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Author Topic: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater  (Read 15404 times)

Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« on: August 17, 2007, 09:53:08 am »

Anybody know when the first wireless handheld mic was used in a concert tour?

The first wireless lavalier in theater? When?

What was the make and model of Kate Bush's wireless headset in 1979 (the only tour she ever did?)

When did Madonna first use a headset? What make and model?
When did Garth first use a headset? What make and model?

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 10:08:16 am »

I don't know about wireless mics, but I have an old Vox poster/catalog from 1966 and they have a wireless transmitter for guitars listed.  It was standard FM band, which was not al problem back then.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Wireless headsets: Madonna and Garth
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 01:17:15 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Fri, 17 August 2007 06:53

Anybody know when the first wireless handheld mic was used in a concert tour?

The first wireless lavalier in theater? When?

What was the make and model of Kate Bush's wireless headset in 1979 (the only tour she ever did?)

When did Madonna first use a headset? What make and model?
When did Garth first use a headset? What make and model?

-Bink



Was Madonna's first headset in 1990 on "Blond Ambition"?

Was Garth's first headset in 1990 during the tour supporting "No Fences"?

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Wireless headsets: Madonna and Garth
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 03:51:59 pm »

I'm thinking the Rolling Stones used a wireless for Mick in the late 70's early 1980's. Freddy Mercury had a wireless for a few songs at the Queen Wembly area shows in 1986. I'll watch the video again but something makes me think it was a Sony.
From a quick search it looks like maybe Frank Sinatra beat everyone to the stage with a wireless mic in the 1950's!
Below is a copy of part of the Shure article that I found.

I'll keep looking into this.

Mike Caldwell

"It continued to work on new microphone technologies as well. In 1953, it developed the Vagabond, the world's first wireless microphone for performing, a product that utilized walkie-talkie and hearing-aid technologies. The microphone sent a signal to a perimeter of wire that encircled the stage. A performer had to stay within that perimeter for the microphone to operate. It was used for a short time in Las Vegas, with Frank Sinatra its most noteworthy tester. Unfortunately, the Vagabond was fragile and undependable. In addition to its technical shortcomings, it was also extremely expensive, selling for about $800 in 1953. The Vagabond was phased out in the mid-1950s. Another thirty years would pass before wireless microphone technology came into its own. A Shure component was also part of another product that was ahead of its time. In the mid-1950s, the company manufactured a phono cartridge for Chrysler's short-lived in-car phonograph, the Highway Hi-Fi."

Andrew Broughton

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 04:47:37 pm »

First Handheld I saw was Rodger Waters on the "Wall" tour circa 1981.

I think I heard that Phil Collins was the first (or one of the first) to use IEMs on tour.
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-Andy

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Rick Stansby

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 05:47:26 pm »

Andrew Broughton wrote on Fri, 17 August 2007 21:47

First Handheld I saw was Rodger Waters on the "Wall" tour circa 1981.

I found this quote about the wall tour on the following web-page
http: //www.pinkfloyd-co.com/band/interviews/art-rev/art-sos3.html


One of the first quality radio mics, a Nady, was also used by Waters as he wandered the stage for a large proportion of the set.

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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 06:25:48 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Fri, 17 August 2007 08:53

Anybody know when the first wireless handheld mic was used in a concert tour?

The first wireless lavalier in theater? When?


I know this answers neither and/or both questions, but this receiver and the long-lost handheld transmitter that went with it was used for years as an MC mic for an annual summer vaudeville-style production in Midland, TX (that's still going on today: http://www.summermummers.com ):

http://homepage.mac.com/fitzcosound/vegarcvr.jpg

I can't find a date code of any kind, anywhere on it or inside of it, but I do know the Summer Mummers were using it in the mid to late '70s.
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Curt Sorensen

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 07:36:30 pm »

Hi,
I'm afraid I can't offer more than hearsay, but ten years ago I worked on a local re-staging of Leonard Bernstein's Mass, that was originally commissioned by the Kennedy's for the opening of the Kennedy Center in 1971 [?]. In trying to research it back then I found something that claimed that wireless mics were invented for the production [doubtful], which included an orchestra, rock band, two choirs, tape playback, and I think we even had some sort of surround-sound going on. If you're ever offered the opportunity to do this show, with the budget we had, RUN AWAY!
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2007, 08:55:28 pm »

I did some work for a high end christan ministry group in the early 80's "The Goads" and they had just bought four of the Nady wireless handhelds. I can't remember the model number but they had the red and green dots on the bottom to indicate the on / off switch postion. Funny how at one time Nady was one of the cutting edge top in their game and now their just mail order catalog low end MI well...crap!

That was some interesting reading on Pink Floyd.

Mike Caldwell

Tim Padrick

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Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 12:19:27 am »

In either '79 or early '80 the Oak Ridge Boys started using Shure wireless handhelds.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Wireless mic 'firsts' in concert touring and theater
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 12:19:27 am »


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