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Ray in Pasadena

FAQ: The Recordings of the New York World's Fair

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George = ">"

Ray = "+"

"Fogel, George " wrote:

> Hi Ray,


> Your tape continues to amaze me; I've been listening to it piecemeal, the better to appreciate it.

++++++++++++ I'm really happy that everyone so far has such positive comments about this archive. It certainly has no counterpart since nothing like this has emerged in 35 years.

> And it is amazing in the way it recreates the feeling of the time and place

++++++++++|+ Don't you get the feeling that you're a tourist all over again? It's the ambiance. You even get to wonder why people actually applauded robots (GE).

> (if only there was video to match!!!)

++++++++++++ George, the only video cameras that were available in those days were made by RCA for studio use in TV stations. Sorry, no video recording equipment was made available to the public in 1964. Back then, portable video equipment was not invented yet.


> One thing friends of mine have been asking is how you actually did your taping.

> How large was the tape recorder you used? What was the microphone like?

+++++++++++++ The attached pictures show the recorder and the leather carrying case. It was made in Germany by UHER (model 4000 Report-L). It was originally intended for use by commercial radio stations for news

gathering. The microphone is a wide range dynamic mic. resulting in a frequency response of 40 to 20,000 cps @7.5 inches per second recording speed. The unit has four speeds: 7.5, 3.75, 1.875 and .9375 inches per second. The latter allows an 8 hour tape to

be made on one 1,200 ft. double play tape on 5" reel. The dynamic range is 56dB.

The low frequency response of this machine made the air conditioning system at GE appear

in the background. On all outdoor recordings, the low frequency response made

possible the realistic launching cannon sounds for the fireworks display at the

"Patriotic Show".

> Did you 'sneak' it into the various attractions, or did you carry it in openly.

+++++++ In its leather carrying case, no one knew what I was carrying. During many

of the actual recordings, I was often walking along not even noticed by anyone.

The microphone is very sensitive so it would readily pick up the sounds coming

from a wide variety of speaker systems in use throughout the Fair. With very few

exceptions, the sounds in each presentation at the major pavilions were all played

through loudspeaker systems.

> I gather it was a reel-to-reel machine..

+++++++++ Yes, five inch reel-to-reel. Cassette recorders were not invented yet.

> ..how distracting was it in use?

+++++++++ ZERO complaints. There is absolutely no sound coming from this

machine. That could be distracting if there were some repetitious sound, but not

this machine.


> Did you ever get negative reactions from pavilion employees or fellow visitors?

+++++++++++ NONE!!

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> Collectible Madness wrote:

> Ray - I just received the audio tape of the Fair - I must say Ray, that it has been a major blast to listen to it - I can't do it all at once but it's like visiting the Fair all over again! Many many thanks for the tape. Do you have more recordings that you will be making available this way? LOVE IT! Rick.

> Ray - I'm not trying to be nosy (I guess I am though!) - how did you you come about doing this?

+++++ I became seriously interested in high fidelity audio around 1948 when I lived in Chicopee, Mass. I was priviledged to be a working student at a local broadcast station (AM & FM) during my high school years. The great exposure to state of the art audio reproduction and recording equipment rubbed off quite well. Over five decades, it was obvious that a great deal of opportunties arose to satisfy the urge to "collect". The N.Y. World's Fair Audio Archive is one of them.

> Is it your voice we hear "...we're standing in front of the Bell System..."

+++++ Yes, that's me alright, a tall lanky chap trying to be another Edward R. Murrow.

> How old were you when you did this and was

it cumbersome to be able to do it?

+++++ I was twenty-nine at the time. The portability of the UHER equipment made it easy to accomplish.

> If you don't have the time to answer - I understand - just fascinated - did you realize the signifigance of what you were doing?

+++++ My initial motivation was to simply add some worthwhile material to an already burgeoning collection. Many NYWF hours were recorded (I've lost count). As to the actual significance, I had no belief that I was the only person amongst some 50 million visitors to have done this. The internet and I got together a few years ago, and I recently realized that no such recordings were being offered to collectors. My contacts with Bill Young and Richard Post led me to dust off the tapes.

Many Thanks,

Ray Dashner

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Ray --

Do you ever attend or sell at any of the toy, collectibles, and/or postcard shows in or around southern California? I would like to purchase a set of your tapes, but I am notoriously averse to buying anything via the mail (no particular reason -- I just never get around to it). If they were "out there" somewhere, where I could just go and pay for them, I would be much more likely to actually get off my ample butt and do so.

If not, you might want to consider such an effort. I think you would find an audience eager to part with a few dollars for such a unique collectible -- even though the source of the tapes is some 2500 miles (and 35 years) distant.

-- Doug Peterson --

(in reasonably close-by Rancho Cucamonga)

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AS many of you know we are working on a documentary film about the 1964/65 NY World's Fair. We would just like to say that we find Mr. Dashner's recordings to be an invaluable asset in our research and understanding of the Fair. Great job!

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Thanks to everyone that has commented about the Audio Archive. The second tape will be ready soon (Mid October). It will have the "Last Day of the NYWF", a tearjerker to be sure. By the way, we provide free delivery service to Rancho Cucamonga CA and other nearby communities. It's getting to be busier here than at Papa John's Pizza.

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Ray --

Free delivery service to Rancho Cucamonga, hmmmm? Busier than Papa John's Pizza? But how can I be sure your tapes will arrive fresh and hot, with plenty of melted cheese and pepperoni? smile.gif

OK -- ya got me -- I will contact you via e-mail to buy a set, and we can figure out all the whys and wherefores at that time. It will probably not be this weekend, though, as my wife and I have some tentative plans to pursue.

Please accept my public thanks, however, for your good humor and accommodation. I look forward to buying the tapes (and meeting you, too) at the first mutually agreeable opportunity. Once again, my thanks and continued good wishes.

-- Doug Peterson --

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The Ray Dashner Tapes V (reprinted)

Reviewed by Bruce.

As you prayed this is the last in the series of reviews regarding The Ray Dashner Tapes. However, don’t get too excited, as it is not the last of me.

Chrysler's Show-go-round. It amazed me how anyone can talk about the history of the automobile with out mentioning Henry Ford; well it is Chrysler's show. My feelings about the show were mixed even back then. I enjoyed the show but thought the theater was unimposing. You felt as if you were sitting under a tortoise's shell. Or maybe it was the

fact that there was never a Turbine ticket under my seat. Moving along,

the show was made up of puppets that would sing and talk about cars and their safety. How could you forget such a wonderful song as 'Nuts About You', sung by two machine threaded bolts, she said she was 'groovy'. What had to be the nearest thing to rock music at the fair were Ollie and the Oilcans, although I think his oil needed changing.

Like Walter Cronkite waiting for the first step on the moon, we waited with Ray for the arrival of Pope Paul VI. We followed Ray throughout the fair interviewing; the likes of Moses and Lombardo, as we did with Edward R. Murrow in his radio show 'Hear it now'.

This is a candid and uncommon ear witness account of the fair; I am convinced that these recordings will subsequently be found in each description of the fair from this day forward.

Well that about wraps it up, I was sad it was over. Where was SKF's dark ages? Or the canoe ride of Minnesota? Could someone out there

have 'The Moon and Beyond'? Maybe, but I am very pleased that Mr. Ray Dashner recorded so much of the fair and made it possible for us to share in them.

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Ray Dashner

To answer George's question "IS THERE MORE??",

the answer is" MUCH MORE".















GUY LOMBARDO.......... WHEW!!!!



Ray Dashner

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THE 1964/1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR AUDIO ARCHIVE. Last Day of The Fair, October 17, 1965.

Ó 2000 Raymond Dashner. All rights reserved



1) Introduction

2) Lone Musician, Irish Bagpiper at IBM Pavilion

3) "Top of The Fair" fundraiser for NY Actors Fund April 14, 1965. (Conversations with Robert Moses, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jayne Mansfield and Guy Lombardo)

4) To Be Alive (excerpt)

5) Flying to The Fair

6) Arrival at JFK for the last day of The Fair

7) Hawaii

NYWF Fairgoer interviews, last day of The Fair

9) Futurama II

10) Top of the New York State Tower, interviews

11) Florida Water Ski Show, Fourth of July, 1965

12) Long Island Railroad Pavilion, Sounds of LIRR Trains

13) Better Living Pavilion, Fashion Show

14) Belgian Village, Les Gilles de Belgique

15) Carousel, Belgian Village

16) This is Cinerama, "To The Moon and Beyond"

17) Cities Service Band of America, conducted by Paul LaValle

18) Sweden, A.S.E.A. Powerama Exhibit

19) Fairgoer Interviews, NYS Tower

20) Flamenco Dancers, Pavilion of Spain Courtyard

21) United States Pavilion

22) Punch and Judy Show, Belgian Village

23) Hall of Science, "Rendezvous in Space"

24) Polynesia Pavilion

25) Bell System

26) GE, "Carousel of Progress"

27) Exit music (GE Theme)


[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 10-14-2000).]

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Tiny Nit: the "Cinerama" film at the Transportation & Travel Pavilion was titled To the Moon and Beyond.

And yes, is this recording available yet, and what is the price?

PS. I used quotes around Cinerama because, even though the film was produced by the Cinerama Corporation, it was not in the Cinerama process....a really small point, but important to those purists out there.....!

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Ok, George, it's official... the Tape II is in the shipping room, just in time for the 35th ANNIVERSARY of the Oct. 17, 1965 closing.

How many $ you ask? Same as the number of years since it closed, postage included.

Step right up!!!

I will change the "Bill of Fair" to read "To the Moon and Beyond". Thanks for the fine tuning.


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Not for nothing--I'm Posting this 10/17/2000

The Fair closed forever thirty five years ago today.

Ray- I know now that 10/17/65 was also a special day for you - one of those "milestone" Birthdays.

10/17/65 Must have been a very significant day maybe an emotional one for you. What was it like for you...what sense have you made of that day, thinking back?

What was going on for you, what were your thoughts as you scurried about with your

tape recorder- getting those last sound bites, Knowing you'll never be there again?

With respect and good wishes,


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Richard, the sincerity of your well-wishing and the questions that triggers all of my recollections of that day makes quite a tug on my heartstrings. I sit here at 7:30 am in California a bit teary eyed as I type this.

It was a coincidence that my 30th birthday fell on the same day as the NYWF closing. I had arranged a trip to California to visit my brother at Vandenberg Air Force Base with a stop in New York to attend The Fair on its final day. Arriving at an early hour gave me ample opportunity to revisit a few favorite pavilions for the last time.

With my recorder turned on, I decided to interview some of the visitors waiting with me in lines. They were as excited about this day as I was. It was the largest assembly of people that I had ever seen before in my life. Over 400,000 were there on that day. Many of the New York residents turned out for one last glimpse. It was a great feeling of pride in The Fair that most New Yorkers had (and still have). Their voices are on the tape along with many of the sounds of The Fair.

It was poignant to have heard a lone bagpiper early in the morning playing a melody that seemed to be expressing sadness on this, the last day. I have that at the beginning of the tape. It contrasts with the joyous ending of the tape, the theme music from the GE Pavilion, "THERE'S A GREAT, BIG, BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW".

As the helicopter slowly rose from the Heliport, taking me away from The Fair and onward to Kennedy Airport, I saw what was the last image of a vibrant and colossal exhibition, the best I'd ever seen in my life.

That vision of the slowly diminishing size of The Fair at dusk, with all of its lights turned on is still vivid and unforgettable.

On my 65th birthday, yesterday, my son surprised me with a "behind the scenes' visit to the Universal Studios backlot to watch a filming of Jurassic Park III plus a complete walking tour of the historic sets dating back to the silent film days. At dusk, I saw the "Unisphere" style UNIVERSAL PICTURES logo, a twenty-foot diameter chrome plated structure glistening in the sunset. It was as close as I've ever come to genuine deja vu.

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I recieved my copy Archives 2 tape last night 10/17/200 and listened to 4.5 hours of it.

It is a 6 hour audio diary - I like the way you laid it out. The listener gets to spend the day, 10/17/65, THAT day tagging along on your farewell tour. From the Airport to the bagpiper (where was he?),the interviews on

line and on the NYS Towers...Your narration was thorough and sure...you knew this place.

It is fantastic that you have given us the full day. Utterly fantastic.

I am proud to have lent the Unisphere / Pool of Relection image to the second volume of your work. It is eerily beautiful to hear October 1965 and see year 2000, the proudest view of the Park. 6 hour speed VHS softens

the image a bit to give a dream like impression.

Your finest broadcast, Raydio.


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Neil, there are now two separate tapes available totalling nearly twelve hours of NYWF events, shows and interviews. If anyone wants full details, click on the email logo above. I will send back info on both tapes.

Many thanks,

Ray D.

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Got your information, thank you! I'll order both tapes. I'll also try digitizing the selections and burning them onto a CD so I can take them into my car. IF it works I'll be happy to clone a CD and send it to you. Then if you wanted you could have the CD duped to offer that format too.

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Hi - this is just a general note to anyone curious about Ray's audio tapes - they are fabulous. These tapes allow you to completely re-live the New York World's Fair - it's truly amazing that this guy had the foresight - let alone the sheer determination - to capture these fabulous sounds on tape. Ray - I can't wait to receive my "last day" tape and hope hope hope there's more!


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Thanks, Rick. Kind words are are always a pleasure to read.

To make it easier for others to learn about these tapes, please visit my website devoted to this topic. Also, please try the links that will take you to enjoyable places.

<a href="http://www.geocities.com/draydar/NY_Worlds_Fair__64-_65.html" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/draydar/NY_Worlds...ir__64-_65.html</a>

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 10-28-2000).]

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> "Rose, Gary M." wrote:

Thoroughly enjoyed your two tapes - I must admit I was more struck by the first one (the sound quality sounded a bit better to me) - Oh, what memories those sounds were! The barkers - I almost forgot about them. Loading the GM Futurama ride, the whimsical Show-Go-Round (which I loved - guess I was in a minority) - but what brought back the best memories was the incredible recording inside The Information Machine at IBM - that had to be one of the most provocative and entertaining shows ever produced for a Fair - Now that you've given us these sounds, can you now give us a Time Machine to go Back one more time?

> Gary

Thanks, Gary.

The "Time Machine" is now under construction!!

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I would also like to acknowledge the very first review of Tape II (closing day) posted by Park Bench on 10-18, above.

For the very few that are unaware of it, he is 'one of a kind', devoting a great part of his available time not only to this central topic, NYWF, but more importantly, his interest in the resultant park that is a reality rather than a memory.

Thanks Richard, Mr. Park Bench and all other AKA's. We appreciate your being here with us, amongst good friends.

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(As posted by Hoodlock elsewhere on this BB)

Lets start with the ever-paranoid Robert Moses saying at the beginning of the second season "There will be a lot more People this

year". It was good to hear the now departed stars like Sammy Davis Jr. as you rightly pointed out, was in the Broadway production of 'The Golden Boy'. A rich Nigerian from the African Pavilion took my entire family to see the show that past winter. On to GM, here I would like to point out the slowing of the GM ride. While you were on line, you mentioned that 6,000 people pass through the Futurama II every hour. Once inside you stated the ride could handle only 3,000 people per hour, what happened? You also talked about us New Yorkers being blasé; yes with a World's Fair in our backyard, Broadway as our Main Street and Coney Island around the block who wouldn't be?

Then off to the water show of Florida and 'OJ' the Clown, now that wouldn't work today.

As I sat watching the Unisphere and the reflecting pool with that car passing by every 3 minutes and 33 seconds, I started thinking. Sadly the fair was mostly about sights not sounds; the sizzle of the steak still leaves me hungry. I think that the Ray Dashner tapes should be played at every exhibition about the Fair. It should always

be there to tune in and out, as you view the exhibits. Thanks Ray for adding a sound track to the movies of my mind.

IP: Logged

Mike Kraus

Moderator posted 11-16-2000 05:49 PM

Indeed! The Ray-D-O tapes should be the "muzak" in any future NYWF museum. That's a compliment, BTW.

IP: Logged

Ray in



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Yes, it was unusual for GM to slow down the Futurama Ride for RAYDio.

It was done only during the time I was to be aboard the ride.

General Motors Corp. would do such things whenever a friend of Jayne's was expected to visit.

I got a longer look at the diorama, a treat not to be forgotten. I went home and bought an OPEL.

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