrack masters, a body of work that constitutes Berry’s greatest recordings. The destroyed Chess masters encompassed nearly everything else recorded for the label and its subsidiaries, including most of the Chess output of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and Little Walter. Also very likely lost were master tapes of the first commercially released material by Aretha Franklin, recorded when she was a young teenager performing in the church services of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who made dozens of albums for Chess and its sublabels.

Virtually all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost in the fire. Most of John Coltrane’s Impulse masters were lost, as were masters for treasured Impulse releases by Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and other jazz greats. Also apparently destroyed were the masters for dozens of canonical hit singles, including Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88,” Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley/I’m A Man,” Etta James’s “At Last,” the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” and the Impressions’ “People Get Ready.”
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:28 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Yup. Read it just before logging in here today. A sad story.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:06 AM
godfreydaniel godfreydaniel is offline
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I just read it too. Itís a shame that master recordings arenít better cared for.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:17 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
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This was over a decade ago. Glad to see the NYT is on top of things.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:26 AM
TeleBluesMan TeleBluesMan is offline
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---->This was over a decade ago. Glad to see the NYT is on top of things.

So you knew about it when?

Last edited by Acousticado; 06-11-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:39 AM
godfreydaniel godfreydaniel is offline
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The article points out how the company went to great lengths to hide what was lost in the fire.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:28 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Thanks for the link. I'm involved with master archiving for a national network and have followed many of these industry losses such as the RCA Camden loss and the NY Hit Factory fire in 2001 when staff were literally throwing masters out the windows in an attempt to save them. I'd never heard of this one before, even through the industry back-channels.

I can confirm the sentiment stated in the article by Aronson that large corporations tend to look at their back catalog as a liability right up until the instant that there is something to be gained from resurrecting and reissuing the material.

Internal corporate real estate squabbles are some of the most fierce I've seen. I personally saw one division of a corporation decide they wanted the storage space where decades worth of masters were stored by another division. The first division got permission to take the space and everything in it was to be liqudated. The various divisions that owned the masters were alerted that their masters were about to be liquidated - PLEASE COME AND GET THEM. Not one responded. Thousands of tapes were cut off the reels and the reels disassembled so that they could be recycled.

Within a week there were requests for masters from the now-defunct library. Gone.

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Womack; 06-11-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:34 AM
Napman41 Napman41 is online now
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Default The day the music burned

Quote:
Originally Posted by 619TF View Post
This was over a decade ago. Glad to see the NYT is on top of things. [emoji57]


Topic already covered.

Last edited by Napman41; 06-11-2019 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:56 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBluesMan View Post
---->This was over a decade ago. Glad to see the NYT is on top of things.

So you knew about it when?
2009 maybe. It's been discussed in various places (as it states in the article) but apparently the NYT just woke up to it. Worse yet they say things like "___ was likely destroyed/lost in the fire". Well after 10 years shouldn't the reporter have at least investigated THAT part before submitting it to the editors?
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:10 AM
TeleBluesMan TeleBluesMan is offline
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Default haters gonna hate

Quote:
Originally Posted by 619TF View Post
2009 maybe. It's been discussed in various places (as it states in the article) but apparently the NYT just woke up to it. Worse yet they say things like "___ was likely destroyed/lost in the fire". Well after 10 years shouldn't the reporter have at least investigated THAT part before submitting it to the editors?
From June 1, 2008:https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/u...sultPosition=3
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:12 PM
Edgar Poe Edgar Poe is offline
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I feel it was a major dereliction of duty in the first place to have housed all that material in one building.
Fortunately, it doesn't mean we have lost those treasures, it means we've lost the original copies. We still have copies of those rare files. In many cases the copies have been enhanced to exceed the quality of the originals. To purest that my be sacrilege, but we haven't lost them.

Ed
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:31 PM
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Thank you to the OP to the link to NY Times Magazine Feature article which is separate entity from the Newspaper, however it is owned by the parent of the NY Times Newspaper and distributed during the Sunday edition. The magazine focuses on feature articles.

Upon reading the feature article all the way through you learn they UMG withheld the true extent of the damage to recordings from the public and facilitated a campaign of misinformation of the true extent of the fire damage. You learn the ownership debate, issues, and value of the master tapes along with how they are used to re-issue such classic albums such as Sgt Pepper. You also learn while UMG advised artists individually, they never publicly came clean on the true extent of the losses that day. Overall, very sad for those artists whose original work was lost.

Thanks again for posting!
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