Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hal Holbrook Recording Found - Valley Players, Holyoke, Mass.

A collector of old audio recordings recently contacted me about a reel-to-reel tape he discovered in a flea market in North Carolina some years ago, which features actor Hal Holbrook that was labeled: " Holbrook - recording made in Guilds living room 176 Lincoln St, in late winter 1957 of publicity material prior to his performance of Mark Twain tonight at the Mt. Park Casino to open the Valley Players 16th season".

We discussed the Valley Players of Holyoke, Massachusetts in this previous post. Hal Holbrook was among the most notable young actors who graduated from his summer stock performances there on Mt. Tom to a long career on stage, film, and television. The recording appears perhaps to be either commercial spots or recorded interviews meant for publicizing the one-man play he created, “Mark Twain Tonight”. The Guilds were Carlton and Jean Guild who founded the Valley Players in 1941.

Mr. K. Morgan found this tape with others which also includes recorded material by Orson Welles and others. He is offering these tapes to anyone who wants them, free of charge, because he does not want these tapes to be lost if they are of historical significance or value to someone. He is offering as well to digitize the material, so no worries about not having a reel-to-reel player.

If anyone is interested in this audio material, please contact Mr. Morgan at:

Our thanks to Mr. Morgan for respecting this material as part of our shared cultural heritage. As we’ve seen regarding the discovering of old film, it is often the private collectors who find and protect lost material, and we owe them a lot.

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