Classic TV: The 50s : How to listen to music in 1950

How to listen to music in 1950

I hope someone can help.

I'm writing a screenplay set in 1950 and it's about the making of a movie.

I want to include a scene of the producer listening to audition tapes to find the right voice.

I could do this in numerous ways but I'm not looking for alternative suggestions - I just want to know how somebody would have done this before cassette tapes.

How can I have someone listening to a dozen or so individual auditions?

The studio are rich and can use state of the art equipment - there's no limit really.

I just want to know the best possible way for someone to be given a heap of recordings and sit listening through them all.

Any help is appreciated.


Re: How to listen to music in 1950


Re: How to listen to music in 1950

Thank you! Very helpful information.

Re: How to listen to music in 1950

My guess is that the "reel-to-reel" that Patricia91 suggested would be the likely format that producers would have used to audition voices. It's possible that, by '50, some demo "records" may have come into being. But, that would probably have been much more expensive, and less accessible.

My question would be how studio producers came by the demos that were used for voice- quality-only, in the first place.

The studio system was still in place, at that time. There may have been a department within "central casting," or large agencies (like William Morris) may have been able to provide voice suggestions.

You should pose this question on the "Classic Film" board, if you haven't already. I've never seen a question like this on that board. But, apart from those of us who just love classic films, there are some posters who are "buffs," in various phases of film/film-making. And, there are still a few who have worked in the industry.

I would also contact the Screen Actors' Guild. They may have an "archive" source that you could tap, or be able to turn you on to someone who might know.

The Motion Pictures Academy of Arts and Sciences awards several Oscars in the category of sound. They might be able to give you researchable resources, too.

Interesting question.
Good luck.

Re: How to listen to music in 1950

The whole idea of people sending in demo tapes sounds anachronistic. Agents would bring their clients around for personal auditions. The studios had many movie actors already in films to choose from. They would also be listening to popular records and radio programs and attending shows.

Re: How to listen to music in 1950

I seem to recall that in The Great Man, the girl talks about making a record at a machine in a penny arcade and sending it in to the radio station.

Re: How to listen to music in 1950

IIRC, Elvis made a record at a recording studio as a gift for his mother.

My mother had me sing a song on a record, probably at a dime store or similar, when I was a child in the late 40s.

Don't blame me, I voted for Hillary.