Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Some biographies state that he attended Yale, between WWI and WII, my understanding is that is a fish tale. He did however work at Edison Laboratories. In 1939 he opened his own recording studio in New York, the National Vocarium (some sources say 1935). regardless it's listed in the 1943 Broadcasting Yearbook on page 214. It was located at 610 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. They are listed as a source for transcription, production and scripts. the manager is listed as Robert Vincent of course.
In WWII in April 1942 the now Lieutenant Vincent was assigned to the brand new New York radio section of the Army Special Services Division. He lobbied the pentagon for an active recording program. He eventually scored one million dollars of funding. He then brought in Steve Shoals from RCA Records to help run the project. Unsurprisingly he hired V-Discs RCA Victor and Columbia Records to press the 12-inch vinylite V-discs. By 1942, the AFRS was sending transcription discs to the troops from Vincent's pop recording sessions, from live concerts, radio programs and more.
In 1962 he donated more than 8,000 historic recordings to the Michigan State University, forming the basis of what would be the Voice Library. Upon his retirement in 1973, the collection had grown to 30,000 recordings, which was increased to more than 50,000 records for 2005, with the voices of thousands of U.S. national characters. He died in 1985 at the age of 88. More here.