Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Transcription Mystery Disc #158


This 8-inch Recordisc is a recording is very quiet and has some splits along some inner grooves, but it is in otherwise great condition and the bed noise is quite low. It's a recording of a radio broadcast by Willis Meyers and the Bar X Ranch Boys. The opening song is a guitar and vocal harmony duet of "Bluetail Fly." The song dates back to at least 1840, but this recording spins at 33 rpm which dates it definitively to after 1948. This is the second time that I've found a home recording of this song. The first time was way back in February of 2011 here.

Willis Meyers and the Bar X Ranch Boys


At the end of the first song at about 2:05 the guitarist keeps on strumming but they begin conversing about their upcoming appearances. They're playing at Arts Auction in Lehigh, the Millway Ford dealership, the new Eagles home In Pottstown, a highschool near Harrisburg, Hampton's Auction Ground in Birdsboro, a grand opening in York Pennsylvania and then they shout out to the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Lester Miller of Reading, PA.

The second track is "I bought a Rock for a Rocky Mountain Gal" which I think was an original by Wilf Carter. That was recorded in 1940, supporting my original date. It's followed by more chatter (at 5:15)starting with a shout out to their sponsor Larry's Electrical Sales and Service at 308 Courtland Avenue, Lansdale, PA. He refers to a specific model of GE TV, the Black Daylight Television. That dates the recording to1950 or later further narrowing the date.

They follow that with a short version of Freight Train Boogie by The Delmore Brothers, and chatter a bit more as the bed noise over takes the audio. They make some reference to playing at 5:00 - 5:30 Monday through Saturday. Billboard further confirms the date and place with a notice in 1947 that the band is performing on WEEU-AM, Reading and WSAN-AM Allentown and WNAR-AM Norristown.In 1946 Billboard listed them only playing Saturdays on WNAR so clearly they had done well in the interim.  I also ripped side B, you can hear the station ID at about 2:40.

Side B


2 comments:

mjb784533 said...

Why do you consider that the disc dates from 1948 or after just because it is recorded at 33 1/3? That speed was used on a regular basis back to 1925 -- I have a WEAF aircheck at that speed from that year. Many home recording machines included 33 1/3 as early as 1931.

jose fritz said...

I would say that "many" is an over estimation. They existed but they were uncommon. In my experience, 33.3 rpm home recordings prior to about 1950 are uncommon.

In this particular case my analysis corroborates all other facts about the disc and my conjecture on the date appears to be accurate.

It could be that consumers used speeds they were more familiar with at playback, and studio recordings were more versatile. But this is a home recording and it's condition and speed are congruous with what I have seen elsewhere.