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Forgive the length of this question,...............
I'm interested to know, back in the day (late 50's) how recording sessions were done. Looking at photos, watching clips, and reading about this, it is a bit confusing.....I've seen it done both ways...
laying down the music track and then adding vocals, and having all the musicians playing along with the vocalist at once. I imagine the first way would be less expensive than to keep union musicians for endless hours every time a goof was made by the singer, but, yet, I've heard you tube clips where everything is happening at once. Could you shed some light on this?
Thanks in advance,

In the late 50's, they were still recording the entire session at once, singer and all, for most artists. The orchestra was well rehearsed before the vocalist arrived so there weren't many takes necessary. Just a few.
By the early 60's, many started to record the backing track first and have the singer sing to the playback and by the mid-60's, that was the most common.
There were, of course, exceptions, especially among the old guard, like Sinatra who always wanted the band live with him.

So, yes...both ways.



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Lou Simon


I can answer questions about many artists, songs or records from 1940-1990. I can often help with song lyrics, artist bio or other information requested


I have programmed oldies radio stations about the USA and have written for radio networks that specialize in oldies programming.

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