Audio Fidelity Records

The small record company Audio Fidelity Records released the first commercial stereophonic disc in November 1957. Sidney Frey (1920-1968), founder and president, had Westrex cut a disk for release before any of the major record labels. Side 1 was the The Dukes of Dixieland, Side 2 was railroad sound effects. On December 16, 1957, Frey advertised in the trade magazine "Billboard" that he would send a free copy to anyone in the industry who wrote to him on company letterhead.

That move generated a great deal of publicity and launched a revolution in the way the world listens to music: on 2 channels, for 2 ears, in stereo. Frey promptly released four additional stereo disks. The equipment dealers had no choice but to demonstrate on Audio Fidelity Records.

Audio Fidelity went on to record Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, Lalo Schifrin, Oscar Brand, Lionel Hampton, Pat Moran, Larry Adler, Johnny Puleo, Patachou, Mohammed El-Bakkar, Leon Berry, The Sounds of the Nickelodeons at Paul Eakins' Gay Nineties Village, Eddie Cantor, Myron Cohen, Jo Basile, The Teemates, classical music, and sound effects.

Key employees of the company, who were mostly uncredited on the recordings included: Willy Hamilton, chief audio engineer; Lawrence Frey (brother of Sidney), audio engineer; Rosalind Frey (wife of Sidney), vice president; Carl Shaw, business manager; Manny Vardi, producer; Claire Orson, publicity; Bill Shuler, album designer.

Additional labels owned by Sidney Frey included Kinor Records, Dauntless International, and Audio Rarities.

Sidney married the former Rosalind Kanon in 1948 and had 2 daughters, Andrea and Melanie.

Bossa Nova in the US

In September 1962, Sidney Frey, president of Audio-Fidelity Records, flew to Rio in search of bossa nova artists to take to New York for a concert. Tom Jobim and João Gilberto were the obvious picks, but he brought all he could—Luiz Bonfá, Oscar Castro-Neves, Carlos Lyra, Milton Banana, and Sérgio Mendes. The Carnegie Hall concert on November 21, 1962 was a historic moment—bossa nova, sub-titled "new Brazilian jazz," was presented for the first time to an American audience.

External links

* [ Bruce Laing's Audio Fidelity Database]
* []
* [,9171,872426,00.html?promoid=googlep Noise Merchant: Time Magazine 5/19/1961]
* [ Booze Brothers Music]
* [ Bill Dee's Bossa Nova Web-Site]
* [ Clip from Guto Barra's upcoming documentary about Brazilian music in the US]
* [ Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong]
* [ Jo Basile]
* [ Leon Berry]
* [ Oscar Brand Web-Site]
* [ Harry Breuer]
* [ Bobby Christian]
* [ Liam Clancy Web-Site]
* [ Dukes of Dixieland Web-Site]
* [ Mohammed El-Bakkar]
* [ Al Hirt]
* [ Johnny Puleo]
* [ Lalo Schifrin Web-Site]
* [ Sounds from Rikers Island]
* [ Teemates Web-Site]

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