Company to Reissue Glenn Miller Music on 78's

The resurgence in the sales of vinyl takes another turn backwards in time with the release of new 78's by the Texas based company Rollofone Records.

Right until the late 1950s, records spun at a much higher speed, at 78 revolutions per minute, allowing only a few minutes of music on a 10 inch record. Most modern record players can't even play the old 78s, but there's a world wide and vibrant community that cherishes, collects and plays these gems.

Those folks will soon have something new to spin on their players and in their jukeboxes. Rollofone Records announced today, that it will release a set of 5 records with 10 of the most famous tunes by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, on old fashioned 78 RPM vinyl. Company officials underlined the fact that the music has been taken and remastered from the original metal archive records, which are safely stored in vaults at RCA (now Sony) music.

"We received tremendous support from Sony," Michaela Merz, Rollofone's owner and sound engineer said. "Without their support, this wouldn't have been possible."

Even the Glenn Miller family has endorsed the project:
My father has brought joy and happiness to many people around the world. Thousands and thousands listened to his music, on the radio, playing in jukeboxes or on record players at home. Though the taste of music has changed, his tunes are not forgotten. This record collection has been lovingly created by Michaela Merz and her Rollofone team to bring the wonderful Glenn Miller sound back to where it belongs: to jukeboxes and record players. It has been taken from the valuable original metal parts, faithfully remastered with equipment that might have been used back then so that you can enjoy the music the way it was created and recorded and without unnecessary digital enhancements or effects. I wish you all the and a wonderful time listening to Glenn Miller and his orchestra.

The Glenn Miller Family
"Though the targeted market is small and the production release limited, almost half of the record sets have already been sold," says Mrs. Merz.

The track list:
  • Over The Rainbow
  • American Patrol
  • Yours is My Heart Alone
  • Moonlight Serenaderf_listen1
  • Tuxedo Junction
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000
  • Imagination
  • To You
  • Fools Rush In
  • In the Mood


6 comments

Greg Thymius said...

This is a lovely idea. I must point out,however,that 78s were released on shellac, not vinyl (there are exceptions, and the majority of these are recent).

Walt Mitchell said...

I am assuming that these new pressings will be on vinyl--no reason to make them on breakable shellac! Young people--even in production, it seems--don't know that most 78s were shellac. They call ALL disc recordings "vinyl," because of the longevity of the latter day 45s and lps. (This mistake happens all the time when people sell 78s on eBay and call them vinyl!) "Vinyl" is NOT synonymous with "record!"

nicfic said...

String of Pearls?

Mark Cederquist said...

Hello - I'm part of the team who's worked on the recordings for this very set (Audio Engineer/Producer/Consultant).

As for shellac vs. vinyl, Rollofone Records had gone as far as Asia to inquire about shellac pressing material - to put it simply, nobody's in that game anymore. So, as with Bell label 7" (and 10") 78's of the early 1950's, these 78's will be pressed on vinyl - and, frankly, with the pure sound we've gotten out of the original metal masters, all the better that the pressings are actual vinyl. I've been collecting 78's in earnest for 30 years, so I have a pretty good idea of the definition of vinyl as it pertains to recorded music - at least we didn't use the word "vinyls", right? ;)

As for "A String Of Pearls", I didn't personally have a say in the content, as I began work on the project after the selections were made - but, with Glenn Miller recording 288 titles for Bluebird/Victor alone, it's pretty easy to miss out on more than a few hits like "A String Of Pearls", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Perfidia", "Elmer's Tune", "Kalamazoo", "At Last" and so on. Some good news on that end is, depending on how well this box set does, there might be a second Glenn Miller set possible. But, I'm not the head of Rollofone Records, so please don't hold me to that. ;)

What I can tell you is that *a lot* of love and TLC has gone into the recordings on this set. The sound is absolutely breathtaking and I'd bet you'll never have heard any of Glenn Miller's studio records sound as crisp, balanced and rich as the recordings represented in this set are. Preserving the integrity of every original recordings were a must and, as such, only the most minimal of things like rumble/hum/noise removal were applied. If you'd like to hear the music and the work that went into it speak for itself, go on over to Rollofone.com and take a listen to samples of all 10 recordings that will be in this set - save for some final minimal fine tuning, what you'll hear in the samples will be what you'll hear on the records themselves.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at Facebook (link is in my name here) and I'll do my best to help and answer those questions & concerns. :)

Oh, one more thing: The recording of Glenn Miller's "To You" in this set is, in fact, a previously unissued take!

Zulu_Ops said...

The piece on BBC Radio 2 (UK) last night about modern country artists recording direct to shellac would tend to indicate that at least someone is still in the business.


But why pitch them at 78? Mechanical players won't be friendly to them and turntables set up for shellac 78s will require a change of stylus and probably a rebalancing also in order to play them. The number of modern turntables which are 78 capable is low in comparison to 33/45 players, so..... Novelty value?

Mark Cederquist said...

I doubt that they were recording directly to shellac - maybe direct to disc, but not shellac. I've never heard of anyone recording directly to shellac except during the time when the earliest disc records were being made (1880's-1890's) - true one-of-a-kinds. But yeah, outside of that, nobody has ever recorded directly to 'shellac'.

Far as turntables go, you'd be surprised how many turntables are now being made with 78rpm speed - even the re-introduction of the Technics SP-1200 this summer will offer 78rpm speed. A quick Google search will turn up dozens of new turntables with 78rpm speed in all price ranges.

Tracking force will be a concern, but not the needle. The records in this set will be compatible with both micro-groove styli as well as standard groove styli, so as long as you've got a table with 78rpm speed, you're golden. If you follow this link and scroll to the bottom, the process is described:

http://www.rollofone.com/?product=glenn-miller-swing-for-the-jukebox

As for "why 78rpm?", well, I can't speak for the company, but, in addition to gearing these records towards vintage jukebox owners, these recordings were originally released on 78rpm and with the sound we've gotten out of these master transfers, IMO, these records are the next best thing to owning mint original shellac 78's, so it's only fitting that the original sound is pressed on the original medium. If you care to hear samples of all 10 recordings that will be in this box set as well as an accurate representation of the kind of sound that'll be on the records (pure), there's a link you can follow labelled "Listen to all samples" at the bottom of the page I linked to.

Hope this helps. :)

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