Glenn Miller


The Lost Recordings




The American Band of The American Expeditionary Force


Tracks  Liner Notes Personnel




Liner Notes: Compilation & Technical Data


    Alan Dell

    Geoffrey Butcher

    Hugh Palmer

    Ted Kendall

 

 

 

 






Compilation: Hugh Palmer




Broadly speaking this is a chronological presentation of the programmes as they were recorded in the studios with the exception (on CD Two) of the opening four tracks (intended for commercial release), Irene Manning's Begin The Beguine and the final item, Moonlight Serenade. With six versions of Glenn Miller's theme tune (featured in full at the end of each programme) to choose from we elected to use the version from Programme Four. The string section's microphones were still fully open after recording Holiday For Strings and in our humble opinion it remains one of the best versions of Moonlight Serenade extant.

Harking back to CD One and Sgt. Johnny Desmond's My Heart Tells Me, it doesn't take much knowledge of German to realise that Johnny Desmond isn't repeating the title as given by 'Herr Major' - his "Mein herz meldet sich zur stelle" translates as "My heart reports for duty".

One name I'd like to add to Alan Dell's generous vote of thanks is that of Philip Farlow, who willingly provided me with much valuable information to make my job as co-ordinator a great deal easier.

Hugh Palmer, Compiler, 1995






Glenn Miller






Engineering History: Ted Kendall






We could reasonably call this album "Glenn Miller as you've never heard him before" - for three reasons. Firstly, these recordings have had very limited circulation, to put it mildly - most have never been released, and certainly not on CD.

Secondly, many numbers appear here which aren't in Miller's commercial output, and those which are benefit from the size, sweep and discipline of the greatest Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The third reason is to do with the sheer sound quality of these recordings. They bear out the old recording engineers' maxim that if the band is right and the room is right, then the recording will also be right. The band is certainly right - crisp, bouncy rhythm, superb internal balance, and just listen to that string section! As to the room - all these recordings were made in Studio One of the EMI recording HQ at Abbey Road, later immortalised by The Beatles' album of the same name.

This studio, the largest of the three then at Abbey Road, could accomodate a full symphony orchestra without strain and provided an excellent setting for the AEF Orchestra. All that remained was to get the sound on to wax. Now, contrary to popular belief, all recording in the 78 era was not done on a single microphone, but multi-miking would not have been in the modern mould, with a microphone up everybody's jumper and lashings of artificial reverberation. The rig for these Abbey Road sessions would probably have been similar to that shown in photographs of the AEF band performing for broadcasts at the BBC studio in the Corn Exchange, Bedford (a less attractive target for flying bombs than Broadcasting House). These show one microphone each for brass, reeds, strings, rhythm and vocals. This would have provided reasonable control of the overall sound whilst leaving the tricky job of internal balance to those who could do it best - the players.

We therefore have a clear, unmuddled sound with everyone in correct perspective and a wonderful impression of the "weight" of the whole. Furthermore, on the Dinah Shore session, you may hear dynamic contrasts which seldom made it on to 78, and practically never came off again, because of the surface noise of shellac pressings. Indeed, I doubt whether those on Farewell Blues would ever have made it to commercial release, even without the prevailing contractual obstacles, because the loud chords halfway through the side might well have failed the obligatory wear test. Had this happened, we might have had to contend with a dubbed master, which would have sounded inferior to the original (as does Get Happy where this did happen).

You will find much less surface noise on this issue than the vintage of the originals would suggest. This is because nothing has come from a commercial pressing. The source material has either been vinyl test pressings or copies of metal parts used in the manufacturing process.

The history of the originals is interesting, but necessarily incomplete. The Dinah Shore sides, despite rumours to the contrary, still exist on metal in EMI's vaults, fifty years after an order for their destruction was issued. Although the contractual situation prevented their legitimate release until now, some vinyl pressings have escaped, and it is from a set of these that I have worked. The situation with the ABSIE recordings is altogether murkier. We know that metal parts (probably stampers, with ridges rather than grooves) were in store at EMI for many years, and that they are no longer there. Neither they nor the man who was thought to have them have been heard of for a decade. Consequently, we have had to assume them lost and work from a tape copy made some twenty years ago. Bearing in mind the restrictions imposed by the technology of the day, this copy was remarkably good, but some of the inevitable complications caused by playing a metal negative with a conventional stylus remained. I have been able to remove or at least ameliorate them and present these gorgeous recordings somewhere close to their original glory. If the originals surface again, why, we shall smile. If not, then at least this transfer is well made.

Over to you, Major Miller!

Ted Kendall, Transfer Engineer, 1995






Glenn Miller






    Alan Dell

    Geoffrey Butcher

    Hugh Palmer

    Ted Kendall

 

 

 

 






Tracks Liner Notes Personnel


Conifer Records