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Re: [ARSCLIST] MELODIYA DISCOGRAPHY - was Medtner playing his 3rd Piano Concerto
Roger and Allison Kulp wrote:
Two more interesting pages:
Hungariton released some broadcast recordings of Bartok in their
complete Bartok series that had been made on x-ray film. I was
surprised to find this in use in 1938 which is BEFORE the war, and that
they were in use in Hungary which was a free country and relatively
prosperous during these pre-war days.
This was done in The Soviet Union too,it continued into the 50s,because Uncle Nicky the shoe banger didn't take kindly to Elvis.I'll get to the fake story of Uncle Nicky banging his shoe at the end.
I had learned about x-ray film records as a kid in the late 50s in a Sat
Eve Post article about Willis Connover, the Voice of America jazz DJ.
Saamples were on my want list as soon as I started collecting Soviet
records, but nobody came up with any for me. When I spent the Summer in
Moscow in 1995 I went thru a pile of about 100 of these when visiting
the late Valari Safoshkin. That gave me the information that the Soviet
x-ray film is much thinner than the thick slightly greasy feeling film
we use. Their film is the same thinness as regular snap-shot film.
Armed with that info, at the Izmilova flea market the next Saturday I
was going thru a box with about ten 78s and a few regular floppy discs
when I felt one that seemed like the x-ray film I had felt a few days
ago. I left it on a 78 but just slid a quarter-inch off the edge, and
noticed that it had a mottled appearance. I wasn't so stupid as to hold
it up to the light!!!!! I bought the 78s for a couple of roubles and
the guy threw in all the floppies. So now I had my first "rock on the
bones". It showed someone's spine. In pencil it said in cyrillic
"dzonnie". There is no j in Russian. Jazz is dzazz. So this was
Johnnie. That could be anything. When I got back to Kentucky a few
weeks later, the first thing I did was run to the turntable and play
it. I could name that tune in two notes. It was Les Paul and Mary Ford
"Johnnie (Is the Boy For Me)" from the flip side of "Via Con Dios" which
was one of the first 45s I ever bought at a record store with my own
money. My theory of why the flip side was the hit in Russia is that the
fast guitar in the break sounds like a balalaika.
Safoshkin told me the inside story about the production of these and the
jailing of some people who got caught, and Alexander Tikhonov translated
it a bit, but the full story he told needs to be translated from my
Anybody else have any of these?
Oh, and by the way, NICKY WAS NOT A SHOE BANGER. He never BANGED his
shoe at the U.N. Yes he banged his fists. Yes he then put one of his
shoes up on the top of his desk, but he NEVER BANGED HIS SHOE. This was
told to my by ARSC member Pierre Furst who was audio archivist at the
U.N. during that era. When asked what was the most frequently requested
film at the U.N. he said the show banging, but they have to explain to
everybody who requests it that no film of it exists because it never
happened. They can supply film of him banging his fists. They can
supply film of him sitting there with his shoe on his desk. But there
is no film of him banging his shoe.
Mike Biel mbiel@xxxxxxxxx