Matt Monro – “Operation Santa Claus” Live in Hong Kong 1962
The recording of this concert comes from Matt’s private tapes. He was given a copy of the concert straight after its original live broadcast on Radio Hong Kong who didn’t archive the recording. Back in the mid 1980’s after Matt’s passing his widow Mickie asked EMI records to transfer Matt’s reel tapes to cassette for her as she no longer had a reel to reel machine. For some reason the original tapes were never returned and are now lost.
The only source for this concert is now the cassette. It has quite a good frequency response and the cassette had a break at around 12 minutes so this may point to the original being a 15ips tape. Unfortunately the EMI transfer wasn’t perfect and has some phase issues due to incorrect azimuth set up. I’ve minimised the effect of this as much as possible but it couldn’t be eradicated.
The general sound was cleaned up and after some warming up it needed some work to try and re -balance the mix a little better using EQ and compression.
The interview comes from the original ¼” reel however I have substituted songs from better sources rather than leaving the discs played in the original broadcast.
There are a number of recordings in Matt’s archive that are not exactly broadcast standard but we think Matt’s fans would still like the opportunity to hear them, despite the less than stellar sound quality so have included two here from a similar time period.
‘Look For A Star’ comes from another of Matt’s private tapes transferred by EMI. This one however appears to have been recorded from a radio, probably with a microphone held up to a speaker – maybe even by Matt himself. It needed some tender loving care to make it listenable but it is the only recording by Matt of this song to survive.
Before and after sample
‘Christmas Magic’ was also from a radio broadcast and this time survives as an acetate disc in the Monro Estate collection. This recording has received limited release before on a privately pressed disc but this is its first full official release – The release is called ‘Operation Santa Claus’ so we thought it would fit well here! This release sees a fresh transfer and a new restoration which is clearer than before and also features an introduction omitted from the original release. The sound has some distortion but this is down to wear from over playing and possibly some introduced by badly set levels when the disc was cut