The Big Hurt
Miss Toni Fisher Lyrics

Now it begins, now that you've gone
Needles and pins, twilight till dawn
Watching that clock till you return
Lighting that torch and watching it burn
Now it begins, day after day
This is my night, ticking away
Waiting to hear footsteps that say
"Love will appear and this time to stay"
Oh, each time you go
I try to pretend
It's over at last
This time the big hurt will end
Now it begins, now that you've gone
Needles and pins, twilight till dawn
But if you go, come back again
I wonder when, oh when will it end?
The big hurt
The big hurt
The big hurt

Written by: Wayne Shanklin

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Comments from YouTube:

Rick fisher

This song sounds as good in 2020 as it did in 1959. Love it.


The phasing effects make the recording sound just like you're listening to it over a shortwave radio. It's cool.

Elissa Fox

Reminds me itchykoo park......

Michael Fox

Did the phase shifting happen because of stereo recording to mono playback (or vice versa)?

Glenn Fiddy

Short wave radio -- exactly! The radio waves bounced off the ionosphere and earth several times before being picked up by my radio.

Uncle Homunculus

Some info on the phasing effect from an interview with engineer Larry Levine:
Wayne Shanklin, wrote another hit song —Toni Fisher, singing “The Big Hurt”—which was the first use of phasing on a record... though it wasn’t intentional phasing. [laughs] Stan had made mono and stereo mixes—at that point, we only had two-track and mono anyway—and Wayne liked the mono mix, but he felt that Toni’s voice wasn’t out quite far enough, so the next day he asked me to make a tape copy and to run the two mixes together in order to double the sound of her voice. I explained to him that that wouldn’t work, because the two tape machines wouldn’t stay in sync, but he insisted that I try it anyway. So I did—I lined up the two tapes and started the two machines simultaneously... and it stayed together, pretty much, for the first eight bars, and then one went out of phase with the other. It just happened to be at a point where the strings went up in the air and disappeared and then came back after the null point. 
My reaction was, “See, I told you it wouldn’t work,” but he was falling on the floor, saying, “Wow—can you make that happen in other places?” So I figured out which tape was moving a little bit ahead and I started it slightly later so it would catch up. In the end I made about six edits. It ended up being a big hit record when it was released back in 1959, and people were trying to guess where it was made—a lot of disk jockeys were talking about it on the air, wondering if it was made at an airport with a big jet passing by. So it wasn’t something intentional to start with, but, like many innovations, pure luck."

Richard Bosworth

@Brian G. It was called tape phasing. But you’re also right in a sense. The term “flanging” was first spoken by EMI Abbey Road Studios chief technical engineer Ken Townsend. He was that during the Beatles EMI Studios era. He came up with electronic effects that were utilized on Beatle records. Incredible significant things. And one day John Lennon asked to explain the effect that was more or tape phasing and Ken knowing John wouldn’t have the patience to listen to the whole explanation just said. “It’s flanging, It called flanging John.” A word was born. And to this day there are audio devices and plugins called flangers.

Philip Brougham

This is exactly how I stumbled across phasing in the early 70.,s I was trying to add a little bit of echo to a record and found just as the two recordings began to line up the phasing effect happens ,I have since learned phasing occurs between 1 and 9 milli seconds of the tracks being out of line ..Quite easy to do with a good tape recorder but still a good effect ,especially on recordings with lots of drumming ,.


This effect is more properly known as "flanging", not "phasing" (or "phase shift"), although the effects are related.

Roger B

That describes the sort of fortunate happenstance that only exists in the analog world. Thank you for telling the back story to this song, which has been stuck in my memory for 60 years. London / Deram's engineers also used multiple recordings mixed down to two track, to create a more spacious "Deramic" sound - very successfully on the first Moody Blues LP, "Nights In White Satin".

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