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"St. Louis Blues" (1,933 version) - Louis Armstrong
April 13, 2008
Big, Band, jazz, swing, Louis, Armstrong
"St. Louis Blues," recorded in Chicago April 26, 1,933 for Victor Records. This is a re-release on the Bluebird label. "St. Louis Blues" was one of Louis' great showpieces, as you will hear in this recording.
The record player is an Orthophonic Victrola model VE4-4X, or "Granada". The "E" in the model number indicates that the Victrola is fitted with a synchronous A/C motor instead of a wind-up motor. The machine has a full "orthophonic" playback system (for electrically-recorded records) including the special orthophonic sound box with a duralumin diaphragm and a folded exponential horn inside of the cabinet. Although the gigantic Credenza Victrola produced deeper bass, the Granada had the most accurate overall frequency response of all the acoustic Orthophonic Victrolas. The serial number indicates that this machine was probably manufactured in 1,926.
I shoot my video with a Sony Digital 8 format camera. For audio, I use a Shure SM-57 microphone on a stand placed about 4 feet in front of the Victrola horn. I use "soft tone" needles to keep from overloading the microphone. The mic is plugged directly into the video camera. The videos are edited with Windows Movie Maker. I use Sound Forge 9 to clean up the audio, but don't worry -- you're hearing the record exactly as the Victrola plays it!