Monday, January 18, 2010

Jim & Jesse McReynolds

From the liner notes (all grammatical and typographical errors his):

"This album represents one of the very first recording ventures of Jim and Jesse McReynolds. While time has dimmed the memory of the exact date of the recoring session, I am reasonably sure it was late 1951 or early 1952.

Jim and Jesse were working in the middletown Dayton Ohio area with Larry Roll who played lead on most of the songs recorded, calling themselves the Virginia Trio.

I was anxious to try out a brand new Ampex 300 Mono Tape Recorder, but most important to me was an opportunity to test my skill recording a style of music completely unfamiliar to me at the time.

The studio was a home made affair 20 x 40 x 10, ceiling and side walls covered with acoustic tile and painted cement floor. The input console was a 1948 Vintage Western Electric 23-C with four inputs and one output feeding the tape recorder.

Four microphones were used, two RCA 44Bx, one brush and one Western Electric to record the three vocals, two guitars, mandolin, and bass, four persons total.

This recording represents the true sound of the the 1950's no amplifiers, no over-dubs, no special treatment to enchance or change the sound as the recording engineer (just learning how) my cheif concern was to capture faithfully the unique crisp mandonlin style that Jesse had developed, which after 25 years is still his trade mark.

When this recording was made the state of the art was basically monoaural, even the development of tape recorders was still in its infancy. Until the advent of multi track machines recording engineers had to achieve proper balances and blend it all together on one track.

This record was produced originally for a gospel mail order catalog promotion which was not successful. A very small quantity of records were pressed probably not more than 200 very few of which ever found their way into the hands of the general public. In 1960 in order to facilitate moving the pressing plant and studio to new and larger quarters the remaining stock and metal work were scrapped, but the original tape was carefully preserved.

My very good personal friend Mr. Lou Ukelson who owns Skinner Music Center in Cincinnati, who is well onformed in regards to the trends in country and bluegrass music, had known for some time about the Jim and Jesse tape I had, he convinced me that it would be a good idea to re-issue the album.

Upon examination I found the 25 year old tape was in excellent shape except for a few bad splices which were replaced without trouble. New masters were cut in our cutting lab under my personal supervision on a Neumann Lathe using a Sx 74 cutter. To perserve the original sound, masters were made in monaural with no equalization or sound improvement added.

In the 31 years since starting in business in 1946 my company has recorded and produced thousands of albums in many styles and catagories, many of which were one shot affairs quickly forgotten, but this albums is different, because the lover of bluegrass music will consider this album a classic in its field.

There is something pure, simple and clean in hearing these old religious songs as sung by Jim and Jesse with Larry Roll. Those who appreciate bluegrass mwill recognize talents of a high degree, their basic style which they still use can be quickly identified. This album is a double treat for the bluegrass buff or the religious listener.

Carl Burkhardt
Rite Record Productions, Inc."

He believed in this record so much that he pressed it a second time after destroying almost the entire first pressing due to poor sales.

He was right.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Jim & Jesse McReynolds.

The Early Recordings Of Jim & Jesse McReynolds with Larry Roll (Gateway)

1. I'll Fly Away
2. God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud
3. You Go To Your Church, I'll Go To Mine
4. Just A Little Talk With Jesus
5. Sing Sing Sing
6. Let Me Travel Alone
7. Camping In Canaan's Land
8. On The Jericho Road
9. I Like The Old Time Way
10. I'll Be Listening

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