The Reel Deal

Sharing stuff found on magnetic tape in the reel-to-reel format.


Bel Canto Nutcracker Suite

OK, so Mitch Miller isn't holiday enough. No worries. This should make up for it, though.

In amongst the haul of Bel Canto 2-tracks is this little number by the infamous Hamburg Philharmonia: The Nutcracker Suite. It's the standard suite, even though the names of the movements are a little "French-ized". Don't ask me why, they came from some silly Wiki link. But, and if you can believe WikiPedia, this would be one of the first stereo recordings of the Nutcracker. Antal Dorati did the complete Ballet with the Minneapolis Orchestra in the mid-1950s, and the first full recording of the ballet in stereo was in 1958. That, of course, was on LP. If anyone has a GOOD Bel Canto discography, then I'd sure like to know when this was recorded.

I have also seen this on the 4-track version, but I still think that the 2-track Bel Canto tapes are far superior. Even if Bel Canto *did* do all the Dot library (things like Pat Boone and Lawrence Welk...), but they also did the HiFi label, as well as some of the early Liberty catalogue. Honestly, I don't know why people aren't collecting Bel Canto stuff, their LPs were BRILLIANT, as are their 2-track tapes.

Oh well, enough blather, I give you the usual full-size scans:
The front of the box, and
The back of the box.

Note that this was part of a promotinal deal (as seen on the back of the box)... does this make it a "rare Bel Canto"? Only time will tell...

Meanwhile, rack this one up and enjoy The Nutcracker Suite!

Mitch Miller - More Sing Along with Mitch

Here's another piece of two-track goodness, this time courtest of Columbia, and NOT Columbia House! I have this and three more Mitch Miller & the Gang 2-track tapes, I'll put 'em up if people want...

I loaded this up on the Otari and again was simply AMAZED at how GOOD this sounds! I remember watching Mitch Miller on television in the 60s (on an old Magnavox dial-tuner black & white set at my grandparents'), and, frankly was kind of ho-hum about it all. Even worse were the scratchy Mitch Miller LPs you'd always find at thrift stores and yard or boot sales. They sounded like BLEAH-on-toast. So, I was kinda expecting audio torture when I loaded this up, but NO! This sounded GOOD! You could hear all the things you're supposed to hear in a gerat recording...

Granted, the songs are kind of smarmy (they were all written in the Shellac era), but they sound soo GOOOOOD....

Unfortunately, I can't get scans of the liner notes (they're on the inside of the box), and the back is the standard Columbia 2-track back, which is nothing but a tile of Magic Eye symbols... so you only get a scan of the front of the box this time around.

So, my friends, rack up this tape on the two-track deck of the imagination and enjoy More Sing Along with Mitch!


Eric Rogers Chorale - The Glory of Christmas

Another piece of Yule-dom for you to make your holiday cheer factor a little cheer-ier :)

This was released in the late 60s methinks, because of the Phase-4 label on it... it's a nice set of the usual Yule classic-type tunes, sung very well (except for one Soprano in a couple of places), with a decent orchestra and organ (and you can REALLY hear the pedal tones in places!)... perfect for those snowy Christmas Eves when you want to remember the reverence of Christmas.

I had this tape up on eBay and it sold, adding a few pennies into the coffers... it was in pretty decent shape, actually!

I can't think of too much more to say, except that I hope you enjoy this'un, and if I find any more cool holiday type reels, I'll post 'em up!

Again, may the Season bring you and your family happiness, togetherness, and, most importantly, the Blessing of Peace.

Here are the full size scans of:
The front of the box, and
The back of the box.

Something for when the snow is falling and you want to gather the family around the fireplace... The Glory of Christmas!


A Christmas Greeting In Stereophonic Sound

In the mid-1950s, when stereophonic tape was in its' infancy, Ampex had a nationwide dealer network selling their tapes and decks. So, it was a natural that Ampex, the then-leader (perhaps self-proclaimed?) of stereo tapes, made a little Yule greeting gift that was sent out to "friends of Ampex", which meant dealers and people that bought decks.

This has been hawked on eBay a few times as "the first Stereo Christmas Greeting" tape, and it is not too bad, musically... the recording is full of 60-cycle hum and lots of thumps and stuff, but what would one expect from a tape recorded in, what, 1954?

Well, enough kvetching, this IS a nice little 10-minute Yule tape, done in 2-track stereo, the choir is directed by John Halloran, who I assume does the vocal segues as well.

COnsider this my Yule greeting to all of you, especially those who have thrown a penny in the Poor-Man's hat (or PayPal box) :)

May the Season bring you and your family happiness, togetherness, and, most importantly, the Blessing of Peace.

Here are the full size scans of:
The front of the box, and
The back of the box.

May you have a Most Blessed Yule, and here's A Christmas Greeting In Stereophonic Sound!