This Day in Death

9.22.12: LP Developer Howard H. Scott – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:19 pm October 9, 2012

Couldn’t have done it without you, Howie!


Howard Scott, a music producer who was involved with some of the most important advancements in recording technology, has died at the age of 92. Scott was one of the men responsible for the development of the vinyl LP, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately results in my being condescended to by some bearded liberal arts major behind a Macbook anytime I walk into a record store. Look, if you don’t have the new Loverboy album just say so, don’t act like an ass about it.

In the days before magnetic tape came into wide use, the process of transferring music to the new discs (soon to be known as LPs) was complex. Long pieces of music, split among multiple 78 r.p.m. records, needed to be stitched together on the new discs without interruption.

To do that, Mr. Scott and his colleagues lined up overlapping segments of music on 78s, and — with Mr. Scott snapping his finger in coordination — switched the audio signal at just the right moment from one turntable to the other. As the industry began to use magnetic tape, beginning in the late 1940s, such work was no longer necessary.

For me, the American Dream died the day magnetic tape put all of those professional finger snappers out of work. Little known fact: West Side Story was created solely to give them something to do.


Source: The New York Times (picture via this place)

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