The Summa Cum Laude…

cl909… of high fidelity, or so Columbia Records claims, circa: 1956. At a time when many lesser-than labels were pushing “high fidelity” as more of a general, blanket statement rather than something that could necessarily be guaranteed, Columbia felt the incessant urge to mark themselves above all others with their “360” SOUND symbol. Have a read below from the majestic wonders of “360” SOUND, in Columbia’s own words (as found on the back of Paul Weston and His Music from Hollywood’s Moonlight Becomes You):

The symbol “360” SOUND is the summa cum laude of high fidelity.

It is your GUARANTEE that each record so designated has been engineered and individually tested under the supervision of the Columbia Sound Laboratory.

Starting with the taping of the performance, through strategically placed wide-range microphones, every step in the manufacturing process is checked for peak efficiency — including an actual laboratory-calibrated playback of each disc before it is released.

Not only original masters, but stamper test-pressings are required to match, in A-B tests, the tapes from which they were derived.

Only such rigid control permits production of recordings covering the entire 30 to 15,000 cycle range within a plus or minus 2-decibel tolerance.

Like the 360 degrees of a perfect circle, “360” SOUND is the true spectrum of high fidelity.

For this reason Columbia Records, the oldest name in recording and creator of “Lp”, GUARANTEES without reservation the fidelity of this “360” SOUND record.

Editor’s note: Hot damn!

From Life to the Moon

totheprintedmoonWas flipping though a November, 1969 issue of Life magazine last night, you know, the one with “The Rough-cut King of Country Music” on the cover, aka Johnny Cash, and I came across this amazing full page ad for Time Life Records’ 6x LP box set, To the Moon. I’d acquired this piece of Americana at my brick and mortar about a year ago (the box set, not the magazine… I have my wonderful folks to thank for that one), and I’ve been a bit obsessed with it after the reissue announcement of the Voyager Golden Record box set (Kickstarter), so let’s just say I was a bit beside myself and had to do a double take upon its random discovery in the Life magazine that had been sitting on our living room table for the better part of three years. Man can step foot on the Moon, but I can’t discover a 47 year old record advertisement sitting beneath my nose. For shame.

Anyway, have a read, then head over to Discogs to nab this essential box set for next to nothing. She’s currently $7.50 for the full set (that’s 6x LPs and a 192 page, hardcover book, kids), and if you’re feeling REALLY interplanetary, back the Voyager Golden Record on Kickstarter. You’ll thank me later.

Mr. Country Music

mrcountryFrom Mr. Breakfast Sausage to Mr. Country Music, or vice versa. Jimmy Dean is, obviously, a modern day country music staple, and unlike most other modern day country music staples, he has a convenient, and surprisingly hearty breakfast line to go along with his prestigious country ballads. So no matter what time of day your stomach unfolds, grab a platter of ol’ Jimmy Dean.

What Would That Mercury Portable Turntable from 1966 Go for Today?

mercurysmashLet’s play the adjusted for inflation game! A quick bit of internet research nets this advert in the 1966 range, which would bring the “new” AG 4100 model (original price of $39.95) to only $296.98, while the monster, GF 340, with original price of $99.95, to a whopping $743 today. Portable phonographs certainly were a premium during the ol’ British Invasion days, am I right? And I can’t help but think how Smash Records, a company I’ve heard very little about, teamed up with Mercury for this frame-worthy advert. A few clicks back on the ol’ interwebs and as it turns out, Smash Records was a subsidiary of Mercury Records starting in 1961, so, that solves that useless mystery.