Meeting Topic: Documentary on Jack Mullin - Sound Man: WWII to MP3
Moderator Name: Frank Lockwood
Speaker Name: Frank Lockwood - Lockwood ARS
Other business or activities at the meeting: Vice Chair Frank Lockwood greeted everyone warmly. He asked for volunteers to join the executive committee. He has sat on many different executive committees but feels that the Toronto/Southern Ontario section is one of the best run. He mentioned longtime member Neil Muncy's recent hospitalization and asked anyone who has been influenced by Neil to sign the get well card and mention briefly that influence, to boost his spirits. The audience was also asked to assemble for a group photo for Neil to accompany the card.
Meeting Location: Ryerson University - Eaton Theatre - Rogers Communication Building - Toronto, ON
Tonight's meeting was the season's end social. It was very casual, beginning with complimentary pizza.
Everyone was later asked into the theatre to begin the meeting which consisted of section business and the showing of the documentary film about Jack Mullin: "WWII to MP3".
The film's director was Don Hardy, Jr. The writer was Scott Budman.
Much of the comments and voice-over came from a video interview with Jack Mullin himself made towards the end of his life.
Other commentary came from the likes of Les Paul, Stephen Stills, Jeremy Cohen, Chuck D. and Kathryn Grant (Bing Crosby's widow), as well as reminiscences from his daughter, friends and colleagues.
The film traced Jack's first childhood memories of hearing music, through his time overseas during the end of WWII and the momentous fork in the road moment that led him to his first encounter with the reel to reel machine. Here he describes how he took the machine apart and mailed the pieces back home to re-assemble them there.
Much of footage in the film came from Jack's own 'home movies'; so some of what the audience was seeing was his troop flying into Germany, Hitler's last abandoned residence before it was demolished, as well as visuals of vintage tape machines in operation.
When he returned back to the US he worked with AMPEX to enhance and perfect the then new technology to such a degree that orders began flooding in.
Excerpts from old local television documentaries were included in the film highlighting the 'phenomena' of tape recording.
The film also discussed his work with Bing Crosby and how it enabled Bing and other stars of the day to pre-record their radio shows for later airing, changing the way people listened to broadcast music.
The possibilities of tape editing further enhanced the final broadcast. In fact, Jack was so proficient at editing that he actually was remembered in his obituary as the "inventor of the laugh track", an accomplishment he felt didn't need emphasizing!
Jack Mullin's love of classical music, and his engineering skill led to a distinguished career in the recording industry. After passing away, peacefully, in his sleep, in 1999, Jack was buried with a rosary and a reel of magnetic tape.
Special thanks go to executive member Blair Francey for spending many months tracking, locating and getting permission to present this film for this meeting.
Additional info can be found here:
After the film, a casual but interesting and informative discussion ensued among the audience members.
Frank thanked everyone for attending and looked forward to seeing everyone again in the fall.
Written By: Karl Machat