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Posts under tag: dh

January 21, 2016

How Vinyl Records Were Made featuring Duke Ellington

(from Dan Colman of
We’re moving back in time, before the mp3 player and the CD. We’re going back to the analog age, a moment when the vinyl record reigned supreme. The month is June 1937. And the short film you’re watching is “Record Making with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.”  How the film came into being was described in the July 1937 edition of Melody News:

Last month, a crew of cameramen, electricians and technicians from the Paramount film company set up their paraphernalia in the recording studios of Master Records, Inc. for the purpose of gathering ‘location’ scenes for a movie short, now in production, showing how phonograph records are produced and manufactured. Duke Ellington and his orchestra was employed for the studio scenes, with Ivie Anderson doing the vocals.

Narrated by Alois Havrilla, a pioneer radio announcer, the film shows you how records were actually recorded, plated and pressed. It’s a great relic from the vinyl era, which you will want to couple with this 1956 vinyl tutorial from RCA Victor.

For more on information on more free cultural and educational media, check out Open Culture’s website.

December 10, 2015

High quality video footage of Tokyo after World War II

As seen on Open Culture’s website today, the official music video for DJ Boogie Belgique’s song Ms. Yutani was posted since it features footage from post-WWII Tokyo (seen above). All of the footage is showing pedestrians, commuters, and shoppers going about their day. Although the video was uploaded to YouTube over three years ago, it has gained recognition in the digital humanities community recently in order to pinpoint when this footage was taken.

There are some subtle clues in a couple scenes that narrow the date down to some time during the American occupation of Japan (1945-1952). According to Scott Wilson of Rocket News 24, there are references to:

“Hatsu Imai, the first woman elected to the Japanese House of Representatives in 1946” and another for Miracle on 34th Street, originally released in November 1948.”

From those references, he stated:

“The consensus, in any case, seems to call this the Tokyo of the late 1940s…”

Although there are some military vehicles passing through some of the footage, there aren’t any visible traces of the occupation mainly due to the demands of the American censors who were known for frowning upon direct American references.

For more information, check out the remainder of this article at