"'Moonlight Serenade' is an American swing ballad composed by Glenn Miller with subsequent lyrics by Mitchell Parish. It was an immediate phenomenon when first released in May 1939 as an instrumental arrangement, though it had been adopted and performed as Miller's signature tune as early as 1938, even before it had been given the name 'Moonlight Serenade.' In 1991, Miller's recording of 'Moonlight Serenade' was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The song, recorded on April 4, 1939 on RCA Bluebird, was a Top Ten hit on the U.S. pop charts in 1939, reaching number three on the Billboard charts, where it stayed for fifteen weeks. It was the number 5 top pop hit of 1939 in the Billboard year-end tally. Glenn Miller had five records in the top 20 songs of 1939 on Billboard's list.
In the UK, 'Moonlight Serenade' was released as the A-side of a 78 on His Master's Voice, with 'American Patrol' as the B-side. The recording reached number twelve in the UK in March 1954, staying on the chart for one week. In a medley with 'Little Brown Jug' and 'In the Mood', 'Moonlight Serenade' reached number thirteen on the UK charts in January 1976, in a chart run of eight weeks.
The recording was also issued as a V-Disc, No. 39A, in November 1943."
|Band||Glenn Miller and His Orchestra|
|Date Recorded||4th April 1939|
|Date Restored||24th February 2016|
|Serial Number||HMV BD5942|
|Recording Cutter||Western Electric type 1C|
|Bandwidth||45Hz to 9kHz|
|Transfer Stylus||2.8 mil truncated elliptical|
|Transfer Cartridge||Stanton 500 at 5g|
|Transfer Turntable||Hitachi HT-350 at 78RPM|
|Cutter Compensation||500Hz first order lift down to 50Hz with a first order roll-off at 2.5kHz|
|Click Reduction||DeClick, wavelet mode, 48, 2 passes|
|Crackle Reduction||DeCrackle, wavelet mode, 45, 2 passes|
|Low Frequency NR||DeNoise LF, mono, 150Hz, -40dB|
|Wideband NR||DeNoiseExp, constant reduction -10dB, noise floor -41dB|
|Limiting Filter||48dB/octave Butterworth, at bandwidth limits|
I obtained this disc in very good condition in July 2011 on eBay, and performed a transfer and fairly primitive restoration in July 2014 that was uploaded to YouTube. Having refined my restoration technique considerably since then, I decided to go over this transfer again, achieving a much more lucid and tonally balanced result than I had previously published. The difference is mainly due to multiple passes in ClickRepair and applying the correct high frequency roll-off of 2.5kHz, as opposed to the 4kHz that I had erroneously used in 2014.
Due to the propensity of the waveform of the brass instruments to cause false detections, very careful tuning of the click and crackle detection thresholds was required on this track so as to preserve the audio as much as possible while removing as many clicks as possible. Using a low threshold of 48 and multiple passes achieved an excellent result, although noise reduction had to be used with a constant threshold as the automatic tracking mode couldn't accurately follow the noise floor due to the large amounts of recorded high frequency content. As the noise profile does not change by more than a few decibels throughout the length of the side, no harm is done.
During the first few seconds of the side there are some rather noticeable defects such as rumble and other low frequency transients that manifest themselves as various thuds and thumps. This seems to be an issue on all releases of this work, so I can only assume that they were present when the wax master was cut. There is quite a high level of rumble throughout the recording, but I have managed to successfully remove most of it without damaging the wanted audio.
As this is the best transfer yet that I have heard of this very popular recording, while being out of mechanical copyright at the time of writing this page, I have made it available for free download as high quality Vorbis.
I have decided to use Q7 Vorbis for site downloads, instead of MP3 or even FLAC, as it is just as well supported as of 2016, and provides transparency at about a third of the file size. There isn't really much point for using FLAC as the final listening format (all processing is done losslessly, of course) as the quality of the recordings themselves is already rather limited given their age. The general consensus on HydrogenAudio is that Q5 is enough for transparency with modern stereo recordings, so these mono downloads offered are encoded at a more than ample Q7. Vorbis is by far a superior codec to MP3, as transparency is obtained at almost half the file size.
The audio tracks listed on this page are digital restorations of 78 RPM records in my possession, whose mechanical copyright has expired before the time of this page's publication. No later release is used so any copyright affecting such a release does not apply to any of the sound recordings shown on this page. Claims to the contrary may be vexatious if pursued. Any communication between parties claiming copyright of the material on this website and the author of this site will be published immediately with great derision. The contents of this page must not be copied represented or sold without express permission.
Michael Fearnley 2016