CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Snap, Crackle and Pop: The Sound Decisions That Affected Your Life! (Part 1)

Dell Rat Jerre wrote in and reminded me about the seldom heard “Hully Gully Callin’ Time,” another of his favorites by the Jive Five.

Jerre's mention of the song reminded me of Murray (& Jackie) the K’s Golden Gassers for a Dance Party, a record album that I owned as a teenager. “Hully Gully Callin’ Time” was one of the tracks on it.

That Murray the K album got me thinking about all of those budget-priced, various artists albums that were issued on labels like Roulette, Lost Nite, Pickwick, and Post.

Those compilations typically had 20 or more songs on them.

When you grabbed one of those long-plays out of the bargain bin you were getting a lot of music for your money.

There was a downside to buying budget albums, however. Sometimes, in an effort to save a buck, you wound up disappointed.

If the album contained 30 songs it usually meant that some of them were edited versions. You also ran the risk of getting rerecorded versions of songs instead of the originals. If you weren't careful you sometimes bought an album filled with lame sound-alike songs performed by unknown artists.

Another major concession with budget albums was the sub-par sound quality. Squeezing all of those tracks onto one album invariably meant compromising the audio fidelity. In addition, inferior raw materials were sometimes used in the manufacture of low price albums that found their way onto the racks at five and tens, those deep discount variety stores like Woolworth's and McCrory's.

The signal-to-noise ratio on budget albums was often poor. You had to crank up the loudness control on your stereo to achieve a normal listening level; but when you did, it also amplified the audio contaminants. Compared to the dynamic audiophile recordings available today, those old V/A albums were straight out of The Flintstones.

Did you ever stop to think how different your youth would have been if today's advanced electronics had been available back then? Ask yourself "what if?"

* What if today’s state-of-the-art technology already existed in the 1950's and 60's?

* What if the music that formed the soundtrack of your youth had all come from digital rather than analog sources?

* What if, instead of listening to music on a tinny transistor radio or playing dusty, scratched, warped slabs of vinyl on a cheap record player, you got your music back then from compact disc players integrated into high-end home theater systems?

How would those realities have changed your life?

Looking back, do you wish you could have spent your adolescent years in a digitally remastered world? Think carefully before you answer. Consider the ramifications. Have you ever listened to one of your favorite oldies on a compact disc and realized how different it sounds from the way you remember it? The music was there but somehow it wasn't there. It didn't have the same feel, the same depth, the same character. It didn't have life. It didn't breathe. It wasn't really your music anymore.

Maybe that's why there's a major vinyl revival going on. Many people are abandoning the cold, sterile, flat response correctness of compact discs and going back to the organic accessibility of vinyl, warts and all. There are hardcore vinyl junkies who never sold out to digital in the first place. Some purists loathe modern remastering that exaggerates stereo separation and consider the dense mono mix on 45rpm singles to be vastly superior to the stereo mixes found on many vinyl albums and CD's.

Vinyl lovers will tell you that there is an inherent honesty in records that compact discs cannot match. Ironically, the same imperfections that would bother many people actually add to the listening pleasure for record enthusiasts. The hisses and clicks...the snaps, crackles and pops embedded
in the music are as warm and inviting to these individuals as the sound of logs burning in the fireplace on a winter night.

That brings us back home to the Shady Dell barn...next time.

Have a Shady day!

21 comments:

  1. your passion for music is AMAZING!i agree when you say "the same imperfections that would bother many people actually add to the listening pleasure for record enthusiasts",how i would like to came back to the old ,glorius pre-ipod times!

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  2. You would have fit right in, Katia! As your fine blog reveals, you are bringing the past alive with your interest in vintage.

    The votes are in. Grab your torch, the tribe has spoken. We hereby welcome you as an honorary Dell rat!

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  3. Yessum, you are very welcome. Have a wonderful day in Rome, Katia!

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  4. I have quite a bit of classic old vinyl that I would be willing to get rid of for the right price to the enthusiasts. I put most of it on digital (Including the pops and cracks). However, you are right and it doesn't sound the same. Just no skips!

    Eight Ball, Side Pocket, Jerre

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  5. Sometimes when I listen to Sinatra I think about how much I love the music arrangements. I know if he were singing today his recordings would be very different.
    I would love to have a record player again and get some old vinyl LPs.

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  6. Thanks for your comment, Belle! Pat Boone went all Ozzy Osbourne on us a while back but I shudder to think of Old Blue Eyes doing gangsta rap!

    By the way, Belle, if you're in the market for old vinyl I know a guy who's selling. His name is Dell Rat Jerre! (LOL)

    Jerre, as always thanks for your comment and for all the great material you have provided for my blog!

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  7. I loved your post! Im growing up in this "digitally remastered world", but I don't like it. I bought myself a record player to play my dad's old vinyls because,to me, music sounds better that way. Keep up the good work!

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  8. Hello, alabee! Through blogging I have made a very exciting discovery. There is a movement afoot - a growing number of old souls - young people living in this modern world who share an appreciation of all things vintage. Thank you very much for your comment and for becoming my 20th official blog follower. I hope you find a lot to like. You have a wonderful, thought provoking blog of your own and I look forward to following it as well.

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  9. Just wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting and following my blog! I really, really appreciate it. I'm so glad you did, it brought me here. What a terrific site this is, I've already learned so much! And I LOVE the pictures!! I'm following you back, cheers!!

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  10. Hi Joan! The rat pack welcomes you! I'm very happy to meet you and delighted to have another York native join the club. I hope that SDM&M will give you something to think about and something to smile about. Your blog is extremely well written and I look forward to following it and learning about your world. Thank you so much for your comments!

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  11. Was just reading your Shady Dell blog about the difference in sound quality between vinyl & digital. I couldn't agree more! Those of us who grew up with records can really hear the difference. I always loved those "fat" AM radio mono mixes. The 1st time I ever noticed this vast difference was back in the 80s, when I bought Martha & The Vandellas Greatest Hits on CD. "Quicksand" was always a fave and I've got a fine 45 of it. On the 45 mono mix, the drum breakdown near the end sounds like thunderous cannons going off. When I played it on CD for the 1st time, that part was so flat & undynamic, that my chin nearly hit the floor. That's when I realized that vinyl was king. Always will be..........

    Daddy C
    Lancaster, PA

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  12. Daddy, your reputation precedes you. Many of us know of your long and distinguished career on the Central PA music scene as a singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist and guitarist. I remember seeing you perform with the Magnificent Men at their 1983 reunion show in Harrisburg. You have also made substantial contributions to the outstanding Class of 60-Something CD series. It is an honor to have you visit and comment on my blog, Daddy C!

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  13. Dear Shady Dell Knight,
    Thanx 4 your flattering reply to my comment on vinyl vs digital. Does this mean I'm now an honorary Dell-Rat?

    Daddy C

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  14. You betcha, Daddy! You're my first round draft pick!

    By the way, I wanna testify about Motown CD's. I own a bunch of them and they all have the thin, lifeless sound quality that you described. Very disappointing! I have found that European imports are consistently better sounding than domestic CD's, but even they cannot match the dynamics of the vinyl originals. Thanks again for you comments, Daddy C, and welcome to the rat pack!

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  15. oj, mam tyle winylowych płyt i tyle genialnych przebojów z dawnych lat, muszę zdobyć gramofon tylko:-) Gratuluję wspaniałych zainteresowań:-) Pozdrawiam! :-)

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  16. English translation of wanilianna's comment: << oh, I have many vinyl records, and many brilliant hits from years past, I have to get the turntable only congratulate the great interest :-) :-) Yours! :-)>>

    Wanilianna, thank you so much for your comment. Music is a universal language and great music is timeless. Vintagers like you are giving validation to older generations that are too often forgotten or dismissed by modern, youth obsessed culture. We can't thank you enough for keeping the past alive! Have a wonderful day in Poland!

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  17. I just caught a glimpse tonight of some album covers that had me drooling, e.g. The Geator with the Heater, Hy Lit. I agree with Jerre, "Hully Gully Callin' Time" was a great uptempo b-side of the Jive Five. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the A-side was "No Not Again".

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  18. You're right about the song pairing, Ron. "No Not Again" and "Hully Gully Callin' Time" were back-to-back on the same single. There's debate, however, over which was the A side. Soulfulkindamusic.net has "No Not Again" as the A while Joel Whitburn lists "Hully Gully Callin' Time" as the plug side. It's possible that these two fine recordings "went to waste" because uncertainty over the A and B sides led to the dreaded split play phenomenon. "No Not Again" failed to hit the chart. "Hully Gully Callin' Time" charted in April of 1962 but never got out of Billboard's Bubbling Under basement, finishing at #105. Both fine songs are available on the Jive Five's CD compilation. Thanks so much for your comment, Ron!

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  19. Since the Jive Five is my favorite doowop group, I will try to settle that issue. I bought the 45 at Discorama for No Not Again, but both sides were heavily played at record hops. My copy of the record says "Plug Side" on the Hully Gully Callin Time side. Of course Mr. Pitt is the one that knows for sure.
    Tom, I will send you a picture in e-mail.
    Jerre

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  20. Tom who? Name's Del...SHADY Del. But you can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay...

    Thanks for your comment brother Jerre! I wish I was at the Disco-Rama right now digging for gold!

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