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In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:31 am
by Vidar Lund
This album has been discussed on more than one occation on the Chetboard. Here´s an LP version of the original 1958 recording available on Amazon. I believe it is generally accepted that this one is the better one of the two versions. ... 82&sr=1-57

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:24 am
by thenorm
I think the preference depends on which one was your first purchase. If you bought the one that had the 6122-58 on the cover that is the one that will sound superior to you. If you bought the one with the blonde on the cover first that is the one that will be better sounding to you.

I don't think many folks bought both. Some have, of course, but again, I think most are satisfied that the one they bought first is the 'best'

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:08 pm
by Vidar Lund
I only own the second version that was released a few years ago as a CD, very stylishly at that. But I´ve heard many of the original tunes before and have some of them included in CD compilations, and I must say that the older ones sound better to me than the new ones. I´ve ordered this original version LP from Amazon, and look forward to listening to it. Maybe the most impressive thing is that the whole album was recorded in one day with orchestral backing, and everything done to perfection.

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:13 pm
by JohnBinns
After reading: Mister Guitar magazine of June 2010.

My personal comments:
I grew up listening to the Girl Cover which was the original studio edition and found the '59 Nashville revision to be "over the top". But, I find with any of Chet's different renditions, (ie the 45 singles version vs the album version) to be like that. I guess the mind, like thenorm says, will process the first listened to version as the true.

At least, the '59 In Hollywood with the Night Scene is considered the version Chet intended. By the time the '61 edition rolled out, some had version one on one side and version two on the other. Even the later CD versions may contain the mixed versions. In Hollywood will always make "watercooler" conversation.

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:46 pm
by thenorm
Some of the above references seem a little muddled.

This is what a discography says:

RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1993 Chet Atkins In Hollywood: Armen's Theme; Let It Be Me; Theme From Picnic; Theme From A Dream; Estrellita; Jitterbug Waltz; Little Old Lady; Limelight; The Three Bells; Santa Lucia; Fassio; Greensleeves; Meet Mister Callaghan – 07-59 (MX: K2PP-0729/30 & K2PY-0731/2. In 1961 Chet Atkins re-recorded this album in Nashville for reissue)

Based on that the "girl cover" would be the 1961 redone version.

As for doing it in one day... Dennis Faron didn't have an orchestra. He just hired the best on-call orchestral players available and they played the arrangements. Those guys Just Didn't Make Mistakes. That many musicians making scale was a lot of money. RCA would have wanted 'efficiency' for those sessions.

I believe one of the Mister Guitar magazines micro-dissected those two albums

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
by JohnBinns
Norm: Those were my personal comments, not those of the magazine.

However, the magazine article dispels the idea of which one was the "original" and the mix up that ensued when cutting room tapes surfaced and were used by mistake.

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:09 pm
by thenorm
I managed to dig up my Mister Guitar magazine containing the article about that project and found that I indeed had my facts wrong. I stand corrected (thanks, Craig)

Still, the actual tale of how those albums were made and the subsequently confusing combinations and compilations done after the two were made still makes your head spin. You just about need to have the article in hand to see just what you have in your collections particularly if you have both vinyls and CD's and Bear Family versions.

It is amazing that they were able to deliver the basic recording in one seven hour day.

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:01 am
by Pat Kirtley
Hi everyone,

Here is what is known about the Chet Atkins in Hollywood versions so far -- the "real facts." The story you've heard about "Chet didn't like the first version so he went back two years later and re-did all his guitar parts" is completely wrong. Chet did it exactly the way he wanted on the first release.

The 1959 "night guitar cover" first release version is the one Chet made by taking the orchestra tracks back to Nashville and overdubbing his guitar parts. This is the version Chet intended, and the method of creating it -- as an overdub -- was planned from the very beginning.

The 1961 "gold girl cover" re-release is actually the original in-studio recording -- Chet playing live with the orchestra in Hollywood. This version was never intended for release, and Chet was unaware that it existed for a very long time. By the time he realized this version existed and had been released, it was too late to do anything about it.

To this day, RCA/Sony doesn't understand that there are two versions. Only someone who intimately knows the music, or does an A-B comparison can tell the difference. The orchestra recording is exactly the same in both cases. Only Chet's guitar is different. If you are a third-party record company looking to do a reissue of this album, you might get Master A, or you might get Master B. It seems that only the Chet aficionados can tell the difference.

Chet's performance with the orchestra during the live session was only for the purpose of verifying the arrangements, and because he had to physically be there and record his parts to satisfy musicians' union agreements. The rules were very strict and overdubbing was not permitted. Chet had to actually record with the orchestra, and they had to hear a playback for verification. What the orchestra players didn't know was that the session was being recorded on a new Ampex 3-track recorder, and Chet's track was separated from the orchestra so that it could be re-recorded.

There is much more to the story as to why the mix of the orchestra with Chet's "scratch track" was allowed to come into existence as a master, or to get released as an LP. I've been researching this for three years now, and it is a whale of a story. It's why I'm writing a book about it. Not only is the story interesting and unlikely, the fact that any of the critical details can be known over 50 years later verges on the impossible. It is as much a "cold case" detective story as a look into the history of recording, and the life and times of the late 50's. And it is the story of a project which was a turning point in Chet's recording career.

The cool thing is, as the result of a strange sequence of events, we have two alternate versions of Chet's guitar ideas on the same set of tunes -- one where he was "winging it" on a set a arrangements he had never actually heard before (!!) and doing a great job at it, and the other where he went back to the security and relaxed surrounding of his home studio in Nashville and got his guitar parts to sound exactly the way he envisioned them. Both versions are pure Chet Atkins. It is a unique opportunity to experience Chet's "guitar mind" and stylistic skills at work.

Pat Kirtley

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:31 am
by BillB
Thanks for all the research you have done and are doing on this legendary album. I remember reading the article in Mister Guitar and how interesting it was.

As far as favorites between the two, I know which album cover is my favorite.

Bill Bailey

Re: In Hollywood - once again

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:29 am
by JohnBinns

I was riveted to the pages of Mister Guitar magazine while I read and reread your article. I will be equally fascinated by the rest of the story when you complete it. Please let us know when it is done.

Growing up with the "winging it" version, I also know my favorite.