Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Father Worked For CBS Records

My father was on the edge of the entertainment industry, producing records for Columbia. He didn’t actually work IN the industry, and nobody, absolutely nobody knew him. But without Jim Carten, Columbia Records would have stood still with nary a disc being shipped to your local record store.

Dad worked for Bowe Brothers Surface Grinding. Columbia kept several piles of 16” discs over in one corner of the shop. On occasion, Tom Bowe would get a call telling him to deliver maybe 50 discs over to CBS in Bridgeport, where they actually made the records to send out nationwide from the master tapes.

He had to surface grind the discs down just a few micrometers on his massive Blanchard grinder; when he hit the magic number, they would go off to Columbia.

They were etched and made into the “mother disc,” which, in turn, would be pressed down onto the vinyl disc. Tom is gone; Dad is gone; the shop is gone; the big Blanchard grinder is gone. (Two people are enjoying life in heaven, a building was recycled, and there is a really big machine out there making lots of money for someone.)

In another blog, I’ve got to tell you about that shop. It’s too long for the few lines I have left here and it doesn’t deserved to be crammed into a story about my father and his tenuous link with Columbia. The shop also made ground parts for a gun company and Dad claimed he worked on the gun (part) that killed John Kennedy. Well … maybe … perhaps…


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