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26 May

EMI Matrix Cards

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During the 1990s, the late record researcher Eddie Shaw spent many hours pouring over the National Sound Archive collection of microfilm reels containing images of EMI Special Recording Department matrix cards. Peter Copeland suggested these microfilm reels were made in the mid 1960s and contained images of EMI Special Recording Department matrix cards still in existence at that time. (Historic Record # 19, p 6).

These matrix cards showed the following recording dates for early CHAPPELL 78rpm discs:

C 105 to C 108 Saturday 11 April 1942
C 290 to C 296 Monday 23 December 1946
C 297 to C 304 Friday 7 March 1947
C 305 to C 312 Friday 21 March 1947
C 313 to C 316 Wednesday 21 May 1947
C 317 to C 320 Friday 27 June 1947
C 321 to C 324 Monday 30 June 1947
C 325 to C 328 Friday 22 August 1947
C 390 and C 391 Monday 1 January 1951

Of interest, is that four other CHAPPELL music tracks were recorded by EMI on 1 January 1951, namely, Comedian in Mayfair (EMI matrix CTP 16785, and renamed Canadian in Mayfair), Captain of the Guard (EMI matrix CTP 16788), Mantilla (EMI matrix CTP 16789) and Strings on Wings (EMI matrix CTP 16790). These four tracks were issued on CHAPPELL discs C 392 and C 393 from matrices made by Levy’s Sound Studios, and not from the matrices made by EMI.

A couple of the matrix cards dating from 1942 were rubber stamped "PASSED BY CENSOR", and showed little information about the particular recording.

Eddie noted CHAPPELL disc C 325 (matrix CTP 14983) was originally intended to be coupled with matrix CTP 14986, but this coupling was cancelled on 14 October 1947. This resulted in the single sided CHAPPELL disc C 325 being issued. The matrix card for CTP 14986 could not be located by Eddie.

The EMI matrix cards also indicated the first batch of tracks for the EMI Library of Background Music were recorded on 12 March 1947 (EP 1 to EP 4).

The first group of tracks for Francis, Day and Hunter’s MOOD MUSIC library were recorded on 29 October 1946.

If someone could publish some recording details from Levy’s Sound Studios (Historic Record # 31, p 17-20), precise dating of more of the early Production Music library discs could be undertaken.

This feature first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Journal Into Melody.

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