Olds Recording SN# 381430 Circa 1957 Fullerton Era
Horn has had a Bob Reeves Patented Valve Alignment
Comes with original case
I love these horns! I own one myself…. Copper Lead pipe, Copper Bell. Valves have good POP compression and all slides and valves are fast and
smooth. This one plays like melted butter! Balanced action with the offset valves. Very Cool Olds Recording. Dark tone but can honk if you put the jets to it. The horn is all original including the 3rd slide trigger mechanism. No dents, dings, or trauma. The tone is beautiful dark and rich with spot on intonation. The Bell engraving is sharp and clear and a beautiful example of hand craftsmanship of a by-gone era by Leonard Garcia. Med. Large Bore Free blowing. Thsis is probably from the 1st year they were introduced. My old teacher Harold ‘Pappy’ Mitchell was responsible for the design. Harold ‘Pappy’ Mitchell, lead trumpet at MGM Studios, tested trumpets for Olds. One trumpet Pappy tested extensively at MGM for Olds was the Recording model, Picture provided by Pappy’s son Ollie Mitchell. Ollie informs me that Pappy dated the ad as 1939.
The Olds Recording Trumpet and Cornet were the most radical departure from traditional trumpet design there ever was. It first appeared in the mid 1930’s as a sub-line of the Olds professional line of trumpets, the Super. It was called the Super Recording. It’s concept was to be an instrument designed for ‘recording with prominent motion picture studio orchestras’; who were required to spend many hours in the studio, and needed an instrument that was more comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. Olds consulted the studio trumpeter Harold ‘Pappy’ Mitchell to discover what features of the trumpet needed to be made more comfortable. First, they balanced the valve section between the bell and the mouthpiece to make it seem lighter; and to be easier to hold and operate. In addition, it allows the player more freedom of movement in the right hand to facilitate operation of the valves. The most notable and unique feature of the Olds Recording is the recessed middle valve, ergonomically placed to compensate for the long middle finger. Around 1949 the word Super was dropped, and it was called simply the Olds Recording. One prominent feature was removed; the exclusive engraved Olds tone control band attached to the bell. Thereafter, all of the bells were hand engraved by Leonard Garcia. Another new feature was also added to the Recording; the third valve slide trigger; to ease control of intonation. Besides the design features that make the Recording a pleasure and comfort to play, there is the physical appearance of the instrument. Every detail was considered to make it as beautiful as it is functional. The high copper content (called ‘Re-O-loy’ by Olds) in the bell and lead pipe sections give the horn a warm, rich and powerful tone; the yellow brass used for the valve section and tuning slide crooks make the instrument very sturdy, and the nickel plating on all the fittings and braces give this instrument a unique tri-tone color effect by offsetting the copper red, yellow brass, and polished silver. Every line and angle was carefully weighed for aesthetic value as well as function, and neither one were ever compromised. Text courtesy of Alan Rouse’s Olds Central website.
Olds Recording Model Trumpets
When Olds introduced the Recording Model trumpet and
cornet in the late 1930s, they had been making trumpets for
about ten years and trombones for at least ten years before
that. They had introduced the Super Olds trumpet (from
which the Recording was derived) a few years prior to this and
it had become quite popular. The bell tail was
longer, which placed the valve section more forward. This was
somewhat like the Selmer Balanced model that Louis
Armstrong had started using exclusively in 1933. In addition,
the second valve was offset to the left, putting it more easily
under the second finger. Olds had made trumpets with the
offset second valve previously, but now it was part of a
specific model design. The Recording trumpet was actually
designed for use in the recording studio and specifically for
Harold Mitchell, who at the time, was the most sought after
for this work. Harold Mitchell’s son, Ollie, owned that
first Olds Recording trumpet. Ollie Mitchell, trumpeter,
bandleader and a legendary studio musician, died May 11 2013
at his Puako, HI. home. He was 86. Ollie had his
own very successful career as a studio trumpet player.
I studied will Pappy Mitchell and considered Ollie a good friend.