Monday, March 31, 2014

Kit & Brody's Asheville Picks

 Walter Hurdt-Claude Boone 

BB B-7008 


the Callahan Brothers


Well, here we are again folks.
Today, we're featuring two Hillbilly duo's from Asheville NC, and we also have Brody Douglas Hunt with us on this post too as a guest blogger!

We made transfers of a Callahan Brothers record of mine, and a Walter Hurdt & Claude Boone record of Brody's.
Both are great examples of Asheville's rich musical heritage, and Brodys record is the real highlight of this post.

Ok, we're gonna do this post like it's a t.v. show.... so let's check in with Brody and see what he has to say about his awesome record! (late night talk show music and thunderous applause ensues)
BRODY: BB B-7008 Walter Hurdt-Claude Boone I'm Ridin' Now/The Hobo Blues Recorded Friday, Febuary 19th, 1937 in Charlotte, NC. His final cuts of the day, these are from Walter Hurdt's first recording session and were recorded right after he interestingly recorded an unissued side (Just A Cottage) with none other than Cliff Carlisle. Hurdt went on to form his fantastically innovative "Singing Cowboys" band in Asheville, NC. Boone was later out of Knoxville, TN and wrote the country standard "Wedding Bells".

KIT: wow! fascinating Brody, Thats a pretty uncommon record! wonder how rare it is? Im so glad we have this ultra hip 78 record blog as a way to highlight great performances from the 20's and 30's, and share them with our viewers at home! (roaring applause and more late night music)

.....I brought with me Cq-9223. The Callahan Brothers. Lonesome Freight Train Blues/My Blue Eyed Jane. Recorded Friday, February 17th, 1939 in Chicago, Il. Homer & Walter Callahan later changed their names to Bill & Joe, so if you see any of their records, pick em' up. It's the same guys!
The Callahan Brothers are some of my favorites, especially their stuff from the 30's. This record has a fairly scratch free surface, but there is a bit of blasting on the louder vocal passages.

So, without further ado....


  1. Great transfers! Tell me how you do yours and I`ll tell you how I do mine.

    1. Hey thanks! Glad you like. I try to make em' sound as good as I can. Sorry I didn't see this till now! Im in the process of moving across the country.

      Ok, this is kind of long winded, but this is what's involved with the audio I post.

      First I wash the record with soap water and a shoe brush. I use a stanton cartridge and Im pretty sure the stylus is either 2.7 or 3 mil. I also use an Audio Technica ATPL 120 turn table which has the option of a built in pre amp or phono out. I have this analog rca to usb converter called the Xitel INport Deluxe that I got from Radio Shack, and I go straight from the built in pre amp, out to the Xitel INport Deluxe, which then runs into a computer program called Soundtrack Pro (it's part of final cut pro).... Im sure there are better audio editing programs out there, but I use this one, cause it's the only semi professional sound editing program I have on my beat up little powerbook G4.

      In Soundtrack Pro, it has this analysis tool called "clicks and pops" analysis.... This thing can take a while to process, but I feel like it's way better than a noise filter; It turns the harsh crackles and pops into more of a hiss without "just ixnaying" an entire frequency like a filter will do.. I'd like to figure out a way to turn down the hiss more without damaging the audio... anyways, after that, ( and it depends on the condition of the record, but if it's one in decent shape ) I'll fiddle with a 30 band EQ; usually bringing it up in the 4-20khz range to put some air and presence in it, down around the 1.6 range to take away some harshness (if it needs it), and also arcing down some of the low bass frequency starting at around 63 or 80 hz. 100 hz is feel and hear bass, below that are sub frequencies (feel only), where I've found, for 78's, there's usually more surface rumble than actual music. After all that, I sometimes use really light noise reduction for the high frequency surface noise left over from boosting the 4-20khz. The last step is, I use a limiter to bring the overall volume up.... And I always limit at -0.03 so it will never hit the zero mark and distort on louder passages.

      Every record is different when it comes to applying EQ, and possible noise reduction. whenever I mess with the noise reduction, and I find something I think helps bring out the sound above the noise without compromising the audio, I always save those settings to use as a starting point next time.
      I've never been to school for this stuff, but I read a thing online about how to use EQ, and it was insanely helpful for every recording/mixing project I've done since.

      ...And I think thats that! How do you do it? your transfers sound great!

    2. oh also, I've been recording these tracks at 44.1, 16 bit, but my buddy Joe tells me, if Im doing any audio restoration, it's better to record at 24 bit. More information to work with.

  2. Just found your blog. This is great stuff, and I love getting the label scans with the tunes. Please keep posting and I'll keep visiting. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Frank! I love those labels too. It's part of the whole thing! I'll be posting more stuff once I get settled. Im traveling right now but should have some time to make a post soon. Got the next post all ready too. A really cool Japanese Victor I junked... even had a Japanese friend translate the titles for me! cheers. ~ Kit