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

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Tape III has just been approved by the Quality Control Dept.

Please visit my website for all details.

Click on "VISIT MEMBER WEBSITES" in the main header above.

RAYDio Pasadena

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NYWF Audio Tapes

Bill Young

Yesterday, I received my copy of a six-hour-long audio tape from exhibits at the New York World's Fair. The audio tape is available through a link on the

LINKS page here at nywf64.com. Although I haven't listened to the entire tape, I wanted to give a brief comment on what I've heard so far.

These recordings are truly "you-are-there"

recordings. Because the person making the

recordings was doing so as a spectator, you will hear the recordings as if you are in the theater or on the ride of the attraction. So it does not sound like, for instance, the Travelers Record of "The Triumph of Man" where a sound recording was made directly

from the soundtrack. You will hear audience chatter, applause, etc. And you will hear the "hollow" sound of the audio as if it was recorded in a large area. Some may find this distracting. However, the audio is VERY clear and everthing is perfectly understandable!

The tape was done very well so that you don't hear one selection louder than the previous.

The most remarkable thing about these audios, to me, is that you will experience the COMPLETE attraction. I listened to the GE presentation and expected to hear only "The Carousel of Progress." Not only did I hear that (complete with the musical selection that was played while the audience was

filling up the theatre), I also heard the soundtrack to "Sky Dome Spectacular" and the Fusion Demonstration! While listening to the United States presentation, I heard the soundtrack to the Immigration movie as well as the "Challenge to Greatness" ride through! You will also hear the pavilion guides giving the introduction to the shows! "Once seated, look up. The show will appear on the

Dome of the Theater." says the guide at the "Sky Dome Spectacular" presentation at GE. It's like "you-are-there."

For a person like me who never went to the Fair, these tapes bring to life shows that I'd only read about. For someone who went to the Fair and saw these attractions, they will bring back many, many memories, I'm sure. I would imagine that many of these shows may not have been heard in 35 years!

I've acquired some audio during my years of

collecting, but NOTHING quite like this.

There are so many shows on the tape... everything from Pepsi to GE to USA to Bell to Tower of Light... even to the Africa show presentation with the dancers and the drums. It's an audio tour of the Show of the Century!

nywf64.com is a non-commercial site. However, I do like to post links to people who make the Fair available to collectors through sales of collectibles and such. This will be a true "collectible" for me and I wanted to share my observations with others in case

some out there might be considering investing in the audio tapes.

Bill Young


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Introduction by Ray Dashner

Lone Musician, Irish Bagpiper at IBM Pavilion

Top of The Fair Fundraiser for NY Actors Fund April 14, 1965

Johnson Wax "To Be Alive" (excerpt)

Flying to The Fair

Arrival at JFK for the last day of The Fair

American Express Pavilion (prologue)

"Meet Me Under The Money Tree"

Hawaii Pavilion

Fairgoer interviews,last day of The Fair

General Motors "Futurama II"

Top of the New York State Tower, interviews

Florida Water Ski Show, Fourth of July, 1965

Long Island Railroad Pavilion, Sounds of LIRR Trains

Better Living Pavilion, Fashion Show

Belgian Village, Les Gilles de Belgique

Carousel, Belgian Village

This is Cinerama, "To the Moon and Beyond"

Cities Service Band of America, conducted by Paul Lavalle

Sweden Pavilion, A.S.E.A. Powerama Exhibit

Fairgoer Interviews, NYS Tower

Flamenco Dancers, Pavilion of Spain Courtyard

United States Pavilion, "Challenge to Greatness"

Punch and Judy Show, Belgian Village

Hall of Science, "Rendezvous in Space"

Polynesia Pavilion

Bell System Pavilion

GE, "Carousel of Progress" and "Skydome Spectacular"

American Express Pavilion (epilogue)

Exit music (GE Theme)


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I am proud of my "partnership" (for want of a better word) with Mr. Ray

Dashner in bringing to you the sounds of THE WORLD'S FAIR 1964 - 1965.

Why and how did I get involved? There is a strong feeling of camaraderie --

Of being members of the same lodge when it comes to either the New York World's

Fairs of 1939-1940 or 1964-1965 ... of course there is also fervent debate

between the two distinct groups as to which Fair was greater and why -- but

this is not the place for that discussion. The point is that Mr. Dashner and I

have become good friends through a shared interest in the New York World's Fair

and I think you will find that this collection is more than just a trip down

"Nostalgia Neighborhood" but something that should be shared and treasured.

Although Ray Dashner claims the idea for recording the sounds of the Fair

was strictly for his own pleasure, listen carefully how he works the mike

like a true pro with a solid ol' time radio voice and a heart still filled with a

sense of wonder (that's what the best of the World's Fair was all about after all).

I know you will enjoy returning again and again in sharing good times with a good man.

By the way, another reason I got involved is that I am no fool -- you will

Find nothing like this anywhere else!

Yesterday is always a more innocent time than tomorrow by its very nature.

But as I said, this is more than Memory Lane stuff here -- this is History!

Albert Einstein said of the 1939 Fair (and is equally true of the best of

The 1964-1965 run): "The World's Fair is in a way a reflection of mankind, its

Work and aspirations. But it projects the world of men like a wishful dream.

Only the creative forces are on show, none of the sinister and destructive ones

which today more than ever jeopardize the happiness, the very existence

of civilized humanity."

When I was very, very young I believed that I would have the opportunity to

experience many World's Fairs throughout my life. But the 1964-1965 World's

Fair was it! Who could have known? Oh sure, there have been things called

EXPO's every now and then but there has never been another Official World's

Fair since they tore the buildings down in Flushing Meadows in late 1965. The

Internet is often sited as the main villain here (one I don't particularly buy

because it hardly answers the thirty years after the Fair closed) -- that the world has

become too small, communications too easy and humans just too darn

sophisticated for something as innocent as another World's Fair. If there

is truth here it is one that make me wince -- that we as a culture are just too

lazy and want it all brought to us. One had to make an effort to enjoy the

World's Fair.

I find it a bit ironic that Ray Dashner (in the AUDIO NARRATIVE) relates

that it was the INTERNET that brought his Birth of a Notion leading to this

collection being made to the general public.

Very soon now, they say, all movie palaces and theatres will also go the

way of the museum -- we'll all be able to see perfect big-screen features in

the comfort of our own homes. But in this world of easy access, where is

the effort, the anticipation in feeling that in any second something

magical might occur, the very experience of living the moment? For all the

faults of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair sited over the years, it was

by all accounts AN EXPERIENCE.

Come share that experience again with real people about you as only these

recordings can offer. Grow young, again.

Maybe someday if we're all very lucky someone in power will decide that we

as a people are not so sophisticated after all and it might be nice to throw

another party called a World's Fair. Until then, thank God for Disney's

theme parks and thank you, Ray Dashner, for sharing the experience.

Peter Michaels

February 2001

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Mike, as always, you and all other members here have freely given positive compliments about my NYWF Audio Archives. Besides this BB group, there are others who have discovered my tapes through eBay (thanks, Liz), WFCS and old fashioned word of mouth. One of the recipients, Peter Michaels was so overtaken when listening to six hours non-stop, he contacted me to tell me that he wanted to transfer the audio to a CD and send it to me with his compliments. For many who have heard these recordings, there's a stirring of wonderful visual recollections of The Fair as the audio is playing. Peter was so overwhelmed with the realization that these tapes were unknown for about 37 years and suddenly, there they are, bringing back all of those wonderful memories of The Fair. I tell you this because his enthusiasm boiled over to the point where we are now collaborating to produce The Fair archives on a series of CD-ROM's. Peter is an artist, screenwriter, actor and producer whose creative talents are now working to produce the finest and most complete document on the New York World's Fair ever assembled. So, to Mike and others who have registerd praise and support for past efforts, the next ones will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!!! We have even contacted the Mayor of New York City and the Queens Borough President to place these CD's in the time capsule that is planned to be buried at FMCP on Earth Day in April, near the Hall of Science, I've been told. There is a separate posting of a copy of my letter on this BB. Stay tuned to your RAYDio for more as this develops.

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 02-17-2001).]

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KEW GARDENS NY 11424 February 8, 2001

Attn: Ms. Claire Shulman

Dear Ms. Shulman,

It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we look forward to the very special EARTH DAY project to be held at the former New York World's Fair Hall of Science.

It was thirty-seven years ago that the gates opened to admit 52 million visitors to this magnificent and historic New York World's Fair. In that two year period, I made many visits to The Fair, about thirty-eight in all, including the closing day on Oct. 17, 1965.

In that time, I carried a portable professional audio tape recorder on many trips. It was fun to record the sounds of the people and events at The Fair to play back later at my home in Connecticut. It became part of a personal hobby, collecting sounds of parades and similar public events over the years.

Today, the historic nature of my World's Fair recordings becomes a realization that has prompted me to write to you today.

For the time capsule that is planned to be buried at the FMCP on Earth Day, I would like to contribute two documents containing over twelve hours of my on site recordings preserved on two CD-ROM discs for burial with other artifacts you have chosen. In the year 2101, the data inscribed on these CD-ROMs will be perfectly intact and easily reproduced.

In almost four decades since making these recordings, I did not realize that I was the only one who ever made such audio documentation of The New York World's Fair (1964-1965). A copy of this historic document is now at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

There can be no better way to express the feeling of being present at The Fair than to present this archive to you for your consideration. I am certain that the memories of this event will be perpetuated into the next millenium by way of your acceptance of this proposal.

With Best Regards,

Raymond Dashner

866 S. Arroyo Blvd.

Pasadena CA 91105

cc: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani,

Mayor of New York City

City Hall

New York NY 10007

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Excellent! Ms. Shulman should be hard-pressed to dismiss your offer. Great idea. The quality and content of your tapes deserves a spot in the capsule. Your many audios have each captured and frozen a very special time. Way to go!

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Here is my unanswered letter to the Queens Courier Newspaper, Mr. David Oats, Editor.

I'm adding it to my other list of unanswered letters to Claire Shulman and Rudolph Giuliani.


February 21, 2001

Dear Mr. Oats,

I recently became aware of your involvement in the TIME CAPSULE project at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

I have an offering that is believed to be appropriate for inclusion in the TIME CAPSULE. I possess the only audio recordings of the NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR (1964-1965) which is now being transferred to CD-ROM discs.

Please review the attached letter which was recently sent to Ms. Claire Shulman and Mayor Giuliani. Also, the basic World's Fair audio content of each CD is attached. I believe you will find this historic document to be the ideal artifact for the TIME CAPSULE.


Raymond Dashner

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 03-03-2001).]

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I am baffled by David's lack of response. His devotion to the fair is legendary and he helped to host the 20th anniversary of the fair in Flushing and spoke with me of his sneaking into the fair as a 9-year-old and becoming a pint-sezed protege of Robert M. right up to his death. I believe he left him a model of the fair site at the time of his demise. Curiouser and curiouser!

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Jake, there's always a hope that modern communications are working smoothly, but maybe he has some person on staff screening his mail and it's still in his "IN" basket.

Nonetheless, we have sent a new appeal to Mr. Oats today, which he should be reading on Monday March 12.

If all members of this PTA bulletin board would take a moment to send a note to Mr. Oats asking for these NYWF archives to be added to the list of items for the Time Capsule, it would go a long way to making it happen.

I feel like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" with this project. We need your support to ease it into the Time Capsule.

The new letter to Mr. Oats is printed below.

Please contact him at:

"David Oats"<info@queenscourier.com>


Dear Mr. Oats

The community of supporters of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, The Hall Of Science, and the Time Capsule Project urge you to accept the New York World's Fair (1964-65) CD-ROM's that have been specially prepared for inclusion in the Time Capsule.

These historic compilations recorded on two CD-ROM's are without doubt, equal in stature as an element of the Time Capsule's artifacts to any other that you plan to include.

These two CD-ROM's contain every element that is related to The New York World's Fair, including the original tapings of the pavilions, shows, events and interviews during my many visits to The Fair in 1964 and 1965. This was the greatest attraction ever held in the Borough of Queens, which attracted over 52 million visitors.

We want to be a part of the Time Capsule and have worked very hard to perfect these two historic archives in time for their inclusion on Earth Day at FMCP.


Raymond Dashner

cc Peter Michaels

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 03-11-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Ray in Pasadena (edited 03-11-2001).]

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214-07 42nd AVENUE


Hopefully, the NYWF CD-ROM's will be included in the Time Capsule at FMCP on Earth Day, April 22, 2001.

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I should have updated the Time Capsule situation long ago, but felt it is a moot point since most of us will not be there to see it re-opened.

The new date is November 1, 2051. The capsule was buried much later than the original planned date to allow many New York school children to include their messages. Also, the timing for re-opening was shortened from 100 years to 50 years. The bronze cap is located on the walkway at the western side of the New York Hall of Science.

Ray Dashner

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It's been a while since we last corresponded. I've been doing a lot of work with audio restoration and am wondering if you've considered (or already have) processing your audio to increase fidelity?

Also the last copies of the vault I have had audio quality similar to AM radio. I'm wondering if you have or would consider creating CD quality audio?

Hope you have been well.


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But, Marc, wouldn't refining the original audio change the historic character of the tapings? We rush to replace the old with the new in too many situations including re-development of historic neighborhoods to put in a Starbucks, Subway and Borders. I'm amazed that Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor is still allowed to exist in Queens.

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Jahn's may be in Queens but it's long gone from Rockville Centre.

Ray, think of improving the records in the same way that people restore art masterpieces. Why, you have the opportunity for the audio equivalent of restoring the Mona Lisa. Go for it, man!!!

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Why, you have the opportunity for the audio equivalent of restoring the Mona Lisa.

I totally agree with Bill, Ray-- what's more-- look to the extraordinary ways that new technology is being used to permanently restore classic and historic films of all kinds...

<a href="http://www.filmpreservation.org/" target="_blank">National Film Preservation Foundation</a>

Think of it this way; while you're still around to supervise such a task (and may that be for a long time to come)-- you have a unique opportunity to make sure your treasure trove of audio recordings are carefully preserved in a way that still remains faithful to the source-- but also ensures that they'll continue to inspire and educate generations of listeners long after the ruins of Flushing Meadow are forgotten.

It's already a couple of years old, but you may be interested in reading a recent paper by Elizabeth Cohen which was presented to the U.S. Council on Library and Information Resources. The paper (linked below) very astutely examines the arguments for and against audio restoration and preservation in the digital age and ultimately comes out in their favor.

<a href="http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub96/preservation.html" target="_blank">Preservation of Audio</a>

But I still think Bill put it best.

Go for it, man!!!

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Hi Ray,

I also agree with Marc, Bill & Trey...

There’s no harm in using the technology of today to improve upon what was “state-of-the-art” back in 1964. Purists may cringe, and say that you are somehow destroying the past – and in some cases that may be true…

But I bet you if you really think back to what your intentions were some 42 years ago when you set out on your noble task, you will no doubt recall that at least one of your primary goals was to capture the all of the sounds in such a way that would allow future listeners to hear what it was really like to be at the Fair - and I think the closer you can come to reproducing the way that people hear sounds in real life, the better your recordings will convey that atmosphere to the listeners.

We have all seen the amazing results that Bill, Randy Treadway, and several others have been able to achieve in the field of digital photo restoration – many of their restored photos are so clear, bright, and colorful that except for the absence of today’s sloppily dressed people, they look like they could have been taken just last week at the Epcot, instead of 42 years ago at the New York World’s Fair!

I know I would love to hear your wonderful recordings with all the nuisances of CD-quality sound as well!

Just my two cents…


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I agree in general.

There is however, one argument- the Phil Spector argument.

He insisted on putting out his final product mostly in "mono"- kind of odd in an era where stereo was already dominant.

Apparently he owns (if he wasn't in the slammer) the original four-track tapes, and could put out stereo versions if he wanted to. And he's always chosen not to.

But if somebody ELSE took the mono tape, and tried to reverse engineer tracks using "rules of thumb" to create a stereo version, it might not replicate what was actually produced in the recording studio, let alone what the producer would "intend" to be heard by the human ear. So there's an argument not to try to re-do the original in that case. It's creating something that was not there originally, and reflects the artistic whims of whoever took it upon themselves to do it TODAY. It's like putting a smile on the Mona Lisa because you think it improves her looks.

BUT...what we're talking about here is removing hiss, scratches, stuff like that- in order to replicate EXACTLY the sound the microphone tried to pick up in 1964 an 1965. It's not "inventing" anything that wasn't there. (if, on the other hand, analysis reveals that Ray's recording picked up somebody in Row 3 whistling, I would leave that in- because that was what the audience actually heard at the time).

As long as that's the limit, I have no problem with it, and think it's a good idea.

Keeping your original recordings intact is imperitive though. 50 years from now somebody might come along with even BETTER restoration techniques, and as Bill and I can attest- if you can work from a 1st generation original rather than 2nd or 3rd generation, you're able to do a LOT better job in the restoration.

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Exactly! You guys said it better than I could.

I'm not proposing you do what Spielberg did with E.T. or Lucas did with Star Wars.

For that matter the audio compression on the Vault releases often introduces a jangling, echo chamber effect on some of the recordings.

We all know tape degrades and playing old tapes can damage or even destroy them. I think to ensure the recordings survive long past all of us lossless, digital recordings should be made and archived. These new digital masters could be used as the source to create clean new tracks free of tape hiss and other artifacts of aging.

I've done some amazing stuff with old time radio and that was using mp3s as the source. Just think what could be done with true digital masters!

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