"Lights for Starting and Stopping Talent"

There are not a lot of first-hand accounts of how recording sessions were conducted during the acoustical era. For that reason, EDVR editors were pleased to recently come across a set of instructions to recording talent on when to begin and end their performances.  The instructions below were written in Spanish on a page in the ledgers maintained by Victor recording specialists who traveled to Puerto Rico and South America to record in 1917.

  • When the bell rings, get ready.
  • When the white light goes on, keep quiet.
  • When the green light goes on, begin singing or whatever.
  • When the red light goes on, it’s an indication that you should stop singing or whatever at the soonest and most opportune moment. You should never stop in the middle of a piece, verse, or word because the red light has gone on.
  • After talent[?] finishes singing, you should not move from your position or make any kind of noise  until the red light goes off.

Lima. Aug. 29, 1917