Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Transcription Mystery Disc #35

This Voice-O-Graph Disc dates from 1964. It was made at the tail end of a 20-year reign. It was recorded at Idora Park which was in lovely Youngstown Ohio. A 1957 issue of Billboard described them thusly: "has 19 rides, 15 concession games, rink, penny arcade, coin machines, books orchestras and attractions."  The Voice-O-Graph machine was probably in the arcade beside the Photomatic.
Sadly, the park no longer exists. The park opened in 1895, it closed in 1984 following a very bad fire. The property was bought in 1985 by a religious cult (Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church) who had to sell it in 1989 because of their enormous debt problem. While the dystopian religious cult tried to get their money together to buy their own property back from the bank, a civic group got it listed on the national register of historical places and made a bid to restore the park. The cult managed to raise the money before they could act. More here.

In 2001 another fire took down many of the few remaining structures. The cult bulldozed everything that was left mostly to get rid of the preservationists. In 2006, having still built nothing but a rubble pile the city of Youngstown tried to foreclose.  Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church borrowed 2 million dollars from another religious group in Florida, (Teen Missions International)  to pay the city. Now Teen Missions International is suing Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church because they didn't pay them back. Today the rubble sits fertilizing weeds as it rots. Youngstown next plans to take it by eminent domain.

This recording comes from the heyday of the park long before the fires.  It has a long recording of silence in the first several rotations. In thsi clean trimmed version the recording is barely more than a minute long. This was a common user-error with Voice-O-Graph machines. People were unsure of when to start, or froze when even when they were sure. This spins at 45 RPM and starts at the outer edge. The song is recognizable as a somewhat altered accapella version of the Jets theme from West-Side Story.