Friday, September 18, 2009

Reel-to-reels on CD!

We came in this afternoon very excited to tell Harry about the DVD and let him watch it. Then shortly afterward when we got to our work area, we noticed three CD's of converted reel-to-reel recordings were waiting on us!

We just finished listening to and ripping the first one, and we completed a partial track list for it. Some of the tracks are a little hard to hear, and some are only 30-second snippets, so a couple of them remain nameless for now. But we have a mostly complete list to share with Harry and John. I wish there were a way to export a Media Player track list into a table or some portable format so we could transfer it more easily than typing it again. These tracks are turning up additional songs in their repertoire that were not commercially recorded.

John has a couple more tapes to convert, but they had to be "baked" first. Vaguely, the process temporarily repairs old tapes that have transferred the oxides from the back of the tape to the recording side while wound together. I know I'm not doing the science of it justice, but the main thing is that there will be more CD's to listen too soon! Meanwhile, let's get back to the ones we have...
(18 Sept. 8:34 pm)

We listened to all three CD's that John converted from reel-to-reel so far. One was a church service with mostly performances, some personal testimonies, and a couple of songs by another artist. Several songs included some children singing, and we're not sure if it's Timi or an earlier recording that would've been her cousins. Another CD was a 1961 Christmas recording with a Dayton radio sermon by John's brother Roger followed by home recordings by John interviewing his relatives coming in to visit. 

Harry was really intrigued by the DVD Christmas footage as well. He made a comment to Timi about how rare and important this material is, and he's already had a copy of the DVD made. Today he mentioned that it would be useful to have even a rough timeline of Frances and John's lives, where they were and when as well as some general context about the time and region(s) in which they lived. So we plan to get started on that next week.

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