“I saw records made…”

May 17th, 2018

 

From the 1937 film, “Record Making with Duke Ellington”

 

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The “record” business continues to make an impressive comeback.  Although actual record sales make up a small fraction of the $8.7 billion music industry, according to Nielsen, the 14.32 million records sold in 2017 was up 9% over the previous year, and the Lp format accounted for 14% of all physical album sales.

This resurgence is evident in my city, Portland, where many neighborhoods are anchored by restaurants and coffee shops spinning record albums, and often include corner record shops — some which specialize in selling jazz records (new and used).

The technology of manufacturing records is fascinating — an “old world” process that is demonstrated in these interesting and classic films:

  •  Fans of record albums (and Duke Ellington) will enjoy this terrific 1937 film demonstrating the process of transferring recorded music to a “playing record, ready for use.”  This is fun not only because of the technology lesson, but especially for seeing Duke lead his band in the studio.

 

 

 

  • “I saw records made,” the narrator Milton Cross says in this fabulous 1940’s film demonstrating how masters become shellac 78’s.

 

 

There are several other excellent (and nostalgic) films on record albums, as well as a more contemporary film describing “How Vinyl Records are Made.”

 

 

 

Finally…if you are interested in reading a bit about the record scene in Portland, this piece is worth checking out.  You may also enjoy “Shopping for Vinyl in Northeast Portland,” from the “Cover Stories with Paul Morris” feature.

 

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In This Issue

This issue features a roundtable discussion about how the world of religion may have impacted the creative lives of Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; three new podcasts from Bob Hecht; new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently released jazz recordings, and lots more.

Short Fiction

"The Wailing Wall" -- a short story by Justin Short

Interviews

Three prominent religious scholars -- Wallace Best, Tracy Fessenden and M. Cooper Harriss -- join us in a conversation about how the world of religion during the life and times of Langston Hughes (pictured), Billie Holiday and Ralph Ellison helps us better comprehend the meaning of their work.

Poetry

Nine poets contribute ten poems celebrating jazz in poems as unique as the music itself

Short Fiction

In celebration of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest, previous contest winners (dating to 2002) reflect on their own winning story, and how their lives have since unfolded.

The Joys of Jazz

In this edition, award winning radio producer Bob Hecht tells three stories; 1) on Charlie Christian, the first superstar of jazz guitar; 2) the poet Langston Hughes’ love of jazz music, and 3) a profile of the song “Strange Fruit”

On the Turntable

25 recently released jazz tunes that are worth listening to…including Bobo Stenson; Medeski, Martin and Wood; Muriel Grossman and Rudy Royston

Features

Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Randy Brecker and Tom Piazza are among those responding to our question, "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940's?"

Poetry

"Billie Holiday" -- a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

Coming Soon

Thomas Brothers, Duke University professor of music and author of two essential biographies of Louis Armstrong, is interviewed about his new book, HELP! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; also, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden, in a conversation about the brilliant 20th Century artist

In the previous issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

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