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Roburt

ZTSC in Pictures

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The above ads will also feature info / pics taken in their NY & Hollywood buildings. The NY complex was based out of two locations betwwen the early 60's and 90's ... buildings on 7th Avenue and East 52nd Street. Here's a picture of one of their NY studios, no doubt the Chicago studio would have looked similar (though most of the ZTSC soul 45 output was actually recorded elsewhere).

CBSrecNY60s.jpg

I always find it kinda weird that these facilities were major indutrial complexes that existed for many years and undertook a major role in the then dynamic recording industry, yet few photos seem to have survived of them at work.

Edited by Roburt

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It might interest you all to learn that during the 1960s, approximately 79% of the records pressed at Columbia Terre Haute were for Detroit labels, 20 % Chicago (+Northwest Indiana) labels, and 1% Other Midwest (mainly St. Louis and Indianapolis, and a couple from Milwaukee).  Apparently, local and regional Michigan plants couldn't handle the tremendous volume of Detroit product, while Chicago pressing plant competition to Columbia had most of Chicagoland's market sewn up.  So Columbia gobbled up the Detroit indie label market.  Interesting situation.  The '60s Soul (spurred by Motown) and the "Garage Band" phenomena in Detroit blossomed so quickly and unexpectedly, that local facilities and potential entrepeneurs couldn't keep up with it.  Luckily for Columbia, Chicago and Terre Haute were close enough to Detroit to serve both big city markets.

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On 12/15/2017 at 10:18, Roburt said:

Back in the late 60's / early 70's, to find ZTSC stamped into the runout groove of a 45 you didn't know meant that you had to take the risk & buy it blind (if on offer for cents) ....

With the passage of time, we've learnt that the ID had a more mundane reason for it's use ... it just identified every 45 that had been mastered at Chicago's Columbia Recording Studio complex at 630 North McClurg Court. CBS had bought this existing building in 1954 and moved it's local studio there in 56 from the famous Wrigley Building (Nth Michigan Ave) skyscraper downtown. Chicago, along with the New York & Hollywood complexes were Columbia's main hubs of operation (record wise). The Chicago building also housed their local TV & radio stations (WBBM). Before CBS took over, the building (originally built in 1922) had been used as offices and as the Chicago Arena (a sports complex) and originally by the Chicago Riding Club (as stables & display area). 

It's common sense that 45's on Okeh would be mastered there but why the likes of Motown, Golden World, Palmer, Impact, Inferno, Correc-tone, Boo, Baracuda, Dearborn, Drew, Groovesville, Giant, Crajon, One-derful, Chess, Lovelite, 4 Brothers and all the other labels would select Columbia as their 1st choice for mastering is not so obvious.

Obviously the team housed in the complex were good at what they did but the management there also marketed their services quite aggressively. Couple that with the fact that after tracks had been mastered by Columbia, they could easily been forwarded onto the company's pressing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana for the actual singles to be pressed up and you had a great one-stop 'record making' shop.

There don't seem to be too many pictures definitely taken inside the complex on the net, but old Columbia trade ads feature pictures that show what went on inside their NY, LA & Chicago buildings. Oh, to have been allowed to tour the place between 1964 and 1974 (when it closed as a mastering facility).

Pictures of the building back in it's Riding Club days & then towards the end of it's life ... ...

     

ChicagoRecStPreCBS.jpg

CBSRecStudioChicagoPic.jpg

Love the two photos of the riding school complex(then and now)....the facade on the early photo is absolutely stunning....while the buildings looming in the background of the recent shot,have nearly swallowed the complex up...

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31 minutes ago, RobbK said:

It might interest you all to learn that during the 1960s, approximately 79% of the records pressed at Columbia Terre Haute were for Detroit labels, 20 % Chicago (+Northwest Indiana) labels, and 1% Other Midwest (mainly St. Louis and Indianapolis, and a couple from Milwaukee).  Apparently, local and regional Michigan plants couldn't handle the tremendous volume of Detroit product, while Chicago pressing plant competition to Columbia had most of Chicagoland's market sewn up.  So Columbia gobbled up the Detroit indie label market.  Interesting situation.  The '60s Soul (spurred by Motown) and the "Garage Band" phenomena in Detroit blossomed so quickly and unexpectedly, that local facilities and potential entrepeneurs couldn't keep up with it.  Luckily for Columbia, Chicago and Terre Haute were close enough to Detroit to serve both big city markets.

Is the Terre Haute plant still up and running "musically"Robb ( in some shape or form)or it did close down to make way for other commercial/residential ventures?

Edited by MGM 1251

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Unfortunately 630 Nth McClurg (the studio / mastering facility) has been demolished & the pressing plant closed in 82/83 (for vinyl manufacture / warehousing). 

Edited by Roburt

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