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James A. Fitzpatrick’s Movie Horoscope Series - May

May 3rd, 2010

If you were born in May and you enjoy the blog, consider this your birthday present.  :)

I admit, this isn't a radio transcription, but it's great fun and a one-of-a-kind recording.

transcription label

In this post, a 16" soundtrack disc to a lost film short, "James A. Fitzpatrick's Movie Horoscope Series - May".  Fitzpatrick Pictures made mostly short travelogues with some entries distributed by MGM and there's no documentation I can find about this particular series.  I would assume they would have released one of these each month for different signs of the zodiac.  The short gives you the low-down on the personality of people born in May and some famous individuals from history who share May birthdays.  The series is so obscure, I didn't even find a listing for it at the Internet Movie Database.

The label notes that it's production number 62052 with sound recording done on the RCA Photophone process.  So the film was recorded with the "sound on film" process and this disc was used for showings in movie houses that still had setups for Vitaphone discs.  The disc was pressed by Victor, matrix number FIT2-62052-21 and is dated 1930.  The film elements to the short appear to be lost.

Listen closely around the 3:30 mark and you can hear the distinctive "ringing" of a tube in the sound equipment, probably caused by some kind of vibration in the equipment, a technician bumping against the tube or some other electrical problem.  I have an lp issue of some of Bell Labs early electrical recording experiments of the twenties and this "ringing" was a problem they'd sometimes encounter during recording sessions.

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