When I was 13 or 14 my sister got this idea to record her kids while they were young. With this in mind she bought a Wollensak 1/4" tape recorder. This was a great idea - only she had no clue how to operate it. But you need to realize it was a different world then - you didn't just push the button. Being technically capable back then I learned how to use it and started recording all kinds of things. Being in bands I found the perfect thing to do with it. I remember carrying that thing from where I lived on Brian St down to Ridge Rd - to the 414 Club because there was a new group in town - The Show Stoppers. A great group, an instant hit in the area. I don't remember all the members but at the time I recorded them Bat McGrath and Don Potter where in the group. So one night I drag it down to the 414, set it up on one of the tables and ran a plug over to the wall. It was such a new thing to do nobody questioned it - it was a curiosity thing. I would drag that thing everywhere.
It wasn't a great machine compared to today I can take my iPad and get a better quality recording - but for the times it was way cool. At one point it developed a squeal - there was a felt pad that held the recording tape against the recording head. That developed a squeal that if you pressed on it it would go away for a bit. But, it always came back. So some of the recordings have that in there. I've tried filtering it out but it's in the totally wrong frequency range. After music discoed out and the family started I was at Kodak and as luck would have it ended up running the Magnetics Lab working with tape of all kinds and sizes.
Some of the later records get a bit better but the majority are with the old Wollensak. A couple years ago when doing another "cleaning" of the garage I ran across my box of tapes. Hadn't thought about them in years. I thought I check them out and see if they were any good. Talk about oldies but moldies - some of the tapes were actually moldy. During my divorces they spent a few years in my brother Mikes barn, then in various garages.
It was 1963 when I joined the group which was The Vistas with Dave Smith on lead and vocals (whom I heard went on to be at Fender and own/run it. I believe Dave has since passed on) was just leaving to go to college and then the Air Force I think. Leaving behind Jim Meyers on Bass, Ralph Williams on Guitar, Dennis Marinelle on Drums and so I was asked to join them on the Hammond and we named the new group The Obsessions. At that time I had a Model A and we had Dave Hucks (was in a local group with Gene Cornish way before the Rascals) doing lead vocal. Here’s a few I recorded at Al’s Stand. It was on Emerson St, Across from Jefferson High School. Best known for it’s Italian Sausage’s and the best lemon ice ever. The final incarnation of the group included Dallas Kidd on guitar. We played at The Farm in Victor quite often one summer.
Just Treat Her Right
For Your Love
Sha La La La La
The Denis Marinelli 11 minute drum solo
Ooh Poo Pa Doo