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Jon-G

Date Posted:11/30/2020 04:14:41Copy HTML

With my 8 hours of Christmas muzak being my most popular youtube posting of all time, I've decided it's time for another Christmas music posting.  I've digitized all my Christmas records that are acoustically recorded, which covers 1908-1922.  Not the greatest sounding recordings, but they are of historical interest.  



More to come...

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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:11/30/2020 09:17:41Copy HTML

Hi Jon-G,


How about a link to your 8 hours of Christmas muzak?  That sounds like something I could really go for.

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/01/2020 12:16:21Copy HTML

Here's the link to the 8 hours of Christmas muzak


 

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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/01/2020 04:41:10Copy HTML

What a treasure trove of Christmas Muzak!


Thanks a million Jonny Gators!


You don't happen to know who plays the "Here Comes Santa Claus" instrumental that begins at about 9:05, do you?


We could have a lot of fun playing "Name That Tune" with this video. That could keep me busy for many Christmases to come.

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/01/2020 03:16:53Copy HTML

No, I'm not sure about that track.  Many of the tracks are identified by shazam, but many are not.  Also, quite often tracks that shazam identifies, come up as being on more modern background music collections.


I do know that rendition of "Here Comes Santa Claus" was also on the customusic background records for the seeburg 1000 system.  Many of the tracks on those records are also on Domenico Savino & His Orchestra - Hi-Fi Christmas Party.  This track sounds like it would fit in there, but it's not on there.


I did manage to have a phone conversation with the original owner of Customusic about the company and technology.  When I asked if they used existing recordings or made their own recordings, at first he answered they had to do their own recordings due to copyright (or something along those lines, I may get the details of this a little off).  I followed up that at some point that must have changed, because I recognized some Percy Faith tunes on one of the tapes, and he confirmed that yes at some point that changed.  


So, it seems there's quite a mixture of sources when it comes to these cartridges - things that were made specifically for background music systems that seem to still be parts of libraries available out there (that can even be puchased as itunes downloads if one wanted to), things from well known instrumental Christmas albums, and things that are unidentifiable by shazam and very well could be recordings made specifically for Customusic.

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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/01/2020 03:52:00Copy HTML

Thanks for all that info, Jon-G!


I'm going to play to this video first thing every morning as my holiday wake-up music.


Decades ago I picked up a button that said "I like Muzak!"  I just checked my memorabilia box and the button is still there.


So, thanks for my first gift of the season.

Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/02/2020 02:12:58Copy HTML

Jon,

I didn't realize that the 8-Hour Muzak video was yours.  I had come across it awhile ago and pop in from time to time to listen during the year.

Thank you for your posts.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/03/2020 06:52:15Copy HTML

What's the song title of the first song on the 8 hours of Christmas muzak?
Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/04/2020 02:05:41Copy HTML

Will, according to "Siri" it sounds like "The Joys of Christmas" by The Fun Street Gang,  I Googled that and it was correct  It is track 22 on the album, but this link will take you directly to a clip of the song..  The album is Frosty's Sleigh Ride Party
The Joys of Christmas
The Joy's of Christmas

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/04/2020 05:45:11Copy HTML


Here's the full song on YouTube:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrljLjN_e9w


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/04/2020 08:20:12Copy HTML

You guys are terrific!


What do you know about this song.  I don't think I've ever heard of it.


I found this on discogs: https://www.discogs.com/The-Fun-Street-Gang-Christmas-On-Fun-Street/release/5544034


I wonder if the song was written especially for the 1972 album.




           


Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/05/2020 02:19:35Copy HTML

Chip,


Do you know the actual year The Joys of Christmas by The Fun Street Gang was released?  The album credits show that they released it in 2007.  But I am thinking that the 8-hour Muzak was much earlier  though I could be wrong.

I started this post before, but accidently closed out my browser before listening to the full clip.  I was going to say that this song doesn't sound like it belongs on this album because the children weren't singing in the 8-hour Muzak clip, but on the clip you posted they are talking at the end of the song.  Also the rest of the songs don't sound as if they were the vintage type that department stores would have played.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/05/2020 03:59:15Copy HTML



According to Discogs the song was originally released 1972 on an album titled "Christmas On Fun Street" by The Fun Street Gang.


But as we all know, sometimes Discogs gets it wrong, and we have to turn to our Christmas Music Guru to get the facts straight.



Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/05/2020 05:35:28Copy HTML


The Discogs website is wrong. The actual release year for the album is 1979, not 1972. Even some listings on eBay (who get their information from Discogs) show it as 1972. But the album jacket clearly shows 1979. While Discogs has it wrong, the Rate Your Music website actually got it correct with the 1979 release year.

As for the kids talking at the end of the song "The Joys Of Christmas," that was not part of the actual song itself and was just edited out for the Muzak tape.


Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/05/2020 09:34:57Copy HTML

Thank you Chip,

I appreciate it

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/06/2020 04:05:44Copy HTML

I figured Chip would have the correct answer.


Silly me!  I thought Jon-G's "8 hours of Christmas muzak" was going be all different tunes.  But 90 minutes in, it began to repeat the same sequence of songs that started the tape.


So, there goes my plan to listen to 20 minutes of new (to me) Christmas Music each morning between now and Christmas.

"

Oh well, there's still that great soma-fm streaming station to tune in each morning when I wake up


(I posted the above message in the wrong topic, and then "Christmas Always" replied, also in that topic, so I've copied the text of both messages and pasted it here where it belongs)


Here's her reply (in italics);

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date Posted:12/05/2020 02:44:20

Will,

I haven't listened to the full 8-hours yet, but did have this playing a few different times for at least 3 hours and I didn't notice the music repeating.  I did just go to the video and clicked at about 90 minutes in and the songs were different.  Also clicking ahead to different spots, I didn't hear anything that was the same.

At 5:43  Brazilian Sleigh Ride  plays followed by Here comes Santa Claus and then about 1:34, it does repeat, but skipping ahead to just before the 3 hour mark the songs are different and also through out the rest of the tape, from what I can see.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


P.S. I just discovered that the answer to my question about "The Joys of Christmas" was already posted on Youtube  under the "Show More" down arrow:


 Song The Joys of Christmas  


Will in Seattle a.k.a. "Clueless"
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/06/2020 04:10:35Copy HTML

Yeah, there is some repeating on the tapes.  I kinda threw that youtube upload together rather quickly.  I had a pile of these tapes, and there were some duplicate tapes, and among them I had 3 unique tapes.  So I had picked a portion from each of the 3 tapes to put an 8 hour video together, since that seemed to be a round number for long youtube clips - I didn't expect it to be as popular as it has been.


I actually redid the tape transfer later.  The original was done on a 4 track reel deck I have that could only go down to 3 3/4 ips, which mean recording the tape in at double time.  I recorded it at 96kHz, and then set the file to be a 48kHz file without resampling, so it would play at half speed, and tweaked the EQ a bit to compensate.  I've since been able to get my hands on a stereo reel deck that does 1 7/8 ips, and redid the recording - but if I replaced the video, people that bookmarked the original may come back at a later time and find it gone.  So I've just left that alone for now.


What I also found when re-recording the tapes, is that basically each of the 4 tracks on a tape contains the same content, but slightly mixed up.  So I made a file that only uses 1 track of each tape to get the full material and minimize duplicates - which comes to 4 hours and 48 minutes.  Although there may still be duplicates if some songs were used on more than one tape.  


https://www.dropbox.com/s/cuqncizy45ly6dt/Customusic%20Christmas%20tapes.mp3?dl=0

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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/06/2020 05:06:39Copy HTML

Will, I had gone back into the other post about the songs repeating, and edited it as I had the 2 times I was referencing reversed.

Jon, were these actual cartridges from department stores that you have?  Back in the 1970's I worked for a sound company as a secretary, and we had our own background music/message repeater systems that we sold and installed in department stores.  The tapes were a continuous cartridge and we had some that were all Christmas music, some with Christmas and regular music and some with just regular music.  The message repeaters were the same tapes so there were two machines that were sold together.  I don't remember for sure, but I think the music would still be playing and the volume would automatically lower when the messages were being broadcast.

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/06/2020 08:44:25Copy HTML

I don't know the history of the specific cartridges I have, or where they were used. But they are from customusic, which is a background music company based out of Grand Rapids, MI - https://customusic.com/history.html


Some of the non-Christmas tapes that were in the lot suggest they date from the late 70s/early 80s.


A few of the tapes had some looping promo for Earl Nightingale materials, which referenced more information being available "in your room, on the inside back cover of your Holiday Inn magazine"  That tape seemed to be an anomaly, as when I brought it up on my phone conversation with the owner of Customusic, he wasn't familiar with it.  He suggested it may have been a custom recording a customer did, as some machines had the capability of recording announcements.  But those wouldn't record to separate tracks, it would just be a tape with one program to play announcements, so you could have an announcement every 6th track.  But that couldn't have been the case for this tape, as the content was recorded separately on all 4 tracks.  He found it odd.  Must have been a special order or something, I don't know.  But then I did have one of the announcement tapes - which I forget what was on it, but some generic announcement that would make sense in a store.  So...I don't know how the person I bought the tapes from acquired them, but it wasn't a simple case of a set of tapes found in a machine, as some tapes came from a Holiday Inn, some tapes came from a store, and there are doubles of the Christmas tapes which wouldn't have all been used in the same machine.  


I've never seen more of these tapes surface on ebay since.

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Re:Christmas recordings from the acoustic era of sound recording

Date Posted:12/07/2020 02:35:53Copy HTML

Thanks Jon,

I have a ton of OTR Reel-to-Reel tapes that were recorded on 1 track with several radio programs, then they rewound the tape to and recorded on the 2nd track and reversed the tape and did the same thing on those 2 tracks.  Being AM Radio was MONO, they were able to put 4 times the amount of programs on 1 tape.

Sadly, I am not able to listen to them as my Teac X10-r machine died about 3 years ago.  I have been looking for another machine on eBay, but they are expensive, especially if they are guaranteed to work, being they were professionally refurbished.  I can't afford to take a chance on buying one for under $100 and spend at least $50 on shipping, then have to put several more hundred dollars into it.

The Teac I had I actually go for free, and only had to replace the belt with was about $2 on eBay.  In hindsight, I almost wish I had kept it and parted it out.  I may have gotten enough to buy another machine lol.  I have seen just the dust cover go for between $25 and $50

Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life. Susan
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