Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Transcription Mystery Disc #83

This disc came with no label on either side. But even with not a lick of text, we can piece together some of the story. The presence of two holes indicates this is probably an Audiodisc blank or a Duodisc. We can eliminate Prestos because they had Four holes and Wilcox-gay which had three. Sound Craft's had two holes but they painted the shellac all the way to the center hole. Recordisc were typically on a cardboard blank not aluminum.

Yeah that doesn't help much. But the audio does. It's recorded from tape to transcription disc. You can hear jumps in the audio that can only come from inconsistent tape speed. In the era this must have been made it was rare for someone to own a transcription recorder. It would be more rare for them to own both a transcription machine and a reel-to-reel deck. This was almost certainly made at a radio station. I think this is a dub of a broadcast made for a performer in the recording.
That would explain the sloppiness of the dub. Side A has about 4 minutes of audio and Side B has about 2 minutes. the two sides are parts of two different songs. they probably ran out of disc on Side A and flipped it and dropped the needle again. It's clearly not made for broadcast, it's made for personal use. In this rip I've spliced together the two sides with a short gap between.

At the very end of the recording the mystery recording finally finds a source. In the beginning the tape jumps obscure some key words but the pianist is from Schwenksville, PA. "Thank you very much Karl. Ladies and gentlemen you've been listening to another in a series of cultural and arts broadcasts sponsored jointly by station WFI..." And it cuts off.

It probably is the station we now call 560 WFIL-AM. Station WFI-AM became WFIL-AM in 1935 they kept those calls until 1993. They reclaimed the calls in 1994 and continue to use them today. In the 1930s it was an NBC affiliate and in the 1940s an ABC affiliate. Dick Clark worked there in 1952. In the 1960s they were a top 40 station. I would guess this recording is from the late 1940s, early 50s. You can see a schedule from that era here. It's got everything from Walter Winchell to cooking shows.