Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Transcription Mystery Disc #250


I've been saving this one for a special occasion and I think #250 has a nice ring to it. It's a 12-Inch metal-core acetate. This disc is a Star Sound Studios disc. It's further labeled "Cavendish Square, Langham 2201 London  W.I. England" the backside of the disc is just clear lacquer over metal.. it's actually quite heavy, clearly has a very thick steel base. This is doubtlessly a pre-WWII recording.  The handwriting reads "WDDM,  Difference a day made."

What a Difference A Day Makes


Star Sound Studios dates back to 1937. Originally just named "Star Sound" it was designed as a small theater for the recording of live audience shows for Radio Luxembourg.  They recorded tens of thousands of radio programs and commercials. In 1990 the Studios became AIR Edel. I can't find enough good information on the dates of their various labels to corroborate a date. Actually, I never even found another label that looked like this one.

This isn't' a transcription exactly. This is a master recording. Before magnetic tape, (which at Star Sound debuted in 1949) master recordings were cut into acetate lacquer with a lathe. They're jsut like hoem recording acetates but of a much higher quality.  The song What a Difference a Day Made" was written by Maria Grever in 1934. The Dorsey brothers recorded it the same year. (Dinah Washington won a Grammy Award with it in 1959.) I've heard the Dorsey version and it's similar to that swing version but it's not the same recording. This is some unknown, other jazz version that I estimate to date from the early 1940s. It's possible it dates to the 1930s but that would make it one of the earliest Star Sound Studios recordings. I'm not quite that optimistic.