Donald's Blog

  This old house was only a few blocks from the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. All the neighborhood cats lived in the basement during the winter. The house has long since been torn down, but in 1972 there were AR2ax speakers in the front room, and a lot of good music was heard there.

«Oct 2017»

In the 21st century I am just as opinionated as ever, and I now have an outlet. I shall pontificate here about anything that catches my fancy; I hope I will not make too great a fool of myself. You may comment yea or nay about anything on the site; I may quote you here, or I may not. Send brickbats etc. to:


October 10, 2017

Columbia Records as was

I have received a news item forwarded from one of my music chatlists: "Yale collections open for research." One of the newly opened collections is the Goddard Lieberson papers: "Goddard Lieberson (1911-1977) was president of Columbia Records from 1956-1975. He spearheaded a number of recording projects for Columbia, and was the inventor of the LP (Long-Playing record)."

Lieberson must have been an interesting man, a highly-cultured New Yorker, whose classmates at Eastman/Rochester included Mitch Miller and Alec Wilder. He composed a string quartet, and sent a recording of it to conductor George Szell, who replied that it was good to hear of a record company executive who actually knew something about music from the inside.

But Lieberson had nothing to do with the invention of the long-playing record. That is usually credited to Peter Goldmark, who was president of CBS labs at the time, but he didn't have much to do with it either. The chief progenitors of the LP were Edward Wallerstein and Jim Hunter (who had earlier been poached  from RCA!) and Wallerstein hired Bill Bachman from General Electric, who had already experimented with microgrooves in the 1930s.