March 16 – Condenser mikes, Otis Redding

1920


Condenser mike

Bell Labs employee, electrical engineer Edward C. Wente gets a patent (US#1333744) for his 1916 invention, the condenser microphone.
 


1928 RCA 4AA ‘Box brownie’

The mikes contain an amplifier which uses a capacitor and needs a power source. In the era of vintage tubes, that means that they are very bulky!
 
Introduced commercially in the late 20s, they come into wider use after transistors and phantom power (Schoeps CMT20, 1964) are invented. Their excellent, crisp response is still a tool of preference in many studios today.
 Vintage mikes

See also: Microphone, History of sound recording  ~ History of the Microphone  

1968

Georgia-born soul singer-songwriter Otis Redding‘s touching song (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay tops the charts.
 
Released shortly after his death at 26 in a Dec. 1967 plane crash, it’s the first posthumous US#1. Co-written by Steve Cropper (ace guitarist of Booker T. & the M.G.’s), the recording was unfinished. It wins two Grammies. But its moving simplicity transcends all that; it’s a song for the ages.
 
Redding is the biggest star at Stax/Volt Records in Memphis. He was 15 when he got his start in the business as part of Little Richard‘s road band The Upsetters (seen in 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It )
 
His first charting single was 1961’s self-penned USR&B#20 These Arms Of Mine . Other hits he wrote include 1965’s R&B#2 I’ve Been Loving You Too Long and I Can’t Turn You Loose (R&B#11).
 
 ( Redding site  ( French fansite ▷Rock HoF 1989▹ ▷Songwriter HoF 1994▹  ( Stax fansite